We had a great chat with Olevia Nguyen, Vero Interiors where talked a whole bunch about design trends and how Real Estate investors and Rehabbers can set apart themselves by making some in-expensive yet tasteful choices.
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Video Transcript of the Interview
[00:00:01] AG: Hi, guys! This is AG with Real Acquisitions, and I have with me a very special guest today – Ms. Olevia Nguyen with Vero Interiors.
[00:00:11] OLEVIA: Yes, hi!
[00:00:11] AG: Oh, welcome to Real Acquisitions, and thanks for doing this for Real Acquisitions. So, we’ve been wanting to do this for a while, as I’ve talked to you about many times. So, Olevia’s been working with us on some of our new construction, new build projects. I’ve learned tremendously from her, from her design aptitude. I think, some of the things that she shared with me has opened up my eyes. I thought I was pretty good in design until I spent some time with the experts, opened up a few of my eyes. So, I felt that to record a few snippets of talk to you, guys, about a few things that I think, a professional can bring to the table, that I think, most of us don’t even think about. So, Olevia, before we get started, why don’t you talk a little bit about yourself, who you are, and what you do, and we’ll start from there.
[00:00:57] OLEVIA: Sure. So, __________ Houston, but I’ve been in the industry for about 8 years. __________. In a short period of time, I’ve seen a huge need in my profession and what I do. It feels liberating being able to share your arts with people __________. It’s an amazing experience that I want to be able to share those tips with __________.
[00:01:20] AG: You have done a lot of projects as an interior designer mostly on the commercial side, right?
[00:01:37] OLEVIA: Yes.
[00:01:37] AG: You’re starting to transition into the residential side.
[00:01:40] OLEVIA: Yes.
[00:01:40] AG: So, how do you like working with a _____?
[00:01:45] OLEVIA: It’s been challenging, I’ll tell you that; but, really, whether the projects are big or small, you work with its price range. So, I just wanna be able to _____ one. The projects __________ and the work that we specify caters to __________.
[00:02:00] AG: That’s important to note, guys. Many times, when we think of interior designers, we are like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s no way that I can afford an interior designer’, especially if… like a flip project. We’re doing a lot of projects that are in the million dollar range. So, yes, many of our projects, we could definitely afford an interior designer; but even then, I think, on some of the smaller projects, there’s tremendous value to be had or added when doing even smaller projects. If I may request, could you speak a little louder? I think we’re getting some _____ mic.
[00:02:35] OLEVIA: Oh, sure.
[00:02:37] AG: Or maybe you could move the mic forward. You know what? Just cut it. __________ section again.
[00:02:43] AG: Hi, guys! Welcome in joining me and my special guest, Olevia Nguyen, on a Real Acquisitions podcast. Done this often on, not as many times as I would like, but we’ve been working on some pretty cool stuff, and I thought of shooting an episode. I think we’ll really add tremendous value to a lot of rehabbers, builders, construction guys; especially now, _____ Harvey, where we need some more cheerful themes to talk about, and most of you are doing a lot of rehab construction projects, anyway. So, welcome to the show, Olevia.
[00:03:22] OLEVIA: Thank you.
[00:03:23] AG: Olevia is with the Vero Interiors. She’s been working with us on few of our construction projects and has added phenomenal value to what we have done and we’ll show you – if time permits towards the end of the project – we’ll show you some of the things that she’s done for us; but before we get too deep, Olevia is an interior designer, and today, what we really want to talk about is how is it that rehabbers, construction guys, can do things to their projects that will set them apart. I think that’s the most important theme of the conversation: doing things with the sector – our products, our projects – apart from the Monday, let’s just say, the Monday work that a lot of us do. So, talk to us a little bit about yourself. Tell us who you are and we’ll go from there.
[00:04:12] OLEVIA: Yeah, okay. So, we’re based out of Houston _____ projects can be national. So, we not only do we work in Houston, we can work in other cities, as well, with different builders and developers and investors. The challenge of me seeing some of these projects is people trying to meet their budget and to design towards their budget, and sometimes it may not be… their finishes may not be maximizing to their potential, due to…
[00:04:42] AG: You’re basically saying _____.
[00:04:49] OLEVIA: Well, you said it on me, but, in all fairness, there’s a lot of people out there that are working on projects that may not have the resources. So, I’m here to step into kind of lead the way and guide a light into different finishes that will provide potential and maximize your profit towards your project at the end of the day.
[00:05:11] AG: We would like that. So, specifically, I guess, what we will be talking about is some of the cardinal mistakes that I believe investors make when picking finishes, when putting together; let’s say, a design palette for their projects. So, why don’t we bring up the PowerPoint presentation that you have and we can get into it with more details. So, talk to us a little about your background.
[00:05:37] OLEVIA: Okay. So, here, we’re gonna be going over 6 points that I want to focus on that, I think, are deal breakers into selling a home. These are things that homeowners are going to be looking for; points that, I think, investors while working on a project should pay attention to; because 80% of buyers are heavily persuaded in how things look aesthetically. So, the first thing we’re going to be talking about is flooring, and size does matter. So…
[00:06:12] AG: No pun intended.
