Shelly Walker’s award-winning interior design firm, Finishing Touches Home Decor, Inc., was more than two decades in the making—the result of her desire to bring the best-of-the-best in home decor to Saratoga Springs and the greater Capital Region. “I’ve had an interior design business for more than 20 years,” says Walker. “I had a few different locations for my design studio, but I always wanted a store of my own, so in 2015 we opened Finishing Touches.” Since then, the Wilton-based Finishing Touches has won numerous interior design awards at the Saratoga Builders Association Showcase of Homes and the Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association Parade of Homes, and has been featured on TLC’s Trading Spaces. Why open a business in the Saratoga area? For one, Walker lives nearby, so opening a store close to home made sense. But it’s also because of the mystique of the town. “Saratoga’s just a beautiful area, full of history and charm,” she says.
Located just a quarter mile off of exit 16, with ample parking, Finishing Touches is a convenient stop on or off the Northway. But Finishing Touches doesn’t serve only the Saratoga area; it’s also perfectly positioned to handle clients in the Lake George and Albany areas, and all the way up to the Adirondacks. “We can design houses in various styles—from refined rustic to Saratoga glam and everything in between,” says Walker. “Our intention is to create a beautiful atmosphere for people to go home to, so they can relax after a long day.”
For those potential customers wondering about Finishing Touches’ interior design savvy, one need not look further than the business’ own unique home decor/design shop. It’s headquartered in a historic church, which Walker and her team gutted and worked tirelessly on refurbishing and remodeling. It has since won a historical society award, and is open for visits by tourists and clients alike. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” says Walker. “On the outside, it may just look like a little, old church, but on the inside, we’re doing great things!” In April, the Finishing Touches shop was part of the historic site tour—and the business has a model condominium on display starting in May, which will also be on the Saratoga Showcase of Homes tour in September, and a model house on the Parade of Homes Tour June 2-3 and June 9-10. (A second model house will be included on the Saratoga Showcase as well.) Finishing Touches also flips houses, buying, repairing and remodeling them before putting them back on the market. The way Walker sees it, “We’re beautifying neighborhoods one house at a time.” (In addition to community building, Finishing Touches will be hosting some fun events at the store this summer to benefit local charities, so stay tuned for those.)
Walker’s aware that Finishing Touches has stiff competition in the area from large chain stores, such as Home Goods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx, but she believes her firm can bring something to the table that they can’t: locally curated and sourced products. “What people don’t know is that we carry local, handmade, one-of-a-kind items from local craftsman, including pottery, candles, honey, tea, pillows and furniture. If anyone is looking for a specific piece of furniture and just can’t find it, we can have it made for them,” says Walker. “You’re not going to get that from big-box stores.”
Above all, Walker really enjoys what she does—and knows that Finishing Touches is more than just an as-advertised business. “We love helping clients create their dream home,” says Walker. “We provide an extensive array of services—from paint color selection to designing a brand-new home.” (Find a complete list of services on their website.) That, and “we are a down-to-earth, friendly, local store contributing to our local economy,” says Walker.