Tisha Ward Buchanan has been in and around the interior design business her entire life. As a local, she knows how to connect her clients to the coast with style and originality — and her daughters are following in her footsteps at Perfect Furnishings
For Tisha Ward Buchanan, designing interiors with a coastal flair comes naturally. The daughter of professional upholsterers in Dagsboro, Tisha has been in the business since 1979 and opened her own store in Bethany Beach in 1995. Originally an accessory gift shop, Perfect Furnishings evolved into a full-line furnishing and interior-design store five years later.
“Clients kept finding me and wanting me to do their whole homes,” said Tisha. “They wanted me to help with new building and renovations, from redesigning bathrooms to furnishing the entire home.”
Upscale coastal looks are Tisha’s specialty, a love shared by daughter Cortney Thompson, who is lead designer and store manager, alongside her mom. Younger daughter Tori Buchanan also works at Perfect Furnishings part-time while in college. Along with the store’s other employees, they provide the area with a superior decorating service. Tisha frequently hears from visitors that hers is the best-looking furniture store they’ve encountered.
“It makes me feel like we’re doing it right,” Tisha said, adding that her business’s top priority is catering to the customers.
“I pay attention to what my clients’ wants and needs are,” she said. “I don’t sell them what I want to sell them, like a lot of designers. It’s about paying attention to your customer. Our design service is complementary to our customers and their wants.”
Repeat customer Diane Wiczulis agreed.
“I just can’t say enough about Tisha,” Diane said. “I just love her. She helps your personality come through.”
It was the second home that Tisha designed for Wiczulis, who never considered anyone else for the job of decorating her residence in The Refuge. From the L-shaped sofa to the palette of blues ranging from aqua to navy, the home is perfectly decorated for her taste, Diane said.
“The colors are very beautiful,” she added. “Even the little touches she puts around make it very homey and stress-free.”
Even more importantly, the home is family-friendly, Diane said. While the rest of the family relaxes, her toddler grandsons can put together puzzles and watch television comfortably or play in the upstairs bedroom accented with a fish theme.
Tisha was respectful of both her taste and her budget, she said. Plus, Perfect Furnishings does all of the work involved, from hanging curtains and pictures to plumping pillows and plugging in the lamps.
“She’s very easy to work with,” said Diane. “I feel like she doesn’t overpower your style. I still feel like I decorated my own home.”
Tisha feels fortunate that her talent for design comes naturally to her. A blank wall is like an artist’s canvas, she says.
“You have to be able to envision how the end product will turn out. I’m very lucky to have an eye for color,” Tisha said. “This is how I live. Everything is life and color.”
She also makes multiple buying trips every year to keep up with new trends, though she doesn’t necessarily follow them, so her design work doesn’t look dated. In addition, every house remains unique.
“We are not a cookie-cutter design business,” Tisha added. “We never make one home resemble another. Our work is unique to every home, every room we do.”
Wiczulis recommends Perfect Furnishings to anyone looking to decorate an ocean-side home.
“If you want a beach look, I just can’t say enough,” she said.