With a fine eye for period pieces and a skill for decorating his homes with an enviable panache, it seemed almost destined that shop owner Frederick Comer would find a career in antiquities; he opened Comer & Co., an antiques and interiors shop in Kilmarnock three years ago with co-owner Mark Manoff. “For the last 25 years, Fred and I have traveled extensively buying for our own houses,” says Manoff. “So it was a natural progression to move into the business.” Clearly, the arrangement works, with Manoff, an accountant by trade, at the desk working out the business aspects while Comer keeps the shop full of an interesting and ever-changing inventory. The duo opened a Georgetown location a year ago and a third was recently unveiled in Charlottesville. The newest emporium offers the same eclectic assortment of antiques, fine art and decorative accessories as the others, all carefully concocted into sophisticated displays. Comer explains: “Everything we do is styled very much the way you would use it in your home.”
LX: What do you collect?
FC: English portrait miniatures. I’ve collected them throughout my travels over the years; they are small, lightweight and easy to tuck into a suitcase.
LX: I just read...
MM: Heading Out to Wonderful, the latest book by my good friend and neighbor Robert Goolrick.
LX: What’s inspiring you now?
FC: I have developed a deep appreciation for midcentury furniture; there were some very talented designers during this period like Paolo Buffa and T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.
LX: Favorite restaurant:
MM: La Conca del Sogno on the Amalfi Coast. You arrive by boat and the stunning coastal location makes for a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable experience.
LX: What period of furniture is relevant today?
FC: Regency furniture from 1800 to 1830. The furniture from that period is comfortable and beautifully scaled for smaller interiors.