M. Gerard Murphy celebrates move to Arkville
By Brian Sweeney
M. Gerard Home, a full-service design and furnishing business, celebrated the store’s move to Route 28, Arkville at a July 27 open house.
Owner Gerry Murphy said that about 150 well-wishers attended the grand opening event and got a firsthand glimpse of new store which features furniture, rugs, lamps and all types of decorative pieces to create the perfect décor for home or office settings.
A designer in New York City for 25 years, Gerry and his partner, Jacinto Jorge, built a weekend house in the Catskills about 12 years ago. After three years of commuting to their upstate retreat, “We decided we liked it better up here,” Gerry recalled.
Gerry was unsure if there was an adequate market for his design work in the region, but decided to take a chance and rent a space at the Commons Building in Margaretville. There was indeed a demand for his services and Gerry soon had rented a larger space. He quickly outgrew that location and leased an adjacent storefront.
Because of the store’s second floor location (in the middle of the village), deliveries of large items often proved problematic. Plus, the amount of retail space was still not ample. As a result, Gerry began looking around for a location that could better accommodate his operation.
Last winter, Gerry was returning from day of skiing and his passenger, Candace Rudd, pointed out the former DeBari’s Flooring building that was listed for sale.
“When I saw the loading dock, I was sold,” he recalled.
Making it official
He soon reached a purchase agreement with owners Gerard and Corinne DeBari and then began transforming the 2,700-square-foot building into an inviting shop that immediately conveys Gerry’s impeccable design sense.
Gerry and Jorge (as he’s known) worked seven days a week, 12 hours a day for two months as they shaped the building into a warm and inviting space that’s a walk-in advertisement for the design services being offered.
The owners did virtually all of the work themselves, aside from widening the driveway and some exterior stonework.
When Gerry first established his business in the Catskills, he continued traveling to the metropolitan area an average of once a week to work with existing clientele. His upstate venture has grown to the point where nearly all of Gerry’s work is now performed within a 50-mile radius.
“Business has been incredibly successful — it’s doubled each year since I opened,” Gerry remarked.
In addition to his extensive training (including an undergraduate degree from Montclair State College School of Fine Arts and a master of fine arts degree from the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts), Gerry has a keen understanding of what it takes to grow his enterprise. The key, he emphasized, is taking care of customers’ needs.
“Service – that’s why the business has been so successful. If people just bought stuff and had to pick it up, I probably wouldn’t do a quarter of the sales that I do.
Will do it all
“If customers wish, I will go to their homes, take measurements, order pieces and set them up,” he explained.
Gerry said he’s called upon to design everything from a single room to entire homes.
“It’s full-service. If clients want me to, for remodels, I will even hire contractors and oversee every step of the project,” he noted.
Although he sells well-rated brands, Gerry said he’s able to offer pricing that is very competitive.
“I find most people want good quality, but they don’t want the most expensive thing. By selling good quality items at wholesale prices – I do triple or quadruple the business volume and everyone is happy,” he pointed out.
Stock or custom
Gerry said that customers can make retail purchases identical to floor models or have anything custom made.
“We have seven different furniture lines (with more on the way). You can order from the catalogs, choosing fabrics, or I can do the interior design work,” he noted.
Many customers also come to M. Gerard Home seeking assistance with selecting window treatments — including style, material choices and measurements. “Space planning” — making sure that furnishings are the proper scale for rooms — is also a service that Gerry offers.
“People don’t realize what you can do for the look of a place just by moving a piece of furniture, rugs, etc.,” remarked Gerry.
While Gerry handles all the design work, Jorge assists with just about every other facet of the operation.
M. Gerard Home is located at 44310 State Route 28, Arkville. For additional information, please call 845 586-1114 or visit: mgerard.com