LUXURY WITH A TWIST

by PATRA TAYLOR photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

 

This spring’s high point market was a special one for Gigi Chapman. Having been in the home furnishings business for more than three decades, she has attended dozens of High Point Markets, spending many exciting days rambling through the millions of square feet of exhibition space, and rubbing elbows with other leading retailers, designers, innovators and manufacturers from around the world who gather each year for the debut of tens of thousands of new products. But this year’s High Point Market was the first since Chapman opened her new retail showroom along bustling Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.

As her new market buys start pouring into the store, Chapman recalls the last several months of hard work she and her retail manager, Despina Filippakis, put in to transform the once dreary electronics chain store into the bright, vibrant showplace it is today. “I had a store in I’On for 12 years,” states Chapman, a lifelong resident of the Lowcountry. “I’On was good to me, but it was a small space and off the beaten path. It took us a year to find this space, but I think it’s a perfect place to better serve the people of Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston. We don’t mind winning over new customers. In fact, we’re looking forward to it.”

 

Their enthusiastic band of faithful customers have already visited Chapman and Filippakis in their new home, drawn by the endearing spirit of fun and comfort they bring to the dynamic, no-pressure atmosphere of Chapman’s retail store. Customers know that whatever their home furnishing needs, the dynamic duo of design can deliver while providing the best possible customer service in the industry.

“There’s nothing a big-box store can do that we can’t do, from the floor up,” notes Chapman. “Bed, bath, living, dining—we have access to it all. We even sell linens here, some of which are exclusive to Mount Pleasant.”

There’s so much more for customers to love about deGuise Interior’s new location. “We have something for everyone,” Filippakis says. “Anyone can come here and pick up something they love, something they can afford, and it’s different from what they’ll find anywhere else in the area. We love to offer those pieces that have a twist that sets them apart. Plus, many of the lines we carry are customizable. We can take a piece of furniture that a customer likes and change the fabric or finish to turn it into a piece they love and that fits perfectly in their home.”

Another thing customers really appreciate about deGuise Interior’s new location is its spacious fabric and wallpaper library. “We can get wallpaper from all the manufacturers,” notes Filippakis.

“Sometimes customers see exactly what they want online or in a magazine. We can find it and order it. We’re always here to help when our customers need us.”

“A lot of other retailers will let you check out the wallpaper books, but we will order our customers a large sample of wallpaper so they have a better idea of what it will look like on their wall,” adds Chapman. “That’s the kind of customer service we provide. We go the extra mile. We’re obsessed with customer service.”

The high level of customer service isn’t the only thing that hasn’t changed since deGuise relocated. Chapman’s knowledge of the home furnishing industry, plus the hundreds of suppliers with whom she’s built relationships, give her a sixth sense about where to find what a customer is looking for. The best part is, customers can get as little or as much design advice from the deGuise team as they want or need. “From one piece to an entire houseful, we’re here to help people make the right decisions for any home project. We find it, we price it, we order it. We’re 100 percent full service here,” says Chapman.

“We are constantly changing it up on our showroom floor,” she continues. “Almost every day we’re rearranging the showroom to put something new and exciting out. We invite everyone looking for home furnishings to stop by often to see what’s new.”

To get a preview of deGuise Interiors’ impeccable taste in luxury furnishings and décor, please visit its e-commerce site. Filippakis notes that either she or Chapman have personally viewed every item available on the site to ensure it meets their high standards. “We stand behind everything we sell, be it from our e-commerce site, a special order or directly from our showroom floor,” she concludes.

Patra Taylor is a full-time freelance writer living in Mount Pleasant.