New business carteBlanche Home & Design opens in Aspinwall


A new home and design business has opened in Aspinwall.

Located at 347 Freeport Road, carteBlanche Home & Design offers decor and home furnishings curated by owner and creative director Rachel Schaffer.

Schaffer, 44, was raised in Brookline in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

She earned degrees in French and economics from the University of Pittsburgh and studied at the University of Chicago.

CarteBlanche evolved out of a desire to “create a company platform simplifying home design and making it approachable and reflective of the unique needs and experiences of our clients,” Schaffer said.

A busy mom to four kids, Schaffer resides in Aspinwall with her husband. She left the corporate banking world to open carteBlanche.

The inspiration for the name comes from her beloved late maternal grandmother, Blanche Dunik.

Dunik was longtime resident of the South Side Flats, whose parents were Polish immigrants. She was their first child born in America.

While Schaffer said the literal translation of blanche is “white (blank) paper,” the concept empowers clients to make their home their own.

“And eliminate the fear or hesitation they often encounter when designing their spaces,” Schaffer said.

Her design advice?

“Invest in what you love, and everything else will fall in line,” said Schaffer, who said her personal design style included modern lines and timeless architecture.

The company platform has three components: retail, design and build.

From custom lighting, rugs, custom art, home furnishings, kitchenware and accessories, many products sold are under $100.

“One can also purchase heirloom quality upholstery, casework and rugs which could cost into the thousands,” Schaffer said.

Services include floor plan and interior design and full-service room redesign and oversight of the project, including 3-D renderings of the space, product recommendations, sourcing and project management.

Schaffer’s husband, Kevin, owns ENL Property Management, specializing in renovating and reselling century-old homes in the Pittsburgh region.

“With the launch of carteBlanche, we’re now partnering to offer these services more broadly to our clients,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer employs four and will host a “April in Paris” open house April 28-30.

CarteBlanche has partnered with Aspinwall’s Nouveau Pittsburgh and Seaton Three Mercantile to offer vintage and contemporary French fashion.

Food will be provided by EZPZ Gatherings in Aspinwall, and Gaby et Jules, the French patisserie in the East End.

Schaffer said the carteBlanche online store will launch in late spring.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725 , [email protected] or via Twitter .