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Cathy Ellis and Laura Pohlen bring contemporary home furnishing and design to ParkGate in Menlo Park

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on January 14, 2014

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With the Christmas clutter packed away and a New Year begun, it may be that your thoughts are turning to how to spruce up your home a bit. We stopped by ParkGate, the new home interior and design store located next to Keplers to get some ideas from co-owners Cathy Ettel and Laura Pohlen.

ParkGate lamp and flowersCathy is known to many Menlo Park residents — she worked at Traditions on Santa Cruz Avenue for almost two decades. Atherton resident Laura ran a design business out of her home while raising her family. The two met both through the design community and while their children were students at St. Francis High School. They describe ParkGate as offering a fresher, younger, more current approach to home furnishings, in a range of prices. Here are their suggestions for easy ways to refresh a home interior.

Add new throw pillows. Explains Cathy: “That always freshens ups and changes the look of a room. Adds Laura: “If you add a new color like cobalt blue, it will update the room even more.”

Integrate new table lamps. “Put Grandma’s lamps away for a while,” says Cathy. “Newer lamps come in new silhouettes and new finishes like metal.”

Put artificial flowers in glass vases. “They look real because they have buds, which make them appear straight out of the garden,” said Laura. “But, of course, you don’t have to replace them.”

ParkGate pillows

Make a statement with a new sofa. “Today’s  upholstery textures are terrific, be they linen or some other fabric,” says Cathy. “Plus the sofas are comfy with big rolled arms and backs.”

Mix in an accent table. “We scoured the markets for the best choices,” says Laura. “The drink table, in particular, have really flown out of her out of here,

Photos by Rebecca Flanagan

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