[00:06:14] OLEVIA: No pun intended. I’m _____ can vouch for me. In this photo here, you can see typically what it would look like in a regular home remodeling project. Doesn’t seem anything wrong off the bat, but if there’s a way to improve it, one thing to note is the size of the flooring tile. What you could do…
[00:06:34] AG: What is that, a 12 x 12?
[00:06:36] OLEVIA: Yes, it’s a 12 x 12, but the idea is that there’s so many grout lines in this flooring that it kind of draws your attention to the entire space, and it’s just making it small. To be quite honest, a lot of people associate smaller tiles in bathrooms, and this is a living room where you want to feature this part of the home. So, in order to improve it, you want to bring in a large tile. Our eyes tend to draw to _____ space. By creating a larger size tile, you create a larger format of the flooring that just makes the space seem grandeur. Another thing to note here, in this particular photograph on the right, is that there is no trimming. So, that may be your…
[00:07:24] AG: I didn’t see that.
[00:07:25] OLEVIA: Yeah. So, it’s a different technique used than the traditional trimming that you would see in most homes. It has to be done carefully though, otherwise, it would just appear as if it’s an unfinished wall; but a lot of people are floating the drywall a couple of inches off the ground to make it look like it’s floating. So, these are just little tips that you can use that will elevate your space in a creative way and also saving on trim cost.
[00:07:54] AG: If you don’t know what floating a drywall above means, it’s very simply that when your sheet-rock guys are doing the sheet-rock, it’ll probably __________ sheet-rock all the way to the bottom. In this case, this is probably a half-inch, maybe 3/8 tile. So, they’ll assume that the 3/8 tile will probably leave another half-inch above it; and just like they’ll put corners on the sheet-rock corners, they’ll put the same corner to the bottom giving it a nice, clean finish just like it is on the corner. So, it’s not a difficult thing to do at all, that’s what floating is.
[00:08:28] OLEVIA: Right. I want to provide a quick tip also. Be mindful of the material that you’re going to be applying on the floor that will be added onto the floating drywall, because that will be going first in new construction or remodeling project. So, be mindful of that, of the material height that you’re using. It will take up space on the drywall and it will appear as if it’s unfinished if you don’t leave a substantial gap between the flooring service and the drywall.
[00:08:58] AG: Okay.
[00:08:59] OLEVIA: So, here, we’re going to be talking about colors, and I think, it’s…
[00:09:05] AG: Oh my gosh, this is so vital. I struggle for the longest of this.
[00:09:11] OLEVIA: Yes, okay. So, a lot of people struggle with what finishes to pick, especially if it’s a current project that has current finishes. There’s going to be certain things that you’re going to leave behind and you’re going to be replacing. So, the first step you want to do is to look at the current finishes that you have and see, decide whether it’s a warm tone or a cold tone. The way that you determine that, you’re going to see certain tints of each color. This is the part where people kind of part ways, where they’re just like, that we know this one thing works. We’re just going to apply it to here and they don’t pay attention to the finishes around them; enabling them to create a palette that’s not as cohesive, which in turn is, doesn’t sell as well on the market. So, here we want to pay attention to color. In your warmer tones, you’re going to see tints of yellow, red, pink. Here, I show you pairings of cabinetry finishes that will work well with warmer tones. So, warmer tones are going to be more like your yellows and your browns. Usually, if you associate it in more of a traditional setting and the cool tones, you’re going to see a lot of blues, greens, purples; and these are hidden tints. The way that you determine that, is that you want to use your… pull out your color _____ index and see what type of those tints are being pulled out. Depending on those tints is the direction that you wanna go. So, if you have existing finishes or in a cool tones, you typically want to gravitate towards more of the grays,your light grays, dark espresso woods can be universal for warm and cooler tones, which is great. Also like… Yeah, definitely.
[00:10:56] AG: So, I give you a tip, guys, ’cause I know what some of you are thinking, like, ‘Oh my gosh. I do not have the color intelligence to be able to tell with this kind of a palette’. You’re just dealing with us. The easiest way that I found of distinguishing warm tones and cool tunes, and I hope you don’t berate me when I say this, is we think of gold or silver. When I think of gold, what colors, what palette, what furniture, what finishes, that go with gold – and that to me is a warm palette, if I can mix those things together. When I think of cool, I think of silver. What are the colors, the themes, the palettes, the finishes that I could use to go with silver. That’s a very quick, simple way of distinguishing between a warm and a cool tone.
[00:11:50] OLEVIA: And that works, too.
[00:11:52] AG: Okay, that works, too.
