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As the Dauphine storefront on Kavanaugh Boulevard began emptying out in August, local residents began worrying about the future of one of the Heights' most well-known, creative mainstays.
"I'm not retiring. I'm not even slowing down," says Dauphine's proprietor and interior designer Keith James, who has been a presence on Kavanaugh for more than 36 years. Instead, James says he is minimizing the retail end of his business so he can dedicate his full attention to design, which often takes him around the country and beyond.
James, who is known for his traditional designs with a bit of whimsical flare, has been featured in magazines such as Architectural Digest, Veranda and Elle Décor.
"We've streamlined our focus, but we will continue to offer a full array of interior design services," he says. James along with his "valuable and talented" assistant Terri Hornbeck moved around the corner to a new location at 5910 "R" St. in late August. The new space is just around the corner from their former Kavanaugh digs and just a few steps away from Fantastic China.
"It's smaller, but it fits our needs perfectly," says Hornbeck about their "R" Street spot.
They are not, however, leaving all their products behind. They will continue to carry James' "favorite lines" at the new location, including Baudelaire and Provence soaps, Michael Aram and Rigaud candles and Sferra, Matouk and Home Treasures linens, as well as Elias frames.
"We have taken the very best with us," James says. "The new store is our little jewel box."