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Lifelong friends are priceless. My wife Barbara and I have known Ellen Hanson and her husband Richard Perlman for many years—so long, in fact, they’ve become a single name. “Ellen-and-Richard,” as we refer to them, share an adventurous spirit, so whenever they suggest dinner at Donohue’s in New York, lunch at the Chanticleer in ‘Sconset or a winter getaway in Sarasota, where they have a home overlooking the bay, Barbara and I are always game.

Ellen is an extraordinarily talented interior designer. In addition to Ellen-and-Richard’s own homes, she’s designed houses, condos and vacation homes as well as a boutique hotel, offices and other commercial projects for clients all over the country. Inspired by her love of mid-century design, Ellen collaborated with the Sarasota Architectural Foundation to restore the iconic Cocoon House on Siesta Key, designed in 1948 by architects Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell.

In between projects, Ellen recently rehabbed a great old building in downtown Sarasota and turned it into her own Gulf Coast lifestyle store and design studio. Named Pansy Bayou after a bayou between City Island and Lido Key, the shop offers an impeccably curated mix of art, including the work of local Sarasota artist John Pirman, handmade rugs, pillows, antiques and vintage finds.


Thank you, Ellen, and the Pansy Bayou team for being a part of our March campaign in Sarasota!