“Wow!” It’s the immediate reaction when leafing through the design portfolio of George A. Pavick, interior designer and owner of Pleats Interior Design. Page after page reveals a design to fit the many clients he’s had during the last 15 years in the Lansing area and beyond. No two projects look alike – each are distinct. The one constant is that he designs with the client in mind. He incorporates their style and color preferences with his talent for choosing the right tones and textures to match. Pavick is as versatile as his clientele. They range from empty nesters to first time homebuyers. He works with all levels of budgets – from starter to high-end – and all manner of tastes – from classic, to country, and contemporary to eclectic. No job is too large or too small. He has clients who need his help literally from the ground up and clients who just want help to display pieces they’ve inherited. Sometimes a client wants to update a look, going from classic to contemporary. “It might be as simple as transforming an antique table by changing its legs to modern ones,” he said. Even a small change can make a dramatic impact. But long before he gets the jaw-dropping “wow,” George is busy working on the “how” of each project: how to design the space to meet the client’s expectations, how to stay within a budget and how to get it done in a timely fashion. It can be stressful, but as Pavick says, “Stress is good. It’s good to worry – it means you’re paying attention to the details.” “It’s a process that evolves,” Pavick said. It begins with a face-to-face meeting with the homeowner or office dweller. “The goal is to start with a realistic budget and a reasonable timeline.” That conversation also includes questions about color preferences, taste and purpose for the room. Pavick’s designs also have a touch of whimsy. When he designed the interior of a home in the Whitehills subdivision – the tallest home in the area – he had clouds painted on the ceiling of the top floor. He surprised one client – a retired pilot – with bathroom tiles decorated with flight patterns that the pilot had flown. Sometimes a well-positioned painting with a splash of color is all a space needs. He faces challenges. Because of the economy, mills in the U.S. are cutting back and manufacturing less. He often turns to overseas markets for materials. “I’ve had projects where I’ve ordered fabric but by the time it’s ready to deliver, it’s out of stock,” he said. So he goes back to the drawing board to find other fabric. One detail that is uncompromising is using the best materials he can find – like warm Brazilian wood flooring or cool Italian ceramic tiles. He stays away from trends. His reward is that the designs are timeless. “Classic design lasts a long time,” Pavick says. And Pleats Interior Design has had a long-standing presence in Lansing, too. He moved to Lansing from Canton, Ohio in 1996. The job market wasn’t promising at the time. Pavick decided to open up a shop on the corner of Turner and Grand River Avenue in Old Town selling window treatments. From there, the shop evolved into interior design and attracted many loyal customers. Even through recent economic challenges, Pleats has had staying power. Pavick currently has 12 projects at various stages of completion. Associate designer David Deprez takes on new projects every day. To this day, former Lansing residents hire Pavick to design their homes in sites outside Michigan. He’s had projects in Hilton Head and San Jose, Texas and Florida. But he always comes back to his home base in Old Town, and he’s proud that his business is the oldest one in the area. He’s seen a lot of change in the business community – for the good. “The business climate has changed and so have we,” he says. He’s encouraged by what he now sees as an upswing. “Clients – especially higher end – keep calling with design projects.” The shop has expanded from one showroom to two. You can’t do design without a showroom with furnishings that offer ideas and possibilities for design, Pavick says. “We can sell furniture and materials that are competitive,” he explains. Pleats is on the same playing field as other suppliers in the area. “We can buy direct from the manufacturer just like any other company.”
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.