Walking into a furniture and design store can be overwhelming, even for those who have specific visions for their dream décor. And for those who find interior design particularly challenging, stepping foot into Oskar Huber, where every corner looks ripped from a Pinterest board, could seem to be a daunting task.
Thankfully, they won’t allow that. While their location near the Causeway makes it a can’t-miss landmark, it’s their designers’ reputations for guiding homeowners through the interior design process that brings clients coming back year after year.
Russ Heckman and Lisa Storms, two members of Oskar Huber’s interior design team, have seen it all—and have plenty of tips to guide those who are new to the decorating process on what a typical consultation looks like for their clients.
“If somebody walks through the door,” Heckman says, “they might have some drawings with them—or they might not. I try to get a sense of the full scope of the project: is it a full house? Is it a couple rooms? Before we even get into style, we need to know the space.”
Storms concurs. “I’ll set up a supplemental appointment, and I take photos of every aspect of the room and compare them with drawings and dimensions. You have to take note of things like heating vent placements, molding, how high the windows are.”
Once they have accurate dimensions and photos to compare, it’s time to talk about finances. “The most important thing, right and front, is to not be shy about the budget. Whatever your budget is, we can work with it, but it’s important to know before we start picking out pieces for you,” Heckman explains. “And we have to think about the functionality of it all – will this be furniture for a rental unit, where you might want slipcovers you can easily clean? Or is someone looking to upgrade a room in their beach house, and wants something a bit more high-end?”
With that determined, the real fun begins. “Sometimes we ask them to bring in pictures from magazines, pictures of things they like,” Storms says. “And then we can sometimes find comparisons to what we sell through our catalogs. We have a nicely-sized showroom, but our catalog selection is huge—it’s our job to guide you through that; we don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed by the options.”
Since Storms joined the Oskar Huber team eight months ago from a previous interior design position, she’s become well-attuned to the style preferences of a typical LBI client. “It’s unique. They walk into the store and they’re drawn to the turquoise, to the coral, the bright whites. It’s a sophisticated coastal design, but with a relaxed feel—you’re a block from the ocean everywhere you turn!”
Heckman confirms this with over twelve years of experience at Oskar Huber. “People are here to enjoy their property. We’re lucky that we’re often given a free hand on what we want to do—we do the legwork, pick out the pieces, set it up—I’m in the house at delivery. We’ll often direct the delivery team, who are amazing, and bring along maybe several thousand dollars worth of accessories. We’ll stage it, see what the client likes, and just bring back what they don’t.”
Perhaps not-so-shockingly, they often don’t end up bringing back a lot—finding that often these accessories bring to life the vision their client had described on their first meeting in the showroom. Says Storms, “The best compliment I ever got was, ‘Thank you for making my house a home.’”