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Making the most of your space

November 17, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - Interior decorating is not always about new furniture, accessories or wallpaper, Julie Waara said. It's about working with what you already have and then focusing on what you really need.

To help clients understand what she means, Julie is holding an open house at her Calumet home, located at 57145 Calumet Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. Visitors can enjoy refreshments while learning new and creative ways to improve their space.

"I will take people on tours of different rooms to show them what I do and the different things that are possible," she said.

Article Photos

Julie Waara, owner of Julie Waara Design Inspirations, shown below, is having an open house at her Calumet home, located at 57145 Calumet Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to show visitors creative ways to improve their space.

Julie is the owner of Julie Waara Design Inspirations and specializes in three creative and flexible types of interior design services including design consulting, room make-over and design to sell. She has more than 15 years of experience in both home and business settings.

Whether clients are building an addition, remodeling, or restoring a building, Julie said each project begins with a vision and a professional plan. Her job is to guide home or business owners through the use of colors, styles, textures and help clients choose the appropriate furniture, window treatments and accessories to create the space of their dreams.

"I'm all about function," she said. "If a space is not functional first, it's not going to be decorative."

A lot of times homeowners will find they have too much clutter, causing some of the room's most positive features to become lost. Maybe it's a fireplace hidden by furniture or decorative woodwork covered by vertical blinds, for example.

"I bring in a fresh set of eyes and bring out the positive things," Julie said. "People buy what they love but they don't always know how to put it together."

When doing a room make-over, Julie helps clients bring a fresh perspective by reworking the floor plan, creating new displays and using interesting pieces in different ways.

"That's something I love because you see the difference by the end of the day," she said.

For design-to-sell consultations, she helps clients make their home more saleable by minimizing the shortcomings, promoting the assets, and making the space more appealing to a broader range of buyers.

"There's a value to walking into a place that's well designed," she said. "Your first impression is everything."

To get a feel for what style each client likes, Julie recommends they look through magazines or books ahead of time. She also asks they write a list of items they want revisions made on. What it boils down to, is that clients are 100 percent satisfied with the outcome.

"With our long winters and the amount of time we spend inside, you're home or office should be your happiest place," she said. "You should absolutely love your home."

During the open house Saturday, visitors will see how Julie created a fresh look in her home without investing a lot of money. In the kitchen, she covered the leaf-patterned countertops with a granite-colored paint. To her cupboards she added crown molding and stained the cabinets with a cherry finish.

"A couple hundred dollars and it's a new kitchen compared to what it was," she said. "There are a lot of new products you can use to improve things."

In her downstairs powder room, Julie created a northwoods feel by incorporating tall birch trees in the corners and placing a natural stone backsplash above the vanity.

"I went to camp to get the trees; the rocks are from the beach," she said. "It takes the focus away from the old drywall. I wanted to try something different before my husband replaced it."

In addition to interior design, Julie specializes in decorating for weddings and special occasions.

Julie earned her bachelor's degree in fashion, merchandising, art and design from Northern Michigan University. Before returning to the Copper Country in 2000, she lived on Nantucket Island and in the Chicago area, working for prestigious design firms.

"It was fun and glamorous, but up here, what I really enjoy is the people that I am able to help," she said. "I love hearing that not only did the change that people made in their house improve their house but that it also improved their life."

Design consultations are $40 per hour with a two-hour minimum.

For more information, call Julie Waara at 337-1194 or email

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Julie Waara Design Inspirations of Calumet. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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