A new store at 734 South St. is bringing upscale home design to the masses. Busybee’s Homestore and Design Center is a one-stop shop for furniture, accessories and expert decorating advice. Shoppers can wander in for a half-hour consultation for $50, or hire a designer to spend all day coming up with the perfect sofa-and-rug combo.
“We offer ‘a la carte’ design because some people might just want to talk about window treatments and not spend a lot,” says owner Anna Powers.
The idea, Powers explains, is to “take the snobbery out” of interior design and make it accessible to everyone. She got the idea after reading about the new phenomenon of legal cafes, where advice-seekers can pick up a cup of joe and some quick legal counsel at the same time.
Busybee originated as a staging company. And although staging calls for generic decor that any buyer could picture living with, the items Powers selected for the new store are much more eclectic, such as a big Buddha statue. Pieces are displayed together as mini-rooms throughout the store, so even casual shoppers who don’t want to sit down with a designer can see how a professional might match things up.
Why staging is so important today
Powers’ background is as a home stager, decorating for-sale properties to make them attractive to potential buyers. Realtor Julie Welker of Coldwell Banker says the service makes a huge difference. “It’s so important, especially in this market,” says Welker. “It’s hard for people to come in to a vacant home and use their imagination, so Anna brings in furniture, pictures — everything.”