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216 Park Avenue
Petoskey, MI 49770

Come enjoy Downtown Petoskey on Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay with unique shops and restaurants in the Gaslight Shopping District. Serving Bay Harbor, Bay View, Harbor Springs, Walloon Lake and Emmet County.

Downtown Petoskey: Design Central


Downtown Petoskey: Design Central

Andi Symonds

November 1, 2017

As the fall chills and cocooning begins, some folks become reacquainted with the inside of their home – and they begin to wonder…


Well, wonder no more. Welcome to Downtown Petoskey and the many design centers that can take you to the promise land of avant-garde decorating. Starting a new series, today, we’ll discuss three of our design shops.

Designs By Dawn, recently opened at 416 East Mitchell Street, and is a 100% customer experience center. Until opening this new location, she had been designing since 1998, but formally opened Designs by Dawn in 2003 as part of Lake Street Design Studio.


“We have seventeen vignettes for a customer to experience, and as we created them, we went for the ‘Wow’ factor,” explains Dawn Whyte. “However, we are not a retail store.”

When you walk into the studio, it’s comparable to walking into the foyer of a home, and at that moment the ‘wow’ kicks in. They can order a cappuccino for you on a computer pad, and as you make your way back through the other experiences, the drink will be ready for you in their conference room. Except for the demo switch toward the front of the shop, everything from lighting to sound is controlled by that computer pad.

“There’s nothing different than what we’ve been doing since 2003. We’re just doing it better than we’ve done it before.”


Over at 410 East Lake Street, you can wander into Chatham House Interior Design. The boutique retail and design shop allows one to shop locally for items not available anywhere else.

 “We provide access for designers and contractors to Visual Comfort Lighting instead of having to place orders in Ann Arbor or Chicago,” notes Beth who came to work for owners Kali Weber and Shelly Knudson after they were “shocked” at the amount of retail business in Downtown Petoskey. “They asked me to start right away!”

Beth says they’re going to have more specialty items for the Holidays, and if you haven’t been in the shop yet, try. It’s like sitting in a comfortable living room, with anything you’d want at your fingertips.

 “Both Kali and Shelly have residences here so they’re available for everyone’s design needs,” Beth shared.

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A few doors north from Chatham House is Kelly Paulsen Interior Design at 224 Park Avenue on the walkway of Pennsylvania Park.

“I do a lot of architectural work for builders and contractors. But I also do full service designing,” she says. “I opened the studio July 1st of this year, but have been in town for fifteen years.”


The hours are by appointment only, and Kelly will always come to your home to begin the process of design.

“I carry multiple furniture and accessory lines but I don’t do retail at the studio.”

And as we did the interview, Kelly was on site at a client’s home doing what she does best. - customer service. So, don’t be shy if you come upon her door and find it locked. She’s awaiting your call wherever she is.

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