IM: How did you come to open your company and what has this experience meant for you as an entrepreneur and stylist?
ET: It’s a bit of a whirlwind story but I ended up starting my company by the motivation and support of family and friends who pushed me to take my side hustle and make it into a reality. A few years back I started renovating homes while I was working a full time job (that I loved) but over time I realized I needed a change. It wasn’t until I took some time off with my kids that my creative juices started flowing and my motivation grew stronger to start Erika Tronni Design. Building out the company and finding clients has allowed me the ability to fill my creative side while also managing and running a business, which I do enjoy. I’ve had to learn so much in terms of social media and online presence but I’ve loved every minute of it and I feel like it’s brought back a part of my youth that I lost along the way.
IM: How do you balance your time between running a company and a household?
ET: I set my schedule on Mondays so that I can stay on track all week and get the majority of what I need to accomplish done before the kids get home. If need be I’ll finish things up at night after everyone is asleep. For me, family time is just as important as office hours. I make sure to shut down for a few hours each day so I can spend it with my husband and kids. We eat together, read together and play together before bedtime and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
IM: What do people need to keep in mind when looking to renovate a space and what tips can you share?
ET: When renovating it’s important to keep in mind how the space will function when it’s lived in. I always design with convenience and function in mind. For example, lets say I’m remodeling a bathroom, the more seamless and stress free the morning process is the better the rest of the day will be for my clients. I think about this with every decision I make.
Where the vanity goes, how much storage they will have underneath, how much space they will have on the counter or overhead in the medicine cabinet. What will they need in the shower; do we have enough storage room for all the products they use? How about hooks, where are the best locations for them and how many do we need? It’s one thing to make a bathroom look beautiful; it’s another to make it both beautiful and functional.
IM: What are the current trends you’re going after and what colors are you loving this season?
ET: I’m all about acrylic at the moment; everything from dining chairs to coffee tables and chandeliers. I love it. I’ve seen a lot of great pieces with acrylic and brass ; it has an aura of luxury, a true statement piece! Clear furniture also makes a room feel bigger, which is an added benefit for smaller spaces! As for color, I’m feeling the jewel tones. I tread lightly on color because it is trend driven and I tend to design with a more timeless pallet but I will definitely be using pops of these colors in pillows and accent pieces, even dining chairs could be a great option.
IM: What would you recommend for clients to try at home?
ET: I always recommend starting with what you own. Sometimes we just need to move pieces around to give the room a fresh look or even swapping furniture or decorative items between rooms might be just the change they need. Also, adding small updates like new pillows, candles, lanterns, lamps, etc can really brighten up a space and make a positive impact. If the project calls for more help contact a local designer and see what kind of services they offer. Most are willing to tailor packages to clients needs.