[00:11:52] OLEVIA: All right. So, just to kind of echo on our color shading, take for instance, left side: typical colors that you would see in a remodeling project that are used. You want to decide on what appropriate flooring would be used depending on those shades. Well, if you notice on the bottom of the screen, the flooring don’t _____ typically see in older homes. These colors are outdated. Nobody particularly gravitate towards these richer reds and warm colors that were in homes that were built in the 70’s and 60’s. You still see it in a lot of more traditional neighborhoods, but when you’re remodeling, you want to be mindful of that; because when you’re putting cooler and newer shades of warmer tones, those bases, those taupe colors – you apply it to these heavy reds, red tones. It just doesn’t jive. It doesn’t work well. So, what we can do to enhance a space and to make it look more unified, is to apply more of the gray tones or the lighter woods, the dark espresso – that’s a safe bet, and you have you grays, you have your lighter tones. So, you can see how that shape, it just goes together. It’s parallel to one another and it’s not stark, which in a little bit, there is a difference between contrast and just straight up doesn’t go together. I’ll explain that in a little bit.
[00:13:19] AG: One of the things I do notice is that you… is this your style that you… you seemingly looks like you’re very cool tone biased or is that… the market is going in that direction?
[00:13:32] OLEVIA: That’s the market, that’s the direction that I’ve seen the market is going in. There’s also _____ room in transitional styles that people gravitate towards, but that is also brought out in the characteristics of the furniture and…
[00:13:50] AG: So, I will tell you something that one of the things that we’ve been asked by actual clients in the higher end homes, for example, the projects you’re starting in Bellaire – people are now looking for completely warm tones. So, I believe, the resurgence, there has been now around for, two, three years now?
[00:14:12] OLEVIA: Yeah.
[00:14:12] AG: The resurgence starting to happen again of more traditional warmer tones, but I do agree with you that this new series of, what do you call? Warm gray?
[00:14:22] OLEVIA: Warm gray, taupe.
[00:14:24] AG: Taupe.
[00:14:24] OLEVIA: Taupe is, no. 1, it’s the mixture of beige and gray together.
[00:14:29] AG: That’s right.
[00:14:30] OLIVIA: Yeah.
[00:14:30] AG: Now, without disturbing you, your floor, I know that some of these products look remarkably expensive than what are some of the other guys would be buying. I’m sure that towards the end you will be touching more on the right places to go.
[00:14:46] OLEVIA: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:14:47] AG: So that they could stay within our price ranges.
[00:14:49] OLEVIA: So, towards the end of this, I’m going to show you different palettes that can be applied to your projects that doesn’t have to cost an _____. The resources out there are not even in comparison to the resources that we have as professionals. So, being able to extend that to you, guys, is invaluable to apply it to your projects.
[00:15:09] AG: So, we can go to these special places?
[00:15:11] OLEVIA: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:15:14] AG: Okay, all right. I like.
[00:15:15] OLEVIA: All right. So, here we’re gonna look at some of the samples of actual projects here in Houston to have their… I mean, this is just cringing to me. This very sky, navy blue. I’m just very confused. It does not go with the flooring at all. You can see they’re fighting against each other. They’re not even in the same tone. The flooring has a lot of light yellows and it’s just a completely off pace with the wall color that they chose; whereas something on the right, it’s more unified and I think, homeowners can relate to it even if it’s a warmer tone or cool tone – that it’s relatable, ’cause people have seen it in other places that works, and that’s what makes it so.
[00:16:07] AG: So, one of the things that being in business that I’ve learned – we sell different kinds of products, we sell software, we sell construction, we sell all kinds of things – one of the things I’ve realized, Olevia, is people like to be surprised when you’re selling a product or service to them. People like to be surprised – oh, it’s a good thing. I didn’t know this existed.
[00:16:29] OLEVIA: Right.
[00:16:29] AG: But they don’t like to be alarmed.
[00:16:32] OLEVIA: Sure.
[00:16:32] AG: People like to see things, surprised, but things that kind of, sort of familiar with. Things like these is, if some guy coming or some gal coming and just picking up _____ to Home Depot or _____ Decor, good places _____, but probably picking up the out of stock inventory, the cheapest stuff available right then, slipping, putting lipstick on a pig ride back.
[00:16:57] OLEVIA: Yeah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people that just shop out the street. There’s so many cooler resources that we have access to, to be able to help you, guys, on your projects. Nothing that you would see off the streets, in stores. Those are actually limited colors that have finishes that have came out of last seasons. So, when people are turning to Home Depot and _____ and _____ Decor, that’s great and all; but there is this other realm of interior finishes that you could have and apply it to your projects. So, here, I kind of want to go over the color finishes of the cabinets. So, the cabinet finishes on the bottom, it’s just _____ referencing towards color. You don’t really see as much anymore at homes, and when you do see that at homes, it’s considered outdated – a lot of your red tones, your wall nut warmer red wood tones. So, above, is what we’re seeing transition in throughout the country – from your lighter tones, your taupes, your light grays, your darker taupes into the grays and the dark espressos. I think, this is being seen across the board.
