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Furniture, women’s apparel the objects of Ohio State grads’ affection

Objects for the Home is located at 1392 Grandview Ave. Credit: Leah Alexander / For The Lantern

Objects for the Home is located at 1392 Grandview Ave.
Credit: Leah Alexander / For The Lantern

Four years on, two Ohio State alumni with roots in architecture and interior design are still in the business of decorating the home.

Throughout her time at OSU, Chelsea Cabot studied interior design. During her fourth year, she worked on the interior design team for a healthcare architecture firm but wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue on that path after graduation, which was in spring 2010.

Kristopher Konieczko graduated from OSU with a degree in architecture in the spring of 2007 and was working on his master’s degree in architecture when he met Cabot.

Cabot was working as the head of interiors while Konieczko worked as the head of the architecture team for OSU’s solar decathlon team, which aimed to design and build cost-effective solar-powered houses, when they developed a relationship and began thinking of their future together, both in terms of their relationship and their career plans.

At the time, Konieczko and Cabot were both working for an architecture firm in Columbus but were both unsure of their futures there.

“I thought I wanted to do architecture, but once I started, I didn’t,” Konieczko said.

With Cabot’s graduation coming up, they had to quickly come up with a plan. That is when the idea of Objects was born.

Konieczko and Cabot went looking for rental space in Columbus when they found Funky and Functional, a marketplace that has since closed where home décor and retailing entrepreneurs could rent booths for their products. They rented a booth and began selling refinished furniture.

“It was half of our own refinished furniture and half of our parents’ things that they were selling,” Cabot said.

They soon grew out of their small booth and began looking for larger rental spaces. As they searched for any vacancies, they began thinking of a name for their store.

“We were horrible at coming up with names. We just didn’t have a talent for it,” Cabot said.

A storefront in Clintonville became available and 3284 N. High St. quickly became Objects for the Home.

“It was two days before we were set to open and we hadn’t come up with a name yet. We just went with Objects for the Home, and it stuck,” Cabot said.

The couple moved their entire inventory and was set to officially open their doors in May 2010, right before Cabot’s undergraduate graduation.

“I was working on my senior thesis and we were painting the walls in there at night, so it was a bit crazy,” Cabot said.

Objects remained in Clintonville for one full year until moving to its current location, 1392 Grandview Ave., in June 2011.

Objects carries home furnishings from couches and coffee tables, to picture frames and kitchen entertaining pieces. The store has recently expanded its inventory by adding in women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.

“The store has evolved so much over time. We started with clothing last spring and it’s taken us to a whole new ballpark,” Cabot said. “Everything in here is our style. If you like something here, you’re bound to like everything else. The categories tend to overlap.”

One of Cabot and Konieczko’s goals was not only to provide a great “neighborhood store” but also provide products at a reasonable cost.

“We don’t do crazy expensive things. It’s not what we would spend money on, so how could we ask people to pay that?” Cabot said.

Kinisha Holland, an Ohio State alumna and merchandising director for Objects, values Cabot and Konieczko’s appreciation for their customers.

“They really pay attention to what customers want and how to keep within their brand’s vision, but also give the people what they’re looking for,” Holland said.

Last fall, Cabot and Konieczko opened another store focusing on minimalist type of furniture, Vernacular, at 177 E. Beck St. in German Village, and their plans for the future include more stores in the Columbus area.

“We just get to a point where we can breathe, and then we start something again,” Konieczko said.

Cabot agreed.

“We just have a problem stopping. We both got that work ethic from college and we just never stopped,” Cabot said.

Four years later and Cabot and Konieczko said they are excited to see what the future has in store for them. They plan on getting married within the next year while simultaneously growing their business.

“Now that we’re here after four years, we have a pretty good idea of where we want to go,” Cabot said.

Objects for the Home is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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