Bernards Decorating was conceived and founded by my mother-in-law, Iris Paulik, in 1969. She originally learned to sew draperies and slipcovers from her mother. She continued working at this end of the business and worked in high end accommodations including the Waldorf Astoria and Plaza Hotel. At this point she realized she had a flair for design and selection of fabrics, not just construction of the finished product. When she moved to New Jersey from College Point, Queens, she envisioned a store where customers could purchase quality decorator fabrics and she could evaluate their decorating needs and making the appropriate selections. During this time she did much of the sewing herself.
As business grew Iris took on employees to help with the increased workload and gradually shifted to the help of quality workrooms as space in Bernardsville came at such a premium. She also moved several times throughout the years as leases and space opportunities came and went. Bernards Decorating has occupied space on Olcott Square, Claremont Road, The Bernards Inn, and finally here on Quimby Lane.
When I joined in 1969, the main feature of Bernards Decorating that impressed me was that Iris had created an atmosphere where people could feel comfortable working on their home interiors and shopping for fabrics and wallcoverings. It was truly a home away from home for her. Iris retired in 2004 and sadly passed away in 2012. Despite minor change that keep Bernards Decorating current and thriving business, we have strived to offer the same level for hospitality and comfortable shopping experience as when the Iris opened our doors in September of 1969. Being able to share in her dreams all these years has been an unparalleled experience for me.