Blanks receive help from Genoa Custom InteriorsWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | email@example.com
Editor’s note: Toledo Free Press will follow the Blank family of Millbury for the next year as they rebuild their lives after a June 5 tornado destroyed their Main Street home.
Julie Blank wasn’t looking forward to redecorating the inside of her house.
The tornado had destroyed what she thought would be her forever home and she did not want to bother with paint swatches when she had a life to rebuild.
But when interior designer Cheryl Grosjean, owner of Genoa Custom Interiors, began to help, the task didn’t seem so dreadful.
“I didn’t treat them differently than anyone else. I did have empathy for them because of what they have been through, though,” Grosjean said. “Julie already knew the colors that she wanted, but I helped her fine-tune them.”
Grosjean worked with Julie to find warm colors like gold and red and sage green for the first floor.
“She wanted to have a warm and cozy feeling,” Grosjean said. “They aren’t really dressy people. They are casual and she had those types of colors in mind.”
Ed Blank said the house is more colorful than it was before the tornado. He knew Julie wasn’t motivated about decorating, but after she met Cheryl, “they were always talking,” he said.
“Genoa Custom Interiors really stepped up,” Ed said. “Cheryl helped Julie with our draperies and blinds. She actually helped Julie pick out all the colors of the walls.”
Grosjean also lent her expertise to choosing colors for the master bathroom, which Julie wanted to feel like a spa. They settled on a blue-green color to achieve that feel.
For Ed’s man cave in the bonus room, Grosjean helped pick a warm gray, which fits with Ed’s passion for the Buckeyes. It also goes with the black-colored furniture the family had bought for that room.
Grosjean, who owns Genoa Custom Interiors, with her husband, David, said they began working with the Blanks because their company affiliates itself with Rigg Builders, who built the Blanks’ house.
“Also, Julie knows people who I have worked with and she had referrals,” Grosjean said.
The tornado brought more business to the Grosjeans.
“You hate to get it that way, but I was happy to help. It was nice to get people into their houses before Christmas,” she said. “Some people wanted exactly the same things and some people wanted something completely different.”
Grosjean and her husband have two locations that customers can visit. Her place at 647 Main St. features furniture, accessories and window treatments. The store is a big house, “so it is all set up like a home, which makes it easier to see what it looks like,” she said.
Her husband is at 644 Main St. where he sells floor coverings and wallpaper. The Blanks bought their floor coverings from the Grosjeans.
“We are a small business,” she said. “We become really good friends with our customers. We pride ourselves in what we do.”