[00:18:19] AG: So, interestingly, __________ saying or are you… that stain is going out of fashion?
[00:18:26] OLEVIA: Stain is definitely going out of fashion. This is not to say that it’s not being applied. You can still do it. You can still apply stain finish based upon any of the colors that’s noted above, but a lot of people are gearing towards laminate; maybe it’s cost effective, maybe it’s just been able to provide the color flexibility that’s in laminate that you wouldn’t in a wood cabinetry, ’cause it’s labor intensive, having to paint the exact color that you’re looking for.
[00:18:57] AG: So, let me clarify a little bit about what you’re saying. If I understood you correctly. You’re not talking about cabinets made of laminate. What you’re talking about is a regular wood cabinet but it has _________ almost like covering of a laminate material.
[00:19:13] OLEVIA: Yes, because laminate is going to be _____ 4 x 8 sheet and you can apply that onto the wood panel that will be…
[00:19:19] AG: Just cut it like a covering and your trim carpenter can come and just…
[00:19:24] OLEVIA: Yes, and any cabinet maker should be familiar with how to apply laminate onto a wood panel.
[00:19:31] AG: Yup. You know what? Interestingly, if you take out the molding in a lot of these cabinetry and you probably set a ton of money in fabrication anyway…
[00:19:40] OLEVIA: Oh, absolutely…
[00:19:41] AG: And applying that on the laminate over the top, I think, it’s very easily achievable.
[00:19:47] OLEVIA: Absolutely. For those remodeler setter, you’re towards the contemporary style. This also prevents any labor intensive molding that may be in a _____ store. That also helps… So, can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this kitchen? No one does dive in _____ anymore. Beyond that, the macaroni cheese yellow with the yellow on the floor, I mean, you want to be mindful of the similar tone that you’ll be using. For instance, if you’re going to remain and keep the floor, then you’re going to want to choose a paint color that’s a little bit of contrast or maybe two, three shades off of that – either lighter tone or _____ tone. Don’t go into the same tones, ’cause then it kind of confuses the eye. Then you have black counter-tops which… it just… it’s very _____ from the white cabinets. I feel like there could be…
[00:20:45] AG: Heavy gray for contrast.
[00:20:46] OLEVIA: Yeah. The thing with contrast, you can apply contrast carefully but through _____, right? Through similar, just very basic finishes, maybe just three or four, not overkill with the finishes, and I know you can relate to that working on our projects. Less is more. Keeping it unified. Maybe you want to repeat some of the finishes throughout the space. That will work as well.
[00:21:13] AG: Yeah, and it’s true. I walk into Sony’s project where… phenomenal work, but it’s like a fricking museum…
[00:21:21] OLEVIA: Right…
[00:21:22] AG: The idea would be that… I mean… it’s… you look at one direction and it’s one finish; you look in another direction, another finish; you look at the third direction, it’s another finish; and the eyes is constantly… it’s like being literally in a museum, like I’m in a design center or I’m in a house, it doesn’t seem like a home.
[00:21:39] OLEVIA: Yeah, absolutely. So, this particular photo on the left, I wanted to note to you, guys – from afar, it looks okay, it looks there’s nothing wrong with it; but when you look very closely, there are minor improvements that can be made on a remodeling project. So, for instance, the counter-top kitchen island – notice that the slab is a little bit thinner which puts off the impression of an inexpensive product, not to mind you, little bit uncreative. Maybe it was an afterthought. Not sure. So, in other way to enhance that, you can actually thicken the counter-top by making it a substantial size for the counter-top. You can dress that through a different finish. Let’s say, your counter-top in the background is going to be a solid white. So then, you’d want to contrast it by using a similar white but it would be in a marble. That would stand out substantially to me.
[00:22:39] AG: Now, if you’ve ever done counter-tops, the traditional wit is what? The 2 centimeters… versus 3 centimeters,
[00:22:48] OLEVIA: 2 centimeters…
[00:22:48] AG: Versus 3 centimeters, right? So, one of the things that we’re experimenting with one of our projects is, instead of doing a… like a granite or _____, we’re actually doing a _____ of porcelain, and then doing a trim around it, like a thick trim of porcelain around it to give that thick feeling. Oh my gosh, looks like a million bucks…
[00:23:05] OLEVIA: It looks like a million bucks without spending so much on it. It’s an amazing technique and it’s framed inside with wooden beams and it makes the kitchen island look very substantial and expensive looking, like just using porcelain.
[00:23:21] AG: Great tip.
[00:23:23] OLEVIA: This is a home here in Texas that’s been remodeled and this is just to show you the washed out finish that was applied here. The remodeler decided to use this particular flooring which was great, but notice that the counter-tops were very similar to the flooring, which kind of meshes into the ground, and the fireplace finish that they had picked is also similar as well. So, very common mistake that remodelers do, maybe it was just lack of creativity or imagination. They just wanted to have something on the wall so they decided to pick the same tone. So, what you could do is pick out a tone that’s in the flooring that’s maybe darker color and apply it to your counter-tops. Apply it to your fireplace. The fireplace could’ve been in a darker shade or it could have been in a white _____ – something that sense contrast that’s just a little bit different. Also, note the back-splash. It’s not dressed at all. I think they wouldn’t have…
[00:24:29] AG: It almost seems non-existent.
