Cherry (Store) To Close Its Doors

image Cherry Modern Design has decided to close shop in late May. The modern furniture store moved from Glenwood Avenue to Cameron Village just over a year ago. While many browsers were wowed by the selection, ultimately (and unfortunately) the market in this area is just not that keen on the modern look.

Word is that frequent customers got wind of the news and bought up a lot of good stuff in the last couple of days…but there is still some left! Carlton & Co. will move to the space currently occupied by Cherry.


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  • Matt Said:

    I tend to disagree a little. I don’t th ink it’s that people don’t like modern furniture, I think it’s that people in Raleigh don’t want to pay $200 for a floor mat. I still contend that an IKEA would do VERY WELL here.

  • RaleighRob Said:

    Matt’s got a good point. I think a good number of folks in Raleigh are indeed open to modern styles. But it seems every place that sells modern stuff has really outrageous prices. For example, you would expect a modern coffee table that’s lightweight and not made with many materials to cost less than a heavy ornate Victorian-style one, right? Usually it doesn’t.

  • Jenna Said:

    What’s Carlton & Co.?

  • Lee Tripi Said:

    While the prevailing style in Raleigh is still traditional, our experience indicates that there is a strong and growing appreciation for classic modern design.
    As architectural designers of modern spaces, our business is flourishing with clients who desire the simple functionality of modern.
    Cherry was not intended to appeal to the masses and premium pricing for a premium product is still a foreign concept to most people in the Triangle. It’s a shame that forward ideas such as Cherry and the Bickett Gallery are ahead of there time for this area. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time before people in this area catches on.

  • Sam Said:

    Furniture should be an investment. Most of the lines carried in stores like Cherry are a part of the early modern lexicon and will not decrease in value or go out of style. I am all for an Ikea to serve the Triangle, but it really is a sad loss. Ikea will provide trendy items you can buy, replace throw away and buy the newer version again and again… really sustainable? Echo is slightly better, but not much… I’d rather skip the planned obsolescence and buy it once for keeps.

  • Molly Miller Said:

    To the Matt’s and RaleighRob’s of the world,

    Ikea is OK for inexpensive college student / first place kind of furnishings. Modern design derived from the Bauhaus movement which came out of Germany and is known for clean lines and very high quality construction. The kind of construction that will be around long after we are. Sadly, it is a lack of education coupled with American’s consumerism that is the major problems.

  • kate Said:

    Like Raleigh Rob, many have this idea that less detail and ornamentation should cost less when in fact it is quite the opposite. Be it a house or the most simple coffee table, modern ideas are original and refreshing because they do not rely on old formulas. It is the absents of materials which present more of a challenge when designing and crafting modern.

    Most modern furniture is made in europe as well which accounts for increased cost for transport, with soaring fuel prices, and a week U.S. dollar.Ikea is a good modern resource, however, the quality lacks sustainability. Cherry offer’s modern options which are not ‘disposable’ and in some cases even considered good investments.

    It was a brave thing to open Cherry in a smaller budding city such as Raleigh when most wouldn’t attempt outside of our larger markets such as Washington, DC, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, ect. I would like to thank the owners for gracing Raleigh with Cherry Modern. As the store has delighted many modernists and surprised those who encountered these concepts for the first time….your risk was not in vain!!

  • SMcDonald Said:

    They’re *only* closing the showroom at CV. Their services will still be available, per an e-mail I received from the owners/staff. Good news to those of us who enjoyed the store’s unique (to this area) selections and designers. It was nice to have the showroom, but it’s nice to have them around and under reduced pressure (i.e. less overhead). Maybe some of that cost savings will transition to their clients.

  • Deb Said:

    I don’t necessarily think it’s a “lack of education” here that caused the demise of Cherry. I think it was a lack of a target market with purchasing power. Every business is a risk, but the risk is lowered if you know your market, and vice versa.

