With help from her husband and three children, Debra Gildersleeve turned her mother’s Mattituck clothing store into a home décor haven.
Following her mother’s retirement nearly 20 years ago, Debra Gildersleeve and her husband, Bill, took over the family business, Renee’s, transforming it from a women’s clothing store into one of the largest home décor retailers on the North Fork.
“We kind of got into the [home decorating] business by accident because we wound up carrying furniture to display the clothing and the jewelry, and then people ended up wanting to buy it,” Gildersleeve explains. “Now we’re literally 80 to 90 percent home furnishings.”
Located in Mattituck, Renee’s offers an extensive collection of beachy, modern, and industrial-style pieces from more than 200 vendors, as well as comprehensive design services. As owner, buyer, and designer, Gildersleeve is constantly working with clients to create unique, personalized spaces.
Sumptuous furnishings convey comfort and intimacy while neutral tones create a sense of space in this living room designed by Debra Gildersleeve.
“I always love adding the accessories—the color, the rugs, the pillows, the artwork, the lighting,” she says, “because to me that’s what brings a room to life and makes it cozy and personalizes it.” Although Gildersleeve is the sole designer and buyer at Renee’s, she gets help from her family in other areas of the business.
Bill is part owner, while their son, Will, works in the store and their daughter Morgan does the branding and photography, which features their older daughter, Taylor, as a model. “It really is a family affair,” Gildersleeve says. “One of us will always be involved in whatever is happening.” 10095 Main Rd., Mattituck, 298-4223