Lots of creative ideas in store | VailDaily.com

Lots of creative ideas in store

Daily Staff Writer

Pinecones Gifts & Interiors142 Beaver Creek PlaceAvon, Colo. 81620970-949-4400 • fax 949-4410Owners: Marilynn Nicola and Rondi Berge, a mother/daughter team.Type of Business:A full-service interior design studio with home furnishings, gifts, accessories, antiques, faux floral arrangements and more.What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition?We listen to the client, and design for the client. We specialize in custom-designed furniture pieces not found anywhere else. We often begin a project long before the ground has broken and continue until the final accessory is place in the client’s house.We will do any style of home whether it is mountain elegance, traditional, country French, contemporary or Southwestern. No job is too big or too small.What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers?Because we listen to our client, we try to find the perfect items to fill their homes. If we cannot find some thing already made, we will design it for them and have it made. We have many high-quality craftsmen that we have worked with over the years. We also give many options. If the client does not like the first choice we give them we will continue to present other options until they have found the right item for their house.Background and experienceMarilynn Nicola’s career began with Continental House, a Beverly Hills design firm while she was attending Santa Monica College and Chanard’s Art Institute. She originally moved to the Vail Valley in 1973 after owning the Norway Haus Ski Shop in Breckenridge for 11 years. She has been designing residential and commercial projects in the Vail Valley since the early 1970s, in addition to being the senior designer at Est Est, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. – a position she held for 17 years.A couple of her projects in Colorado include the Gorsuch Ltd. stores and the Christiania Lodge. In Scottsdale, she designed residences at Desert Highlands, Desert Mountain, Troon North and Paradise Valley and her work has been featured in Phoenix Home & Garden, Southwest Passages, Scottsdale Scene and other publications.Rondi Berge has been involved in retail and merchandising for 25 years. She received a marketing degree from the University of Colorado, but decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and got into interior design and visual merchandising.She has worked for Ethan Allen, Gorsuch Ltd. and Home Outfitters, and is also one of two stylists for the Vail/Beaver Creek Catalogue.What led you to start a business here?We have had an office in the valley for several years but started actively looking for new office space about a year ago, where we could feature some gifts and accessories while operating the design studio. We thought Avon was ready for a unique new shopping experience.

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