1670 House prepares to close, similar shop to open in Greenport

Elizabeth and Madeleine Schlaefer to close up shop this November (Credit: Carrie Miller)
Elizabeth and Madeleine Schlaefer decided to close up shop this November. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

When it’s time, it’s time.

That’s according to style specialist Madeleine Schlaefer, owner of Southold’s home furnishing and design center 1670 House. 

After 28 years of helping clients feel at home on the North Fork, Ms. Schlaefer is retiring from the business. She plans to officially close up her North Road shop Nov. 1.

“We are ready to move on.” Ms. Schlaefer said. “It is time to retire from this space.”

The “we” she is referring to includes her daughter, Elizabeth, who has served as her right hand in running the style center.

But house customers need not worry, Elizabeth explained, as she will be taking the opportunity, and her knowledge of the family business, to open a shop of her own — Elizabeth Schlaefer Designs — which she hopes to open in Greenport this spring.

She will use many of the same vendors and product lines that customers have come to look for, she said. “It will be the same thing on a smaller scale. I will still have the design service, and it will be a lifestyle type store.”

Madeleine Schlaefer had opened the business in the historic building with her late husband Gordon in 1986, the second furniture venture in the couple’s longtime career. Over the years the two expanded the store, adding on an addition to the back of the house while maintaining the aesthetics of the building.

Calling the closing of the store bittersweet, Ms. Schlaefer said the decision was not made for economic reasons, but because she wanted to spend more time with her family.

“I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren, taking time for some traveling, and spending some time with friends,” she said.

The business and the property will be put up for sale, she said.

Until then, the duo’s floor sample inventory is also being put up for sale, with additional discounts on already marked down prices, Ms. Schlaefer said.

The Furniture House and Design Center is located at 47155 Route 48 in Southold.

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