Sanctuary Interior Design will open July 16 near Lewes

After decades of creating high-end interior designs in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC areas, Hillary Summerbell, owner of Sanctuary Interior Design, opens a studio in Lewes.

Stores in Bethesda, Md., and DC are stressful and boujie, Summerbell said, standing in her near-full space in the Five Points development. The concept of the studio in Lewes is much more relaxed, she said.

Located next to Edible Arrangements, Sanctuary Interior Designs is set to open its doors with an open house on Friday, July 16. Summerbell described the inventory style of its Lewes location as casual luxury, with high-end design.

“I want it to be cool, but beautiful,” Summerbell said.

Summerbell has been doing interior design for over 20 years and this will be the third location for Summerbell. She said she bought a home in Lewes after spending time in the Cape Town area while working on a project for one of her Washington, DC-area clients.

“I just fell in love with the area,” she said.

Summerbell said her goal was to bring high-quality design into a home, without being stuffy about it. It’s someone’s house, so it must be comfortable, she said.

Summerbell said she has the ability to do the traditional turquoise and blue nautical theme for a beach house, but her experience and connections allow for a wider range.

The blues is pretty feminine, Summerbell said. The collection offered at Sanctuary could translate well to a man’s spot, she said.

Summerbell said the stocks came from international marketplaces – Greece, Mediterranean, Saint-Tropez, London and Paris.

“Everything is handpicked,” she said.

Summerbell is the owner, but she has a trio of women trained in interior design who will work with clients – manager Ashley Riddle, Katelyn Rehmann and Phillipa Baker.

“I’m the owner, but it’s really a creative team,” she said.

Sanctuary Interior Design not only supplies the furniture, rugs and designer pieces, Summerbell said, it will also design a space while working from a contractor’s plans, which means wallpaper, window treatments , paint colors and more.

“I’ve been in this business for so long that it’s possible to specify everything,” Summerbell said.

The Sanctuary Interior Design studio will return at least twice a year for new collections, Summerbell said. What’s in the studio is a hundredth of what they get their hands on, she says.

In-store hours for Sanctuary Interior Design are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. For more information, visit, call 240-858-6948 or 302-313-5436, or email Ashley Riddle at [email protected]

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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