Kathy Passarette started her Creative Home Expressions business to channel her creativity and love for interior decorating.
Her efforts have paid off, and her list of satisfied clients continues to grow. Kathy offers an array of services that help people beautify their homes… and she even offers consulting over the internet for those who don’t live in the New York area.
We thought Kathy would be a perfect fit for our home decor interviews, as she has lots of expertise to share with so many of you. Here now is Kathy Passarette, and we hope you all enjoy this very special interview.
1. Hi Kathy, thanks for joining us today. Please take a brief moment to tell us a bit about yourself, your business, and your blog, “Creative Home Expressions.”
Thank you for having me! I started my business when I turned 40 and started to really regret dropping out of Interior Design school at 19. I kept thinking about where I could have been at this point. Rather than regret, I decided to take an Interior Decorating course and realize my dream. It’s been six years and, while it’s not a full-time job, it allows me to do something I am passionate about.
I started my blog and really put more into it last year as an extension of my business and website. I think it shows people more of my personality and who I am, while still providing some useful information.
2. You’ve been doing what you love for many years now, and your portfolio is an impressive collection of your work. Aside from your experience, what do you think differentiates you from other interior decorators in your area?
I think that something that differentiates me from other interior decorators in my area is that I try to show people that you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to decorate your home. One of my first questions when I meet with people is, “what is your budget?”. Many times, people have no idea what to budget. I try to make it an affordable project for people. I also don’t expect people to start from scratch. If you already have furniture and that’s what you want to work with, then that’s what we work with.
3. Let’s first talk about interior decorating. You provide services for rooms and styles of all types, but what do you feel is your personal specialty? And is there a particular style you enjoy the most or have a certain knack for?
While I wouldn’t consider it a personal specialty, I do seem to do quite a few bathrooms/powder rooms and bedrooms. Most people seem to like to go the transitional route, and I like doing that because it brings some traditional and contemporary aspects together, and the client is not locked into any one style down the road.
4. You also offer redesigning services in which you utilize your clients’ existing furniture and accessories. Someone reading this might wonder how this can be done, because there’s only so much you can do with what is already there. When you do redesigns, how much additional customization is typically needed above and beyond what the client may already have? Do you usually have to shop for more items and change some colors around, or is there really a lot you can do with what is already there?
It really depends on what the client already has in their home. Even what they may have in storage in the attic, basement or shed. When I do a redesign I look to what the client has that I can “shop” from. Before we get to that point though, I go over with them what they need and want in the room. If we can “shop” their house to accomplish that, then nothing new needs to be purchased. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a piece that would work better in the redesign room than where it currently resides. If any purchases are made, it’s usually for small accessory items or pictures.
5. Home staging has become a hot topic, especially with the glut of foreclosed homes and the need for sellers to get the highest possible selling price. For homeowners whose budgets are already stretched, what do you feel are the one or two biggest mistakes people make when it comes to staging their homes for open houses?
Not paying attention to the curb appeal and too much clutter.
6. Anyone who has re-painted a room knows just how much of a difference color can make. However, what is your opinion on going with bold colors if you’re trying to stage a home for an open house? Do you suggest the homeowner pick neutral colors to attract a broad audience, or should the homeowner be brave and hope to attract an eclectic buyer who shares his/her tastes?
Personally, I don’t mind color in a home that is for sale. Anything that is too bright or bold I would tone down. I also woudn’t go entirely neutral. However, if you have a dining room with red on all four walls, I would repaint that. You are not only cutting down on your pool of prospective buyers who will like red, but showing how much more work the buyer will have to do covering those red walls.
7. Thanks again for joining us today, Kathy. For this last question, please tell readers how they can go about contacting you for an e-consult if they’d like to use some of your services.
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure! If anyone is interested in an e-consult they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at (631) 987-3097 or fill in the contact form on my website at www.creativehomeexpressions.com!
Thanks so much to Kathy for allowing us to pick her brain and learn more about her and her exciting business. We appreciate her time and wish her the best of luck with Creative Home Expressions!