Toast the Expert by Renewal by Andersen presents Decor Coach [partner]

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Renewal by Andersen relies on professional interior designers to bring its award-winning, energy-efficient window and door products to life in clients’ homes. Now Renewal by Andersen wants to individually recognize talented designers with its Toast the Expert special feature on Triangle Today.

Q. Tell us about yourself.
A. My name is Jodi Schavone, owner and founder of Décor Coach, a coaching service for remodeling and interior design. I serve Wake County and parts of Johnston, Durham and Chatham counties.

Q. Tell us about your education, experience or biggest influences.
A. The concept to coach clients through their remodel and redesign projects was inspired by a combination of my love for interior design and my formal education in business management and education. I also spent some time in facilities and corporate remodeling, which gave me a background working with contractors and in design project management. As I moved into the design field more than 14 years ago, I created a business model that blends design, teaching and project management as a fresh way to help homeowners achieve their goals.

Q. What do you enjoy most about interior design?
A. Empowering people is immensely satisfying for me. Homeowners often are overwhelmed by home projects for fear of making costly mistakes and not knowing what to do, who to hire or what to expect. They want that “pulled together” look but don’t know where to begin. Helping clients with the information, motivation and confidence to get the job done is very rewarding.

Q. How would you describe your style?
A. I tend to guide my clients toward timeless and intentional designs. Simple and clean lines for permanent elements, leaving the more trendy styles to the accessories and décor that are easier to change. Intentional decorating means creating spaces that help you live better in your home. How can we change the space to make your days go more smoothly? How can we help you connect better with friends and family or even with yourself? Good design doesn’t just look nice, it makes your home more enjoyable.

Q. Which design trends are you most excited about this year?
A. It is nice to see colors moving away from the cool grays and blues and into warmer neutrals that work with all color preferences. But the trend that I am most excited about is virtual design. As brick and mortar businesses have had to adapt to consumers preferring to shop online, more convenient and affordable design services are following suit. Technology is allowing us to connect with homeowners anywhere for just a few questions or even to design a whole house. With online resources, design is becoming more globally inspired as well as more convenient and affordable. I recently guided a long distance client through remodeling a tiny house in Arizona!

Q. What are your favorite types of clients to work with?
A. I most enjoy working with clients who aren’t interested in impressing others, but instead they want a home that suits their lifestyle. They often are initially overwhelmed and are budget conscious. And if they are open-minded to doing things a little differently, that is a plus! I love the challenge of giving someone an affordable, creative idea that changes their daily lives in a positive way. For example, the coffee-loving couple who never used their dining room now has a new bookstore/coffee shop room that they can enjoy and actually make time to spend together.

Q. What/who inspires you right now?
A. I design comfortable homes and most people are comforted by natural surroundings whether it be in colors, textures or lighting. Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs has inspirational designs that are both beautiful and comfortable and always have nature at the forefront. I’m also drawn to Joanna Gaines’ newest designs as she moves away from farmhouse rustic and more toward casual “modern cottage” styles with natural textures and colors.

Q. How do you consider natural light when designing a space?
A. One of the most common decorating problems people have is in choosing paint colors. That great color in the store goes flat in their home or the perfect color their friend picked for their family room is not so great in their home. Lighting changes everything. I educate clients on how to pick the right color with careful attention to natural lighting so the right undertones are chosen. It’s also critical to consider natural lighting for fabric selection, arrangement of furniture, wood floors and art and accessories. I’ve seen far too many people make costly mistakes by purchasing furniture with fabric that fades or that have flooring or other design elements damaged by UV rays. The right placement and products can avoid those mistakes.

Q. What new trends in windows & doors are you using?
A. Our outdoor spaces are becoming extensions of our homes. Windows highlighted by trimwork rather than covered up with fabric and shades that offer privacy when needed but otherwise disappear are very popular with my clients. Folding doors that encompass entire walls and open onto a patio or porch area not only give us more entertaining space, but also help us connect with the outdoors.

Q. If someone could look through a window into your dream room, what would they see?
A. My dream space would be an open and inviting place where family and friends want to gather — uncluttered but not sparse with comfortable seating that allows for storytelling and intimate conversation. Accessories and wall décor made by local artisans and colors and textures inspired by nature with blues and greens, beiges and grays would be featured. The space would be calm, but at the same time interesting, with textures such as woods, cork, leather, glass and copper — definitely a space to come together.

See more of Jodi’s work on Houzz.

Nominate an interior designer for our Toast the Expert series.


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