Aesop once famously said, “familiarity breeds contempt.” Thanks to the pandemic, which has resulted in people being stuck in their homes for the past six months, there has been a little too much familiarity of late.
People are yearning for a change of scenery. No problem. Wallauer Paint & Design can help.
“People have been stuck at home staring at the walls,” said Laura Nally, Wallauer’s design manager. “But you have to be in a place where you feel good. Now, people are carving out home offices and they don’t want to be staring at white or gray walls. They want more vibrant or soothing environments.”
“Because of that, we have been busier than we have been in years,” she added. “It’s been phenomenal. People are sick and tired of sitting at home, so they want something new.”
Wallauer’s is a family-owned business that got its start in 1921. It has 16 stores throughout Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties, six of which boast a Wallauer Design Center—including the Bedford Hills and Mohegan Lake locations.
Those design centers feature experienced consultants who can help you turn that tired old space into something new and exciting and make being quarantined seem like not such a bad thing after all. They will help with paint selection, designer wall coverings, window treatments, carpeting, and general home décor solutions.
With personal in-home consultations a challenge these days, the team at Wallauer’s has found a way to get the job done and still keep everyone safe—virtual consultation.
“We have been forced into virtual color consultation via Facetime and Google Duo,” Nally said. “They have been excellent tools to get us inside a home to the see the configuration and the lighting, which affects how we choose the colors.
“Also doing virtual design consultation solves decorating issues—like window treatments and shades— and how to design with fabrics, and paint. We take the whole room and pull it all together,” she added.
Nally said Wallauer’s had been wanting to add virtual consultation to its roster of services for quite some time, then the pandemic came along making it a necessity.
“We can’t go to clients’ houses now, but we still like to get inside the room if we can,” she said. “A picture is worth a thousand words. Where are the windows in relationship to the TV or the sofa? You like to get the vibe of what the client is trying to accomplish. What makes them tick? What makes them happy? It’s all about finding the right solution.”
Nally said the virtual consultations work better than a client sending them photos and believes the method will continue even after the pandemic is over.
“It’s more efficient for everyone and the clients love it,” Nally said, admitting she was skeptical at first. “We have found it to be a very positive thing.”
“I networked with lots of dealers and have done a ton of webinars, and there’s been lots of trial and error, but now we’ve gotten into a groove. Now, we are all hooked up with iPads and the stores are well-equipped,” she said.
Through it all, the Wallauer’s design team has noticed that the pandemic and subsequent quarantine has wrought some changes in design trends.
“The one thing that we have noticed is that colors are becoming a little happier,” Nally said. “We were stuck in a gray period for the last five years and that trend is slipping away. Now there are lots of blues, greens, lavenders and blush pink—a whisper of blush.”
Nally said homeowners are looking for soothing, calm, Zen colors that bring peace and tranquility to the space.
“They are buying fabric, incorporating a lot of turquoise, orange, melon and hot pink,” she said. “Pops of color in the accessories. More of their personality is coming out in the accessories. They are tired of the blah.”
While paint, wallpaper, area rugs and carpeting are all part of the Wallauer service, its main thrust is window treatments.
“We are the experts,” Nally said. “We can solve any window problem. We have a shade or treatment solution for every style and budget.”
Nally also noted that homeowners are taking on more DIY projects these days and Wallauer’s has a hotline for them that will handle questions about colors, finishes and sheen. Homeowners can call 914-368-0970 to get expert advice.
“We can also send samples through the mail if customers are not comfortable coming into the store,” she said, “but we do practice social distancing and have gloves and shields are up. We can send professional installers out to the house and do measurements with safety in mind. And customers can call in their orders for curbside pickup.
“We are full-service, so we will come and install and take care of everything,” she added. “We do upholstery and custom pillows and headboards, and we have a large selection of designer wallpaper. That is a big part of our business, too.”
Headquarters: 30 Virginia Road, North White Plains | 914-948-4000
Wallauer Design and Window Treatment Departments: Bedford Hills: 655 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills | Carmel: 1924 Route 6, Carmel | Mahopac: 537 Route 6, Mahopac | Mohegan Lake: 1948 East Main Street, Mohegan Lake | Yorktown Heights: 1965 Commerce Street, Yorktown Heights | Lewisboro/Cross River: Cross River Plaza Shopping Center, Cross River
See wallauer.com for a complete list of locations.