WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTO | ASHLEY AVILA
After some urging from her husband, Gwen DeBruyn decided to open an interior design and home décor shop in South Haven in 2001. Nineteen years later, she says it has been one of the best decisions ever, and so much fun.
Bayberry Cottage is set up as a true home décor boutique, with every aspect of the home on display. The focus is on a casual lake lifestyle with fun, bold colors and designs. DeBruyn wanted to create a true one-stop shop offering an extensive line of furniture and creative lighting options, artwork, homewares, and accessories like throw rugs and pillows. The shop is also a great place for friends looking to grab a quick and simple housewarming or birthday gift for someone special.
One of Bayberry’s most popular offerings is their furniture line using high-performance fabrics from Crypton and Sunbrella. These fabrics hold up to virtually anything and offer a look and feel that is simply amazing – not to mention the fun colors and patterns available. It’s the picture-perfect furniture for worry-free family living.
Bayberry Cottage prides itself on having one of the most extensive fabric libraries in the Southwest Michigan region. Visitors are invited to stop in and peruse the library to make fabric selections for reupholstery projects. They can then purchase fabric to DIY the project or hire Bayberry to complete it for them.
Following in her mother’s footsteps, DeBruyn has always had a natural eye for interior design. Soon after Bayberry opened, a customer came in with a request. She was ready to begin construction on a new home; the builder was lined up, the plans were set, and she wanted DeBruyn to work with the team to design the interior and decorate her new home. DeBruyn was surprised and told her that she didn’t do interior design. The customer begged to differ, “YES, YOU DO! Make it look like your store! I love it here. It’s comfy and fun, and I want my home to give me the same feeling.” Seeing a fabulous opportunity, DeBruyn agreed.
The job went perfectly, and, as luck would have it, the home was included in the annual Holiday Home Tour that year. Soon DeBruyn’s phone started ringing off the hook with more design requests. Interior design is now a huge share of Bayberry’s business, with several levels of service available. At the most basic level, an experienced designer will work with DIY clients and assist with creating a complete to-do list, helping them create their perfect home style. The list includes everything from color palettes, fabric choices, textures, furniture lists, and accessory suggestions. At the top is the same full interior design service that DeBruyn provided for that very first client.
DeBruyn takes great pride in having built a team full of talented women at Bayberry Cottage. They work hard on every project from the DIYer to full-scale home design ventures.
510 Phoenix Street, South Haven MI 49090