Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography
Team photo by Amanda Schultz – Studio 60 Photographic Art
You may have noticed that home décor trends tend to originate on the coasts and gradually spread in throughout the Midwest. At some point, you might find yourself wondering how these fresh, new styles make it all the way up to the FM and Detroit Lakes areas. For this, we can thank stores like Refreshing Designs, located in Perham, Minnesota, for introducing the latest trends and making them more easily accessible to us. We were lucky to have Bailee Schissel, one of the store’s in-house interior designers, as our guide while we toured the store and showroom floors.
A Tasteful Past
Unless you’ve lived in Perham for a number of years, you’d never guess that the building that now houses Refreshing Designs actually used to be a restaurant. However, with a team of trained interior designers as employees, they were able to transform the restaurant into a beautiful furniture, home décor and interior design showroom. Only one remnant of the restaurant still remains–a ledge that runs almost the entire perimeter of the store and adds tons of extra square-footage for merchandise that wouldn’t otherwise be available on the showroom floor.
Refreshing Designs also has a past in Perham, as it began over ten years ago with a different location just down the street. Then, two years ago, Aaron Karvonen, fourth generation owner of Karvonen’s, moved back from the Twin Cities and took over his family’s furniture and appliance business. He then purchased Refreshing Designs because he saw a strong connection. Together, they now address all of their customers’ interior design needs, whether it be shopping for furniture or redesigning a space.
Refreshing Designs then moved to its current, much larger location. One of the major perks of their new space is a design studio separate from the rest of the showroom floor. This studio is complete with a conference room that is perfect for meeting with clients.
Supporting Local Businesses
Refreshing Designs also collaborates with a few other local businesses. For example, they feature B&D Granite’s countertop showroom on their floor as well as a custom cabinetry showroom from local cabinet makers.
Fresh, New Products
Twice a year, the interior designers at Refreshing Designs travel the country to find the latest home décor styles. “We go to market twice a year. We go to Las Vegas and High Point North Carolina, so we go to both coasts as well as Minneapolis,” Schissel said. During these trips, the interior designers are exposed to popular trends. Then, piece by piece, they slowly start integrating these styles into the Refreshing Designs showroom.
Think, for example, of trends like industrial décor. Although it is gaining popularity in the Midwest, this trend first appeared on the coasts. Velvet is another example. The interior design team at Refreshing Designs is careful to avoid abrupt introductions of new trends, slowly incorporating new trends such as velvet into their showroom through accent pillows.
“If it involves your home or business, we do it.” – Bailee Schissel
These succulents are modeled after live succulents grown in California, then they are hand-painted to mimic the real thing. This is yet another trend that Refreshing Designs has adopted from their trips to the market.
Refreshing Designs also features a variety of high profile brands in their store such as Surya Rugs and Magnolia Home Furniture, for example. All of the items in their store can be ordered or purchased directly off of the showroom floor. In addition, they also offer white-glove-delivery courtesy of their sister-store, Karvonen’s.