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Twins open interior design shop in Belle Plaine’s Main Street

Double Take Design Inc. celebrated its grand opening in downtown Belle Plaine May 1. Shown presenting a plant to owner Jerilyn Brown-DeRaad, right, and her sister and business partner Jacki Huelsenbeck, center, is Jeanne Duffy, Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation executive director.

A Belle Plaine interior design business has moved into new quarters in the city’s downtown business district.

Double Take Design Inc., owned by Jerilyn Brown-DeRaad and operated in partnership with her twin sister, Jacki Huelsenbeck, opened its doors at 832 12th St. on May 1. The commercial and residential interior design business operated for the last year and a half out of the former Maid Rite building at 204 13th St., on the city’s west side.

It was always Jerilyn and Jacki’s intent to bring their business to the heart of their hometown.

“We wanted to be on Main Street because of everything going on with the Main Street district right now. We wanted to be where it would be easy for people to walk in,” said Jerilyn, who founded the business in 2005 and currently serves as board president of the Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation.

They believe in Belle Plaine and want to see it grow.

 “For a little town, we have a lot,” Jerilyn said. “We have a country club, an aquatic center, a police force, a library and a museum. We have a lot you take for granted.”

The new store location provides an expanded, furniture and home décor showroom, as well as a design studio on the second floor, where customers can view hundreds of samples of upholstery, fabric and floor coverings.

 “A lot of that we take out to people’s homes, so they don’t have to worry about going up the steps, unless they want to come in and browse,” Jerilyn said.

Walk-in traffic and appointments for design consultations have increased since the business moved downtown, said the sisters, both Kirkwood Community College interior design graduates.

Double Take Design Inc. prides itself on offering the latest designer trends at very affordable prices. In addition to home furnishings, the store will offer an expanded line of gift items, including baby, shower, wedding and personal items within the next month.

Preparations to move the business into the former Carousel Dance Studio took two years, Jerilyn said. Empty several years, the building needed extensive repair and remodeling.

 “We had to tear out walls, put in a new subfloor, new ceiling and lights,” Jacki said. A wall that separated two efficiency apartments on the second floor was removed to create an enlarged area for the design studio.

Family and friends combined talents to sand and stain the studio’s original wooden floor, as well as paint, drywall and install new plumbing throughout the building. Assisting with the huge makeover were Jerilyn’s husband, John; Jacki’s husband, Brian; Jerilyn and Jacki’s father, Denny Brown; their brother, Jeff Brown; friend Jim Hlas and others.

The sisters hoped to remove the false ceiling on the first floor to reveal the original tin ceiling, but they discovered the tin had been extensively damaged by fire and was beyond repair.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Jacki said of improvements still to be made. The building’s south exterior wall must be replaced due to wood that deteriorated between the brick layers.

Jerilyn and Jacki’s ultimate goal is to restore the historic flavor of the building’s exterior to tie in with the city’s streetscape and façade master plan.

As for their previous location, the two aren’t quite sure what will become of the little building they and their family remodeled as Double Take Design’s first storefront.           

One possibility is to transform it into a rental cabin for visitors to the city. “It’s a cute little building and a nice size to have a living room, kitchen area and a nice bathroom,” Jerilyn stated.

Double Take Design Inc. is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or by appointment only Monday and Tuesday. For more information, contact Double Take Design Inc. at (319) 444-2082.


UPDATED June 22, 2010 12:30 PM

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