To attend this elegant affair last week at Victoria at Home, Old Town’s newest interiors boutique, you’d never know the blood, sweat and tears that went in to opening it.
Victoria Sanchez, one of my best design friends (er, best friends, period), made her decades of dreaming a reality when she opened the shop on King Street last August—with endless amounts of help from her sister, Leah, and her boyfriend, Mitch Gabor from Stark Carpet.
I helped her with her web site last fall, and one time when I was there, I was recruited to help move a sofa into the store. Other times, I would get there and she’d be unloading more boxes, while Leah would be sorting through inventory and invoices. When Mitch wasn’t at his day job at the Washington Design Center, he was here, helping set up the computers, installing carpet (of course), hanging lights, painting—you name it. I don’t think Victoria or Mitch have had a day off since last July.
I also went to High Point with her, and watched her in action as she shopped for the store. After 30 years in the design business, she’s developed such a refined taste—and a knack for knowing what her customers want. Designer Sheryl McLean put it perfectly last week as she was looking around at the beautifully placed objects: “This is a designer’s store. It’s got a designer’s eye.”
Indeed. It’s one of those shops where you have to walk through slowly, looking from floor to ceiling, because each time you go back to a certain spot, you discover something new.
There are some more gorgeous (and professionally shot!) photos on her web site, right here.
Ok, so. The main reason we were there was to see how a room can be transformed with accessories and decor.
Stylist and writer Charlotte Safavi (whom I work with for LUXE Interiors + Design Magazine, small world!) demonstrated how investment pieces, such as a gorgeous sofa, cocktail table or valuable chest, can be enlivened with decorative pillows and other objects. Otherwise, she said, someone might walk by them and never take notice.
Here’s an example, with a vignette of furnishings in a winter mood — note the ornaments and greenery on the coffee table, and the warm-colored pillows on the sofa.
Then, presto-change-0, Charlotte made spring happen—same furnishings, different pillows and accessories:
Oh, and did I mention the food? Maybe the best accessory of all for a fun evening!
If you haven’t been, go. Whether you’re looking for furniture, art or even just a hostess gift, you need to go visit Victoria at Home.