Meeting of a Great Mind: Pam Dombrowski of EDIT HOME

The furniture is a canvas and I pour my creative energy into every one.

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By Christina Pippin

Local Shopping & Fashion Blogger

Recently I came across a stylish and flawlessly manufactured chair that defied traditional categories. It led to scenarios in my mind in which friends and family came to visit my home, but couldn’t keep their eyes off my new, mod find. A deeply interesting lamp, exquisitely executed, had equally bewitching effects.

The creator is a local designer, Pam Dombrowski, of EDIT HOME, who possesses the deft ability to radically reenvision and reinvent salvaged furniture. Pam is an open, intelligent, and warm designer whose unassuming nature belies the tremendous talent within. She shares with us how relics are revived and forsaken furnishings transformed.

Pam has always been captivated by architecture, “As a kid, I was always redesigning in my head. I’ve always appreciated the architecture in homes.”

After moving to River Forest twelve years ago, Pam and her husband began to purchase and rehab homes in the area. While it was extremely rewarding, the sluggish economy created a lull in business that pushed Pam to rethink her career options.

Pam knew she had a passion for furniture, “I’ve always been attracted to unusual furniture pieces.” Soon she began bringing home articles from estate sales or garage sales that those with a less discerning eye might dismiss as lacking potential.

Pam’s fertile mind saw all the possibilities of each piece, “I can see the good bones, the well-made structure. These pieces have had one life. Now I am giving them a new life.”

I have to wonder: How does Pam decide whether a piece has latent, lurking potential? “I’m drawn to a piece with clean and simple lines.” She restores seating, casegoods, lighting, and more, reexamining classics in newer, cooler ways, bringing a modern sensibility to each creation.

“I keep a piece for six months because I see seven different things it could become.” Pam enjoys having a relationship with each piece, seeing it for what it is, and patiently waiting for each piece to reveal what it shall become.

Inspired by Wendell Castle, an American furniture artist know for his contemporary designs, Pam looks for pieces that set her imagination free. She sheepishly admits to having amassed a large collection of furniture that she plans to rework: a garage full of items waiting for a magical metamorphosis. “I’m never destroying [an item], but always changing it.”

Pam’s love of design has now become a new business venture, EDIT HOME, which aptly describes what she does – adding or taking away to create the desired effect, the perfect milieu. “I want luxury and beauty to be available to everyone. Each piece is unique because it has been salvaged, and it’s a great piece of furniture at a price that more people can afford.”

She is happy to offer consumers an eco-friendly option at a modest price, “[Consumers] are greener, we think about this and we’re conscious of what we’re spending our money on.” Pam’s purposeful pieces succeed in offering quality, affordability, and style.

I ask about the challenges of pioneering her own business during this unsteady economy. Pam is deeply aware of the joys and tribulations that accompany spearheading one’s own business endeavor. She focuses on the joy she derives as the designer and creator of each upcycled piece. “I am in control of what I do. I don’t compromise my artistic vision.”

EDIT HOME offers one-day room makeovers and personal decor shopping. You can find Pam's original pieces at Revision Home in Chicago or at Muse in Oak Park. Contact Pam at or call 847.363.0096.

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Reader Comments

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Raegan Niemela from Pulaski  

Posted: August 14th, 2012 12:47 PM

AH! Auntie Pam, so wonderful! I'm so happy for you, and the furniture looks amazing! I had no idea you were so talented :) When I get an apartment, we're going to have a talk ;)

Ann Kaplanes from Rockford  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 10:51 PM

Pam, The article was great, and I have seen some of your pieces and think you do a wonderful job. I am always amazed when I see the before and after. Good Luck. Ann

kay kaplanes from rockord  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 5:08 PM

Pam, I have seen your art work and interior design endeavors. nice to see you have taken your talent to another level. Can't wait to see more!

Ximena Leonardi from River Forest  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 8:25 AM

Pam has a tremendous eye for design. That takes a lot of creativity and talent and Pam certainly has those qualities! Pam can walk into a room and tell you what would work with your house. Way to go Pam!!Congrats on your new business endeavors!

Connie Heflin from Fort Wayne  

Posted: January 4th, 2011 10:59 AM

Congratulations on your new business venture, Pam! As a former past small retail business owner, I wish you much success. This seems like a great and sustainable business model. How very exciting! I would love to see more of your pieces!!

Cynthia Patti from Chicago  

Posted: January 4th, 2011 8:39 AM

Loved the article! What a fabulous business venture and Pam Dombrowski seems like the artist who can execute the plan and really deliver. The picture of her work looked so interesting. I'd love to see more! Great article, Christine; thanks for sharing.

Kelly Dombrowski  

Posted: January 4th, 2011 8:31 AM

Great article, Christina! Pam you are so passionate and creative. I hope people really consider taking a look at your work or asking for help in creating new spaces in their homes. They will treasure your talent and gifts. Good luck!!

Annie Dwyer  

Posted: January 3rd, 2011 6:21 PM

Pam has the artistic gift of taking something old that has beautiful lines and make it come to life again with her keen eye. True style and quality is timeless......Pam really embraces this philosophy with her carefully crafted pieces. Check out her work, she is a talent.


Posted: January 3rd, 2011 2:27 PM

Love the credenzas that were at Muse as well as some Edit Home lamps I saw at Revision. I find the prices to be really reasonable (where can you get a really unique lamp for under $100), with a lot more style than you would get at one of the typical home stores. I'd love to get in that garage!


Posted: January 2nd, 2011 6:39 PM

The article made me so curious...I wish the picture was one with you sitting on one of your restored chairs with one of your lamps and tables right next to it! I am excited to check it out!

Lisa Birmingham from River Forest  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 5:56 PM

I love the blending of old and new. Pam takes traditional furniture and splashes them with contemporary flair. It's a combination that creates a truly unique piece. Good luck Pam!


Posted: January 2nd, 2011 12:45 PM

Pam has redesigned a couple of rooms in my home and restyled a piece of my furniture and she did wonderful work. She has a natural talent for seeing potential that others do not possess.

Marc Kaplanes  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 4:21 PM

Sounds like a great idea to reuse furniture that would otherwise be unused or thrown out.


Posted: January 1st, 2011 1:04 PM

What an awesome business to start especially in this economy and our awareness of recycling. Sometimes you don't know what you have until another set of eyes is looking on. Good Luck to you.

Amy Hart Tomaso from River Forest  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 1:03 PM

Pam is very talented and you cannot go wrong by working with her. Gorgeous picture of you too Pam!!

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