Cousins have designs on superior interiors

When cousins Aaron Everitt of Jamestown Builders and Luke Schilling of Schilling Interiors decided to open an interior design studio together, something felt right.

Coming from four generations of Fort Collins entrepreneurial spirit and interior design, the two have a style that tips its hat to its Northern Colorado roots but is unafraid to embrace the modern – evidenced by a hanging marshmallow window display. Everitt shared what they bring to Northern Colorado spaces and why we should care about our interior environment.

Question: How did you come together with Luke Schilling, and what makes your partnership work so well?

Answer: We are actually cousins. We both are the same age and grew up here in Fort Collins. When I was building houses for Jamestown Builders, I used Schilling Interiors for all of my home projects. I had a client that wanted a very unique finish for a home I was designing for them, and Luke and I, through a little brainstorming, invented our reclaimed wood wall tile and the partnership was really born. As the national builder presence returned to Fort Collins, I decided I would reduce my homebuilding operations and merge our talents in the interior design and manufacturing portions of our business.

Q: Why is design important when it comes to the spaces we live and work in?

A: It impacts everything: how we feel, how we interact and live with each other and how we understand our relationship to the world around us. Great spaces make us more creative and productive and help bring perspective to a busy and chaotic world that comes at us at light speed. Living in Fort Collins, we often take great design for granted. The city has been well designed and thought through and, I think, is one of the compelling reasons it is such a sought-after place to live in the United States. If design is done well, it can translate that very same feeling of quality and community into every aspect of our life.

Q: What does E&S bring to the culture of downtown Fort Collins?

A: Our hope is we can provide community-enhancing design ideas that pay tribute to the heritage and history of Fort Collins while elevating the overall aesthetic of the homes and commercial spaces that are built in the town that both Luke and I love. We felt that while there are several wonderful design firms in Fort Collins and some other great places to purchase material, Everitt & Schilling could bring a unique spin on innovative materials and design ideas. We are not a design firm, but we are not just a flooring store either. We hope to be a team of curators for people who want great ideas and amazing products who work right alongside builders, designers and architects to give them the latest and best materials available in the marketplace.

Q: You’ve got a great space on Mountain Avenue downtown. Does most of your business come from foot traffic or has E&S become a destination?

A: We love the new location because it has generated a lot of foot traffic. Both Luke and I have a long history of doing work here in Fort Collins, and there is a little bit of word-of-mouth that helps sustain our business locally. Interestingly, the tile that we invented has really started to sprout wings, not just locally but nationally, and even to some degree on an international level. We have nine employees now in Windsor who make our reclaimed and up-cycled tile, and we now ship this great product all over the world.

Q: As a design studio owner, I’m guessing you put a lot of thought and creative energy into your own space. How do you want people to feel when they walk into your store, and how is that reflected in its interior design?

A: I hope people feel comfortable and inspired. I want them to be able to walk around and get great ideas quickly without feeling overwhelmed by too many choices or too many products that are all similar. We do subtle things each season that help give inspiration to the store and to liven up the space. This Christmas we became known as the store with the marshmallows because of our decor ideas for the season. We hope people will come in, grab a cup of our own roasted coffee or an adult beverage and spend time being inspired. Many of our customers just want to come look around see what we have to offer simply because they feel at home here. I like that feel and hope that we always hold onto that aesthetic ideal.

Q: What has been your favorite E&S project so far?

A: We did a fabulous home transformation at 502 Wayne St. that was a modern update of a home in Old Town that had fallen into bad disrepair. I also loved the work we did at 726 Mountain Ave. It was a home that really needed to “become beautiful” in the opinion of the owners, and I think we really were able to take it from a rather nondescript ’90s remodel and restore it to a glorious Arts and Crafts bungalow that could have been done in the 1920s.

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