Remodeling and Home Design


February Spotlight with Betty!

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This month, we sat down with Betty, one of our beloved team members here at Darby Road HOME.

‘Tis award show season! And the Oscar goes to…….

 I have always loved movies and often think in that context when working on design projects. 

Clients often have a difficult time deciding where to start and how to complement their initial selections to complete their projects. l would like to take a cue from Hollywood and focus on the emotional and creative ideas that make projects extraordinary. Creating a Storyboard or Mood Board gives you a script and can provide an overall vision and help move a project forward. I find this a very effective way to help clients visualize their finished room and gives them confidence in their choices.

At DARBY ROAD HOME we offer a complete range of products and that sets the stage in our showroom. We take great care in selecting the product we display and the choice of our vendors. It is that overall ambiance that attracts clients to our store and our goal is to personalize their project but give them that same sense of style.

There are many factors that go into creating a “WOW” worthy space, and it begins with the stars! Let’s think about what natural focal points exist such as a stunning view or great architectural details. Or what do you want to make your  focal point, a colorful rug, a great piece of artwork, the television, or maybe a large sumptuously overstuffed sectional.  

Next we have the supporting cast… I find when people focus on individual choices without that overall plan in mind they either can’t comfortably move forward or don’t get the best design result. While all the pieces in a room are important they should not all carry the same visual weight. There needs to be variety and nuance in intensities of patterns, materials, and colors. Perhaps a subtle fabric choice on a chair or bench balance a deeper color choice on the sofa. Or a simple sofa selection is complemented by a bolder rug or pair of chairs. A warm wood toned server would be complementary in a room that has striking metal dining table.

Of course, we can’t forget about guest appearances! Don’t stop short with accessories and lighting- it’s like getting rid of cinematographer! Often people are disappointed because their project doesn’t measure up to the idea from the magazine they have been carrying around. It is almost always because it is simply incomplete! Maybe you still need artwork, accent pillows, window treatments or the right items on the table or shelf.

Some visually stunning movies are Doctor Zhivago and Passage to India.

 Now we talked all about interiors and design… let’s talk about some fun stuff like Betty’s favorite things!

For me, a good dinner party needs great appetizers and desserts. My specialties are pies. One of my fondest memories is picking wild blueberries with my Dad and baking pies. My baking style tends to be a bit ad-lib, so here are a few of my tricks for making the perfect pie!

  • Chill the crust before you roll it- it makes it easier to handle

  • DO NOT over knead the crust. It makes it tough instead of flaky.

  • Add a bit of flour to fruit fillings for a thicker consistency

  • Vent the top crust

  • Blind baking (putting pie weights, or parchment paper and dried beans in a crust and basking before filling) keeps the bottom crust flaky and not soggy!

  • Substitute vodka for water in your dough mixture to keep it most and easy to roll- the vodka evaporates when it bakes giving you that elusive flaky crust!

  • Personally, I like to experiment with crimping the edges by using a fork or adding a braided edge.

I’ve never met a pie I didn’t like!!           






The Transformation

When Michelle obtained ownership of Darby Road HOME May of 2014 the showroom and store front was suffering from an identity crisis.  Customers weren't quite sure what DRH was all about.  Was is an antique store?  Was it a consignment shop? Michelle knew, in order to thrive, she needed to build a brand and inform the potential buyer that DRH was indeed a full service furniture store that sold custom upholstery, in addition to case goods, art and thoughtfully chosen accessories.  The logo needed to reflect that upholstery was DRH's focus and that is why she chose a classic upholstered chair as her logo.  In addition, Michelle wanted the outside to look inviting.  She was advised to not waste money on changing the awnings, but she couldn't be convinced.  It also drove her crazy that there was no awning over the front door.  She realized why the previous owner never put an awning over the front door pretty quickly!  It required pulling a permit, having an inspection, and paying additional fees.  But in the end it was the right decision.  For one thing it keeps the rain from falling on her customers as they close their umbrellas before entering the store on rainy days.    

While the exterior is an ongoing challenge, the plants, new back-lit sign, and lighting in the windows has definitely made Darby Road HOME more inviting to the passing customer.  Michelle is excited about the upcoming 1 year anniversary of owning DRH in May.  Spring time will bring another round of small improvements.  Once people enter the door they are pleasantly surprised that they decided to stop and see what Darby Road HOME is all about.