‘Design Solutions’ on Elm Street To Close


Specialty home goods shop ‘design solutions’ on Elm Street is closing after 24 years and will move to new location in Scott’s Corners, N.Y., its owner said.

According to Pauline Dora, design solutions and other local businesses have suffered in recent years as more chains have opened in New Canaan.

Since she opened her business, Dora said, “the world has changed dramatically.”

“It was a lot simpler,” she said.

Design solutions on Elm Street is closing. Credit: Catherine Gorey.

Dora added: “When we opened 24 years ago, there were two chain stores, today there are 15.” Dora said such stores can afford to pay higher rents.

“It is very difficult to stay in business with the likes of Citibank and J Crew,” she said.

Dora said some of what others cite as elements that hurt local businesses—Pop Up Park, lack of parking, commercial landlords—are not really the problem.

“It’s all about price and [Amazon] Prime’s free shipping,” she said. “Our own residents no longer want to shop local.”

Dora added: “It can be very straightforward: When people shop in town, businesses thrive and we in return support all the wonderful volunteer and nonprofit ventures. And the town continues to have an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.”

On the positive side, Dora did thank her “faithful staff” and landlords who “have been very decent… and done what they can to address the rent situation.”

Dora said she will miss New Canaan.

“For me, the saddest part of closing is saying goodbye to the space we’ve occupied in this beautiful town for almost a quarter of a century,” she said.

The store will reopen in Scott’s Corner no later than Sept. 1, Dora said. A closing sale will commence July 1. The store at 146 Elm St. is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sundays.


2 thoughts on “‘Design Solutions’ on Elm Street To Close

  1. Dear Dora,
    I am really sad to hear that you are closing, you have been a vital part of New Canaan’s design Legacy, David Whitney and Philip Johnson even appreciated your store. It is terribly sad that todays retail culture destroys great business’ like yours. Some business’ that have failed maintained poor hours and poor customer relations, not yours. Best of luck in NY.

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