Interior design coach helps with DIY

Interior design coach helps with DIY

Jodi Schavone has had a passion for decorating since she was 4 years old. “I had a dollhouse,” she says. “But I didn’t play with the dolls; I decorated it.”

However, Schavone chose a different path and double majored in business and education. She planned on teaching high school students, but ended up working as a project manager in the corporate world for more than 20 years while doing interior decorating part time. “At one point I thought ‘I have a knack for interior design, I know how to project plan and I want to teach people,’” she says. “I knew there was a need that wasn’t being met.”

2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner

Décor Coach

Owner Jodi Schavone founded the company in 2004 and has earned the Super Service Award every year since 2008.

So in 2004, Schavone started Décor Coach in Apex, N.C. She says she provides an alternative to hiring an interior designer by coaching clients on how to do the job themselves. Schavone gives advice on anything from choosing paint colors and fabrics to knowing where to find materials. “I realized most people want to do their decorating on their own, but don’t know where to start,” Schavone says. This one-on-one coaching takes place in the clients’ homes, and a full-room, three-hour consultation can be done for $160.

Schavone says some homes can present challenges that require guidance, such as oddly shaped rooms and couples who can’t agree.

Member Bob Baird, of Cary, N.C. calls Schavone the perfect matchmaker when it comes to helping couples reach agreements. “Without her, my wife and I would have debated colors for months, never reached complete agreement and compromised on mediocre choices,” he says. “With her, we had a terrific five-color palette in an hour.”

Schavone finds projects like Baird’s are the most rewarding because of the sense of relief when it’s done. “I’ve actually been told I’m better than marriage counseling,” she says jokingly.

Schavone helped North Raleigh member Terilyn Gaither decide how to rearrange her master bedroom. “It was a daunting task to me because of the shape of my room and the size of the furniture I have,” she says. “Once we started, Jodi made things so easy.”

Schavone’s mission for every session is to leave homeowners with a game plan and the confidence that they can do their own decorating. Schavone says her favorite part of the job are the hugs she receives at the end of sessions. “I get a lot of those,” she says. “I know that I’ve made a difference in my clients’ lives.”

The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintaineda stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always checkthe List before hiring, however, as ratings can and do change.


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Interior designer Deborah Goodacre (right) looks at paint samples with client Suzie Douglas. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Goodacre)
Interior designer Deborah Goodacre (right) looks at paint samples with client Suzie Douglas. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Goodacre)

Deborah Goodacre started Divine Redesign & Interior Decorating in 2001. Her work has appeared on the HGTV budget-design show "Decorating Cents."

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