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New interior design business opens

By Staff | Nov 1, 2017

Bridget Vandenburgh opened Bridget Vandenburgh Interiors, Inc in August along Periwinkle Way. MEGHAN MCCOY

A new interior design business opened on the island in August bringing her specialized residential interior design expertise to Sanibel.

“I’ve always had a love for decorating. I decorated my bedroom. Every week I would be changing my bookcases,” Bridget Vandenburgh, founder and president of Bridget Vandenburgh Interiors Inc., said smiling.

In addition, with her parents owning real estate, they were always going through open houses. In the 1970s the family vacationed on Sanibel where her parents owned property, which also involved going through open houses.

“That’s kind of where my love of Florida decor came from because I am from Ohio,” Vandenburgh said. “I had a business (Woods Interiors) in Ohio for 10 years right out of college, an interior design business.”

She graduated from Mount Saint Joseph College in Cincinnati with a bachelors degree in interior design and a minor in business. Vandenburgh is also an allied member of the American Society of Interior Design since 1988. In 2009, she earned a Green Leaders certificate after successfully completing an intense course in sustainable home furnishings.

With her parents being snowbirds on the island, they encouraged her to relocate to the area and start her business here. That was almost 12 years ago.

“I love meeting all the different personalities. Everyone on Sanibel is so nice,” Vandenburgh said. “They are very loyal, so every year they come back at the same time in October and am excited to see me.”

She said a lot of times her clients will fly in for the weekend to both enjoy the island and make some enhancements to their home.

“That’s where I come in. I can do all the running around for them, so they don’t have to waste time doing that,” Vandenburgh said, adding that a good amount of her communication is done through email by sending photographs, or through packages. “When they are here they want to vacation and enjoy the beach and spend time with their family.”

The coastal colors – bright tropical colors, which provide a relaxed and casual atmosphere, were also a draw to opening a business on Sanibel. She said what you see outside is typically brought inside the home, with such colors as blue skies, green palm trees and the sandy beach.

“Elements, they are mixing the silver and gold together. Now you can mix different elements and mix different organic pieces like sea grass with darker wood. You don’t have to have everything the same tone. You can mix painted furniture with stained furniture,” Vandenburgh said.

When Vandenburgh first meets with her clients, she visits their home, or condo for a free consultation, often times resulting in measurements and taking photographs.

“I like to go to their house, or condo, to see what they have, what they have done already, what I have to work with and what their needs are. I try to work with them and gently guide them into the right decision. At the end I want it to be their home and what reflects them and not what my tastes are,” she said.

After she leaves their home, she’ll return to her studio at 1633 Periwinkle Way, Suite C, to pick out fabrics, wall paper and furniture ideas within their budget. Vandenburgh said she will give them a couple options within their budget.

Vandenburgh married her husband Eric, a realtor with Keller Williams, 10 years ago after meeting him at Trader’s.

“We are working together because he is selling homes, so I help stage a house to help him sell it. We are referring clients to each other,” she said.

The couple also own two cats, a brother and sister, that were found underneath a cottage on Sanibel.

“This is my life decorating. It’s my passion. I’m constantly going through model homes and getting ideas, looking through magazines and going to trade shows. I’m keeping up with all the trends,” Vandenburgh said.

For more information, call (239) 222-0148, email design@bridgetinteriors.com, or visit www.bridgetinteriors.com.