Putting Her Heart on the Walls, Beverly Archer-Miears
When it comes to building and opening a Fisher House, there are hundreds of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the dream come true. One of those people is interior designer Beverly Archer-Miears, who will tell you in no uncertain terms, “working with Fisher House Foundation is a rare, rare privilege that I never take for granted.”
A native Texan, Beverly started working with Fisher family in 2000, when she did the interior design for the Borda Center for Children with Special Needs at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Her first Fisher House was at Landstuhl, Germany in 2001. Since then, Beverly has been the interior designer for 36 Fisher Houses across the country.
“It is truly a labor of love,” said Beverly. “But that’s not to say it’s easy by any means. Every house is different and even the rooms within the homes are different – no two bedrooms are the same. I need to meet all the local and federal regulations, I follow ADA rules, and I want furniture that will last. Keeping all that in mind, I also carefully research and select color and texture, from the walls and artwork to accents and draperies.”
It takes Beverly up to six months to research, select and complete the mounds of paperwork involved in ordering for a home with up to 21 bedrooms and baths. It doesn’t just fall into place, Beverly laughingly warns.
She also is careful to take into account where the home is located. For example, when designing the interior for the Portland, Oregon, home, which she is doing now, she is using warm colors – greens and blues – to offset the many rainy, gray days. On the other hand, when deciding about the San Diego Fisher House she went with monochromatic colors, because the sun always shines there.
“A very special home was the Dover Fisher House, built for families who were coming to meet their loved ones for the last time. I wanted the home to be peaceful and quiet, so I chose delft blue, washed blonde tones. Nothing vivid. The accents were neutral, photos were of peaceful landscapes,” said Beverly.
Although all the homes have similar common areas – dining room, kitchen, living room and family room – how they are decorated will vary greatly. The eclectic furniture styles range from rustic to modern/contemporary. Two signature aspects of all Fisher Houses are consistent, Beverly said. They include a bronze bust of Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, and photographs of local landmarks that add color, and bring a homey and nostalgic touch to the décor.
“Most importantly, I never forget who will be staying in these homes. I am so privileged to be part of a team that is making a difference in people’s lives not just today, but for decades to come,” emphasized Beverly. “People are blown away by these gifts from the Fisher Foundation. To be part of that grand achievement – to be part of that legacy -- gives me more satisfaction than anything I have ever done.”