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An Interior Designer Becomes Her Own Client

In her complete home renovation, designer Page Franzel had a chance to customize to her exact tastes while also creating a test lab for her business

English cocker spaniels Ali and Ziggy cuddle on the sofa next to Franzel, who takes her own advice and selects indoor-outdoor fabrics that stand up to paw prints and sticky fingers.

English cocker spaniels Ali and Ziggy cuddle on the sofa next to Franzel, who takes her own advice and selects indoor-outdoor fabrics that stand up to paw prints and sticky fingers.

Page Franzel always wondered what it would be like to have a home in the private waterfront community where several of her clients lived. There was a natural charm that appealed. “Every time I was there I would see so many beautiful birds, and the fact that it’s an Audubon community really intrigued me,” Franzel enthuses. “I remember having a feeling of being in a very peaceful place.” That feeling, plus the desire to downsize and be closer to her Page2 Design office on Royal Palm Point, prompted Franzel to contact Kimberly Thorpe of Treasure Coast Sotheby’s Realty, put the house she had lived in for years on the market, and begin looking for a new one.

“This whole adventure started because I needed to make a change. It’s something I never would have considered when Jerry was still alive,” says Franzel, whose husband of 25 years was her business partner and chief encourager. “He would have wanted me to move forward.”

And she has, into a two-bedroom house she redesigned and made her own. It didn’t take long before Franzel saw herself in the role of a client, one with expensive tastes, but on a limited budget.

“I would walk from room to room saying this is what I would like to have here and over there. I love designing kitchens — that’s why I had so much passion about doing mine. I’d always wanted to have a quartz countertop with a waterfall on the sides, but I also did the front, something I had never done for a client before. I found they’re not only beautiful, but the front of the island never has to be ‘repainted.’ It’s perfect and indestructible,” Franzel says with obvious delight.