[00:24:31] OLEVIA: Yeah. I think, it would look interesting if there was a little bit of bling or like a really nice mosaic tile or if you’re on a budget, continue the granite counter-top all the way up. That way, you’re not left with the drywall and naked back-splash.
[00:24:48] AG: Good tip.
[00:24:49] OLEVIA: Yup.
[00:24:50] AG: It’s the kitchen and the __________.
[00:24:53] OLEVIA: Yes, absolutely. So, this is just a picture of a bathroom, you can kind of tell why it doesn’t work – that heavy molding, the red wood, the _____ 80’s, 70’s wallpaper…
[00:25:06] AG: Let me ask you this. These are like recent remodels, like, you’re not looking at homes from 30 years ago…
[00:25:07] OLEVIA: These are homes that are within 150 to 200 K…
[00:25:17] AG: Recently remodeled.
[00:25:20] OLEVIA: Recently remodeled. Some of them are maybe not remodeled, then they’re less like that, but there’s a lot of remodelers out there that may just leave the house the way that it is…
[00:25:32] AG: Thinking it’ll sell.
[00:25:34] OLEVIA: Right, absolutely.
[00:25:35] AG: And __________ big time. Come on, you all.
[00:25:39] OLEVIA: Here, __________ is just not going to work. I mean, it makes sense at the time, I guess, to just pick the same color, that’s throughout the space, but you want to introduce different contrasting colors. So, if you’re going to work with yellow and beige tones, add some dark woods in there. Then maybe, the mirror doesn’t have to be a standard flat mirror across the board, maybe it’ll be a lateral, a vertical at that. Maybe there’s a need to be cabinetry, maybe it’s just a slab.
[00:26:13] AG: I can’t wait to show these guys the finish we’re doing with the _____.
[00:26:18] OLEVIA: Oh, it’s gonna look amazing.
[00:26:21] AG: Yeah. I’ll tell you…
[00:26:22] OLEVIA: We should do a separate video on the…
[00:26:25] AG: DIY of that…
[00:26:25] OLEVIA: DIY full finish mirror for your vanity, from floor to ceiling. You heard it. Okay, for lighting fixtures – this is what we consider in our industry the jewelry of the spec home.
[00:26:41] AG: Come on, that’s what I have in _____.
[00:26:42] OLEVIA: I know. We… I had attended a hospitality expo where a lot of respected designers across the country, we get together, we talk about upcoming trends that we’re seeing; and the Edison white ball we have talked about is actually phasing out and it’s being overused and exhausted of the same style, which is what you probably see in a retail improvement store. So, to negate that, we are offering or seeing different shapes that are being introduced into the industry through geometric shapes, the polished chromes coming back. The restoration hardware – chandelier – it adds to the space. So, these are just different samples that you could use throughout your space, whether it’s your dining, your foyer – you definitely want to dress it up with a fixture because that’s what will draw your attention to the buyer… Now, texture…
[00:27:47] AG: Now, the moment you said the Restoration Hardware, in our minds, we just immediately added a couple zeros.
[00:27:54] OLEVIA: Oh, well, see, that may be, but there’s a way to _____, reflect, _____ through competitive sources. So, I think, it’s important to have those resources and to be able to know where to find them and just be able to replicate it in materials and finishes that meets your budget. It doesn’t have to be…
[00:28:21] AG: Can I tell them the best place to buy chandeliers without people getting upset? Can I tell that?
[00:28:26] OLEVIA: Sure, I’m scared to know.
[00:28:28] AG: Ebay.
[00:28:29] OLEVIA: Ebay, is that really?
[00:28:31] AG: Some of the best chandeliers, some of the best finishes, at some unbelievable prices.
[00:28:36] OLEVIA: And you know why that is though, probably?
[00:28:38] AG: Coming from China?
[00:28:38] OLEVIA: Yup.
[00:28:39] AG: That’s right.
[00:28:40] OLEVIA: But, I will have to tell you that, being able to support our country in purchasing fixtures here in the States is that there’s warranty for that. So, you’re buying into the quality, you’re buying into the warranty if something happens to it. There is a reference able to help you to be able to replace it should that something happen. I’m not sure Ebay can do that for you.
[00:29:04] AG: No, I think, a lot of these guys, what they’re doing is they’re shipping the material and they’re building an online storefront here. So, they do have, that’s the reason that lead times are not like eight weeks, you know, the lead times are four or five days because they have _____.
[00:29:18] OLEVIA: I think Amazon is that way as well.
[00:29:20] AG: Okay.
