RACHELLE ROTH ATTRIBUTES her eye for choosing color and fabric to her always nattily dressed Belgian father. She took that know-how first to the fashion business in New York where she forecast trends and then, with a stint in between for interior design school, to the furnishings and accessories store she started with her husband, Jeffrey, on Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda in 1991.
“We were a good team: He had the retail experience and the personality; I had the innate sense of design.” That combination led to lots of design customers and tons of retail sales. Initially the store, Urban Country, was seriously country, chock-a-block with English pine furniture, quilts and crafts. Today, the Arlington Road industrial-looking, open space with exposed pipes in the high ceiling features merchandise from 400 manufacturers, including Lee Industries, Bernhardt and Dash & Albert rugs. Styles range from vintage to Americana to urban hip, and in price from a coffee table with an iron base for $719 to a four-seater sofa for $3,600 to the much more costly Ralph Lauren Home (RLH) line, which Roth will begin to carry in May 2014.
Roth’s husband and soulmate died 14 years ago, but her two daughters have stepped up to take on key marketing roles and she has nothing but high praise for her tight-knit staff, a couple of whom have been with her for 22 years.
Today, Roth envisions the store as a showroom arranged into a series of vignettes meant to inspire customers with ideas of how to arrange furniture and accessories in their own home. Should they want help, Roth and four designers on staff are happy to oblige for $150 an hour with a minimum of three hours.
What’s your favorite design trick?
Placing big furniture in a small room; will make the space seem larger.
What are your go-to places in town?
“I love dining at Raku and Redwood in Bethesda Row. Both have a wonderfully inviting atmosphere and delicious food.”
7117 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 20814