Meet the Team

Founded in 1983, the Village House has been a cornerstone of downtown Chestertown on Maryland’s eastern shore for 38 years under the expertise of founder and owner Elaine Bowman. With Elaine’s expert direction, Village House is the go-to place for one-of-a kind decor and furniture for locals and tourists alike.

In the Winter of 2019, Elaine joined forces with her daughter Erin Zierfuss to not only “reboot” the Village House storefront, but to also work jointly on interior design projects. Elaine’s classicism and Erin’s more modern take on interior design creates a partnership that brings a distinct aesthetic to each project.

Elaine Bowman

In 1983, when the Village House first opened its doors, the original intention of owners Elaine and, in the very beginning, her sister Ann, was to bring collections of unique and local crafts and decor to Chestertown. Ann went on to open her own retail store in downtown Annapolis to be closer to her family and Elaine stayed on to captain the Village House on her own. Over the years Elaine has seen firsthand how quickly styles ebb and flow (and come back again). The store has dipped its toe into its share of trends as well- French Country and Traditional Classicism to name a few. In 2000 Elaine was able to purchase the building and in 2001 did a huge renovation and expansion. It was during this time that Elaine took the opportunity to elevate the store and its offerings and really began to showcase larger pieces of furniture for the store. By the mid 2000’s Elaine saw downtown traffic beginning to dwindle and e-commerce traffic ramp up so she built and launched which exclusively sold needlepoint pillows. Finally in late 2018, Elaine had decided it was time to try to retire which is when her daughter, Erin, stepped into the business.  After a brief closure while the two debated where to take their joint venture, the two have reopened Village House with a renewed, re-invigorated aesthetic and are bringing worldwide customers a new website with

Erin Zierfuss

Hey There! I am a lifelong native of the eastern shore. I went away for both high school and college and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2001. Upon returning home, I worked at a small nonprofit school for more than a decade working in admissions, events, and fundraising. After a brief hiatus from professional life in order to focus on raising my three children, I am back and this time I am working with my Mom, Elaine, in downtown Chestertown’s Village House. To make a three year long story short, my Mom had wanted to close her brick and mortar store back in 2018. I saw that, if she closed the shop, Chestertown would no longer have a place to buy quality, custom furniture and began to toy around with the idea of taking the business over. To test out these waters, I went to my first Furniture Market in the Fall of 2018 and that was that- I was hooked. Mom and I officially jumped into our partnership in December of 2019. We have had great success in working with individual clients and bringing them unique furniture and lighting that fits our design philosophy of Livable, Traditional Design with a Modern Twist. In my spare time, I love spending time with my husband, Karl, our three children Mackie (12), Tills (10) and Bo (8), and our two dogs, Peppa and Thatcher.

Visit Us

103 S. Cross Street
Chestertown, MD 21620

Open Hours

T-S: 11am - 4pm (ish)