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More Than Just Decorating

More Than Just Decorating

Lakeville Interiors Excels at Making a House a Home

by JOSEPH MONTEBELLO

With so many online resources for home decor, it’s easy to decorate and redecorate.

Or is it? Something that looks great on the screen doesn’t necessarily translate into reality: Too big, too small, wrong color. Then there is the return issue. That is why talented firms such as Lakeville Interiors thrive.

Since its inception 13 years ago, Lakeville Interiors has established itself as the premier decorating and design service in the Northwest Corner. But it is more than that. It is also a one-stop shopping mecca, with 10,000 square feet of the finest and most unusual home furnishings available—everything from furniture, linens, lamps and decorative objects to toys and accessories for children.

The business is the brainchild of sisters Courtney Saulnier and Ashley Marchand. Both grew up in Litchfield and had parents interested in antiquing, decorating and renovations. While Marchand, with her analytical background, is in charge of the workroom where furniture is created, Saulnier runs the interior design segment of the business.

“We learned through my father that a woman in Lakeville was looking to sell her interior design business,” explains Saulnier, “which she had been running for 35 years. I decided to do an internship with her to see if it was something I wanted to do. Ashley went into the workroom and learned how to make everything. When the year was up, we decided to purchase the business.”

The business has grown immeasurably since then. Lakeville Interiors encompasses all aspects of the interior design process from concept to installation and maintenance. And every project is handled with care and professionalism.

The retail operation enables a client to see exactly how something looks. If the fabric is not to their liking, the piece can be remade with a different cloth. And there is the extra advantage of having Saulnier there to guide the client.

She is happy to get involved at any point. Ideally, though, she prefers being in at the inception of the project. That includes viewing a potential house purchase beforehand to offer decorating possibilities or working closely with architects so that the end result is exactly what the client envisioned.

To supply the best possible services Saulnier always has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in interior design.

“Color is definitely on the rise,” says Saulnier. “For a while people were afraid of color and everything was white on white. Even though there are hundreds of shades of white, it’s always been a safer bet than taking a chance on a bold shade and then regretting it.

“Wallpaper is also having a renaissance and there are some extraordinary patterns to choose from,” she continued. “People are more eclectic these days; things don’t have to be matchy matchy. They love the idea of mixing periods – a wonderful old Victorian chest with something midcentury or ultra modern. Or a modern room with a wonderful 18th-century painting. If placed properly and accessorized, it all works beautifully.”

Saulnier goes on to talk about another decorating dilemma—choosing the right lighting.

“There is an abundance of fabulous fixtures available,” she says. “I am working with a client right now who does not like overhead lighting. So, we are doing table lamps and wall sconces. And more decorative chandeliers are also making a comeback.”

And what about the biggest trend of the past few years: open concept kitchens?

“It depends on the style of the house, Saulnier says. “The traditional New England houses in this area don’t always have space for that. Most people do want a place to sit down and have breakfast or an informal meal. But they don’t have to have everything in one room or have a view of the entire house from one end to the other. I think it’s important when you are creating the heart of the house that you have a spot where the family can gather and kids can do their homework. But I don’t think that overly large kitchens are a hot trend anymore.”

Window treatments are another area that receives a great deal of attention in the design of a room.

“For a while we were making a lot of Roman shades,” Saulnier explains. “While they are still popular, homeowners seem to be going back to long flowing curtains to soften and, in some cases, add a visual sense of height to a room.”

Saulnier totally understands and respects the fact that a person’s home is his or her sanctuary and makes a point of listening to what is important to the client, redirecting when necessary.

“It’s inspiring to create something that makes people happy in the place that is most important to them—their home.”

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