By KRISTAN SVEDA
Photographs by CHICHI UBIÑA
Beyond just staging, this interiors duo is turning blah into beautiful with a personal touch.
Becky Hughes and Ann Lockyer discovered their mutual interest in home and garden design over a game of tennis. Then, the new friends realized how well they worked together volunteering at their children’s schools. So when the two decided to become certified stagers through a six-month course and start their own business, it just made sense. “While our tennis racquets have now been retired, our staging and design business has taken off over the last five years,” said Hughes. The business now serves clients in Connecticut, New York and Florida and their interior design services now extend beyond staging. Their concept is to start neutral and build with pops of color. “It’s all about accent,” said Lockyer. “We always like throwing in that little bit of surprise.” We talked to the design duo about their secrets to success.
What services do you offer through Greenwich Redesign?
We have two main facets to our business. Our staging business is for those clients who are preparing to put their home on the market, have had their home on the market and have had trouble selling it or are enlisting our services before they lower the asking price. We deal with vacant homes as well as occupied homes.
Unlike many stagers, many of our clients are going to be living in their homes while it is on the market. Therefore, we need to create a balance of a styled, neutralized home and yet a home that is still comfortable for a family.
For a vacant home, we need to understand the market price of the home and utilize our resources to create a price appropriate design; one that fits the architecture of the home and fits within the budget of the client.
Our design business is multi-faceted, as well. We handle everything from the client who is interested in updating one or two rooms in their home, to the client who wants to decorate the entire home.
The design part of our business was a natural progression, as many of our staging clients were interested in hiring us after they sold their homes and moved in to their new places. We understood their style, budget and existing furniture.
What is your company style? Do you two differ in that regard?
We like clean, transitional looks. Our styles differ occasionally, but that is what makes every project work, as it is a collaboration of our two styles and the client’s that come together to create beautiful spaces.
When you meet with a client, what is the first thing you want to know from them?
For a staging client, it is pretty straight forward as there is always a timing constraint so we ask timing, goal and budget. When it comes to design, we ask their favorite items and what their goals are for the spaces.
What design trends are you seeing among clients and in the industry?
Clients, whether staging or design clients, are looking for fresh clean lines yet be unique spaces. Our goal is to incorporate our clients “favorite pieces” in to our overall design to make it personal and warm.
What colors are you loving now?
We always love blues. We are liking green right now, too. It’s finding that perfect neutral and adding that fun bright color. If you look at the living room we did recently in grays and added that pop of teal, that’s the kind of thing we like to do. We are working on a house right now in the Hamptons and we are adding a bright orange.
What have you learned since you launched?
When we started the business, staging was not as high a priority as it is today. Staging clients understand how important the photographs are as they are the very first things that will draw a perspective buyer to the home. Prospective buyers go online and within those 20 seconds they are on the listing page, they are looking at the realtor photographs. If those photographs are not compelling, they move on.
For our design clients, we have learned to adapt to each individual client’s style. We work closely with each client to create inviting, fresh new spaces that work for their lifestyle.
For more information, call 888-399-0424 or visit greenwichredesign.com.
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