DREAM HOUSE HOME & GARDEN began as a 450 square foot shop in Washington Depot Connecticut, selling only the custom made items designed and produced by the Graham-Sullivan Design Partners. Early products included: Custom Fine Art Paintings, Custom Painted Portraits, Photography, Floral Arrangements, Furniture Design, Painted Furniture and Ceramic Design. In time other products such as garden urns and ornaments, custom made Tibetan and Indian rugs, as well as other handmade products were added to the mix of beautiful and unusual products offered at Dream House. DREAM HOUSE HOME & GARDEN
Company History Since 1995
DREAM HOUSE HOME AND GARDEN
In the early Spring of 1998, the partners found an old warehouse with high ceilings and wrap around windows overlooking the Bantam River complete with waterfall. The location was spectacular but the amount of work needed to transform the old factory space into a "Dream House" store was staggering. Undaunted, the Graham-Sullivan team undertook the challenge and within six months proceeded to renovate every inch of the 7000 square foot loft from floor to ceiling. They painted coloful faux finishes on every wall and created "rooms" within the large open space to display their wares. There was even room for a wonderful Art Gallery (which they named "Glass Mountain Gallery" after a childrens story written by Teresa's mother). It was "the place" for unusual and interesting art and artifacts. Teresa also began designing an "at home" collection of womens' clothing, which she manufactured in New York City. Glass Mountain Gallery produced numerous shows and brought the works of excellent artists such as Jim Dine, Robert De Nero Sr.,John Walker, Lester Johnston, Aaron Fink, Trevor Jones, as well as an exhibition of Women Artists of Litchfield and "Young Masters" who were recent graduates of Yale and Boston University. By 2001, the Graham-Sullivan design partnership was dividing it's time between their Bantam factory/art gallery and New York City. Their customer base had expanded into New York and as far away as Florida, Ohio, Texas and California.
2001-PRESENT: Dream House Home and Garden Shop opened for business at it's present location, 792 Bantam Road, in August of 2001. From their new location, the Graham-Sullivan Design Partnership was able to grow their custom art and interior design business as well as continue developing landscape design and product design. In January of 2002 they launched a collection of custom handbags under the name "Talulah" (Teresa's childhood nickname).The bags were designed by Teresa in her studios in Bantam and Torrington but were made in New York City. Thus the lable was called "Talulah New York". They sold the bags exclusively at Dream House and were so successful that in January 2004, they rented a booth at the New York Gift Fair, where they took so many orders that it became obvious they needed their own factory to meet the demand and still control the quality of their product. By the fall of 2004 they had opened a modest showroom and factory in the garment center of Manhattan and were producing womens' handbags and accessories. The workers and artisans who made Talulah bags were hired from the numerous talented people who had been let go by other top manufacturers who began closing their New York factories and sending product to be manufactured in the far east. The Graham-Sullivan design team felt strongly about keeping their product "made in America". The orders kept coming in, causing the need for Talulah to continue to expand their operations. By 2005 they created a 9000 square foot showroom and factory for womens' handbags and accessories not only for Talulah New York but they also produced products for other well known designers and private lables. By 2010 Talulah New York was being sold in over 375 stores and specialty boutiques across America. The Graham-Sullivan team traveled to Italy twice a year to develop original textiles and leathers for their products. Throughout this time, Dream House in Bantam continued to be open on weekends and by appointment in order to provide the special service their customers had become accustomed to.
Meanwhile, in New York, they were developing an exclusive high end line of handbags for one of the major department stores when the economic downturn began to take a toll on many of Talulah's customers. Orders fell off and the department store was unable to proceed with developing a new designer at that time. It was a perfect storm. The partnership decided to close the New York factory and bring Talulah back to their design studio in Connecticut. This enabled them to work and focus on their flagship store in Bantam. Talulah New York bags continue to be sold both wholesale and retail at Dream House.
Today Dream House Home and Garden is better than ever and is overflowing with product and creativity. The Graham-Sullivan design team are uniquly qualified to help clients achieve their own "Dream House" project no matter how large or small the budget. Because of their 22+ years of experience as artists and designers at Dream House, they know how to provide service and give the look and feel of quality without breaking the bank.
The original small shop expanded to almost 1100 square feet . The partners also added other services for their customers such as interior design, garden design and special faux finish and mural painting. They continued to grow.
By 1998 Dream House had outgrown it's humble beginnings and needed more space to continue to offer customers more complete design services.
By the summer, the Graham-Sullivan Partnership had decided that it was time to purchase a permanent location for Dream House. A charming old Victorian House with a wrap around porch and an acre of land was the ideal choice, and it was located right there in Bantam.