My favorite part of moving into a new home has always been the decorating. There’s nothing more fun than picking out the perfect paint shade or carpet, to create the perfect atmosphere. That’s why I was particularly excited to speak with Kristi Hugunin, owner of Paper Dolls Home Furnishings, in Lake Geneva.
How did you get into the interior design business?
Thirty years ago, my business partner and I decided to start a wallpaper business. Neither of us had an interior design degree, but we both had a natural gift. This was in the eighties, so wallpaper was very popular, and so was the country craft look. At first we would buy every- thing from on consignment, since we didn’t have enough money to buy inventory. Then we started to grow. We’re located in a mall, so whenever a shop nearby went out of business, we would expand. We went from seventeen square feet to fourteen thousand square feet. We have a huge selection of area rugs, lamps, prints, a oral department, salespeople and certified designers. We can help you out from the first blueprint stages to the finishing touches.
What’s the most important thing to consider when decorating a home?
You really need to hire a professional that has gone to school and knows what they’re doing. You don’t do your own plumbing, so why should you do your own designing? It’s too easy to make mistakes. Hiring a designer is a great way to avoid that, so you can save time and money. I think a lot of people really believe that you have to be wealthy in order to hire a designer, but the truth is that you can always give them your budget, or work on one room at a time. Even hiring a designer for two hours can make a huge difference. We have all sorts of hourly packages, so you can get started and avoid those pitfalls.
What’s the latest interior design trend?
Things are constantly changing in the design world. Every month, my son-in- law updates the photos on our website. That’s how frequently we change our merchandise and our look! In the eighties, the trend was to have every nook and cranny filled with decorations and accessories. Now people are scaling down. The clean, uncluttered look is really popular. Wallpaper is also back, but not on every wall, and it’s about calming, textured, geometric prints, instead of oral “grandma” prints. For furniture, people are into big neutral sectionals. You can throw in some color with area lamps and rugs and pillows. It’s convenient because you can give the room a whole new look by swapping out the accessories. But really, our designers are willing to work with any idea. Their job is to take your vision and make it even better with their expertise!
By: Lara Henerson