Renee Lisowy of Wallace Home Design Center in Southold is keen to talk a bit about modern trends in home design, but first she tells me about a surprising aspect of their offerings. “One thing about us that people might not know is that our upholsterer has been with us for 45 years,” Lisowy says. “This is the only job he’s ever had and our clients have really taken to his work. He’s really awesome and started working here with his dad when he was 12. He’s a total gem. His workmanship is unrivaled, to be honest, it’s old-world reupholstery. Today’s world is very disposable, what we do here is not.”
“Wallace has been here since 1950, so we’re very established in the community, which I love” Lisowy says. “People come in and we have a lot of repeat business. Customers specifically come in for our workmanship, we do a lot of our own work on-site. Our custom-built upholstered furniture, drapery, everything, on-site.”
The staff of Wallace Home Design Center really prides itself on that classical approach that not many other design centers take when it comes to interior design. Offering the full spectrum of wood floors to area rugs, Wallace also offers a variety of services for the East End client. These services have changed over the years with the passing trends and more classical East End design choices.
“I would say, primarily, because we live in such a seasonal community, the trends are going toward natural fibers, calming, cool colors,” Lisowy says. “Nothing overly embellished, very clean. Fifteen years ago, the more you could embellish something with various designs, the more people wanted to do it, but now it’s about choosing an uncluttered lifestyle, so, summer houses have begun to reflect that. Sandy colors, beach colors, like if you just grabbed a bunch of rocks and shells. Oatmeal colors, that soft, very soft pink that’s almost a beige, blue, grays, environmentally natural colors are the hottest thing right now.”
I was curious to hear more about the trends of the past, what East Enders were into back in the day. “People were into traditional colors. Green was huge back then, the entire spectrum. It’s a beautiful spectrum, but it’s very traditional,” Lisowy says. “If a client comes in who’s a year-rounder, they actually prefer the more traditional setting of their home, so they actually go for a little more detail, a little more embellishing, those kinds of greens and traditional colors, the mustards, the olives, etc. The trend now is so simple, compared to how it used to be. You can mix a lot of styles too, to see what works together, different home design concepts, that’s a big change, too.”
“You really don’t need to limit yourself in terms of different fabrics anymore,” Lisowy says. “You can have any amount of different fabrics in a room. Years ago, that wasn’t the case, so that’s a nice example of mixing concepts when it comes to home design.”
Wallace Home Design Center currently offers full motorization. “Another trend is that new homes have big windows. That wasn’t the case 20 or 30 years ago,” Lisowy says. “Big windows and lots of water views are a necessity these days. Motorized shades don’t diminish the view, so, if you have a view of the bay, solar screens, indoor and outdoor, everything can be motorized. When people come in and ask if they should motorize, I always make the comparison to buying a new car. Do you wanna’ crank the window down or have it go at the push of a button? It’s pretty much a given these days.”
“This time of year, homeowners should be putting up insulated window treatments. Some people don’t think about it, but now’s the time, there are tons of products out there that give you heat control,” Lisowy says. “This is the perfect time of the year to make your interior beautiful. Reupholster a sofa, add some throw pillows. Reupholster those dining room seats, it’ll freshen up the room. Anything that makes your interior feel new again. Now that summer’s over, you want to be comfortable inside.”
Wallace Home Design Center is located at 44500 County Road 48 in Southold, 631-765-3890, wallacedesigncenter.com.