Interior Design

Rooms that Inspire

The art of good interior design is to combine the subtleties of a home owner’s personality, style and sense of place with practical considerations of a home’s flow and function.

When done right, a room or home becomes a sanctuary. The combination of furniture and accent details create a harmonious atmosphere, which nourishes all who spend time there. You’re intuitively reminded, each time you return home, of what you value in your home life, and what gives you joy.

Interior Design Inspiration Board

Why Hire an Interior Designer?

Since Fairhaven Furniture started offering interior design services 15 years ago, we’ve completed hundreds of home and office projects in the Northeast. And we’ve noticed a few common reasons why people ask for our help:

  • No Time

    Even if you’d love to do it on your own, with other demands of life, hiring us ensures the project actually gets done. We handle the job from the start to finish, so you won’t have to.

  • Reassurance of a Professional

    When investing in home furnishings, it makes good sense to consider different viewpoints and opinions you can trust. It’s not just the money involved, but also the many years you’ll likely spend living in a re-designed space. Our expertise in space planning, esthetics and available furniture options are all integrated in a functional solution that expresses your personality and taste.

  • Too Many Choices

    Most of the pieces we offer at Fairhaven Furniture are custom-built for each customer. This allows the furnishings and accessories to more fully reflect your style or the unique requirements of your home. But the process can be overwhelming. Let us help you navigate these choices to effectively find the perfect solution.

  • New Home

    With bare walls and empty rooms, there’s no better time to envision how you wish to use the space. Whether an older home or new construction, we make a point of reflecting architecture and surroundings in our designs. In many cases, we begin well before your move-in date, so it’s ready to go when you arrive. We also incorporate pieces that you’d like to re-use from your previous home.

  • Life Circumstances Change

    A shift in your phase of life is a special opportunity re-evaluate how you use your home. New family members arrive, or family members move out, a new job or hobby, spending more time in specific a room or adapting to the seasons, a wish to downsize or simplify your home. Understanding the reasons for your change—whatever they may be—is an essential step in our process, which affects every part of the final design.

Meet Our Designers

Colleen Gala

Owner & Designer

Colleen Gala

“For me it’s about problem solving. People approach us for help, whether from indecision or with a tough space. We can make a more personal connection with interior design customers, because we’re in their homes. Trust is a very important part of this process. We can delve deeper into their needs by seeing the space where the furniture will go, and how it will fit in their life.”

Background

At Fairhaven Furniture since 2005; Industrial Design degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology

Design Inspirations

Space planning, Industrial and product design, Indian textiles

Lao Eric Triffin

Owner & Designer

Lao Eric Triffin

“It’s very satisfying for us and for the customer, when we can find a solution where it seemed that none existed, such as with a difficult room. It’s part of your life, it’s your every day. But we can help transform the space into something that goes beyond the every day. A well designed home can both nourish and excite its occupants, and give them a genuine pride in their home.”

Background

At Fairhaven Furniture since 2003, but a regular visitor to the store’s woodshop since childhood; Studied electrical and computer engineering at the University of New Haven and science classes at the Eli Whitney Museum

Design Inspirations

Form and function, Live edge furniture, Woodworking, Motors of any kind

Joe Shelfo

Designer

Joe Shelfo

“You can see the effect of good interior design on people’s faces. It’s more than just getting a new couch—the whole room is integrated and thought out. There’s a sense of clarity and excitement in the redesigned space. We get to see how it improves our customers’ daily lives, bringing creativity into their home, positive energy, a sense of balance and well-being.”

Background

At Fairhaven Furniture since 2009; degree in Interior Design from Paier College of Art & Design

Design Inspirations

Forests; Woodworking shops, Attention to Detail

Mark Reynolds

Designer

Mark Reynolds

Your home is your sanctuary. I believe that. I don’t think it’s a line. People work very hard these days, and they deserve to have a home that nourishes them. I look forward to a home visit because every home has its own flavor. There’s a mood. When I can see what things they’ve been purchasing, and what things please them, I get a better feel for what they want to achieve. If they want excitement, we’ll give them excitement. If they want a relaxing space, we’ll give it to them. I like a space that’s a little bit of a challenge, because when I complete it, I know I did well.”

Background

New Haven native, at Fairhaven Furniture since 2012; more than 30 years as an interior designer, mostly in Fairfield County

Design Inspirations

Space planning; Experimenting with colors, textures and shapes

Grant Smith

Designer

Grant Smith

“Space planning is a huge part of what we do. It’s not just the dimensions of the room, but how the space works with all of its elements: doors, windows, fireplace, etc. Personally, I’m most drawn to wood furniture, which brings a little natural beauty into the home. So I often start with the wood pieces in a room, whether it’s a dining table, coffee table or side table—the items that will become family heirlooms. And I look at the architectural style of the home, to connect the style inside with the style outside.”

Background

At Fairhaven Furniture since 2014; degree in Studio Art and focus in architectural design from Franklin and Marshall College

Design Inspirations

Art combined with natural elements, Live edge furniture, Illustration, Sculpture

The Process

Over the years, we’ve refined our interior design process to these natural steps. But it’s just a framework; We’d love to adapt to your particular needs.

Our Interior Design services are essentially free. We charge an small fee when the appointment is set, which is determined based on the scale of the project and the travel time required by our designers. For example, for a customer living in Hamden looking for a redesign of their living room, the cost would be $250. The $250 is then applied to your purchase once a decision has been made.

1. Set an Appointment

A home visit is an essential part of the process. Although we do many in-store consultations, it’s best for us to see the space, and to meet you in “your element.” We’ll find a time that’s convenient for your schedule.

2. Home Visit

Working in a team of two designers, we take measurements of the room, windows and doorways, and items that will be staying in the room. We photograph wall colors of the rooms being re-designed, as well as adjoining rooms, so there’s a blending of the spaces. Visits typically take about 30 – 60 minutes per room.

3. Interview

During the home visit, we’ll ask questions about your preferences in colors, materials, layout and style, as well as the mood you wish to create in the room, and how you’ll be using the space. We’ll dedicate as much time as you wish to this important part of the process.

4. Draft Design

Within a week, we’ll have a draft plan completed, which includes a scaled floor plan with movable furniture models, suggested new pieces and swatches of upholstery, wood or other materials.

5. Store Visit

We’ll set an appointment for you to come by the store to see the draft design. We prefer to do this at Fairhaven Furniture, where we’ll have access to all of our style books and swatches, in case changes need to be made.

6. Ordering & Tracking

When you’re ready to make an order, we’ll source furniture through our preferred manufactures, according to your style, quality and budget needs. Or we’ll have something custom built for you by one of our partner woodworkers. We’ll carefully track your order while furniture is being custom built, and update you about timetables, until the delivery day arrives.

7. Delivery Day

Our delivery team will have your floor plans with them so they know exactly where to put each piece of furniture and accessory. Your satisfaction is our number one goal so should any questions arise, your designer will be contacted.