Business

Decorating Is Only The Beginning

By Anthony Kuipers
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Tara Lew enjoys being a part of every aspect of the interior design process, which is a key reason why she opened her new business, “Tara Lew Interiors”, in late June.

Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho

Interior design is more than just choosing the right decorative pillows or window treatments.

Those who have used the services of Moscow interior designer Tara Lew can attest to that. Clients who come to her second floor office on Third Street between [email protected] and Old Thing Antiques can expect her to work with them from design to decoration of that new bathroom, kitchen or living room.

“My goal is to make the remodel and design process easier for people,” she said.

Relying on 10 years of experience in the business, Lew can draw up floor plans, develop 3-D models of a home and communicate with contractors and architects. She can also help clients choose the right type of flooring and furniture and address what she calls the “fluffy” stuff like light fixtures and upholstery.

“A lot of my job is communicating with people and problem solving,” she said.

Lew enjoys being a part of every aspect of the interior design process, which is a key reason why she opened her new business, Tara Lew Interiors, in late June.

She worked for a design firm in Pullman for a decade and decided she wanted to branch out on her own. Working solo means she gets to oversee all the steps and enjoy the final result of her work.

Her appropriately well-decorated office contains shelves of samples for tile, upholstery and window treatments. On the wall is a TV she uses to display her 3-D renderings of what a space will look like after it’s been completed. Those who want to see her work up close can visit Ampersand Oil and Vinegar Tap House on Main Street, as she collaborated on its design with the owner.
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She never envisioned herself owning a small business, but the University of Idaho graduate felt it was the best option for her to continue doing what she loved while staying in the city she and her family call home.

So far she has relied on word of mouth to grow her list of clients. Lew has made a point of becoming more involved in the community to help her do just that. She’s a member of the Lion’s Club, the Moscow Women’s Giving Circle and a local mentoring program, all of which have connected her with people, many of whom have never thought about hiring an interior designer.

She has already built up relationships with contractors, and she relies on those connections to help her clients. When extensive rot on the windows was revealed during a recent bathroom remodel, she knew who to call to fix it, she said.

That’s where her problem solving skills become useful, as projects will rarely come together without a few bumps in the road first. Her extensive experience has prepared her for those situations, she said.

“Fresh out of school, you don’t know how to handle those things,” she said.

Residential projects, particularly kitchen and bathroom remodels, are the most common jobs she tackles. She hopes her work will change the way a family uses a space, like utilizing a closet more effectively or making an unused basement a gathering place.

Her hope is that she can ease a client’s fear about embarking on what is often a very intimidating project.

“When you’re in people’s homes, it’s very personal,” she said. “They put their trust in you.”
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