Cottage Charm

A designer cherishes her dad’s table


Photo by Martin Vecchio


Decorative pieces and practical hand-me-downs mingle well, especially at “the cottage.” Often, those functional furnishings evoke powerful childhood memories. For interior designer Lisa Petrella, one look at her dad’s vintage table, shown here with plants, takes her happily back to the home she grew up in.

“My 94-year-old mom said to me when we purchased the cottage, ‘What do you want for your new cottage?’ ” Petrella told her mother she’d like Dad’s old work bench table he kept in the basement, where she remembers him blissfully working on house projects. “That table was in my parents’ home for more than 50 years and, prior to that, it was at Ford Motor Co. world headquarters as a meeting table. It’s at least 70 years old,” Petrella says. Today, it stands proudly near an old shed Petrella fixed up that was on the property when she bought her Pentwater retreat. Whether she’s at the table planting flower pots or preparing for a Father’s Day potluck, it’s a good bet Petrella’s thinking about dear old Dad. More of the Petrellas’ cottage can be seen in this issue’s cover story.

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