    I’m sure there are people here who appreciate the quality furniture offered by Cherry. However, does that mean that those are the same people who actually have the means to invest at that price point here in Raleigh? Just at a glance, I don’t think so. The upper-income housing market here in Raleigh seems to tends much more toward conservative and traditional, and while it is just a generalization to assume that the interior reflects the exterior, it is tough to imagine otherwise when you see many of those homes.

    I think that there are plenty of people who might appreciate Cherry’s style, but there currently may not be enough of those people who are in the position to afford that quality of furniture in this market. Perhaps in another few years once more of the condos downtown come online, that market segment may grow a little. But for now, I just don’t think it is here with the purchasing power needed to keep a business like Cherry afloat.

  • SMcDonald Said:


    Carlton & Co. is another furniture store. They are currently located in another section of CV (over where the parking deck use to be). Not as pricey or upscale as Cherry Modern, but they do have a bit of modern-ish styles as well as more traditional furnishings.

  • Jim Said:

    The condescension in some comments here is palpable. The unwashed masses just don’t understand premium blah blah blah. Hopefully it’s just a matter of time until people catch on to what? That they should overextend themselves, underfund their retirements, and neglect charitable giving so that some haughty materialists will praise them or so that their neighbors will be impressed at their aesthetics?

    I like modern design. I go to Father and Son. Some of my furniture is (gasp!) stuff I got free in college. Perhaps you wouldn’t feel comfortable in my squalid little house. How sad for me!

    I look at your coffee tables, named-designer seating, and your impeccable tastes and think to myself “Wow, what misplaced priorities.” Well, whatever else happens, you’ve got that sofa problem handled.

  • Dana Said:

    I can understand Jim’s point, but I think that the people were really meaning to say that people (who already buy expensive furniture) are slowly “getting it”.

    I’ve always thought the Audio Buys and Garland Jones buildings were just hideous. I’m just warming up to both, as a friend from California pointed out a few things to me. Audio Buys, she says, could be the coolest contemporary furniture store, especially at night with huge street-visable windows and neat lighting. I agree, but it definitely needs some renovation.

  • Mike Said:


    This region is still clearly dominated by old world tastes. If you look at how well the Triangle embraces quality dining I think it is only a matter of time before our willingness to pay for quality home products opens up a bit. I’m still not there yet but I’m still young and need a new roof, windows, and siding, all of which could easily be done for what my mother spent on her new living room furniture. Quality is great and all but do we really need to spend $12,000 for a secretary desk? I mean, seriously…

  • Molly Miller Said:

    Father and Son is an excellent resource and I have pieces from there that I would not part with. However, it is not about buying the most expensive piece out there, but about buying quality, even if it’s one piece every five years. Typically, americans want immediate gratification and are not willing to take their time in aquiring pieces that will be with them for a lifetime. It comes back to consumerism and the “bigger is better” mentality which is still alive and thriving especially in Raleigh.

    An authentic modernist is not about consumption, but about simplicity, less is more and appreciating the life style that it induces.

  • oakcitychirper Said:

    ^ “authentic” anything doesn’t need validation through belonging to a labeled [elitist] group, which is what the above comment implies.

    Different strokes, folks. Not everyone likes minimalism, not everyone likes ornate Georgian. It just so happens that there are more of the latter here currently. Is the balance changing? In some aspects, yeah. Is it changing as much or as rapidly as modern fans would like? Probably not.

    Premium pricing does not always equal quality. Good craftsmanship that stands up to years of use is quality. If it happens to look good (which is highly subjective), then it’s icing on the cake.

    I’d assert that most people prefer something that is made well over something that isn’t, for their money. Especially when cost of living puts a pinch on the wallet.

  • Erin Nowell Said:

    Considering all that has been said in previous comments, please don’t forget about Nowell’s Contemporary Furniture if you’re in the market for furniture. Our selection runs the the gamut from transitional to very contemporary, with a wide range of price points. Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for on our showroom floor, we have the resources to find what you want. As we’ve seen with the recent rash of furniture retail stores closing, providing goods that meet the needs of many isn’t such an easy task, and we’d like your constructive feedback. Come visit us and help us be the furniture store you want us to be!

