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.

Long-Distance Decorating

Claudia Leah at Decorating Den Interiors makes it easy for seasonal residents.

With so many seasonal residents in Naples, decorating winter homes can be a little more complicated.   They’re only here three to six months and they have so many other fun things to do!

This may present a problem for them, but not for Claudia Leah of Decorating Den Interiors, who specializes in decorating long-distance.

“I can provide the same customer service for my seasonal clients as I do for my year-round customers, thanks to the Internet,” she explains.

Chris and Kristin Seeger are perfect examples.  They had just purchased a three-story town home, which was a mess: dark carpeting, heavy drapes and Mediterranean light fixtures.  The only furniture they had was a patio set they had purchased to use in the condo they had rented.

They called Claudia the day before they were to return to Vancouver and literally met with her hours before their return flight.  They walked through their new home with her.   Claudia took measurements and photos, and listened to their needs.   They wanted their new home to be light, bright and airy.

By the time they returned to Naples in mid-October, most of their decorating decisions had been made and deliveries had been scheduled.

“This house was decorated by Claudia and us between Naples and Vancouver,” Kristin explains.  “Through internet selections, emails, fabric swatches mailed to us and returned, and numerous conference calls, she got the job done.”

Claudia uses a computer program to create a home’s rooms.   She adds furniture to scale, colors, fabrics, lighting fixtures, window treatments and accessories.  She then sends it to the client via the Internet so they can get a visual of her design recommendations.

As soon as the Seegers returned to Naples, the deliveries started coming: furniture, window treatments, lighting fixtures, bedding, lamps and accessories.   Within two weeks their town home was about 75% complete.   During the next couple of weeks, they worked with Claudia to tweak every room, incorporating their personal possessions and artwork into the design.   Claudia even custom-embroidered a pillow for them to match a sculpture they had purchased at an art show.

They love their new home.   It’s light, bright and airy.   And, they give all the credit to Claudia.

“We just think the world of her and her team,” says Kristin.  “People from Europe, any out-of-town people who are buying homes here now and will have to leave, should know that the project will be in good hands with Claudia Leah of Decorating Den Interiors.   It can be done long distance – on time and on budget!”

It is always good to hear from our customers

We received this testimonial via US Mail the other day, love it, and want to share it. Thank you Jim and Linda Weghorst.

Dear Claudia,

I would like to take this time and thank you for such a wonderful job you did on my window treatments.Testimonial I ABSOLUTELY  love them and they look fantastic. I knew that it would finish off the room and it definitely did. What a transformation it made.

I also want to thank you for your time and efforts. Being an “out of town” customer can be a difficult task. You were so comfortable to work with and having the material swatches sent to my home in Cincinnati was great! You helped make the decisions easy.

It was also great that you made it possible to install the treatments during our next trip to Naples. It was so nice to be able to enjoy the beautiful windows for the entire time we were there. Thank you.

I can’t thank you enough for everything you did. Jim and I both think you did us very well.

Jim and Linda Weghorst

We work hard to try to make everyone’s experience that of Jim and Linda’s.


Decorating Den

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



Remodeling and Home Design