Lifestyle » Vol. 2

Design of the Times

Alice Levy’s Interiors by Design
By Jennie Fitzgerald

Alice Levy

Alice Levy

When most people look at a room, they most likely see just that ~ a room. When Alice Levy looks at a room, she sees all the possibilities for making it a work of art. The owner of Interiors by Design, Levy has been working with clients in Central Massachusetts for over 30 years, creating everything from draperies to custom closets.

Levy attended the University of Michigan and the New York School of Interior Decorating. After she retired from her position at the Fabric Place in Newton, Levy wanted to continue working with her passion, decorating. “My existing clients would call me and say, ‘You can’t retire, we need you!’ They are very loyal to me and honestly, I didn’t want to be bored.”
After many years in the field, Levy realized that her confidence and experience as an interior designer earned her repeat business. She sent letters informing her clients that she would be available for individual consultations, thus starting Interiors by Design.

Alice partnered with her best friend since childhood, Sheila Tarlin, a retired guidance counselor who has lived in Worcester for over 40 years. After 20 years of never changing her living area, Sheila called on her best friend to take charge. “I would call Alice ten times a day just to say how weary I was. She would keep saying, ‘Trust me, you have to trust me.’ After it was done, I completely loved it,” Tarlin said.
Interior design not only takes decorating skills but also understanding of and support for people who find change, even of just their physical surroundings, stressful. While Levy runs the ship, Tarlin is a great motivator and handles the “psychological side” for those dealing with change.

The duo frequently works with seniors who are moving into assisted living housing or are downsizing. “Many people just don’t know what to keep; they need new furniture, window treatments, help with moving and I can provide [help for] all of it,” said Levy.

Why hire an interior designer versus doing it yourself? “The reason people use a designer is for the knowledge they have. It is very easy to mess a project up if you do not know what you are doing. People make very expensive mistakes trying to do things on their own,” said Levy.

Many people are initially worried that an interior designer will turn their home into someone else’s. With Levy, that’s not the case. She works with her clients, learns about them, and is careful to create a space that is comfortable and unique. “Every client is different, so my approach is different each time. From simple reupholstering to an entire home, I work on a case by case basis,” said Levy.

Interiors by Design handles projects of any size, from a single room to an entire house, start to finish. Levy meets customers, armed with fabric samples, photos and floor plans. She limits their choices, however, because too many can be overwhelming. Instead, Levy relies on her intuitive sense of color, space design, and communication skills to accommodate her customers’ unique needs and tastes.

Levy stays up on all the latest design trends. Simple lines, comfort and good utilization of space are currently in vogue.

One of her greatest accomplishments as an interior designer was when she decorated a 15 room home in Southborough. “It was huge and very grand. I did everything: paint, wallpaper, rugs, furniture, and draperies. It came out beautiful and still looks as good now. Nothing is outdated.”

Since the age of seven, when her mother found her turning the dining room into a den, Levy has known that interior design and decorating was her niche. She hasn’t stopped since.

Interiors by Design, 155 Leland Farm Road, Ashland, MA. 508.881.9141

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