Designer opens shop in downtown Naperville for interiors or decoration


Lauren Fasolo discovered her passion for design while taking a drawing class at a community college.

The longtime Naperville resident was fascinated by what could be done with the right materials in the right space, so much so that a winding road took her to a leap of faith as she forged a career. Years later, she’s still jumping.

Fasolo has spent most of her adult life building credentials as an interior designer, but she recently expanded her business by opening a boutique in downtown Naperville. Ellce Home Design Studio and Shop not only offers design expertise, but its associates also sell furniture and other merchandise for homes.

Fasolo, a 1993 Naperville Central graduate, flirted with the idea of ​​a design boutique for years. She sold a small number of items at her old location in a house behind School of Rock on North Washington Street, but she never had the perfect space.

When Lululemon left its location at 21 W. Jefferson Ave., Fasolo grabbed it. Ellce Home Design Studio and Shop opened in early February.

“Downtown Naperville was where we needed to be,” Fasolo said. “It was a bit late. We were probably ready before COVID. Our space was great, but there was no exposure to the street. I wanted a space that worked better.

“Our customers were ready to come in and see more furniture,” she said. “We had developed relationships with all these big dealers, and we needed more space to show that off. It’s perfect for us.”


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Fasolo first relied on her design skills as one of six siblings who grew up in Naperville. She became an expert at maximizing every inch of space in the house, but especially in a bedroom she often shared.

Not knowing what she wanted to do after high school, Fasolo enrolled in classes at DuPage College. It was there that she took the drawing course that changed her life.

Fasolo earned his associate’s degree, spent time at an engineering firm, and even worked at a private detective agency before finding his passion again and graduating from Harrington College of Design in Chicago.

From there, she worked at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, managing high-end furniture showrooms. This led Fasolo to a job at Henredon, where she oversaw showrooms with Ralph Lauren and Barbara Barry furniture.

She quit her job at Henredon to return to Naperville and focus on her growing family. She gradually built an interior design business out of her home before returning full time about 10 years ago.

“It wasn’t your typical path, but it’s okay,” she said. “Sometimes I wish I had that normal college experience, but I’m not looking back. I really love what I do.”

Fasolo launched her first whole-house project in 2014. Since then, she has designed homes all over the country through word of mouth, but most of her business remains local.

At the Ellce Home Design Studio and Shop, customers can meet designers or shop for their home needs in a 2,000 square foot showroom. They can buy everything from sofas, upholstery and rugs to bedding and lighting.

“These are all the products that I put in my clients’ homes,” Fasolo said.

Foot traffic was somewhat slow, but largely due to the wintry weather, she said.

Fasolo said she was confident it would resume. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s her clientele.

“I feel like even in the last five years people are really at home,” she said. “And everything is so accessible with Pinterest and Instagram. People want a nice house.”

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