Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes. In the case of Debbie Westman, necessity led the mother of four daughters down the path to a successful interior design business. “With four daughters, I had to learn how to sew,” laughs Westman. She had a knack for it, as it turned out, and other parents were quick to enlist her tailoring talents for various projects.
Despite her nifty needlework, the life of a seamstress was not Westman’s calling. When her youngest daughter started school, Westman switched her focus to interior design, and Designs by Debbie, Inc. was in business. Some of the same parents who appreciated her sewing skills became customers in the new business venture. Word of mouth referrals helped build her client base, and Westman was off and running.
For the interior-design-challenged among us, Westman’s keen eye is a godsend. “I can walk into a room and see how it will look,” she explains. Westman notes that her style is not everyone’s, so she urges clients to bring something to the table as a starting point. “Go through magazines, give me a file of rooms you like, and I can take it and run with it,” she says. “Pick something warm and that’s in your style.”
Westman specializes in “soft” furniture (i.e. sofas and chairs), upholstery, drapery and window treatments. “It’s tricky,” she says, “so a lot of designers won’t touch it.” As a veteran designer, Westman has a wealth of experience to draw from and several handy tips for clients. “When building a home, you want to stay with classic, traditional looks,” she suggests. For bigger pieces like sofas and cabinet furnishings, her advice is simple: “Go with something you want to look at every day.”
Styles in color, texture and pattern tend to change fairly quickly, so Westman cautions against making bold choices that will make updates expensive. A colorful accent wall in this year’s hottest color is easily repainted, for example, but reupholstering that paisley sofa will be pricey. “Put the trendy in a pillow or something else that is easily interchangeable,” she suggests. Trends can be tough to stay on top of, but Westman readily shared some tricks of her trade that any novice can employ. Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest provide a plethora of ideas, and design magazines are a reliable standby. The website houzz.com offers hundreds of thousands of photos of finished rooms to generate ideas as well.
If you still find yourself at a loss, Westman can save the day. After years operating as a home-based consultant, she opened a storefront last summer. Fabrics Trims & More, located at 8013 South Western Avenue, has already drawn rave reviews. A local poll placed the store among the finalists in the “best home furnishings” category for the Moore/South Oklahoma City area.
Staying at home to raise her children was nothing short of a labor of love for Debbie Westman. That experience helped this parent of four now-grown daughters transition to a new labor of love. “I am blessed to be doing something I love every day,” she says. For anyone in need of professional interior design assistance, we know one mother who will invent rooms that you will love.
Debbie Westman has over 20 years experience in Interior Design and now owns a retail fabric store Fabric, Trims & More located at 8013 S. Western, Okc OK