Westchester designer Nicola of Nicola Rosendorff Interiors tells us a little bit about herself, in addition to sharing some of her best advice for creating beautiful interiors and insight into how she’s making a difference in the community through her work.
How would you describe your style?
My personal style is transitional, eclectic, mixed with a colorful French Provincial flair.
What colors do you love to work with?
Subtle hues of grays, creams, and beiges in living rooms or master bedrooms. I also love to work with the bright reds, blues, and yellows of Provence in family rooms.
What are your go-to elements when working with clients?
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I love to incorporate layers of textures, and I love working with color.
hen staging a home, what mood and vibe do you try to convey?
When prospective buyers enter a home, they need to immediately feel welcomed and comfortable. They must imagine seeing themselves in that space. I try to make homes cozy and elegant at the same time.
What are some upcoming trends you’ve noticed?
Lots of grays, which I love. Since it’s neutral, it can be adapted to any style.
What common challenges do you come across when working on a home, and how do you overcome them?
Challenges are working with each space and the limitations of the architecture. In design school, we were referred to as “problem solvers,” so as a designer, that is exactly what I do: solve problems while working closely with the clients. Rooms need to be functional, and yet elegant and cozy.
What are your best tips for homeowners embarking on redesigns?
If you are redesigning for the first time—for example, moving from a small apartment to a large home in the suburbs—you must be aware of scale and proportion. You have an arm chair that you loved in your apartment, [but] it may not translate to the size of the rooms in your new home.
How do you suggest incorporating personal family touches into a design?
I love incorporating decorative items that clients may have picked up on their travels, or creating a grouping of family photos all in similar frames on a side table.
How often do you suggest one should update or redecorate their home?
A home is always evolving. I tell my clients that you are never done. We collect things when we travel that need to find a special place to be displayed; the fabric on the upholstered arm chair is looking faded and frayed. There is always something to be done.
How do you go about working with clients on a budget?
I am very budget-conscious. I give my clients three options that will all work, at different price points, and we choose together. I also price out the whole job first before we start ordering and make adjustments as needed.
What items do you keep and what clutter do you want to eliminate when staging a home going up for sale?
I like to keep the large pieces of furniture and possibly move them so that they are positioned correctly in the space. I have to eliminate all clutter and replace small display pieces on shelving with books.
What are a few finishing touches that make a massive difference?
Lighting is crucial. No one wants to walk in to a room and struggle to see what is in it.
What small changes can homeowners make for holidays or different seasons?
I love small touches. When the fall is approaching, its fun to create a basket of pine cones, dried gourds, and dried flowers.
What items do you customize and sell?
I have my own line of throw pillows. I have created them from my original artwork. I am also developing my own line of wallpapers.
I hear you are also involved with the Furniture Sharehouse of Westchester, can you tell me a bit about that?
Furniture Sharehouse has been helping families in need for ten years. We have distributed, free of charge, more 54,000 items of gently used furniture worth more than $3.2 million to more than 10,500 individuals moving out of homeless shelters, escaping domestic violence, or recovering from personal or natural disasters. But hundreds of families right here in Westchester are still living in empty apartments, without a bed to sleep on or a table to share a family meal. All furniture is donated by Westchester families, picked up and taken to the warehouse at Westchester Airport where people with limited resources, come to pick out what they need.