Our Team

Claus Ihlemann

Founder And President

Claus has over 45 years of experience in furniture and design. Educated in Denmark, followed by four years in England working for a furniture and design company that specialized in Scandinavian furniture, he then spent time in Arizona and California before settling in Norfolk, VA in 1975, where he founded Decorum Furniture. Claus has a passion for the furniture and design business, a keen interest in architecture, love for the arts, and enjoys the cultural amenities of the Hampton Roads Region as well as the City’s great selection of restaurants. Claus’ favorite pastime is to spend time at home with his Husband, family and friends. His other pastimes include travel , reading, cooking and baking artisanal breads.

Robert Roman

Vice President

If there was one word to describe Robert Roman, it would be passionate. Whether it’s furniture, cooking, entertaining or just life in general, Robert puts “everything” into it Robert has over 25 years of retail management experience, most of it being in the fashion industry. That experience has helped him transition into the furniture business. Robert is involved in every facet of store operations. Buying, merchandising, and display being the ones that keep him the most busy. In Robert’s spare time, he loves spending time in the kitchen creating food as art and traveling with his best friend/husband. Or should that be husband/best friend?

Robin Johnston

Operations Manager

Robin started her career with Decorum over 30 years ago. After obtaining a degree in Business Administration, she managed fashion boutiques before finding her home with Decorum. Robin has a love of retail and working with people. Making sure customers’ needs are being met, from the sales experience to our delivery service is what she does best. As a member of Decorum’s buying team Robin is constantly gauging the changing wants and needs of our customers. This is reflected in our constantly changing showroom. Her high energy and detail oriented management style has helped create a work environment that is like family.   

Janice Holt

Office Manager And Logistics Specialist

Janice serves as Office Manager and Logistics Specialist . She began her tenure at Decorum over 30 years ago after re-locating back to Norfolk, from Washington DC where she worked in banking. She previously studied Mass Communications at Norfolk State University, and attended Los Angeles Community College for Business Administration.
Her mantra is to work diligently in making sure that our customers enjoy their shopping experience at Decorum and takes pride in the products and especially the services that we offer, before, during, and even after the sale is complete. When Janice is not at Decorum, she enjoys music, concerts, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Marie Williams More


Marie is a graduate of Indiana University and has 29 years’ experience in bookkeeping and human resources.
Marie came to Decorum in 1999 and has plans to stay forever. She enjoys using her skills to support everyone else on Decorum’s team so that they can concentrate on our Clients. She spends her free time indulging in her favorite activities of reading, gardening, knitting and photography. She and her husband of 31 years have just welcomed their first grandchild.

Al Cortado

Sales Manager

Al has been with the Decorum family since 2001. Al’s work ethic has moved him up to management positions throughout his entire retail career. You’ll find that he is loyal, hard working, likable, and, most importantly, honest. Al has grown up with a house full of architects. His father and two brothers have degrees in architecture so design comes very naturally to him. Al believes that the key to finding the right solution to furniture and design needs begins with being a good listener. One of his clients once said, “Al Cortado could not have been more helpful. No sales pitch, no pressure, just helpful information to help you make your decision. What a relief!” Al has the knowledge and experience to find the right furniture and home accents to capture the design or look you’re trying to achieve for your home and space.

Outside of Decorum Furniture Al enjoys going to the gym, gardening, building projects, traveling to the Caribbean, and spending time with his husband and their precious four legged kids.

Walter Sechi

Sales & Design

Walter was born and raised in Italy and has called Virginia his home since 1993. He began working at Decorum in 1994, where he started in warehouse operations, delivering and assembling furniture, but  quickly moved into his current career as a sales associate at our Virginia Beach location. He has a good eye for design and likes helping clients with their furniture needs/wants. Walter is honest and not afraid to give his opinion, because of that; and his laid-back approach, many repeat clients become his friends.

When not working, Walter enjoys going to the beach, sharing meals with friends and of course, watching soccer.  He also enjoys traveling, meeting new and interesting people and, of course, going back home to Italy to visit his family and friends.

