By PARIS WOLFE
The pandemic hasn’t slowed W Design and its team of 37 talented, design professionals. In fact, with Americans looking to their homes for comfort during unexpected lockdown days, the almost 20-year-old design firm has been busy creating perfect spaces for clients and their families to live their best lives. The creativity is driven from offices in Chagrin Falls and in Naples, Fla.
In 2020 the firm moved just blocks from Main Street to West Street in Chagrin Falls and opened an interior décor retail showroom, W Home. The renovated block is two-thirds office, one-third showroom with plenty of light-giving windows. In the meantime, a 10-person office and showroom in Naples is also moving, from the Design District to historic Old Naples.
W Design officially started in 2002 in founder/principal designer Wendy Berry’s home office and eventually moved to downtown Chagrin Falls. The actual start date goes further back in Berry’s psyche, she’d been informally “designing” since she was a child rearranging furniture in the family’s Lyndhurst home.
“I’m a victim of pure passion,” laughs Berry. “I loved design so much that I made it my life’s work. And I’m lucky to work with an amazing group of talented people who appreciate it as well. We get to work with beautiful things and amazing clients to make spaces beautiful.”
Many of those beautiful things can be seen in W Home. You’ll find essentials from custom furniture and original art to jeweled napkin rings and embroidered cocktail napkins.
“I travel a lot and everywhere I go I seek out the coolest, best stores or even quirky flea markets,” says Berry. “I find amazing special treasures and bring them back. On one trip I found a candle line from Belgium. They’re hand-poured in hand-cut crystal containers. They weren’t easy to source. It took almost five months to get my first order. You’ll never find them in a ‘normal’ store.”
She’s brought sculpture from Florence, art from Venezuela and so much more to give clients exactly what they want. “When I can’t sleep at night, I google artists and reach out to them. That’s part of the passion of this job. We’re constantly growing and seeking something new and different.”
The W Design aesthetic resonates with clients in Ohio, Chicago, Michigan, Florida, New York, Missouri, the United Kingdom, Mexico and so many other places. A review of W’s online portfolio showcases the team’s visionary design in different settings.
“Our philosophy for design is to stay classic with a degree of sophistication, comfort and some unexpected twists,” says Berry. “We love to create a space that’s interesting and has layers.”
When it comes to layers, she explains, “We can do a white room, but it’s not ‘really’ white. Oatmeals, creams and soft white colors all layered together are a white room. The layers of neutrals create an overall look that’s not clinical or harsh.”
The resultant peaceful spaces are popular as Americans spend so much time at home. “Homes are peoples’ sanctuary, where they have family and feel safe,” says Berry. As people spend more time at home, they determine what changes might enhance their lifestyle. Then W Design makes it happen.
Popular spaces include media and recreation rooms. Many people are using their homes’ lower level or auxiliary rooms to increase living space. Outdoor space is also being re-imagined, she says. That includes outdoor kitchens, pavilions with fireplaces and heaters.
W Design takes a team approach to creating dream spaces. Team members come from diverse backgrounds such as CAD drafters, ASID certified designers, project managers, procurement specialists and more. Together, this group utilizes their creativity, enthusiasm, and passion for design to exceed clients’ expectations time and time again.
“The value of working with the team is you get balance, accuracy and efficiency,” notes Berry. “We even have architects on staff in both locations so we can accurately enhance an interior and offer viable drawings.”
The scope of services is broad. “We do complete builds starting from working with the client’s architect to create the space to placing the final bowl on the dining room table,” she says. “We think of everything. We visualize a project completely finished. For example, we might suggest where the HVAC vents are positioned so they don’t blow behind the drapery. We know where the art will go and make sure a thermostat doesn’t interfere with the visual.”
Completed projects have been seen on local home shows and in national magazines including “Elle Decor.”
W Design’s reach is broader than single-family residential. Teams have also worked on multifamily buildings in Florida, waterfront apartments in New York City, penthouses in Manhattan, senior living centers, medical offices, and restaurants. Some of their work can be seen at 17 River Grille, Chagrin Falls, just across from the showroom.
W Design is at 86 West Street, Chagrin Falls. For more information call 440.247.4474, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit wdesign.com or whomecollection.com.
Wendy Berry’s talent and passion for design resonates with clients of W DESIGN
By PARIS WOLFE