Even as she was earning a communications degree from the University of Kansas, Courtney Patton knew her career probably lay in interior design.
“My mother always had a great eye," she said. "My grandma, too. I just caught on that way. It runs in the family.”
Patton started Courtney Patton Interiors last month. Her services range from decorating part of a room to decorating for the holidays to outfitting an entire house.
"I've done everything from where it's just small knickknacks – I did a bookshelf recently – to last week, when I did an office," Patton said.
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On Tuesday, she visited eight stores before deciding on a sofa, two chairs and a coffee table for a client.
“They were on a budget, so you have to dig a little deeper.”
Patton got plenty of on-the-job training from Diva Furniture owner Jan Bishop, who hired her out of college. "I worked there six years. I had a blast learning from her. She's very talented and knowledgeable."
Also through Diva, she worked with Craig Sharp Homes, helping clients of custom-built homes "pick out everything from start to finish" and putting her own touch on model homes.
“That's sort of when I get to do what I envision.”
Patton describes her own style as "eclectic with a transitional touch." But she says her goal is to ascertain and fulfill her clients' desires, not her own.
“I really cater to them.”
Patton, who charges by the hour, said she had been thinking about opening her own design service for about a year. "Design is what I enjoy doing. It got to the point where it was now or never."
She said business has been good her first two weeks. For now, she's working out of her home and has been concentrating on residential clients, although she said she'd like to get into the commercial market as well.
One client just asked her to decorate her house for fall, and she has a half-dozen clients whose homes she's decorated for Christmas for several years.
“I'll go out and shop two weeks prior, gathering up all the stuff in my garage. They sort of trust me. I'll be there two days (at each home) doing Christmas installs.”
Patton, 28, figures her communications degree and minor in business will be valuable in running her first business. In her line of work, there's usually a lot of back-and-forth about options, prices and other matters.
“Design is thinking made visual," she said. "That's on my business card. I feel like when I walk into a home, right away I know somebody's style and what they're after. It's really rewarding afterwards to see somebody happy.”
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COURTNEY PATTON INTERIORS
Owner: Courtney Patton