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Northville Business Spotlight on Ellen Leigh Interiors

This week, we highlight a home-based Northville business.

There are many interesting businesses that call Northville home, from clothing retailers to restaurants to salons and even businesses you might not have known existed in your own backyard.

Each Thursday, we'll feature a new Northville business to learn more about its roots and more.

This week, we feature a home-based business called Ellen Leigh Interiors. The owner for whom it is named answers a few questions about it below.

Q: When were you founded?

Ellen Leigh Interiors began as an Interior Design firm specializing in commercial interiors in 1990, and evolved into one that now specializes in hand-painted murals, designer wall and furniture finishes starting in 1997.

Q: How did your business come to be?

My first love has always been painting, I entered Wayne State University in the fine arts program, but switched to interior design as being more marketable as a career. After getting my degree and many successful years as a commercial interior designer, I became interested in learning designer finishes, and tried my hand at painting wall murals in my own home. A couple of friends asked me to paint in their homes, and I started carrying photographs and samples of my work to show whoever showed any interest. Amazingly, it snowballed from that beginning, and now 90% of my work is painting and has been for over 10 years. I really love the work, and people love having such unique designs and finishes in their homes and businesses. Most of my work comes through direct referral, but my web site and blog at www.ellenleigh.com have also helped considerably as an on-line portfolio to direct people to me.

Q: Why did you choose Northville?

I grew up in Livonia and lived there for many years, but most of my clients are in Northville and Plymouth. I had the opportunity to move to Northville in 2007, and jumped on it. I love the small town feel, friendliness and love of art that can be found here.

Q: What kinds of services do you offer?

Along with hand-painted wall murals and designer paint finishes (AKA faux finishes), I can provide interior design consultation, space planning, staging and even just furniture rearrangement. I have several clients who call me every time they need to do any updating to their homes to help select carpeting, flooring, window treatments or anything else they want to feel confident about selecting.

Q: What's a fact about your business that most customers probably don't know?

I believe any talents I have are a gift from God, and in everything I paint I include a special symbol that signifies my gratitude for that gift. It isn't always obvious, but it is always there. I have a deep and abiding Faith, and it is a part of everything I do. I've written more about it on my blog on a page entitled "Signatures", and on another: "Why I Paint".

Q: What do you want your business to be best known for?

Personalized service and reliability. The murals and finishes I design are completely unique for that client and often integrate special interests, family history and are color coordinated for their interiors. I deliver more than expected, on time, on budget and in a professional manner.

Q: What's your most popular product or service?

Since everything I do is so unique it's hard to say, but I have done several 'window' murals on walls and in rooms that don't have windows- the client can have any landscape they want to view out of their 'window'- mountains, tropical beaches, meadows waterfalls, cities- I've painted a view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower three times so far. This year I went back to a client's home after 8 years and completely changed the look of the entire bathroom- new finish on the walls, darker over-glaze on the vanity to coordinate with the new granite top and bronze fixtures, but preserved the 'window' mural I had done the previous visit. The mural looks even more amazing in the new space. Family 'towns' are popular too. I design and paint buildings in architectural styles that mimic that small town look, but the business names reflect family interests and history, the addresses are birthdates and anniversaries. I love to work with the client to really personalize the work.

Interested in being featured in our Northville Business Spotlight? Email nancy.kelsey@patch.com for more details.

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