Inspired Design

Iris Interiors – Designed by Us, Inspired by You



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You can go into a store and buy a sofa. Or window treatments. In a good store, there may even be a “decorating” staff there to help you.

So why do you need a designer?  You need a designer because…

A designer is there to consider the big picture, and help you see it, too. A designer knows what comes first. That a simple, cosmetic change can pick up a whole room – or just as easily put it out of balance. And you don’t want to do that.

 A designer knows what to choose to create the right effect. When the lower cost choice will be just as good. And even more importantly, when it won’t.

A designer can take your ideas and inspiration…and turn them into a reality that is far better than you could have even imagined. Because a designer is able not only to imagine … but envision. She knows how it’s all going to look together, because she can see it. Even when you can’t.

When you hire a designer, you are working with someone whose primary interest is to create an environment that both suits and delights you. A designer is looking for your satisfaction – not her next sale. That makes a big difference in the recommendations you’re likely to get.

A designer is your insurance against shoddy workmanship. Unfortunate choices. Hours wasted looking for things you can’t find; and learning things you didn’t realize you needed to know.

When a designer says… “You should really think about that,” you should listen. Because, when it comes to creating a home you’ll love to live in, a designer knows what’s she’s talking about.

In short, a designer is part artist. Part educator. And part genie. And the reason why you should hire a designer is simple:  because it’s a very good idea.

Iris Houlihan is the owner of Iris Interiors, a boutique interior design firm specializing in residential interior design, custom window treatments, and equestrian inspired design. We help our clients express their own unique story, one design at a time. Iris lives in Central NJ, near Princeton, with her husband, children, and pets. 

Are you downsizing, updating your current home, or just purchased a new home?  Call Iris at 908.265.7688 for a complimentary phone consultation.

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Taking the Mystery Out of Working With An Interior Decorator

If you’ve never worked with a decorator before, chances are you don’t know what to expect; you probably even have some worries about how a decorator works with you to create your vision of a beautiful and functional space, or fear what the costs may be.

Do you have any of these worries?

Q: The final design might not reflect my taste and my personality, because the decorator will impose her own taste and desires on me.

A: Any competent decorator who wants to stay in business and get repeat business from existing clients as well as referrals is going to work hard to make YOUR dream and goals come true, not their own!  Catering to each client’s taste and fulfilling their personal vision of what their home should be must always be the primary goal.   Iris Interiors LLC will work with you to figure out what style, colors, and theme you like and will work in your home, keeping in mind your house’s architecture, lighting, items you want to keep, how you live, etc.

Some clients collect tear sheets of beautiful rooms they’ve seen in magazines or on-line.  Some may even have put together their own style idea book at  Others prefer we help them define or lead them to a style.  Whether you like transitional, modern, eclectic, pet-friendly, coastal or contemporary looks, we can help you pull together the perfect look that makes you happy.  Of course, a decorator is also a great resource for current design trends regarding colors and styles as well.

Q:  A decorator will be judgmental about my current décor or any new design choices I make.

A:  Simply not true!  We know that you are hiring us because you need help, and that most people don’t have the time, energy, or ability to decorate their homes themselves.  An interior decorator can identify what works and will carefully consider your lifestyle, personality, and budget needs.  Some clients need more guidance and some want to be involved more than others.  We do what works best for you!  Our primary job is to help you make choices that will work well in your home while suiting your design preferences and making the design experience a fun one.  And don’t be surprised to find that our first step is to assess which of your existing belongings can be re-used and re-purposed in a fresh new way!

Q:  A decorator will cost too much money, either in hourly or project fees and because a decorator will steer me to the most expensive stores.

A: Actually, a decorator typically may save you money, because they help prevent costly design mistakes, such as wrong color choices, furniture that’s not proportional to the size of the room, fabrics and accessories that don’t work well together, etc.  A good decorator also knows how to choose quality furniture and rugs and where to get the best deals and find one-of-a-kind treasures.  We can also save you many hours of time in identifying quality trades people, working with sub-contractors and resolving questions or issues that may arise.

Did you know that in addition, many times decorators pass on part or all of the discounts they receive?  (Of course, not all stores give discounts).  Additionally, budget friendly home furnishing and decor stores – from HomeGoods to Mashalls, Pier 1 and Ikea – allow us access to a great variety of choices while meeting all budget needs.

Most importantly all potential costs and fees are spelled out in a contract upfront before starting any project, so there should not be any surprises along the way.

Pleasing my clients and putting them at ease is my goal!  For a no-obligation consult on how I can work with you to make your home environment into a more beautiful and functional space, please call me at 908-265-7688 to discuss your needs and ideas.