Kelli Kaufer is an interior designer for both residential and commercial projects, and has consulted on remodeling shows for HGTV and DIY Network. She’s also a member at ProSource of St. Paul. Below, she shares her insights on how she brings her clients dreams to reality with ProSource Wholesale.
How has ProSource Wholesale helped your clients?
For homeowners, remodeling or building can be challenging, so anything we can do to make it less stressful speaks volumes. ProSource showrooms provide a wonderful way to simplify the process. The all-in-one-stop design centers enable us to pull together all of the products and finishes so our clients can visualize their finished spaces. This convenience is priceless: by the end of the design meeting, my clients are excited—and less stressed—about their project.
What’s the most valuable benefit of being a ProSource Wholesale member?
The knowledge of the account managers is outstanding. Their professionalism and product expertise is a reflection on me, and I greatly appreciate being able to partner with people who understand the business. ProSource greatly reduces the amount of time I have to spend researching products online, so I’m able to respond to my clients more quickly and efficiently.
How has the website, ProSourceWholesale.com, helped your business?
I use the online tools to keep track of orders I’ve placed so I always know what is pending. And it provides a record of my past orders, too.
What trends are you seeing with regard to home design and remodeling?
Spaces that are unique. Homeowners no longer want their home to look just like the house down the street. They want a home that reflects their personality and lifestyle, and they want to use unique products (or traditional products in unique ways).
What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?
Designing commercial spaces is the biggest challenge. There are so many dimensions and variables involved. At any given time, there could be three or four decision makers – each with his or her own style, likes, and dislikes. And I have to always keep in mind the function of the space while continuing to implement the client’s brand into the design and budget.
Commercial spaces are now being called “boutique” spaces. No matter what the service or space – dining, exercising, a law office, or a grocery store – each commercial client wants to create a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for patrons. For me, it’s very challenging but very rewarding.
Before a homeowner begins a project, what advice would you advocate?
For remodels, make a bulleted list of the project: How will you use the space? What do you currently like about it? What do you dislike? For both new builds and remodels, collect inspiration photos, fabric samples, paint swatches, and more. Make a list of ideas, questions, and concerns… and set a budget.
Describe a recent project you’re particularly proud of. What made it so satisfying?
A law office remodel in a 100-year-old building. I exposed the beautiful old brick walls, reclaimed wood beams from the tall ceilings to use as stair treads in a new stairwell. I hired a local artisan to create custom light fixtures I designed. I added a modern touch to the space by incorporating the client’s orange brand color with accent furniture – not too much, but just enough to create an unexpected interest. The result was a unique “boutique” law firm.
What’s your dream project?
Boutique hotels. High-end hotels are trending: each room is unique and creative to provide an arrange of experiences for visitors and patrons.
What brings you the most satisfaction in your work?
A happy client makes for an ecstatic designer. I get tremendous satisfaction from designing creative spaces that reflect my client’s lifestyle.
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