[00:29:21] OLEVIA: Yeah, interesting. So, this next topic we want to talk about is texture. This is kind of your other buoying part of your spec home that you can add to your project that just makes it interesting and gives it depth. It makes it look balanced. It also sends a little bit of uniqueness without seeming trite in your projects. So, whether it’s in your backslashes or maybe it’s an accent panel in the foyer. Maybe it’s a floor to ceiling tile, 3D tile back-splash or maybe it’s wall covering that has little bit texture. There’s also carpet – in your carpet you want to look for something that’s a little bit rich and not so much color but in texture. You want to look for the depths of the pile. You want to look for _____ of color, a slight subtlety. When there’s texture to that, it makes the space look dimensional and not flat, not washed out. They’re coming out with great new products at great price points that are three dimensional and they’re made of fiber drywall gypsum board to make it look like wood. A lot of _____ going for the porcelain, especially in this time of need of remodeling, a lot of the homes that have been flooded by hurricane – they’re going towards porcelain that looks like wood because the wood floorings are not able to support that if those homes are to be flooded again. So…
[00:30:55] AG: Many of our projects __________ …
[00:30:58] OLEVIA: Right.
[00:30:58] AG: They’re doing _____ concrete.
[00:30:59] OLEVIA: Yup.
[00:31:00] AG: _____ don’t even mess with any of the _____.
[00:31:03] OLEVIA: Exactly.
[00:31:03] AG: But you know, the funny thing is, I see a lot of these things. As my wife and I have traveled to Asia, many of these finishes have been there for a long time.
[00:31:12] OLEVIA: Oh, yeah.
[00:31:12] AG: And they’re starting to see these things coming into the States now.
[00:31:15] OLEVIA: Exactly. I’ve always been a huge fan of international culture style and they are fashion forward. I feel in all of our silos are slowly migrating from there. So, it’s really inspiring just to see what they’ve come up with and how we can implement to the designs, ’cause we don’t want a cookie cutter project. I mean, it’s so easy to copy someone else’s work, but it’s also another thing to be a little bit inventive and open minded to the type of finishes that you can put into your homes because…
[00:31:47] AG: And be tasteful.
[00:31:48] OLEVIA: Yes, absolutely… So, the last topic we want to talk about is the furniture. I get a lot of inquiries on how to stage furniture, how to accessorize a space. So, one common mistake that I’ve seen in homes – they may not have a big budget, and so, room like this that can be substantially large but you don’t have a big budget to furnish it, you also don’t want to, so to say, I guess, half-bottom it. So, in order to do that, you want to make sure you have a good budget to be able to fill it in, ’cause in the end you want it to look furnished. You want it to look lived in. If you’re going to add furniture, make sure there’s a rug. Make sure there’s a few plants around or drapery. It just adds a little bit of touch where people can relate to the home as if they’re living inside of it.
[00:32:44] AG: _____ budget, this was actually one of the biggest constraints especially on small scale or projects that are $300000 ____ low. They’d rarely will we find a staging entity, that way we can justify the cost of staging; but I will tell you this, to counter that argument is, traditionally, the homes that are staged sells three times faster than a non-staged home.
[00:33:13] OLEVIA: Really?
[00:33:14] AG: Yup. So, balance your pros and cons.
[00:33:16] OLEVIA: Right. In my case, if I didn’t have the budget for it, I wouldn’t even like, stage it at all. I would just use that money to _____ a digital _____ which is a lot of realtors…
[00:33:27] AG: Virtual staging…
[00:33:27] OLEVIA: Yes, a virtual staging, and we also provide that service where we can create a 360. It’s called a video reality where you’re able to link into a link and use your mobile device to be able to _____ across the _____ as if you’re inside the space. Also, 3D rendering as well.
[00:33:46] AG: Okay.
[00:33:47] OLEVIA: Here, it’s just a little bit too cluttered, in this room. They seem to use, the current homeowner’s belongings, but just less is more. We want to de-clutter. If there’s a few pieces you want to replace, maybe keep their sofa, but then rent out the coffee table that matches that and your designer will be able to help out that with you, and making sure the rug is also…
[00:34:17] AG: Cohesive…
[00:34:18] OLEVIA: Cohesive with the entire style of the place.
[00:34:21] AG: _____ great phenomenal tips, Olevia.
[00:34:25] OLEVIA: Yeah, absolutely. So, eventually you want it to look like this…
[00:34:31] AG: _____ blue. What blue is that?
[00:34:32] OLEVIA: It’s turquoise.
[00:34:34] AG: Turquoise, of course.
[00:34:39] OLEVIA: Accessorizing is really easy to do. You don’t need that much in places like the kitchen and bath. You want to make sure you have some greenery – it gives us a little bit of a soft touch – and large lamps. The bigger the accessory, the better, and less is more. That’s what I’ve learned working for some of the best of the best in the business. You don’t want to have a bunch of knickknacks sitting on the table. You want a large substantial piece. It will also look really well when you’re photographing your space and it will register, it will pop on the internet when people are looking at your projects. So…
[00:35:13] AG: __________ this come a lot, which is this back-lighting behind your main mirrors.