  • Jerry Nowell Said:

    Our preference in furnishing the spaces we call home is very personal. I have to agree with Oakcitychirper, differnt stokes for differnt folks. It isn’t a lack of education, or backwoods parochialism that makes modern furniture a hard sell in this area. It just isn’t for everyone. But what really catches my eye in the above discussion is the complaint that Cherry Modern was too expensive. It was a beautiful store, offering great service and very fair prices considering the high quality of the merchandise. I realize that I’m biased because I’m in the business, but I’m truly purplexed by the often heard assertion that furniture is, on the whole, too expensive. Deb, for instance, writes, “I think that there are plenty of people who might appreciate Cherry’s style, but there currently may not be enough of those people who are in the position to afford that quality of furniture in this market.” No doubt there are some in Raleigh who cannot afford to buy new furniture of any quality or price range. That said, the median income in the area is over $40,000. There are plenty of people who can afford quality furniture, but choose not to. That’s all well and good, but it’s hard to supress a chuckle when someone looks me in the eye and tells me that a coffee table is just WAY too expensive at (say)$679 when I glance over her shoulder and see, parked in front of the store, the $45,000 car she drove up in, and I’m watching her kids dance around the showroom in $125 sneakers, listening to $400 ipods. We all make choices. It would be refreshing if more folks would just say, “yes, I could buy that if I wanted to, and at $679, a piece of furniture that I’d enjoy for the rest of my life is reasonably priced. At this time, however, I’d rather spend my money on something else (or — a radical notion — save it). A funny and true story: to celebrate my wife’s acceptance to graduate school (woo hoo!), we recently visited our favorite “special occasion” restaurant. The owner (who is always a lovely, gracious host), knowing what I do for a living, tells us of a console table she found on line. She really wants to buy it, but just can’t bring herself to it. Why? “It’s $850!” she says, rolling her eyes. An hour and a half and almost $200 later (with wine and tip), my wife, son, daughter and I left. Within 48 hours, both the memory and the physical presence of that dinner had largely passed through our lives, never to be seen again. By next February (after our anniversary, my birthday and Valentines Day), we may very well have spent as much as that table costs dining in her restaurant, leaving us with wonderful memories, but nothing more, to show for it. But the same amount, spent on a piece of furniture that she would have for the rest of her life — the possession of which her children will fight over when she is gone — seems too much. It really is hard for me to understand.

  • Dana Said:

    People should view local furniture buying with not an Egosim mindset, but rather from a Utilitarian perspective. That is, by mindful of the greater good caused by buying that brand new conceptual furniture, here.

    This came to me as I woke up in a class at UNC with some (excellent) teacher explaining something about “altruistic hedonism”…or something….

  • Manamongst Hussein Said:

    to Jerry Nowell’s point:

    I definitely understand what you’re saying and I face this dilemna now at this point of my life where I’ve bought a new house with my wife. And at 34 years of age, I’ve had enough of cheap MDF Target Walmart garbage that a some 14 y/o from Myanmar probably put together. But at the same time nobody likes to be hustled; and the contemporary furniture business has extremely qualified players. But like in the art world there are many fakers. There’s nothing like a quality platform bed that is extremely striking, but don’t try and charge me 2950.00 for a bed that cost some character 200.00 bucks to make, with veneer and breaks faster than one can say Ikea. You generally get what you pay for in this world. And I want something that stands the test of time and is just as much an investment as my home.
    It’s a difficult urge to fight that one of instant gratification if you’re not the baller type that can’t just go out and buy a 8000 dollar living room set. There is a pride strangely enough that my Spaniard wife doesn’t understand (cheapest woman I know) in collecting pieces and making them all run in concert matching and melding. Who wants something that everyone has anyway? She would rather acquire someone else’s garbage off of craigslist.

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