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Business: Traditional and transitional

Eileen Bocci brings a new look to a familiar location

One of a series of business features on home furnishings and interior design stores that have opened in downtown Menlo Park in the past year.

Traditionally Derby, located at 850 Santa Cruz Ave. in downtown Menlo Park, opened last August in the site formerly occupied by Traditions. The store is a blend of the old and the new, giving a "today" look, while carrying some of the former store's lines.

Owner Eileen Bocci lives in San Carlos, but is no stranger to Menlo Park. She often stopped at Traditions after dropping her kids off at Sacred Heart Prep. Although this is her first retail venture, she has had a design studio for 10 years and grew up with antiques and design. (Her mother had an antique store).

The name Traditionally Derby is an acronym, combining Tradition with Design by ERB, her initials. She employs a staff of five for the 5,500-square-foot showroom; two are interior designers available to customers. The store manager is Amy Templeton, who had worked at Traditions the last two years.

The store features a broad selection of upholstered sofas and chairs, tables, desks, beds and more. It carries Kindel Furniture, Hickory White, Lillian August Collection, and MT Company including Shabby Chic, among others. There are also works of art from the Dorothy Draper collection. (Dorothy Draper was one of the 20th century's most famous designers.)

Ms. Bocci points out a crescent-shaped Dorothy Draper sofa covered with gray velvet. (Gray is the new neutral, she says.) The sofa was decorated with several pillows, including a luscious cream silk creation embroidered with silver leaves.

Beautiful pillows, mirrors, rugs, candlesticks, painted Italian urns, table linens, luxurious bed lines, framed prints and more are available as household accessories. Ms. Bocci carries Arte Italica, vintage-inspired tableware combining porcelain and pewter.

There are also tempting gift items scattered about the store, such as faux flowers in a square glass vase or Manhattan scented candles in a velvet-lined case. Derby also offers complimentary gift wrap.

Customers range from the late 20s to the 80s with a definite input from the tech generation. Asked if Facebook and Google employees were shopping, Ms. Bocci said there is definitely a tech presence. "The younger generation usually knows what they want. They're decisive."

Ms. Bocci is proud of the extensive Design Library at the back of the store filled with fabrics for special order upholstery, window treatments, pillows and and bedding. Derby's home design workroom does custom upholstery and draperies.

"Our Design Library is a unique space. It eliminates all those trips to the Design Center in San Francisco. We let our customers check out items. Then they can just drop them off in the mail slot in the back door," she says.

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