One of Palmer Square’s new stores, Arhaus Studio, takes the spotlight this month as we introduce you to their store and designers. Founded in 1986 by father-and-son team Jack and John Reed, Arhaus offers a new experience and the highest level of service to Princeton shoppers. Focused on curating your home’s design with the help of artisans and makers around the world, Arhaus is sure to make your house feel like a home.
To learn more about Arhaus and their design team, we spoke with Elizabeth Murphy and Lillian Zaccaria, Interior Designers, here at their Princeton store.
Q: Could you tell us a little about Arhaus and your role as an Interior Designer?
Arhaus was founded in 1986 on a simple idea: Furniture and décor should be sustainably sourced, lovingly made, and built to last. Today, Arhaus partners with artisans around the world who share its vision, creating beautiful, heirloom-quality pieces that can be used-and loved-for generations.
Elizabeth: As a designer at Arhaus, my goal is to help the client reimagine their rooms and turn them into the home of their dreams. I carefully uncover what inspires them and bring their vision to life by guiding them through every aspect of the design by creating renderings and mood boards that set the tone for the project.
Lillian: My role as an Interior Designer at the Princeton Studio is to use my talent along with my extensive knowledge of the Arhaus product and create a more intimate design experience with an Operations team to support us throughout the entire design process. We are not salespeople, we are designers. At Arhaus Studio locations, we provide concierge style design services to clients from the very first consultation all the way to delivery day.
Q: How did you become interested in design and begin your career with Arhaus?
Elizabeth: My Career with Arhaus started 5 years ago. I started as a Design Consultant in the South Jersey Marlton Location and relocated to Princeton upon the opening of the Arhaus Studio location there. I have always had a passion for design and my role at Arhaus has fulfilled my lifelong passion.
Lillian: I have been around design and furniture since I was a child, coming from a grandfather who graduated from Pratt University in Interior Design who designed and manufactured his own furniture in NYC and my mom also being an artist. By the time I was holding a pencil I was drawing. Art was my world and it was my dream to go to design school in NYC to get my BFA in Environmental Design at Parsons School of Design. Environmental Design Education gave me the experience in Interior Design, Architecture, Urban Design, Product and Industrial Design.
Upon graduating I pursued my Career in Commercial Interior Design and eventually started my design consulting business along with my passion as an artist. When my kids headed to college I decided to marry my love for design and furniture and pursue a career at Arhaus furniture in sales, I love the quality and vision they had and I felt right at home. I could also design their home from soup to nuts without running to multiple showrooms.
Q: What does a typical day at Arhaus Studio look like for you?
Elizabeth: There is not a typical day at Arhaus. My day can be filled with Home Visits, Floor Plan Design, In-Store Consultations and Presentations. The most important aspect is to Represent Arhaus in a professional and knowledgeable manner. I want to create an experience for the client that is memorable and one that they will remember.
Lillian: I get in before the store opens to organize my day. Meet clients in the moment daily helping them furnish their home along with in store appointments which I typically set up on Mondays and Tuesdays. I also do house calls when needed. Once the client sends me photos and floor plans, I input the measurements into our design program with their finishes, windows, and doors etc. After we select the furniture they wish to purchase, I set up an in-store appointment and utilize our 3D design program enabling clients to see the actual pieces selected in 2D and turn their space to 3D, and with our added feature seeing their home in HD with actual lighting creating a realistic space. Unlike the Sketch-up design program, where the furniture is generic and boxy. Having Arhaus implement their actual furniture to scale into the Floor Planner system gives the customer the ability to see the actual furniture in their own home. With furniture being one of the largest purchases people make, our clients can now see my vision and visualize the design I have created for their space. We can even make changes in the moment if they want to see what another option looks like. While using our complimentary design services and expertise, clients can remove all stress running all over the place trying to figure out what works. Even if a customer hires an outside designer, we can still do the plans and provide the same service to their designers to help their clients too. Since furniture is an investment and one of the largest purchases people make, with everything coming from one location, the stress and time it takes running and coordinating everything is removed in the comfort of the Princeton Studio.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Elizabeth: As an Interior Designer I love meeting new clients and sharing the beauty of Arhaus with them.
