Residential Remedies - Small Business Spotlight
“Farmhouse and Mid-Century Modern are going to have a baby and I am so excited” - LaVallee
Have you ever met someone you just instantly like? That’s how I felt the second I sat down for coffee with Amy LaVallee. Amy is the owner of Residential Remedies. She is a Design Coach for your interior with the goal of making the everyday house your home. What I love most is she emphasizes coaching. Her goal is to provide inspiration and expertise to her clients for any room in the home or a small business. She describes herself as a design coach for your interior. How cool! I was immediately drawn to her business when we e-met on Instagram.
Sitting down for an interview, Amy had done her research. She knew all about me and this blog and was prepared for all my questions. Here are the highlights because no one wants to read our entire 2 hour conversation.
What do you love most about helping people design their homes?
What I do is personal! My favorite part is that gigantic smile on a client’s face when they get excited over the perfect tile, a piece of artwork finally up the wall from their mom, or a final reveal of their space. I focus on building a relationship with my clients learning about their lives so I can bring it into their home. No matter the generation or the current life moment we are in, our homes are becoming more and more important to us! The way a space functions is just as important as what it looks like. I coach on both!
How did you know this was your passion?
Ever since I was young, I loved to decorate. I made wallpaper for my Barbie’s house, so - very young! I would convince my parents over and over again to let me redecorate my rooms as we moved. Thankfully sponge painting went out of style, for their sake. It was my major when I went to college, it was the motivation behind every job I had, and it’s what I did in my free time as a hobby – free design services for every friend and family member I had -they would say those were the good old days!
What made you decide to start your own business?
Small business runs in my family and a sense of community has always been a strong part of my family’s life – so that was helpful. My sister owns Madison Boutique, my mom was a small business coach, my dad has been a little league coach in town most of my life and my brother has been a great supporter. I know this is what I have always wanted to do. I knew I was good at it and I could share my unique design point of view. I worked for La-z-boy in their In-Home Design Program. I moved to IKEA and worked throughout the US for 9 years where the base of my business plan was built. Ingvar is a genius and his love for the people and design was one of my greatest take-a-aways.
The everyday person needs to and wants to have a beautiful and functional space – at an affordable rate! I had to create a business to make that happen …I went into a few design programs at different colleges while I was traveling for work and received my residential design certification from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale.
From there, I never looked back and I started Residential Remedies.
What is one thing someone can do to makeover a room on a budget?
Hire me! But seriously, pick the item with the least amount of options first! We often pick paint color then everything else follows. Paint colors have endless possibilities but it’s much harder to find the perfect granite in the perfect color. This is also true for wallpaper, carpets, and tiles – pretty much every finish you might select for your home. I am often coaching my clients to design backwards! Your end result will be so much more beautiful and exactly what you want. This often is a big time and money saver because you avoid the buy and return or the error selecting the wrong material. Budget isn’t just about money – your time is important too. I coach you on how to save both!
Why hire you over a traditional interior designer?
Most of the time my clients are managing or executing their projects on their own or with the assistance of their contractors. I do coach on big picture so your end result is protected, but that doesn’t mean I need to be there 100% of time – saving you money. Oddly enough I work with some other interior designers, contractors etc. Vendors in the field because I tend to offer services for things neither the client nor vendor want to do, can do or focus on.
Lastly, is there a moment or project that has stood out?
I want to leave as part of the family and my moments and projects tend to be that way. I remember the words “I wish I had done this years ago …’, or “I finally feel like I live here!” and “I could have never done this without you.” A little sappy but if you’ve been there you know what I am talking about. The story behind a piece is where the moments stand out for me.
LaValle specializes in color and paint selection, her watch is even a color wheel which just adds to her fun, passionate personality. She speaks about her clients and projects like they are family members or her own home. I cannot wait to watch her business flourish.
And when we finally get around to some of our bigger projects- Amy you are hired :)