When it comes to interior design, Patricia Salcedo, owner of the soon-to-open III View Design and Construction in Bellmore, says, most of her customers prefer a transitional aesthetic, meaning a mixture of old and new elements. The same can be said about Salcedo’s new business, which she built in the same space where a previous business of hers opened in 1994.
Salcedo entered a showroom at the back of the shop that was dimly lit with a blue hue and adorned with multi-colored photos of Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon and Frank Sinatra on canvas. Then, as she told the Herald the story of III View, she began to choke back tears.
“My business has been everything to me,” Salcedo said. “It has really gotten me through all of the trials and tribulations.”
On Oct. 29, 2012, Sandy slammed into the Merrick Road business district, destroying her showroom, the Dakota Design Center, and flooding the 10,000-square-foot building from all sides.
After the storm, Salcedo waded with her staff through the flooded showroom, retrieving salvageable items when she wasn’t stepping outside to answer calls from her clients.
In the weeks that followed, she worked with them from her car — her Bellmore house also suffered severe damage — and the Freeport Diner, connecting with her manufacturers as well.
When power was restored to the Merrick community, however, the Dakota Design Center was destroyed by a fire. Salcedo waited for an insurance settlement of more than a half-million dollars to rebuild, but her mortgage company, Vfc Partners in Waco, Texas, never reimbursed her.
Insurance settlement checks for more than $20,000 are typically made out to both the home or business owner and the mortgage company, and both must endorse them before funds can be disbursed to contractors doing repairs. Vfc, however, never disbursed Salcedo’s funds, she said. The Herald has been unable to contact the company.
Salcedo fought to be reimbursed, but eventually gave up. “I really thought I was gonna get through it,” she said. “But I had to let it go. It was taking my creativity and throwing it out the window.”
She began building III View Design and Construction in a space she had rented at Republic Lighting, in Bellmore, from owner Rich Adler in 1994. She had created her first company, P.S. Micaza, there 12 years before she opened the design center and began running both companies from the Merrick location.
“When I walk into a room with clients, I say, ‘Let’s let go of the old and bring in the new,’” Salcedo said, adding that that’s what she was telling herself when she began working on III View. She plans to run it like her old business, as a one-stop home-furnishings and design showroom, but, she added, “[III View] became a fresh and new slate for us.”
Salcedo works with customers from Manhattan to the Hamptons, as she did with the Dakota Design Center. Recently, however, she has also made connections with clients who have moved to Florida. In the days leading up to Hurricane Irma’s landfall in southern Florida last month, they shared their worries with Salcedo, which inspired vivid flashbacks for her about her Sandy experience. Fortunately, her clients stayed safe throughout the storm.
Salcedo plans to officially open the studio just in time for the five-year anniversary of Sandy, though entirely coincidentally. The details of the grand opening have yet to be announced.