Debbie Pearl

Sales & Design

A career retail professional, Debbie Pearl enjoys helping people find furnishings that enhance their comfort and homes. After managerial stints with Sears and Loehmann’s, Debbie joined the Decorum team in 1999 and quickly became one of Decorum’s most successful sales representatives. With her Virginia Wesleyan College degree in Liberal Arts Management, Debbie blends product knowledge with people skills and an eye for design to provide personal service to all of her clients.

On a personal note, Debbie is an avid football fan and will gladly check scores any weekend during the season. She enjoys bicycling on the boardwalk, sitting on the beach, and rocking out to Bon Jovi.

Jessica Egerton

Gift Shop Manager

Jessica has been with Decorum Furniture for many years. First serving as a merchandiser and now returning as Manager of The Gift Shop after taking a few years off to spend time with her children. Jessica studied fashion merchandising and interior design. Her love of retail is at it’s best when she is creating beautiful, artistic settings and buying and reviewing exciting new products for The Gift Shop. When not at work, Jessica enjoys hiking, traveling, studying trends, and spending time with her family.

Marybeth Shipman

Sales & Design

Marybeth Shipman hails from the beautiful city of San Diego, CA She  relocated to Norfolk and has made the Ocean View neighborhood her home. Her passion is creating spaces for clients that are functional and beautiful. Marybeth has extensive experience in home furnishings thru her previous work experiences at Lawrence Furniture and Ethan Allen. She loves to take on a project from start to finish, including discussing budgets, wants, needs and the final outcome, so that the client expectations are ultimately met. She diligently works on storyboard presentations, including colors, finishes and photos so that the customer can visualize the entire project from start to finish, making the project fun, exciting and right !
When not having fun at work, she enjoys time at the beach, her doggies Penny and Jack, and spending time with her husband Tim and their son who gives the best bear hugs ever. Come visit Marybeth at Decorum….we’re happy that she makes this her new home.

Shawn Griffey

Merchandise & Visual Manager

Shawn has been with Decorum since the fall of 1992. As the Merchandise Manager he plays a large role in the buying and display of merchandise. Shawn is very talented at creating visually appealing displays in the store as well as in customer’s homes.

As a member of the design team at Decorum he has completed large projects in the local area as well as Florida, Richmond and the Eastern Shore.

Shawn loves people, animals and being outdoors.

Stephanie Rowe

Sales & Design

Stephanie joined us in 2018 and brought with her over twenty years experience in Residential Design and Furniture Retail. In her time living in Virginia she has worked at Havertys, Crate and Barrel, Thomasville and Belfort Furniture. She loves making the experience of turning a house into a home both stress-free and fun for her clients. Stephanie’s design process includes; determining the clients wants and needs for the space, prioritizing rooms, working with the clients design budget and furniture selection, and is followed by a PowerPoint Design presentation.

When she is not at work her time is either spent at the park with Cinder, her Cane Corso (she also fosters with Must Love Corsos Rescue), letting her inner kid out with Backyard Sports, trying new restaurants, catching the latest blockbuster or buried in a book.

Andrew Shott

Sales & Design

Andrew moved to Norfolk at the beginning of 2019, looking for a change of scenery from the northern city streets of Philadelphia. Andrew started his career in Fine Dining at the age of 19 as a busser and worked his way up over the next few years to be the restaurants very own Wine Connoisseur. Andrew also has a background in the performing arts. In the past Andrew worked with a film production company and went on to act in and write for their very own Indie Movie! He continues to write comedy sketches, standup routines, and looks forward to starting his very own podcast in the near future. In recent years, Andrew has focused his professional career on working in Retail and Customer Service to help provide his community with excellent work ethics and a smile.

Currently enrolled online college in the Multimedia management program at Full Sail University.


Delivery Specialists

Our delivery specialists pride themselves in delivering your merchandise in a timely and professional manner. We operate with our own trucks and our delivery teams are professional, courteous, and fully qualified. Upon arrival at your home, our team will assemble all merchandise in your home, where you need it, and remove all shipping, packing and building materials.

As warehouse manager, Brian Labounty, has been with Decorum for over 10 years, and is passionate about making sure that your delivery is done right…. the first time!!

Start typing and press Enter to search