Archive for May 2012

Decorating Den Naples at International Design Conference

Claudia Decorating Den at International Design Conference

Checking out a new contemporary vendor!

CLAUDIA LEAH, owner of Decorating Den Interiors of Naples  recently returned from an intensive five-day design conference and home furnishings market held in Atlanta, Ga.  Leah had the opportunity to attend a wide range of design classes, and visit with nearly 400 North American business partners, and home furnishings vendors at the company’s 43rd such annual gathering.

“Always a highlight of my year, the training provided at this annual conference gives my business a tremendous boost and offers me the opportunity to expand my product line and provide more choices for clients.   This year our Design Center featured nearly 100 suppliers, all brand name top quality companies.  Each of these companies partner with me, so that I can bring the very latest in design and product trends to each of my clients.” said Leah.

“In addition, I now have access to an extensive library of new before and after digital photographs featuring gorgeous room makeovers.  I’m looking forward to offering a series of free design workshops to the community featuring these fabulous makeovers.” Leah added.

Decorating Den Interiors and its room makeovers have been featured in such publications as Good Housekeeping, Canadian House and Home, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Woman’s Day, House Beautiful and House and Garden.

Established in 1969, the company has franchise owners and decorators throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Each decorator brings thousands of design ideas and samples of window, wall and floor coverings, furniture, and accessories directly to their client’s homes or offices.  Initial client consultations are always complimentary.

For More Information:

Claudia Leah,, 239-431-5936

Decorating Den Interiors named a Retail Star by Home Accents Today magazine

Claudia Leah Decorating Den Retail Star Cover Magazine

May 16, 2012, Greensboro, N.C. – Decorating Den Interiors of Naples has been named one of Home Accents Today’s Retail Stars for 2012 by editors of the premier trade magazine for the home accents industry. The Naples Decorating Den Interiors franchise is owned and operated by Claudia Leah.

The businesses selected for the Retail Stars list have demonstrated that they operate successfully in their marketing areas, exhibit strength in merchandising, display and/or advertising, and have a positive presence in their local communities. The magazine’s editors chose to extend the honor to both the Decorating Den Interiors franchisor as well as its independent franchisees that operate throughout the U.S. and Canada, and range from small home offices to multi-decorator studios.

“There has never been a tougher time to be an independent retailer, with ongoing competition from chain stores, the increasingly significant role of online retail and the difficult economic climate,” said Jenny Heinzen York, editor in chief, Home Accents Today. “The 2012 Retail Stars have taken on these challenges with a combination of clever entrepreneurship, innovation, merchandising, customer service and marketing. We are delighted to recognize these talented merchants, and, as always, encourage everyone to support their own local businesses.”

Claudia Leah Wins Stars Award LogoHome Accents Today editors focused on independent and family-run retailers, specifically those considered specialty, home accent or home furnishings stores. Members of the industry were invited to suggest stores and retailers were encouraged to submit information describing their businesses. The list, now in its eighth year, was compiled and narrowed down by research analysts and editors of the publication. A business may be named to the list only one time, resulting in 50 first-time honorees each year.

Retail Editor Susan Dickenson said she was impressed with Decorating Den’s history, industry reputation, and its new accessories home-party division. “The Livv! Home Accessories branding and debut catalog, at 36 beautiful pages, are really impressive for a start-up; you can tell there’s a lot of experience and a real understanding of the accessories business behind this project,” Dickenson said. She also noted the endurance of Decorating Den’s annual national decorating contest, now in its 27th year, and the franchise owners’ practice of selecting a national charity to support each year with donations raised through decorating seminars and other events.

The 50 Retail Stars list, sponsored by AmericasMart Atlanta, is published in the May 2012 issue of Home Accents Today. The 25-year-old publication, based in Greensboro, N.C., is owned by Sandow Media.

Pretty alone does not cut it – Design needs to work for my clients!!

Muffy Gill Funky Flamingo Studio Smiling

Muffy Gill is all smiles in her newly-designed Funky Flamingo Studio.

Steve Jobs, the brilliant businessman, designer and inventor who passed in 2011 said, “Design is a funny word.   Some people think design means how it looks.   But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”   (Wired magazine, Feb., 1996.)

Claudia Leah of Decorating Den in Naples likes that quote because it sums up her design philosophy.   She truly listens to her clients and works with them to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

“Job’s design idea came after going to a kitchen appliance store.   He was drawn to brands that had a very clean, stainless steel look,” says Claudia.  “He liked that look and started introducing it into his own designs.   He switched to black, white and silver.  His laptops kept getting thinner and thinner.   They kept getting sleeker and more functional.

“That same theory can be applied to the interior design field.  Good design is not just about being pretty.    Rooms must also allow for the traffic pattern and usage.  For instance, a couch in the middle of the room might look good in a magazine, but if there’s no place to plug in a lamp to read it’s not functional,” Claudia explains.

Claudia recently helped a local artist, Muffy Clark Gill, redesign her Funky Flamingo Studio, where she creates beautiful batik art.  This is a good example where function outweighed beauty.

Working with a limited budget Claudia created a workspace and storage area that fit Muffy’s needs as a busy artist.   There are cupboards, shelves and storage bins to hold all Muffy’s artist’s supplies and large uncluttered work areas where she can work more relaxed.

“I needed space to store all my stuff,” says Muffy.  “Claudia came up with a perfect arrangement that has increased its utility and made me very happy.   It’s now the studio of my dreams.”

Claudia is very straightforward with her clients because she knows what works and what doesn’t work.   Tactfully she points out the pitfalls of their own decorating ideas if they’re not practical for the space.

“When the project is completed I want my client to say, “I’m so glad I followed your advice.   My space looks beautiful and it’s completely functional too.”

Claudia (left) and Muffy (right) show off the new and improved studio.

Funky Flamingo Studio before makeover.

Decorating Den

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Claudia Leah, IDS
Decorating Den Interiors
6062 Taylor Road, Unit 501
Naples, FL 34109


Remodeling and Home Design