Her warm and friendly smile welcomed me to the Shoppe at AK Interiors. The colorful flowers adorning the window out front made an elegant entrance, and the design continued with classic furnishings inside.
Unique items kept catching my eye as I perused the store, but one begged for my attention—a little, black-and-white dog figurine in front of the window. His name is Bergere, after the chair, and he has become a beloved mascot in the store.
As dog lovers, McIndoe and her staff thought Bergere would be a perfect fit for the store.
“I hand-select all of the items in the shop, seeking out unique pieces,” she said. “In the design business, our main focus tends to be classic, timeless interiors with a fresh approach. Therefore, much of our inventory reflects that, as well.”
McIndoe has been in the design business for most of her life, starting with her parents’ store.
“Growing up with parents who were business owners, I got to see and experience first-hand my parents at work,” she said. “The store really became like a part of the family. My parents worked harder than anyone I knew; my admiration for them is beyond description. I guess I wanted to grow up and be just like them.”
With a degree in interior design and lots of experience working in the design and building industry, McIndoe opened AK Interiors in 1996, working from her home at first. At the time, she was a single mom, and this allowed her to be easily available. A little more than a year ago, she decided it was time to venture out and open a boutique home furnishings shop.
“Now that my son is a teenager, he has his own schedule with activities and such,” she said. “It just seemed like the right time, and it was getting increasingly difficult to find great accessories to share with my clients. Having a shop enables me to have these accessories right at my fingertips, as well as the convenience of having the design studio in the building.”
The 1,100-square-foot space includes offices for the design team and a room for meeting clients. AK Interiors works with all different types of customers: residential and commercial, new build and renovations.
One unique service is “Room in a Day.” Basically, the staff uses clients’ existing furnishings and accessories, sometimes borrowing from other rooms. Then they re-design the space.
“It’s amazing to see what a difference we can make in just a day with fresh eyes,” she said.
A longtime customer, Karen Mitchell recently used AK Interiors for a new house she and her husband purchased.
“Alison was extremely detailed in the design process,” she said. “She listened to us and provided us with a vision that exceeded our expectations. She was able to take a floor plan from the 1950s and create a space that fits perfectly with our modern-day living.”
Mitchell also loves the shop.
“The space is beautiful, and I love to go in to purchase statement pieces for my home as well as gifts for special occasions,” she said. “The team members who work in the shop are extremely helpful. They can assist in helping you select a large piece, as well as smaller hostess gifts. It’s definitely my go-to spot when I need to purchase a gift or want to update my home.”
While I was looking around the shop, I noticed a long hallway filled with artwork. I was intrigued, so asked Alison about it. It turns out that she participates in Lancaster’s “First Friday,” a celebration the first Friday of each month when city shop owners feature local artists’ works, even offering music, drinks and nibbles.
“It’s so much fun to be part of the city’s energy,” she said.
I found the Shoppe at AK Interiors to be a great place to get ideas, purchase items for gifts and furnish a home or business. As for Bergere the dog, if anyone is interested, he is for sale.
“As long as he goes to a good home, we’d be okay to see him go,” McIndoe said.
The Shoppe at AK Interiors is located at 246 W. Orange St., Lancaster. For more information, visit www.akinteriorsllc.com or call 717-872-6966.
Author: Carissa Bannister Kauwell