Mobilia Reinvented

Four Corners Home, Inc., a locally owned home furnishings business announces its forthcoming acquisition of Mobilia, a mainstay of downtown Asheville’s retail community.  Four Corners co-owner Michael Forde anticipates the purchase to be finalized in mid June.  Mobilia will then close for approximately thirty days for store up-fit and remerchandising and will reopen with a series of events to showcase the store’s new look and product line.


Mobilia’s history parallels downtown Asheville’s revitalization.  Architect Cynthia Turner opened the design/furnishings business in 2003 at 43 Haywood Street in the Smith Carrier Building, then recently renovated by downtown developer, Public Interest Projects, Inc.. The building, designed by Richard Sharp Smith, had served for years as the J C Penney department store.  When Ms. Turner returned to her architectural practice, Public Interest Projects acquired the business.  After exploratory conversations with Four Corners Home early this year piqued the interest of both parties, more serious discussions followed.  Pat Whalen, President of Public Interest Projects summarizes, “Four Corners Home possesses both strong retail experience, and a complementary design aesthetic, and their acquisition of Mobilia creates natural  economies of scale.  It will be good for the businesses and great for everyone in Asheville who values good design.”

Four Corners Home opened at Grove Arcade in 2004 and now occupies the largest retail unit in that landmark building.  In 2007 the business opened a second, larger location on Thompson Street in the Biltmore Village area and now attracts locals and out of town customers alike to both stores.  Four Corners features home furnishings and accessories from over thirty countries and focuses on a style they term “organic modern”.  Co-owner Bill Griffin defines the look as one incorporating clean, simple design and a variety of natural materials and textures.

For Mobilia, Four Corners plans changes which will make the store relevant to a broader range of shoppers. “The furniture will remain decidedly contemporary,” Griffin says, “but our gifts and accessories will be fresh and fun, appealing to everyone, regardless of their style preferences in furniture. Griffin adds, “Our goal is for customers to enjoy both Four Corners and Mobilia. If we see people carrying shopping bags from both stores, then we’ve succeeded.”  Forde and Griffin also hope to continue Mobilia’s close ties with Asheville’s creative community.  Both stores will continue to offer design services and home staging.

Michael Forde concludes, “We are committed to downtown and its retail community. With the addition of Mobilia we will certainly realize operating efficiencies for both businesses, but more importantly, we hope to contribute further to downtown Asheville’s vibrancy as a shopping destination.

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