“To be in business, you have to change,” explains Cohasset’s Bob Ferreira, owner of Country House Furniture & Interiors, one of Cohasset's oldest family-owned businesses, which has seen other retailers come and go during its nearly six decades in operation.
“It changes constantly, and you have to keep up with what's going on around you,” wife Arlene agrees.
Their couple's business started off in 1964 as Suburban Carpet, a flooring and carpet cleaning business originally in Hingham and then in Cushing Plaza. Seeing an opportunity, Arlene expanded and opened up Country House Antiques in 1979, a shop offering fine European antiques imported from overseas.
“For years, my mother was the decorator — everyone would come in and wanted her,” recalls Lisa Evans, who spent two decades as a fashion merchandising buyer before joining the family business.
During the ‘80s and ‘90s, the antique store supplied furnishings for Hingham-based Talbots shops as the brand expanded across the country, supplying its trademark look of red Oriental rugs and pine farmhouse tables.
But Arlene realized tastes were shifting again, away from antiques and more toward transitional stylings. “People were coming to buy antiques, and then going somewhere else to buy a sofa, or asking if I did decorating,” recalls Arlene.
So she rebranded as Country House Furniture & Interiors, offering new furnishings and offered design services, ultimately bringing on daughters Lisa and Kim Jalewsky to work as full-time in-house designers. In 2021, the business moved from its previous location at 818 CJC across the street to its current location in the homey converted barn.
Today, Country House offers in-home consultations and complimentary full interior design services, sourcing directly with manufacturers such as Dash & Albert, Lee, and Mohawk.
“We're kind of a hidden gem,” says Lisa. “We are a one-stop shop for carpeting, wallpapers, window treatments. You name it; we can do it. You don't have to shop all around; you don't have to leave your town — you can get what you need right in Cohasset.”
After an initial in-home consultation, the two sisters enjoy working collaboratively with residents. “We work hand in hand with our clients — it's their home, we want them to be happy,” Lisa says. “We generally start a project with the upholstered furniture, then layer in color and fabrics, then styling accessories. We take pride in the fact that we have resources that we can find what people need.”
The designers will give consideration to the small but important details easily overlooked, such as the cushion depth of a sofa. “You don’t want to order something online and then say, Oooh, I made a mistake,” Lisa says. They also can guarantee satisfaction, working directly with manufacturers.
Along with the Ferreiras' business, home styles have evolved as well. Heavy silk drapes, Oriental rugs, and big wooden armoirs housing giant TVs have fallen out of favor. Cohasset's style is more “sophisticated” than in the past, Kim says, with neutrals, greys, and blues the preferred color schemes.
One thing that never changes: "The satisfaction when we finish the job, and someone sends a message, saying, Oh my God, I just love it!" Lisa says. "When you've made somebody happy, you just feel good.”
Country House Furniture & Interiors
823 Chief Justice Cushing Highway, Cohasset