Retailer Spotlight: Carol Laurence Simon

Selling home furnishings, artwork and unique decorative accessories, Interior Designs Inc. (formerly known as Interior Designs II) is a retail showroom that opened in 1988. Owned by Carol Laurence Simon, the staff also includes showroom manager Jill McGaughey and design associate Elizabeth Sullivan. Interior Designs carries items from more than 60 different vendors around the world. “We pick and choose what to feature in our showroom, and our selection constantly changes,” explains Simon.

What’s the first thing you discuss with a client?
We ask them to describe their lifestyle and the general mood or feeling they’re hoping to create. We ask if there’s anything in particular that they dislike.

What’s your goal as a retailer?
Our goal is to allow you to shop in one place and still have a thoughtfully created room that looks like it’s evolved over time. The beauty of the neutral palette in the shop is that it allows you to mix and match from many different sources, including current possessions, to achieve a casual elegance that is well-traveled, fresh and timeless.
What’s a popular item?
Anything from the collection of R&Y Augousti of Paris: furniture, accessories and handbags in stingray (shagreen), cobra, ostrich and other exotic materials  –– the most divine items in the world!

How has your business evolved or changed over the years?
We have eliminated products that are widely available in favor of more unique pieces, such as our custom-made furniture, vintage Murano glass and lighting created for us by C. Damien Fox. We aren’t slaves to trends –– we obey our instincts about beauty, individuality and timelessness.

What’s going on in May?
We just received a shipment of our Gustavian chests of drawers, side tables and chairs from Sweden, so there is a great selection now on those pieces.  F

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