John David Hunter and Bob Winston, two of Cazenovia’s newest residents, are also the owners of one of Albany Street’s newest businesses, J.D Hunter Home. The 1,400-square-foot interior design store, located at 55 Albany Street, offers customers and wide variety of retail furniture and furnishings, as well as the personalized decorating services of Hunter and Winston, who have built reputations as acclaimed architectural and interior designers over the past four decades.
“[The store’s] function is to expose the public to our sense of style and taste as well as … help people understand that we are very accomplished at what we do. So far it’s been very well received,” Winston said. “For people who realize they can’t easily pull a room together — which isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do — we’ll do it for them. We meet with clients to assess what their needs are, measure the rooms to make a floor plan, discuss what textiles and furniture styles they like and then make a presentation.”
Hunter and Winston, who are both life- and business-partners, opened J.D. Hunter Home in mid-June after moving to Cazenovia from Connecticut. While the couple owned a similar business in Washington, Conn., Winston said they yearned for a change in scenery and decided to sell their New York City apartment. Their move to Cazenovia was prompted after years of visits, and was encouraged by their good friends Robert and Dianna Slodowitz, the owners of Notleymere Cottage on East Lake Road.
Earlier in their design career, Winston and Hunter had established a factory in Canada which can manufacture certain products to their specifications. Winston said this aspect enables them to pass savings on to their clients, as they price the tailored items around the same level at which other trade professionals would purchase them. They specialize in customized kitchens and decorative accessories, as well as lighting and upholstery.
The couple’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, House and Garden and New England Home. Winston said they have already received orders from a number Cazenovia families since moving to the area, but are also regularly summoned back to Connecticut, New York City and, on occasion, California to work with repeat customers.
“This retail operation represents a lot more than just this little space,” Winston said. “We hope to continue to do exactly what we’re doing and let all people in Central New York find out about us and capitalize on … the quality of offerings we have at really good prices.”
While Winston operates as the face of the business, his vast knowledge of textiles and interior accents perfectly complements the expertise of his counterpart, Hunter, who is an accomplished architectural designer. Hunter attended Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal before heading up the furniture department at Bloomingdales as its chief interior designer in the 1970s. Building off his knowledge, Hunter began to design for clients around the world before founding the successful Connecticut business, Tulip Tree Collection, with Winston.
J.D. Hunter Home in Cazenovia is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. To contact the store, call 815-4123 or email email@example.com.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.