How did you get involved in this business?
I’m fortunate to have been born into a family furniture business that my father started in Cleveland in 1947. When I was in high school, doing odd jobs for my family’s store, I began to realize my passion for selling, interior design and the furniture industry. In 2015, after 38 years of full time I decided to move to Columbus and open Studio J. Since then we’ve grown to a staff of four designers, an office manager, two warehouse workers, and my husband who is operations manager.
What trends are you seeing this year?
Home offices are more important than ever. We’re finding people are converting formal dining rooms into work spaces. With our clientele spending more time at home, artwork and accessorizing has gained popularity.
Grays are becoming warmer, and shades of brown are coming in to play. Accent colors are deeper and richer. Blues and greens are still strong. We’re seeing heavier weight fabrics and textures including caning and rattan.
Wallpaper is coming back in a big way with large patterns and textures. Textures are just big in every sense…on the walls, on furniture, pillows, and accessories.
Gathering Islands are becoming more popular as well. Stickley started this trend with their patented version. It is multifunctional with two power strips and multilevel surfaces with space for counter stools. This is a Studio J must see!
How do you begin to design a room for a client?
I ask a lot of questions regarding family members and their lifestyle. I look for inspiration in artwork and floor cover that speak to my client’s personality. I get a feel for what colors they like and get them involved in the design process.
How has Covid-19 affected your business?
When all of this started happening, I thought we would weather the storm fairly well. For the following reasons – We sell mainly American-made furnishings, that are middle to upper end quality. With our clients spending more time at home they have recognized voids and needs for sprucing things up. Plus, we have a 10,000-square-foot showroom and sell pieces off the floor–great for people who want instant gratification. We also have several vendors that are very custom, and can recreate an idea drawn on a cocktail napkin.