Rick Babusci, Ethan Allen's design center manager describes the relationship in one word: A partnership. "It’s not as simple as sending over a work order and scheduling the day and time for the work to be done. It’s like having someone on the team; there’s a face-to-face relationship that I find really helpful.”
The showroom at the Ethan Allen furniture store on Manheim Pike is as residential as it is commercial. As you mosey from vignette to vignette, past leather recliners, ornate end tables and stately bed sets, it’s easy to picture yourself in someone’s den, dining room or bedroom. All the details are there, from linens, throws and pillows on the beds to evocative artwork, window treatments and paint on the walls.
As Ethan Allen design consultant Linda Stabinski explains, each vignette is arranged with one goal in mind: to inspire. “When a client comes in, we work to help them identify their style,” says Stabinski. She works directly with customers to create personalized looks for their homes. “Very rarely does someone recreate exactly what we’ve shown, so I’ll build a room that suits their lifestyle, their wishes, their favorite colors, and I’ll spec everything down to the paint colors.”
For years, Ethan Allen has relied upon Two Dudes Painting Company to maintain the many walls throughout its massive 13,000-square-foot Lancaster store. What’s resulted is a relationship rooted in trust – that the quality and attention to detail will be nothing but top-notch, that the work will be done in a professional and timely manner, that the final product will be cutting edge and ahead of the fashion curve.
This type of long-term relationship is something design center manager Rick Babusci had not previously encountered in his career with Ethan Allen. It’s not that the Lancaster store has a painting need different than any other store location; having worked at a number of different Ethan Allen design centers, Babusci knows quite well that each store requires the same amount of painting, undergoing two major redesigns a year that are coordinated by the corporate office. But in the year that he’s led the Lancaster store’s operations, he’s come to realize that Two Dudes simply brings more to the table – and to the walls – than what is the norm elsewhere.
The word he uses to describe it? A partnership. “It’s not as simple as sending over a work order and scheduling the day and time for the work to be done. It’s like having someone on the team; there’s a face-to-face relationship that I find really helpful.”
When it was decided a year ago that the Lancaster store would undergo a full-scale renovation, the design team at Ethan Allen lobbied to have the corporate office award the painting contract to Two Dudes. “At this point, they’ve got every room mapped out and preset to be quoted, so if we need to make a quick change or a particular room quoted out, they can do it for us very easily.”
At Ethan Allen, the paint on the walls isn’t just a minor or overlooked detail – it’s an important element of the display. “Our clients don’t just come to Ethan Allen for furniture,” says Babusci, “they come here for the expertise of the design team. So the store is our calling card, it’s our credibility; it needs to look spotless, it needs to look perfect. So what paint we use and how we use it is something that they’re very interested in and informs their own decision-making for their homes. ”
“I think paint can make or break a room,” says Stabinski. “It’s really important to have trust in your painter, to know that they’re going to get it right when you’ve asked for a very specific look for them. Two Dudes are my go-to for any of my clients doing any painting, whether it’s one room or a whole house."