Local designer creates inspiring spaces
Last month Canby resident Heather French left her corporate job to pursue her passion and beautify the insides of Canby homes. She launched her interior decorating and design business, Inside Heather's Home, on April 2.
"We kind of took a big leap of faith," Heather said. "I left the corporate world and my great income, and here I am."
French learned about decorating at a young age from her mother Nancy Nelson, who is also an interior designer.
"I have this passion and this desire to make things beautiful and enjoy the rooms that I'm in," Heather said. "When you're first starting out, you don't have a lot and you can't just go buy new things. I grew up with a mom who is also an interior designer…we had a beautiful home, and she's a garage-saler. She taught me how to do that—to make things with what you already have, make things beautiful with what you have."
Heather has fully renovated the interior of her own home, and now she's taking her skills into other area homes. In her designs, she enjoys making as much as she can with what people already have.
When her husband Steve French isn't working as an American Medical Response paramedic, he works as something like Heather's assistant, doing just about anything from adding on that last poly clear coat to drilling holes for knobs.
Right now, Heather offers a broad spectrum of services including new construction product selection, refinishing furniture, painting, making signs and more; but the heart of her business is the interior decorating and design aspect.
It all starts with a free design consultation that allows Heather to gather information. Then she provides a rough estimate of the cost to create the design plan, which is the next step. Heather charges by the hour for her customized design plans. Some clients choose to purchase the plan and stop there. But others move onto step three: implementation. French can carry the plan through to completion, which often includes customized decorative pieces, shelving or refinished furniture. She also provides referrals for construction work and manages the plan to the end.
While the French's home favors a farmhouse style, Heather can cater to a variety of tastes like farmhouse, traditional, contemporary, modern, industrial, Art Deco and more.
"It's not just: I'll come make your house look like mine," said Steve French.
Rather, Heather works with clients to create comfortable, individual and inspiring spaces.
"The home is so personal, such a private place…I feel so honored when somebody invites me into their home," Heather said. "I think that there's something about redesigning a space to just look like a showroom, and there's something about redesigning a space to make it look like your home and part of you and the things that you've collected over the years that are part of your life, and make that into this beautiful space that you enjoy."
The Canby Area Chamber of Commerce is holding an official ribbon cutting ceremony for Inside Heather's Home on Thursday, May 17 at 11:30 a.m., and it will fittingly take place inside Heather's home.