Roo Grayson to move, expand

UPDATED — Four years after opening Roo Grayson just north of Central and Woodlawn, Karla and Julian Binns plan to reopen their store just west of the intersection. They’re moving to a former medical building they purchased at 6200 E. Central next to Williams Ace Hardware.

“It’s three times the size,” Karla Binns says. “It’s scary. It’s very scary, but it’s extremely exciting.”

The existing space at 515 N. Woodlawn is more than 6,000 square feet. The new space is almost 18,000 square feet.

Elyssa Seymour and Steve Martens of NAI Martens handled the deal.

Binns says the move, which she hopes will happen in September, will allow her to sell more bedding and furniture and have a bigger design center and a new rug line. The store also will add a silk floral department with the move.

Since former neighbor Twigs closed, Binns says, “We have so much traffic for that kind of thing.”

She says she’s been listening to customers and what they say they want to buy. Binns says she knows sometimes people go outside of Wichita to find what they want.

“I know it’s fun to go out of town and shop,” she says. “I’m trying to do my best to bring what everyone is asking for to Wichita.”

Former Twigs owners will keep in touch with Wichitans through a new decorating blog

WICHITA — Former Twigs owners Iven Kelley and Jim Dobson leave for their new home in Mexico today, but they’ve created a blog to keep in touch with Wichitans and keep dispensing decorating advice.

“So many customers were asking Iven, ‘What are we going to do when we have a decorating dilemma?’ ” Dobson says.

“It’s just kind of, you know, an experimentation, and we’ll see how it evolves.”

Their blog, at, is named for their home in San Miguel de Allende. Girasol is Spanish for sunflower.

“Of course, we’re Kansas boys, and that’s just our way of taking a little bit of Kansas with us,” Dobson says.

He’s “pretty much the home chef” and will be sharing entertaining ideas in addition to the decorating help.

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At Home With Style to open in former Twigs space near Central and Woodlawn

WICHITA — Twigs is now gone, but a new interior design store is opening in its place.

Polly Peake is opening At Home With Style in the space near Central and Woodlawn where Twigs closed last week.

Peake, who has an interior design degree, will sell what she calls a diverse array of furniture, accessories, art and bronze statues.

“We’re going to have local artists show some of their work,” she says.

That includes her husband Ron’s mosaic crosses.

“He’ll have a space in back where he’ll be working on those,” Peake says.

Ron Peake also still has his Ron Peake Design Build.

Abbe Doll, who does furniture painting and repurposing through All Dolled Up, also will do work out of the shop.

“Most of it will be showroom space,” Peake says of her 5,000 square feet.

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Home Gallery owner hopes to open a new store after closing sale

WICHITA — Jeff Cohlmia is planning for what he hopes will be a return to what made his Home Gallery successful when it first opened 21 years ago.

For that to happen, though, he has to sell his current inventory through a going-out-of-business sale and open in a smaller space with a new name.

“We kind of got away from what put us where we were,” Cohlmia says of the medium-priced furnishings and accessories he used to carry in a smaller space.

“That’s what got us to where we are.”

The store opened in the approximately 4,500-square-foot space Twigs now occupies at 535 N. Woodlawn.

Four years ago, Cohlmia moved just down from there to 8,300 square feet.

“People kept asking us for better things . . . so I started carrying better things,” he says.

Then came the economic downturn in 2008.

“We just slowed down to a crawl,” Cohlmia says.

“I think a lot of people decided that they would pay off all their bills and just buy things as they needed.”

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Twigs taxes are paid; arson investigation is ongoing


WICHITA — Shortly before Twigs was destroyed by fire in late 2005, news broke that owner Iven Kelley was more than $200,000 behind in taxes.

“People thought I burnt down my own business because I owed so many taxes,” Kelley says. “It was somebody else out there that hasn’t been caught yet.”

The fire was ruled arson and has not been solved.

But Kelley’s tax problems have.

“All of our sales tax is zero,” says Kelley, who shared notices from the state showing satisfaction of judgment. “We have worked diligently to get everything done. . . . I’m feeling fabulous about that.”

Kelley blames a former accountant for his tax troubles.

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Roo Grayson home decor to open near Central and Woodlawn

WICHITA — There’s a new home decor store opening by a couple of other well-known ones near Central and Woodlawn.

Roo Grayson is opening next month at 515 N. Woodlawn not far from Twigs and Home Gallery by Cohlmia.

“It’s just a little bit of everything,” Karla Binns says of her shop.

And she means it.

She’ll have antiques, furniture, a jewelry line from Sweden, handmade mahogany pieces from Indonesia, salvaged pieces from other countries and, believe it or not, a small area for spray tanning.

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Twigs to open small shop at Galichia Heart Hospital

WICHITA – Twigs owner Iven Kelley is opening what you might call Twigs Jr.

As of June 1, he’ll be operating a small Twigs as the gift shop at Galichia Heart Hospital.

“It’s going to be a different kind of a hospital gift store,” Kelley says.

There won’t be candy or newspapers for sale. There will be gift items, such as those he sells at his Twigs near Central and Woodlawn. There also will be flowers for sale, and customers can place floral orders there as well.

Kelley says about 600 people work in the hospital and offices next door, so he hopes they’ll shop at the store in addition to hospital visitors.

The store is on the first floor of the hospital near the entrance.

“It’s going to be cool,” Kelley says.