Thursday, January 20, 2022

A beautiful room doesn’t come together by itself. A room that takes your breath away has carefully planned color, structure and movement. “When people have it, they love it,” said Dorene Richman, founder of Home Front Décor LLC. “But they don’t know that’s what makes it work.”

Richman is dedicated to making it work. With a background in fine art, interior decorating and personal shopping, she specializes in consultation on color palettes, placement of artwork and room layout. She takes on projects from choosing one piece of furniture to designing the interiors of multistory buildings. In the process, she reduces her clients’ anxiety. “People call me and say, ‘OMG, everything is a mess, come right now.’ And I drop what I’m doing and go,” she said. “I bring structure, peace and beauty to a space, and I strive to be the person who is a calming, restorative presence.”

One project for a client frequently leads to another. Richman had a client who wanted her to consult on reupholstering dining room chairs. They met at a fabric store to choose the material. She gently guided the customer, who was looking at too many choices, to a curated few, and now she has something she adores. To complement the new dining room chairs, Richman is helping her choose an area rug.

Richman worked with another client who wanted her help in placing artwork on her living room walls. That led to redoing the entire living room. Which then led to redoing the dining room. “During the pandemic, people are spending more time at home and seeing what doesn’t please them,” she noted. “They want home to be a safe, welcoming haven.” She can redesign rooms by repurposing existing furniture. “I can take something from the dining room that would look great in the bedroom. Moving things around and repurposing can create a totally new look.”

Color is more complicated than people realize, Richman explained when describing a bathroom-into-spa project she recently completed. “People don’t understand color so they go with beige. Beige can be warm and beautiful, but it needs to be complemented by liveliness.” Richman found the right fixtures that elevated the bathroom into an oasis. “The client said it gives her joy to be in that space every night when she takes a shower,” she said proudly.

Richman is frequently called for design help in new construction or renovation when the architect’s plans are in hand. She’ll work with the homeowner’s team to choose a unified and complementary color scheme, artwork and furnishings.

Richman’s background in fine art has given her an appreciation for balance and classical, timeless beauty. She brings that approach into interior design, going for a look that is on trend without being trendy. There’s a big difference. She discouraged a client from buying a rug she liked and guided her to a different one. “In three years, she’d look at the first one and say, ‘What was I thinking?’ With the one she bought, she’ll still love it in 10 years.”

Home Front Décor began as a favor for a friend and has now become a full-time business. A bout with breast cancer that was caught early and treated aggressively catapulted Richman into realizing that “life is about taking challenges and making them into opportunities.” Her recovery was the springboard that motivated her to take the risk and do what she loved. She also makes time to volunteer with the American Cancer Society and help other women find their way through the difficult path of diagnosis through treatment. She is very involved with her synagogue sisterhood and is on the board of governors of AMIT.

Richman charges by the hour, with the fee for an initial consultation applied to any work undertaken. Goals and budgets are discussed realistically. “I helped a client redo her kitchen with cabinets from Home Depot and it looks beautiful.” Her greatest joy is the moment when a client tells her, “I walk into my home and it’s wonderful.”

For an interior design consultation, call Dorene Richman, Home Front Décor LLC, at 973-699-1462 or email: [email protected].

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