A home is more than a collection of rooms where we eat, sleep and store our belongings. It is a sanctuary from the hectic outside world. It’s a place that is truly our own - where we experience life with the ones closest to us, cherishing moments and making memories. When we surround ourselves with fun textiles, colors, lighting, and art that make us happy, our homes become a great source of energy and joy.
We are passionate about creating a personal and Younique design for our clients that offers an emotional lift at the end of a long day. We will use a client-focused design process to create a beautiful space that expresses your vision, brings comfort to your home and meets your functional needs, while offering the “WOW” factor that you didn’t realize you were missing! It’s an honor to be invited into your home, and we look forward to the possibility of working with you on your exciting and invigorating design journey!
FUN FACTS about the Designer.......
I believe everybody needs a little SPARKLE in their lives. MY NIECES AND NEPHEWS MELT MY HEART AND ARE THE CENTER OF MY WORLD. I want to be Mary Poppins (seriously!). I live by the motto taught to me by my dear friend.....you should NOT buy "big ticket items" unless you can say "I DIE". I am a starbucks addict. BLING is my favorite color. I have a twin sister who i talk to every day. She has blessed "auntie" with four amazing heartbreakers. My clients must LOVE not LIKE (you will understand this soon enough). I ate raisin bran and broccoli every day in college. I LOVE SHOES (that's an understatement). I AM A REALITY TV SHOW JUNKIE (I will be on Amazing Race with my cousin one day). My parents are amazing and my biggest fans. I cherish the "real" and "honest" friendships of my dear friends more than they will ever know. I HAVE A SECRET CRUSH ON "PINK" (ok, it's not so secret). I have a killer track record for sleeping through a movie. I am blessed to have an amazing husband who still gives me butterflies. DESIGN IS MY PASSION. I truly believe life is to short not to follow your dreams!!!
I would like to give a special “shout out” to a dear friend, beautiful woman and accomplished photographer – Jill Olexa. Jill has been my biggest fan and strongest inspiration, as I set out to capture my dreams. Her exquisite talents as a photographer shine throughout this site, as I was fortunate to have her by my side capturing some of my initial projects. For her talents, friendship and inspiration I am forever grateful.
theQ & A
EVERYTHING!!!! It invigorates and excites me - I love A to Z of the creative process. I love watching the final product come to life as concepts in my mind turn into reality in the client’s home. I love creating a really interesting and beautiful concept for the homeowner, and helping to turn their house into a HOME with a YOUnique touch. I am inspired by seeing others grin from ear to ear as the Wow Factor takes over!!!!
Nowadays, I think nearly anything goes. I love when I find a client who doesn’t need to live by the “rules”…. mixing colors, styles, and concepts. I think a room works best with thoughtful and refined combinations. Mixing Traditional with a flare of Contemporary, or Modern with a flare of Industrial, or French Country with a flare of Victorian adds extra spice and interest to a room. I love the Outback’s motto when it comes to design…”No Rules, Just Right”!
My favorite projects tend to be the ones where the client invests in the vision and believes in my talent to pull it off without questioning every decision. I love those clients who engage in a creative consultation and embrace the full experience. Building a relationship is key to ensuring I understand the client’s needs, the client trusts my vision, and together we come up with the most practical, yet exciting design plan for YOU!
EVERYWHERE! I can’t walk into a hotel, store, airport, restaurant or home without looking at the architecture, lighting, textiles, artwork, etc,. I have to admit –I am addicted and I suspect it’s slightly annoying for family and friends who are with me. I’m constantly pulling out my camera or phone to capture pics of unique pieces and fun textiles, cool lights or furniture, and interesting color schemes!!!! I’ve seen a few of my ideas in hotels and airports and I get so excited thinking “they stole my idea”! haha! My favorite past time is sitting at Barnes & Nobel with my husband looking at design magazines from Europe & Australia – they have such advanced and unique design concepts.
Most design projects I’ve done thus far seem to be a bit more contemporary. My home and personal design preference also tends to fall in a more Modern Eclectic style. So, I think many who view pictures from past projects, may be concerned with my ability to actually accomplish other design styles. But, don’t be scared away… all projects were created with the client in mind and my style is dependent on their desires. If you are looking for a peaceful, tranquil environment to escape the stressors of life – we will stick to softer color pallets, clean lines, and sleek textiles to create your spa like getaway. If you don’t like the “glitz” and prefer a cleaner and more simple craftsman style for your home tucked away in the mountains, we can accomplish that as well. You pick the style, I’ll create the design. Rest assured, we’ll work together to create your perfect Oasis.
