Big changes + little cash = major style!
That's the formula used by Dress Your Digs, a decorating business that helps clients repurpose, redesign and redecorate a living or working space using items they currently own.
"Most people have plenty of things already in their homes that can be used to decorate and rearrange," said business co-founder and co-owner Patsy Urbanovsky.
She and business partner Trish Little have been neighbors and friends for 10 years. Their daughters are friends, and they share many similar interests including home decorating. Trish and Patsy (as friends turned clients and clients turned friends call them) started the business in the fall of 2010. They were both attending a Pampered Chef party, and the idea for Dress Your Digs surfaced. Both had worked with staging real estate properties for sale, and while they enjoyed that process, they wanted to become more involved with their clients.
Along with a long-time interest in redesign, clients have become a focus of the business, Trish said.
"We try to design from the clients' perspective," she said. "We consider what's going to benefit the client in how he or she uses the room."
They also consider the space's details, such as a beautiful window or exceptional woodwork. Both love the challenge of using the clients' belongings. Hence the slogan, "Your Stuff, Your Style!"
Their Web site, www.dressyourdigs.com, outlines package options and describes makeovers and tips, along with before-and-after photos.
Probably the most fun, and perhaps challenging, is the Digs on a Dime package, which features a room makeover and a party. During this makeover, Trish and Patsy challenge themselves to pull items from other areas of the home, rearrange the furnishings and reveal a pulled-together room in one hour. Gulp - an hour!
Carol Wathen recently had a Digs on a Dime party in her home with friends. The party started with Patsy and Trish gathering everyone into the makeover space.
They asked Wathen what she would like to keep in the room, what furniture wasn't working, how the room should function, whether she had items that she would like to use in the room, etc. Then they asked for permission to "shop the house" and bring belongings from other areas.
The room needed to continue to function as a home office and sewing room. But, Wathen said she'd like it to be more comfortable, perhaps add a chair for reading. The room featured great architectural details, a wood floor and Palladian window, but the current arrangement didn't showcase the room.
Sheets were hung to cover the room's entry, and the countdown began. As the guests sat, chatted and enjoyed snacks in another part of the house, Trish and Patsy were hard at work, bringing a table up from the basement, arranging art the owner had and deciding where to fit the bookcases.
Finally, it was reveal time. The hostess entered the room, closely followed by the guests. "Wow," "this looks great" and "amazing" were comments flying around the room. The hostess smiled.
Mary Kay Pynes, another Digs on a Dime client, was very satisfied with the way her makeover room turned out.
"They took what we had, including a couple of bookshelves, and the way they positioned them in the room made them look neat," she said.
Of the party idea, "It's really fun," Pynes said. "They probably could film it; people would watch."
She said she was almost nervous for them. What if they couldn't do it in an hour? It turned out she didn't need to worry. "The room didn't feel warm before. They did what I wanted. The room gets used now."
Anne Hobbs invited the Dress Your Digs team to help her with three rather large rooms that blend into each other. She admitted that she and her husband were skeptical. They didn't believe they had enough furnishings to really develop a decorated space. They decided to try it, figuring they could always move things back.
Patsy and Trish have a special talent for looking at a space and pulling items from throughout the house into a new stylish look. They just look at it from a different angle.
"We were completely surprised at how much they were able to do with the stuff we already had," Hobbs said. "We've left everything exactly the way they styled it. It feels like home now."
Annette Kohn began with the idea of trying Digs on a Dime, but she ended up utilizing more of the "As You Wish" option. Before the team arrived, she painted the family room, kitchen and dining room. (Patsy made a pre-visit and helped choose paint colors.) Kohn had a big china hutch she was ready to "get rid of" that's now being used.
She had items she liked, but she didn't know where or how to use them. She cited a vase from her parents that had been packed away. "Now we're actually using it. We change out the flowers to go with the seasons."
Patsy and Trish arranged the furniture in a way that accented different walls, and they moved books and a bookshelf into the space.
"It is actually working out well," Kohn said. "The rooms now feel cozy and family oriented."
Because of an area-rug switch, the kids now like to sit on the floor and play games.
"Before, the stuff was here but it didn't really go together," Kohn said. "The way they put it together, now it does - even in the kitchen."
Patsy recently ran into a client, Trish said. "The client told Patsy, ‘Oh, I just love that room.' It's fun to see that homeowner smile. That is just the best feeling."
For more information
Contact www.dressyourdigs.com or call 402-499-3764.