North Fork in Bloom: Lavender by the Bay gets a makeover

Reclaimed barnwood counters finished with lavender colored paint are among the upgrades at the East Marion flower farm. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

We’re weeks off from blossoming fields of lavender, but you can get an early taste of the beauty to come at Lavender by the Bay’s newly redesigned farm stand.

The popular East Marion lavender farm enlisted White Flower Farmhouse owner and designer Lori Guyer to reimagine the existing 800-square-foot farm stand into a welcoming space representative of the North Fork. 

“It was very dark before,” said Chanan Rozenbaum, vice president of the 17-acre farm. “We never envisioned it would be so popular and we wanted to make the shop look more like how’d you’d envision a lavender farm to look.” 

Bunches of dried lavender hang from the newly installed Edison light fixtures. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

The Rozenbaum Family founded Lavender by the Bay in 2002 as a hobby farm that has grown to a premiere tourist destination with more than 80,000 plants. The original roadside shop was nothing more than a tent. The post and beam building was constructed in 2010, but was in need of a refresh when Guyer’s interior design work caught the Rozenbaum’s attention over the winter. 

Guyer, who founded her Southold vintage and reclaimed décor shop in 2003, is the interior designer behind some of the North Fork’s most popular and beautiful venues, such as North Fork Table & Inn and Corey Creek Tap Room.

“Lori was a go-to choice,” Rozenbaum said. “We saw her work on Instagram and thought she captured the look of the North Fork perfectly. We know lavender, not design, so we trusted her process.”

Guyer got to work back when the temperatures still struggled to get out of the high 20s earlier this year. Her goal was to create a highly functional space for customers to navigate with a decidedly North Fork aesthetic, which she defined as authentic. 

Design Lori Guyer sourced vintage tables, cabinets, doors and chair to furnish the farm stand. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

“There is beauty in imperfections,” she said. “We didn’t want to go with anything brand new because that wouldn’t be representative of the area.”

It started with the wood panel floors, which were painted an appropriate dusty lavender with warm and welcoming gray undertones, which will gradually show through more with wear and tear from foot traffic.

The new reclaimed barnwood checkout counter carries that color scheme up to eye level, accentuating the lavender-themed provisions made by the Rozenbaums from the farm’s crop. To improve flow, Guyer removed the two A-frame display tables that spanned the length of the shop, opting to replace them with locally sourced vintage finds — everything from old cabinets to tables, and doors and ladders — that she repurposed into pieces that showcase the products. The items were sourced from places like In the Attic Too in Laurel and Small Holdings Farm in Aquebogue, where Guyer often visits for the items stocked at White Flower Farmhouse, too.

“It was very important to use the talent of the North Fork because I wanted it to be a truly North Fork space,” Guyer said. “I tried to be mindful of where everything was from. I wanted it to be local.” 

The colorful lavender products contribute to the charming ambience. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Lavender by the Bay’s provisions — which include lavender honey, soaps, essential oils and culinary salts — were also included in the design, most notably in the beautiful and fragrant bunches of dry lavender suspended from the Edison light fixtures.

“Society has a desire to disconnect when they visit,” Rozenbaum said. “Lavender can transport you, so we want to bring what’s in the fields inside.”

The newly redesigned Lavender by the Bay farm shop in East Marion is now open for the 2019 season, but don’t expect to see the pretty purple crop blooming in the fields until at least mid-June.

Lavender by the Bay will also open its Calverton outpost on Route 25, where it will offer its products for purchase, later this year, but no opening date has been set.

Lavender by the Bay is located at 7540 Main Road in East Marion. 

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