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Curated furnishings for the home

A walk to the Public Market along Railroad Street in downtown Rochester is full of unexpected pleasures. To my surprise, Warehouse127 home (across from BXCR Donuts), is a hidden gem filled with furniture and one-of-a-kind items for the home from boutique craftspeople and manufacturers.

The brainchild of Kelli Berg, principal designer and founder of Warehouse127 home (WH127 home), this sun-drenched store was once a boarded-up storage space for a supplier at the market. After a year-and-a-half of restoration and renovation, Berg uncovered thirty-two windows, preserved original architectural details, replaced a small red door with a custom glass and iron entryway, and rid the place of a drop ceiling to expose the rafters.

The result: an interior showroom filled with vignettes that make the space feel like you’re walking through a gallery of interiors. Natural elements combine effortlessly with more modern accents. Every corner provides an area of interest from lithographs of birds’ nests and feathers to leather armchairs, textured throws, oversized pillows, and handmade ceramics. In short, if you’re looking for inspiration or contemporary design ideas for your home, this is the place.  

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Senior manager Sarah Anderson, owner Kelli Berg, and design associate Lindsie Farrance

Berg’s entrepreneurial life began as a designer of luxury weddings and social events. In a field, at a lake house, or on a private estate, her events were designed to make an experience memorable.

The warehouse where she stored her rental inventory was right across the street from WH127 home, the retail space she opened in 2018. 

According to Berg, design is at the heart of everything she does, whether event design or interiors. 

She says she wanted to stay in the neighborhood, an area of the city she loves. Looking down Railroad Street from her 9,000-square-foot store (5,000 square feet of showroom with 4,000 square feet of storage in back) suits her just fine.

Berg’s aesthetic can be seen in the curated selection of items in the store. Her goal is to make her customers and clients feel comfortable and welcome.  

Her background in graphic design is evident in her design choices. Bold, printed pillows, artwork with strong graphic elements, and furnishings selected for their lines and angles fill the shop.

One-of-a-kind works are chosen for quality of construction, materials, and organic elements. “I look for quality work done with love. Every piece has a story. I love telling people about these stories, like the daughter who makes ceramics to honor her mother’s love of kitchen and hearth. There are so many touching connections,” she says.

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According to Berg, she’s expert at sensing trends—what’s coming, the next big thing—and her store reflects that.  Her personal aesthetic: “I love a big-city vibe with a laid-back, comfortable feel. I gravitate toward an organic look with refinement, traditional that’s been updated, timeless interiors.”

Most goods for sale at WH127 home are made in the US, with a few select items coming from Europe. 

For example, an 1800’s florist’s worktable from France serves as the store’s cash wrap and is, by far, my favorite feature. 

The bridge from interiors to events began with families and clients who’d experienced what Berg had done for their events. They wanted to bring that design into their homes. 

“The design business started out as a client-based enterprise. Now, I’d say the store relies mostly upon walk-in traffic; people who like what they see and want tips on enhancing their homes,” Berg says. “I rely upon instinct and, my clients say, a refined eye. I’m grateful my clients seem to love what I provide.”

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“I believe WH127 home offers a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone searching for that unique item either for their home or as a special gift, as well as clients looking to curate a room or refresh the décor in their home. Projects of any size are welcome,” says Berg.

Before COVID, Berg launched the Blueprint Series, workshops with instruction in home staging, entertaining, gift-giving, wreath-making, storyboarding, and building charcuterie boards.

 “I love hospitality and entertaining and enjoy sharing what I know. I thought people might like to get together to learn something new.  The series was a huge success. We have plans to revive our workshops in the fall.”

 The next time you head to Rochester’s Public Market, stop at Warehouse127 home. You might just walk away with a little something more than groceries.  

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