Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Small Business Spotlight: The Home Stylist

As the holiday season gets into full swing around Buffalo, I decided to sit down with Julia Dana from The Home Stylist to talk holiday decorating!

The Home Stylist is a Buffalo based interior decorating/home staging company. Julie offers home owners with a do-it yourself approach that empowers families to make the changes they are looking for without breaking the bank. 

When it comes to holiday decorating, Julie says to keep the color palate simple. "Work on picking out two or three colors and then all your accessorizing around the house will come together easier." So how do you pick which colors to choose, "Start with colors already in your house and work off of those - try to not to pick colors that clash like introducing red accessories into a burgandy palate."

Julie also noted that people feel pressure to have all the nooks and crannies in their homes decorated, but she said to pick three main focus areas in your rooms and decorate those. "Choose the mantle above the fireplace, sofa/coffee tables and the archway of doors. Your staircase is also a great place to choose. If those areas are decorated, it will feel like your whole house is without cramming different items in all over the place."

Julie has owned The Home Stylist for ten years after family and friends encouraged her to get into the business. "I was always decorating for my family and friends, so why not get paid for what I love to do!" Julie told me. "I love empowering home owners and helping them spend their money properly so they maximize their outcomes." 

Julie is also the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Staging and Selling Your Home" In addition to interior decorating, Julie focuses on helping homeowners stage their homes. It is a buyer's market out there, and Julie says that what will set homes apart that are around the same price is how it is staged! Many homeowners will opt for lowering the price of the home before properly staging it, and while that can cost you thousands of dollars in the end, a properly staged home would cost so much less (Julie's staging plan costs $150). Julie shared one of many great success stories with me, "I worked with a client that had their home on the market for two years. They took the home off, I worked with them to stage it and once we put it back up, it sold 16 days later!"

"It can be overwhelming to homeowners on how to decorate and especially on how to sell their house. Making mistakes can cost money, and my goal is to make sure my clients spend the money they can allocate properly and give them a plan that is easy to follow!"

Julie's rate is $85.00 per generous hour, and most design plans can be worked up in an hour to an hour and a half. Julie also offers a 3 for $30 option on her website where you send her a photo of the room you are working on and she will create three great solutions to improving the room. 

Once we wrapped up talking about the business side of things, our conversation moved to Buffalo! While Julie is not a native Buffalonian (she moved here from Michigan over 20 years ago for love), she has found a home in Buffalo and can't imagine living anywhere else. "There is so much to do here! Western New York has it all; culture, arts, museums, kayaking/canoeing and great parks to explore. It is a great place to raise a family too!" Julie is also a docent for the Roycroft Campus and resides in East Aurora. 

Home decorating can be a lot to take on so make things simple and give Julie a call today! She will give you the practical and economical advice that will pay off for years to come!

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