[00:35:19] OLEVIA: Yup, and you know, I kind of wanna see the three light, five light vanity, have a way with, and just have those illuminated mirrors; because really, that’s actually the proper way to light your space which is another topic, is being able to light your space.
[00:35:36] AG: Really? So, as a woman when you’re standing in front of a mirror, you don’t really care about light falling in your face?
[00:35:41] OLEVIA: No. You want lights on your face, but you want light on the mirror and you need to have proper lighting so you can do your makeup or be able to see. When there’s vanity lighting, _____ above the mirror which what you typically see at homes, it’s casting a shadow on your face and _____ you to be able to see your face.
[00:36:02] AG: Okay.
[00:36:02] OLEVIA: So…
[00:36:03] AG: They’re interesting. So, great tips.
[00:36:07] OLEVIA: Yeah.
[00:36:08] AG: So, guys, she’s really poured _____ out. We thank you so much for doing all these, but let’s face it – folks like me are never really going to have the resources, the time, and frankly, the aptitude to go out and actually put these things together. So, tell these guys what you’ve done for folks like me and what does it that you can do for them, so they can put these packages together, and frankly, set themselves apart from their competition.
[00:36:33] OLEVIA: Yeah.
[00:36:34] AG: Because it’s so much, just like you said, cookie cutter. I mean, I’ll give an example. About 10 years ago, we bought our first home, my wife and I, and I distinctly remember for weeks and weeks and weeks, we would walk these homes – new construction, relatively new construction, newly remodeled, whatever – we would walk these homes and at the end of the day, we were like, you know what, I can’t remember, I can’t distinguish the second house from the third house from the fourth house.
[00:37:02] OLEVIA: Sure.
[00:37:02] AG: All of them looked so much alike – same color, same finishes, and wood floor designs. Everything was so cookie cutter.
[00:37:11] OLEVIA: Right, monotonous.
[00:37:12] AG: So monotonous. So, I mean, how do you… so how do these guys separate their product from the competition?
[00:37:17] OLEVIA: Okay. So, what I’ve done here is basically created three different pre-made templates that you, guys, can have access to; and there, all finishes listed and they were perfectly within price range that you maybe working for. All at a cost to you. This is valued at over $2000 but I’m willing to give it to you guys for 1500; and if you guys are watching this, feel free to call in and I’ll be able to give you $500 off on these three packages. Let me show you what it’ll look like.
[00:37:53] AG: Okay. _____ make sure _____ what you mean.
[00:37:54] OLEVIA: Yes.
[00:37:54] AG: So, what you’re saying is that, what you’re selling to these guys, what you’re _____ these guys, the tremendous value is you’re putting together the entire finish schedule. So, it has the tile, it has a tile selection, it has the paint, the paint selection, the wood floors, what needs to go in the bathroom, what needs to go in the kitchen, the places they need to go to buy these, how these things come together?
[00:38:18] OLEVIA: Yes.
[00:38:19] AG: And you’re charging how much of this again?
[00:38:21] OLEVIA: 1500.
[00:38:22] AG: Guys, I mean, __________ like a sleazy car salesman, and I guarantee, she is not paying me a dime or are you? Out of this.
[00:38:29] OLEVIA: No.
[00:38:30] AG: _____ should not. Okay, but I guarantee you this: if you were doing a 10 20 $30000 rehab or more, misspending a couple thousand dollar bucks on a designer look that is exact same budget, that’s a no brainer. So, I really wish these guys take you up on this.
[00:38:48] OLEVIA: Yeah, and I think the value of this, it’s just priceless because not only am I, I’ve already done the work for you. All you have to do is just implement it to your home, giving you basically a cheat sheet of what to apply in your kitchen, in your bathroom. It’s all up to date. The rate professional at a discounted cost to you and you get to have access to these resources and see what’s really working and that’s how we evolved this design and be able to create this trend throughout the country.
[00:39:20] AG: Most folks don’t know what this place is. They’re just kind of walking and say, ‘I’d like to buy that’.
[00:39:24] OLEVIA: Right.
[00:39:25] AG: Okay. So, let’s see what you have.
[00:39:26] OLEVIA: All right. So, the first one is going to be geared towards people of more of the rural areas, associated more with the country style. This one’s a little bit more subdued in contemporary.
[00:39:37] AG: _____ rural areas? I would love these designs.
[00:39:40] OLEVIA: Yes.
[00:39:41] AG: I would love these designs in some of our homes.
[00:39:44] OLEVIA: These are more… it can really fit for anybody. I just _____ this world, _____ I kept in mind of the client that, what was a little bit more conservative, didn’t want anything drastic but still wanted to keep some of these traditional aspects. I kept through that with the lighting fixtures that were chosen and maybe more the subdued _____ light, off gray paint colors and…
[00:40:06] AG: Non-provocative.
