Meet Lia Papasimakis Fraccaro

Owner and Lead Designer (and all around creative force!) behind House Splendid.

Born and raised in New York, as a first generation Greek-American, Lia had the good fortune from a young age of traveling and attending school abroad.  Being exposed to her parents’ Greek heritage nurtured her love of architecture, language, music, culture, dance, art, and an early understanding of the power of being surrounded by all things beautiful.  The daughter of a successful entrepreneur, growing up she helped run her family’s NYC based Painting and Contracting business, which still exists today.  So goes the saying, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Lia then began her own journey in Interior Design at NYC’s prestigious Parson’s School of Design and moved on to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture from the renowned New York Institute of Technology.  Her resume quickly began to flourish as she took on positions to immerse herself in every aspect of design – Design Coordinator for wall coverings and window treatments, Designer of high-end custom closets, Project Manager for an Architecture Firm, and Kitchen and Bath designer of an award-winning custom cabinetry manufacturer.  Once married, Lia and her husband chose the Lehigh Valley to begin their next chapter.  But it wasn’t until they embarked on their own home addition and renovation project of a 1750 stone farmhouse that she realized her individual blend of design expertise was just what the Valley needed.  Her passion for fine design along with her extensive professional experience (and a creative entrepreneurial drive which only opening her own business could fulfill) finally propelled her to open House Splendid in 2003 here in the Valley.  Owning her own business has allowed Lia to create a unique atmosphere combining her talents and passion for functionality and exceptional design.  And her work reaches beyond her design studio – since 2005 Lia has supported and been a specially selected designer for numerous SOTA Designer Showhouses – along with interviews on WFMZ-TV 69 News, a contributor for many design-based articles, as well as being featured in many Lehigh Valley based publications – such as Lehigh Valley Style, The Marketplace, Indulge, and The Morning Call.

What our clients are saying…

House Splendid is a quaint shop located in Emmaus, PA. Lia and her staff have a no pressure approach and are very accommodating to your needs. They have the knowledge and skills to take your project from start to finish. The shop has everything from fine cabinetry to one of a kind items. Lia listens to you and makes your ideas happen. She also has the ability to see things that you may not have seen possible in your remodel. Lia and her staff always make a visit to House Splendid a very enjoyable experience.

– Terry and Ron Mathey – Coopersburg, PA

House Splendid is a beautiful place to shop. The smells, the colors, the extraordinary selection! Lia you consistently provided Bill and I with a loving and experienced consult to design our home office space that includes comfort, function and beauty. We love the results. We are so blessed by your friendly coaching and your exquisite eye for detail, color and design. We also loved stopping in and looking at books with Andrea who always seems to find time to give us the feedback we need and who treats us like family. I love sitting at my desk looking out at nature, sitting next to my sweet husband.

– Kate and Bill Lampe – Emmaus, PA

We had been in the planning/dreaming stage for over two years and went through three kitchen design firms but just felt they were not “getting” what we desired. At the suggestion of a friend we stopped in House Splendid on a whim and immediately felt a connection with Lia. She was the one that “got” what we wanted from a design standpoint. It was a fantastic experience from the conceptual layouts, through the selections and finally to the installation. Not only did it exceed our aesthetic expectations but the functionality and thoroughness in the details make the difference. We are truly enjoying our new kitchen more than we ever dreamed of!

– Suzanne and Andy Baldo – Allentown, PA

Kris and I had a vision of our dream kitchen. We went to numerous kitchen design studios but it seemed as though no one could capture our vision until we had our visit with Lia. We explained what we wanted to achieve with our kitchen plans so she attentively listened and gave us numerous suggestions. She created a design, which would capture everything we were looking for in a kitchen. If we ever decide on designing another room for our home, Lia would be the first person we would call. Thanks Lia for creating our dream kitchen!

