Design Visionary Dougie Mutch Roots Herself In Wellington’s Timeless Equestrian Lifestyle


Wellington The Magazine-July 2016

Design Visionary Dougie Mutch Roots Herself In Wellington’s Timeless Equestrian Lifestyle

By Allyson Lagiovane

Douglas Mutch — affectionately known as Dougie Mutch — spent her childhood coloring pictures and daydreaming of fairytales, but she was also obsessed with horses. Unlike most kids’ creations, her drawings were designs for barns, her fairytales involved no princes, and it was her passion for horses that guided her on a journey she never thought she’d take.

That same passion turned her life into a whirlwind of success in the interior design industry. “I still remember, my entire childhood when I was supposed to be doing my homework, I’d be designing barns,” Mutch recalled. “And I remember, my mom would say, ‘Are you doing your homework?’ and I would say ‘Yes Ma’am!’ But you know, I wasn’t.”

Mutch followed her passion for interior design to Virginia Commonwealth University, where she graduated as a licensed interior designer. She made the move to Wellington in 1981 and immediately delved into her career at a local design firm.

From working at Palm Beach Design, located at Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, where she designed a field-side VIP tent for Prince Charles using her grandmother’s furniture, to opening her very first firm, M. Douglas Mutch Interiors, Mutch’s functional and timeless equestrian designs caught on fast in the Wellington community. “I have a blessed life, I really do,” she said. “But it’s only because I feel like I have a wonderful work ethic, and one of the things I truly believe is that you are only as good as your last job. It’s about being able to do the best you can for your customer.”

Mutch always dreamed of opening her own interior design company, and at an imperfect time, the perfect partner walked into her life. Despite the fact that she was in no position to hire anyone, the fairytale played out, and Susan Elhilow became Mutch’s trusted business partner.

“Beautiful lady, bright, smart, vivacious and energetic, the whole deal,” Mutch said of her. “I wasn’t in a position to hire, but she wasn’t going to say no, and it’s the best relationship I could ever imagine, truly a fairytale story.”

With Elhilow by her side, the pair started Gracie Street Interior Design, Mutch’s current interior design firm in downtown West Palm Beach.

Gracie Street prides itself in the ability to design for the equestrian lifestyle, creating an aesthetically pleasing space while maintaining its functionality.

“The lifestyle really comes down to the same thing at the end of the day,” Mutch said. “I really learned that when it comes to doing interior design for people who are passionate about horses, whether it’s a farm or a house, you don’t have to explain the lifestyle because it’s something I know.”

Mutch also knows how to spend her time giving back to the industry that has done so much for her. From the very beginning of her career, Mutch worked alongside Winter Equestrian Festival founder Gene Mische, designing the VIP tent at the Polo Club, completely pro bono. She later teamed up with longtime friend Mason Phelps Jr. when the National Horse Show moved to Wellington, and they designed the first-ever, and now iconic, Jockey Club.

She continued to give back through her work at the United States Hunter Jumper Association, bringing in donations for the new USHJA headquarters in Lexington, Ky. She brought the history of the USHJA to Kentucky in a modern style, incorporating posters and paintings donated on permanent loan by people across the country.

When the National Horse Show made the move to Kentucky, it was Mutch who headed the design operation. “I was challenged with the task to bring the history of the National Horse Show to Lexington, and bring Lexington to the National Horse Show,” she said.

The entertainment areas were the work and vision of Mutch, designing the rider’s club, the Taylor Harris VIP Club, and the one-of-a-kind Gracie Street Garden.

“At Madison Square Garden there was the MSG Club. I was joking when I brought up calling it the GSG,” she said of the Gracie Street Garden. “Then when it actually stuck; I was greatly humbled by that. It’s huge to me. I do all this pro bono, because it’s my way to give back to this industry.”

Mutch has been in Wellington for 35 years and has rooted herself in the warm climate and the rich equestrian culture. These days, she spends her free time riding her 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Gracie Street’s Yes I Fly. After years of hard work, she has finally been able to add her passion for riding back into her life.

“I’ve been in this industry for so long, and I am blessed to be able to do what I do for people who do what I love the most,” she said. “My two passions are combined, and it’s just so rewarding.”

For more information about Dougie Mutch and Gracie Street Interior Design, visit