[00:40:08] OLEVIA: Right, non-provocative. Neutral cabinetry, moldings, doorways that you would just usually see in homes, not too contemporary, but it’s something that’s understood, that people can relate to but still up to date…
[00:40:23] AG: _____ very popular in markets like Houston, I think, just people… it gives people the wall space, the color space, the neutrality of them applying, the home owner, their own bling if you will.
[00:40:37] OLEVIA: Right.
[00:40:37] AG: Accessorizing it with red, with blue, whatever you want.
[00:40:39] OLEVIA: And the greatest thing about these things that I’m about to show you is that they’re very classic colors. So, if you wanted to add a pop of color, you can do so at your leisure. This is a basic up to date palette that you can use as a foundation – cheater home – making it look top notch.
[00:41:01] AG: Okay.
[00:41:02] OLEVIA: This one is more of your suburbia clientele. They are a little bit more hip but there’s still conservative into certain aspects of the homes that they don’t want to change. Maybe _____ of the molding of the cabinetry. Maybe it’s the fact that they like the espresso dark wood floor. So, we’re going to _____ that in there. Then we’re going to dress it up with some geometric chrome lighting fixtures and maybe some 3D textural walls for your bathroom… Your third one is going to be for the trendy client – typically the one that live in downtown or maybe it doesn’t even have to be in downtown. It could be any client that lives anywhere but has a particular city-life-like lifestyle; and this is for the Metropolitan folk which is a city life person. So, this one’s going to be a little more contemporary, more for concrete look, your grays and your lighter wood tones.
[00:42:00] AG: Industrial feel.
[00:42:02] OLEVIA: Yes.
[00:42:02] AG: I love that door. What is that? Is that, again, a laminate finish or is that actual a stain finish from the door?
[00:42:06] OLEVIA: It’s actually a laminate door with paint trimming around it and it’s an interesting technique to use rather than just seeing the typical interior door that we usually see in a lot of the homes. It will definitely set the hallway and your home apart.
[00:42:24] AG: Interesting.
[00:42:26] OLEVIA: An added bonus look, just to show you. This is more of your darker tones. So, this is a little bit more _____ for the daring client, that user. This is called Urban Suburbia. So, for the people that maybe had a background in more of a suburban area home but wanting to dress it up a little bit more like a city lifestyle.
[00:42:54] AG: It reminds me tremendously of some of the European hotels and those kind of lofts and suites that we’ve been to.
[00:43:02] OLEVIA: Yeah, and you know what? As of right now, New York… places like New York and Chicago and even Dallas – their styles are seeing of this, like, all over.
[00:43:14] AG: __________ in New York. Did you say that?
[00:43:18] OLEVIA: No, not at all.
[00:43:19] AG: Okay, thank you.
[00:43:21] OLEVIA: Because we’re Houston and we’re better.
[00:43:23] AG: Com’on! Hey, no offense of you folks in Dallas.
[00:43:28] OLEVIA: Hey, we’re all in the same team, we’re in Texas. This keen is relatable to the hippish, like contemporary client.
[00:43:38] AG: Okay. This is awesome.
[00:43:42] OLEVIA: One more thing, you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. You can check out our latest trends of Mondays. We have our Monday motivations. So, throughout the week, we’ll be posting tips, looks that are happening. So, if you want to stay up to date, Instagram is really easy to use. You can just see the different photos that I’m posting, and actually finishes; and sometimes when I’m receiving new products and sources, I’ll see something interesting, and I post it immediately, and then boom – you have access.
[00:44:13] AG: Awesome!www.facebook.com/verointeriors.houston , and what’s your email, my dear?
[00:44:19] OLEVIA: Email would be email@example.com
[00:44:24] AG: And how do they call you?
[00:44:27] OLEVIA: They call me by phone.
[00:44:28] AG: They call you by phone, okay.
[00:44:28] OLEVIA: Yes, and that’ll be 225-588-0711 and we’ll link it on the link for you, guys, to have.
[00:44:36] AG: Perfect. So, guys, reach out to Olevia. Just like she’s done work on our projects and add a tremendous value, I’m sure she can do that for your projects as well. Again, I’ll just say this guys – there are clients out there. In any price bracketing, in any price range, does not really matter if you’re building $150,000 homes or $300,000 homes or a million dollar homes, that does not really matter; whichever price range, price point that you’re building, you will be able to get a premium for your work if you have things that look apart -stylishly apart, not weirdly apart. If your projects look stylishly apart, you can charge a premium for your work. With what she brings to the table, I can tell you from my own personal experience, that it will definitely set you guys apart, too. Well, my dear, thank you so much.
[00:45:33] OLEVIA: Thank you. I hope that helped.
[00:45:33] AG: It definitely helped. So guys, reach out to Olevia and make your projects work. Thank you much.
[00:45:38] OLEVIA. Thank you.
[00:45:39] AG: All righty.