Lillian: I love working with my team at Arhaus, we are a family. I believe good design tells a story and all the products Arhaus offers has a story behind it, making it exciting for me to share about. My love and passion for design and meeting new people every day gives me the ability to utilize my design and product expertise with the Arhaus brand and bring Arhaus to their home. From top-to-bottom remodels to new buildings, I specialize in creating spaces that bring form and function to everyday, especially now with a new way of functioning in homes. I am passionate about making my clients vision a reality through design that speaks to them and their lifestyle. With close attention to detail every step of the way. My process is fueled by collaboration, merging their taste with my expertise and my love for the company I represent.
Q: What skills are important to have in a role as a designer with Arhaus?
Elizabeth: I find the most important role as an Interior Designer at Arhaus is to listen carefully to the needs of the client and to bring their vision to life. Many clients face the dilemma of not knowing how to plan their space and pull it all together. I strive to make the process fun and one that puts the client at ease. Trust is key. Clients have choices as to where they can shop.
Lillian: Interior Design and Sales Experience to see the vision in 3D. Be authentic, honest, dependable, organized, reliable and most of all have the utmost integrity. You need to be organized and passionate about your job and the Arhaus brand you represent and treat your job as your own company, and you will succeed. You need to care about what your customer has to say and know and continue to learn from each experience. Know the product and know it well. Learn the stories behind the furniture you are selling and what makes Ahaus stand out as a high-quality brand. Having the ability to see the client’s vision in creating their space and the confidence to know how to help a customer by utilizing your expertise in making their dream a reality. Just love what you do!
Q: What current trends in interior design are you seeing right now? Which ones are you enjoying styling the most?
Elizabeth: There are several trends in Design Currently which include Color TRENDS OF GREEN, Utilization of Reclaimed Materials, Earthy Textures, and Rounded Geometric Shapes.
I am loving all of them and most of all is the use of Sustainable materials which will greatly impact the environment and also create long lasting furniture that they will love for a lifetime. Combining all of these trends can create a beautiful home for our Arhaus Clients.
Lillian: New Vibrant and Bold colors, textures, and materials from nature. The way the world has changed in the last two years has changed the way people see and utilize their furniture. The growing importance of sustainable materials has increased. In the past most people cared only what it looked like, maybe not necessarily the quality and comfort, that all has changed.
People are trending to two-toned schemes which allow extra definition and interest without over complimenting a scheme. Trending to taking things from the outside world and bringing a new sense of drama inside their homes with nature, wallpaper, murals etc.
With so many people working out of their home, now the rooms are functioning differently and has affected every decision people are making about decor. People are looking for comfort and quality and some bright colors. Investing in better quality furniture and finding the best way to utilize their home rather than having a room filled with furniture they don’t use. Even kids’ rooms have changed. Most parents want desks in their children’s rooms and even their own depending on how big their home is. During Covid a lot of people moved to their vacation home and sold their other home or left the big cities.
Abstract art is striking a chord now as in times of uncertainty it communicates moods and feelings that can’t be expressed more literally and provides escapism from that reality. Abstract ambiguousness is about slowing down, stopping for a minute, and noticing things you didn’t see before. This is exactly what I did…being lost in a stressless environment the entire time of Covid where I did endless pieces of abstract upcycled art on Cape Cod MA. It a liberating and expressive way to communicate. Art is personal and open to interpretation and why more people are ordering the more scenic and abstract art that we sell.
Furniture is trending with rounded and curved edges creating a much more welcoming space.
Faux flowers and greenery have come back, bringing nature inside the home. They want simplicity and less clutter in their home.
They spend so much time in their home like never before and just want new furniture to start fresh and new.