I think the “Little Black Dress“ (LBD) for each room is finding that perfect “Statement Piece”. But, the LBD varies from project to project. In some rooms it’s a focal wall of some sort (cool tile, water feature), in other rooms it’s wallpaper or a fun paint color, while in other rooms it’s a piece of furniture, artwork, or unique lighting. I don’t always know what that “Little Black Dress” will be at the beginning of the project. But, once I come across the special “find”, it’s obvious and the creative juices start flowing and the design style immediately centers around this focal element!! It’s a compliment to hear “I would never of had the guts to put that together, but I just love it”. Incorporating the unexpected, yet recognizing and respecting classic design elements, is a fun way give it the WOW factor that fits your personal space.
My biggest pet peeve is being to “matchy- matchy”….whether it be furniture pieces that match (i.e. bedroom sets) or living room furniture in a package or lighting that is all the same in a room…. Most people find comfort and security with buying “sets” – or maybe it’s a matter of ease and convenience. There’s a balance required when mixing pieces, but when done properly, it’s a great way to add character and flare to a room.
My other pet peeve is a design that is blasé. Clean and simple can be very classic and classy. But, if you’re not careful, it could leave one feeling like a bit of a tease….almost like watching a mystery movie and leaving before you see the ending. There’s not a color pop, focal piece, or unexpected element that brings out the personality in the room. It’s a nice space, just not the perfect space.
To trust my instinct – don’t second guess my decisions. Sometimes I can’t always explain the “whys” of my decisions other than say “my gut & vision” is telling me “this works”. Being true to myself and trusting my design eye and “gut instinct” seems to prevail.
I pride myself on creating luxurious designs with minimal budgets. I love to challenge myself to find expensive design styles at prices that are affordable for the everyday personl I’ve learned you can find nearly anything you need or want in your price range (within reason) with enough patience and persistency. One of my proudest compliments is when people rave over a piece that looks luxurious and special (i.e. pricy) and I inform them it came from TJ Maxx, Target or Value City!!!
I love creating custom pieces. Typically, I have a vision I’m looking for that I can’t seem to find – so I have really enjoyed using custom fabricators or craftsman to help me create my vision. Taking this route is less restrictive and offers endless options. But, custom work can come at a price. So, there’s a fine balance between creating a YOUnique and custom creation, and working within your budget. So, large custom pieces must really “work it” to support the cost. Some of the things that I’ve created are dining tables, flooring, vanities, fireplace mantels, headboards, bedding, switch plates, wall art, etc. I hope to develop stronger relationships with a broader base of craftsman to help execute more custom creations.
For big pieces, it’s important to me that clients LOVE not LIKE the pieces. So, if you work with me, you will find me asking often…”Do you LOVE it or LIKE it”. Design can be expensive – it can also translate into pieces that are likely going to be in their home for a while. For items where a large portion of the budget is being spent, the pieces should “talk to us” and make us smile. For these pieces, I stress the importance of “LOVE” not “LIKE”!!!!
Know your budget - it’s just like any purchase, it makes no sense to look at items that you know are way outside of your budget – it can lead to false expectations and disappointment. It’s counterproductive to look at items that are knowingly out of our budget. That being said, if we find that “I DIE” piece, we can assess the other items in our plan to see where we can save to accept the increased spend. I pride myself in creating high quality and luxurious design concepts at affordable prices that don’t break the piggy bank.
Design for YOU – not your neighbor, your friend, or another family member. Trust our relationship, your gutt – and follow your heart. Asking too many opinions sometimes just confuses matters. I love when the rooms expresses a piece of YOU (or the inner you that you never knew existed!!!). Not everyone is going to love each and every element. But, if you and your immediate loved ones are able to sit back at night and smile, we’ve accomplished our goal.
Like everything in life, if you stop learning, you stop living. So, there are so many exciting lessons that lie ahead. For the immediate term, I would LOVE to embark on furniture “Rehab”. There are some vintage pieces that have some much character and potential and just need a little TLC to turn them into stunning focal points. My ultimate (long term) goal would be to learn to repurpose and reupholster furniture myself. But, I’m realistic about my capabilities. So, my alternate (short term) solution is to identify a skilled craftsman in the area who I can work with on a regular basis to help me rehab some vintage pieces that otherwise would find themselves on the corner of the street awaiting the dumpster.
Currently, my expertise is around design and decorating (i.e. paint, tile, stone, lighting, accessories, etc) not the construction involved in remodeling or building. I hope to work with skilled contractors in the area to expose myself to construction details – specifically when remodeling or new builds for kitchens and baths.
My long term vision is opening a YOUnique Design storefront that serves as a “One Stop Sop” for all faucets of design:
A storefront where we create a virtual YOUnique design stagey for your home
(with a large warehouse with large home items and custom creation pieces)
A storefront filled with fun home accessories where you can find that perfect “YOUnique” gift
A place to obtain assistance with YOUnique decorations for that special party
A place to find a personal shopper to help chip away at your Holiday shopping list or to help find that perfect gift for a friend or family member.