Seven Mile Times

Spring 2019

One Blufish, Two Blufish, Old Blufish,
New Blufish

By Marybeth Hagan

Blufish Designs furniture store and showroom grew and grew.


There was one Blufish in Avalon. A second store in Stone Harbor made it two.


Further innovations were added last year. Blufish Interiors design center and the Blufish Two store and showroom sit comfortably at the intersection of Routes 9 and 83.


Oh, my! Just recently, Avalon’s original Blufish Designs relocated to a larger locality.


General Manger Will Schneller offered perspective on the store’s new space, its growth and distinction. The new space is almost twice the size of the old Avalon location.


While the old store measured some 1,800 square feet, including its decks, the new store and showroom at 2021 Dune Drive measures 3,000 square feet, Schneller says. The corner property’s freshly painted white walls and high ceilings, new track lighting, and long walls that are filled with sizable window after window give the space an open, airy appeal. Its ceiling fans and pipes, along with its wooden flooring in shades of driftwood, add to the site’s charm.


From there to here, from here to there, stylish things are everywhere.


The showroom is filled with Blufish Designs’ customary coastal-chic indoor and outdoor furniture, most of which is designed by Kotzman.


“Whitney is now doing more contemporary design,” Schneller says before noting a smart, white dining set and a white bedroom set, both accessorized in shades of navy blue, from Kotzman’s Naples line. Bathroom vanities and other “experimental stuff” like bar carts are additions to these lines, he adds.


“Our focus is on quality and solid production, which is rare today,” Schneller muses.


All of Kotzman’s furniture designs are cut and assembled by craftsmen in Lancaster, Pa. Blufish’s production/commercial paint booth, where furniture pieces are painted, finished and fitted with hardware as needed, is located in Cape May Court House.


Whitney Kotzman and Eileen LaPenta of Blufish Designs


These are not the only Blufish Designs’ practices that set it apart, notes the store’s general manager.


“We work with our customers from the ground up” in tailoring furniture to their specifications in style, color, hardware and more, Schneller says. “Almost everything [in Kotzman’s furniture lines] can be customized to within an eighth of an inch.”


After she and her husband, Dan, discuss the purchase of a customized desk with Schneller, Laura Daisak mentions the quality of Blufish Designs’ furniture, its up-to-date styling, the “good value” in its pricing and the staff’s competence in working with customers.


The Daisaks have been doing business with Blufish for two years.


“They go the extra mile,” Laura says before describing the extra mile staffers went to have outdoor furniture lifted to an upper deck of the Daisaks’ home upon its delivery.


From near to far, from here to there, lovely things are everywhere.


Much of Blufish’s outdoor furniture can be found in the showroom area toward the rear of the new store. Handsome Palecek San Martin pieces – a sofa, lounge chairs and teak end tables with marine-grade roping in shades of white and beige – catch the eye. “Top of the line” Brown Jordan will be a new addition to Blufish’s outdoor furniture lines, Schneller says.


Blufish Designs also offers a wide variety of accessories – wall art, rugs, pillows, linens, tableware, bar décor, totes and more – to properly enhance indoor and outdoor settings. A stunning blue coral vase that looks as if it was reaped from the ocean’s floor is among the striking glassware items on display. Neat, open white shelving in the showroom holds assorted accessories, like vases, pillows, woven rugs and a sizable tile plaque of Seven Mile Beach, all in shades of Blufish’s navy blue and white “signature aesthetic,” as Schneller says.


From there to here, from here to there, whimsical things are everywhere.


There are large and small jigsaw puzzles with illustrations from The New Yorker. Other items feature Avalon themes. These include: soft Avalon map beach towels, an Avalon map tissue holder, canvas Avalon wine totes, as well as Avalon and Avalon Yacht Club throw blankets. Deck umbrellas in a variety of classic colors stand at attention near cleverly wooden carved U.S. flags with starfish stars, each labeled “Handcrafted by The Salty Sea Monkey.” Yoga lovers will find several yoga-mat totes in fine fabrics and pleasing patterns among the fun accessories.


“We were here a lot last year,” says Susan McCune, who stopped by the new store and showroom with her husband, Bill. “Blufish has the freshest designs and the most accommodating, nice people to deal with” when home decorating, she concludes.


So if delightful shore décor is your wish, make it more than a wish at Blufish.

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