– Jim and Kris Christman – Allentown, PA

House Splendid was our clear choice for the design and contracting for our kitchen renovation. We live in a 1920’s vintage home with a limited space for the kitchen redesign. Lia provided design advice and options that maximized our use of the space. She did so with a subtle touch that provided a very modern kitchen that was seamlessly melded with the best aspects of the architecture and charm of our home. In a time when so many designers try to incorporate all the ‘bells and whistles” that are trendy (and add to their profit margin), her design and guidance for our preferences and choices resulted in the perfect combination of function and art – a space that is a pleasure to behold and a joyful place to work and congregate. It has become the natural center of our home. She respected our preferences and values while guiding us to solutions that worked, from the broad aspects of the overall design to the details such as drawer pulls that finish the project. She was timely and reliable in all phases of the work, and quickly solved unexpected glitches that are inherent in working with an older home. We could not have been more pleased.

– Terri Purdy and Richard Schall – Emmaus, PA

It’s been eight years and I still love it. Other than a couple of really great sweaters there’s not much else that you can say that about. We were faced with a 1838 kitchen with some really bad 1970s cabinets…5 doors…two windows and an 8 foot walk-in fireplace. Nightmare situation! Enter Lia. She came up with solutions (even included a refrigerator that I had no idea where to place) using the architecture and working with it to give us a kitchen that was in harmony with the period. She showed endless patience as I agonized over knobs for weeks. Every suggestion that Lia put forward was presented thoughtfully with care, concern and humor making the hell of remodeling not just bearable but really enjoyable. The master bathroom makeover is only two years old and again Lia was able to guide me through the selection process. I am sure that I must have changed my mind a half dozen times on the choice of cabinetry but I never felt rushed or pressured to make a decision until I was sure of my choice. The proportions and function in both rooms work extremely well and in both cases installation went smoothly. Lia was constantly available, always got back to me quickly and was truly a pleasure to work with.

– Judy Kuhns – Palm, PA

I am writing to thank you for the incredible job you did in designing and overseeing my amazing kitchen. I am not an easy one to please, but your work far exceeded any of my expectations. I had been thinking about this project for a long time and had actually paid two other designers to work with my ideas. Though the time and money were spent , nothing felt right so I waited, believing someone in the Lehigh Valley surely had the passion, creativity, talent and flair that I was looking for. That person was you. Meeting you was such good fortune. The deadline for my project was looming and I was about to “settle” for an average design. To make it more special I decided to stop by House Splendid and at least purchase terrific hardware. While there, and in total frustration, I asked the woman at the counter if she knew of any GREAT kitchen designers. She smiled a knowing smile then gave me your card. Everything about my kitchen changed in that moment.

From your initial call to our first meeting I could see that you loved your work. We discussed your background as an architect and you showed me some drawings. I was immediately confident that you had the solutions to my problem. Before beginning the plans for my kitchen we spent time together discussing what kitchen really meant to me, how I planned to use the space, who would gather there, what mood I wanted to create for myself, my family and my friends. We talked practicalities and budget as well. We looked at photos I had collected from magazines and books and you noted the common denominators of those kitchens then incorporated them into my design. Our initial consultation and your investment of time was instrumental in your understanding who I was as a person and what my ideas were for the space to be designed.

From that first meeting everything flowed quickly. The initial design, the changes, the final blue prints, the construction and installation were all effortless. Any concerns that arose, you made yourself available. You answered any questions in a timely fashion. Your drawings were so precise that the contractor asked me for your name so that he could use your services on his future projects. That was quite the compliment from an Amish craftsman!

As you know Lia, I have been a real estate agent for nearly thirty years. I have been in thousands of homes and have seen kitchens of every style and price point. For me, the kitchen we created is the most amazing kitchen of all because it was created with MY family and OUR lifestyle in mind. We could not be more thrilled! Your dedication to your clients, your respect for their investment, your sense of style, your attention to detail, your commitment to the profession are only a portion of what sets you apart. The rest is that extra special quality of who you are and how much you care about the people you help and the work you do. I owe you many thanks for creating the space where my family will make memories for many years to come.

If you ever have anyone looking for a reference, please use my name. I can say with 100% certainty that I would recommend you and your services. My life has been enhanced in many ways for having worked with you. Thank you again.

– Brenda Fortna – Allentown, PA