When visiting Andrea De Palatis’s store, you walk into a textured and colorful world filled with details and you can’t decide which one to point out first. You are surrounded by a selection of glittering decorations and stylish furniture pieces with bold accents. The store is, in her words, “a response to everything becoming less personal and more cookie-cutter.” She chooses only one-of-a-kind and special pieces to showcase her particular brand of design reflecting on the idea that if no two people are alike, then their living spaces shouldn’t be either.
The storefront began 28 years ago as an expansion of Andrea’s already successful design business, “The main thing I do is interior design, residential and commercial, and the whole reason I started a business is that I’m far away from resources. It just wasn’t practical to drive to Washington if I [was] looking for a lamp.”
Andrea has worked with many businesses and organizations on notable projects as well as many individuals residential homes. She explains, “I [do] a wide variety of things. I can choose your paint scheme, or I can plan the design for the new addition of your house,” says De Palatis. Each project that De Palatis starts requires extensive research and preparation on her part from understanding the nuances of electrical requirements to knowing how high the counters are in a new kitchen. “You have to learn a thousand details if you’re going to do a design,” explains De Palatis. “Every day that I get up, I have a whole series of challenges, which keeps everything interesting. Almost every job I do, I have to learn all about what I’m designing for.”
After entering her shop filled with eclectic and carefully picked out design pieces all available to purchase, one enters Andrea’s “workspace”. Although she would call it messy, it is beautifully filled with fabrics, pictures, design sketches, curtains, and along the walls are proudly displayed tons of handwritten thank you cards and letters. This personal touch is just one of many accents that remind you of the store’s small-town locale.
“The business community is very friendly and supportive. You know your neighbors; you even know your customers,” she states. “I can tell when the train is in town, because somebody will walk in my door, and if I say to them, ‘Oh, you must have ridden the train,’ they’ll look at me kind of funny and I’ll say, ‘Well I know because I don’t recognize you.’ It’s all about personal connections.”
Andrea is a certified Interior Designer as well as a part of the American Society of Interior Designs. Andrea, who states that she does not often participate in competitions, on a whim decided to submit her design work for the local Westernport library. In a competition that reaches all of Maryland, Andrea received first place overall for her design.
By FrostburgFirst Fall 2018 Intern Sidney Beeman
Dana Bridges – FrostburgFirst Marketing & Communications Coordinator