Founded in 2007, Eye to Eye Interiors is an interior design firm based out of Downers Grove, Illinois. In November, the agency was recognised in LUXlife Magazine’s 2018 Leading Designers Awards programme with the title of ‘Best Affordable Interior Design Company’ in the state of Illinois. Following this win, we spoke to Dawn Bach Thurman, Owner of Eye to Eye Interiors, to find out more about her extraordinary approach to design.
Excellent interior design lies not just in nurtured talent but in an ability to work seamlessly with the client. A home, after all, is subjective, unique, individual and deeply personal. From treasured memories, to mementos and shared experiences, one person’s idea of home can be drastically different to another’s. In this, great designers can thrive or fail on their ability to realise a client’s vision and design brief.

From the outset, Dawn Bach Thurman has flourished on her unrivalled ability to connect with her clients, regardless of the nature or complexity of their brief. As Dawn explains as we begin the interview, this is the fundamental platform that Eye to Eye Interiors was built on: “Since 2007, I’ve helped nearly a thousand clients with their paint colour palettes, furniture layouts, art plans and decorating dilemmas. The name “Eye to Eye” comes from the way I work with my clients. Ultimately, we need to see eye-to-eye to help them to realise their vision. I offer redesign services (using what you already have to redecorate the space), paint colour consultations, room designs and whole house planning and installation. It’s really exciting to see a home – not just a house – emerge from studs and drywall.”

“I guess I’m most proud of having a reputation for being down-to-earth. I get surprised looks when I start moving the furniture myself. I do a lot of my own installations, hanging artwork, placing accessories and rugs. I love to be handson. Spending time in a home helps me understand what it needs.”

Dawn continues, detailing the types of clients she works with on a regular basis. “I work with all types of clients – mostly residential, but a nice handful of small businesses come to me to help create the right feel for their clientele. My clients all have the same thing in common – we all want our living and work spaces to be beautiful, accessible and comfortable. Finding the time and energy to focus on creating that space is tough – so they turn to me.”
“I treat my clients the way I’d like to be treated. I’m transparent in my pricing, communications and bottom line, I feel it’s a privilege to be working with each of my clients. Each project is a collaboration. I like to say, ‘ you drive, I’ll navigate ’. Together, we wake up your home.”

Eye to Eye’s success is due entirely to Dawn’s expertise and natural – and honed – talent for design. Though she hires virtual staff for her administration, everything else is managed by Dawn. No small feat indeed. “I have a great virtual staff to help with the administrative side of the business, but when it comes to design, I am the point of contact. If you’re my client, I get inspired by talking with you, visiting with you in your home or workspace, and seeing the things you’ve chosen to surround you. I do my best to get to know you, so I can help you create surroundings that feel completely yours. There’s a lot of ‘you’ in all of my designs.”

Like most industries in this digital-first age, the design landscape has had to adapt to swift technological development. Most notable, the rise of the virtual design studio, who offer cheaper alternatives for clients looking to revive their living spaces on a budget. Dawn was quick to emphasise the differences between her services and those offered by this new breed of studio. “I’ve had quite a few clients find me after working with a ‘virtual’ design company – the kind that take photos of your room and create a 3D model complete with new furnishings and accessories. It’s a great concept and the 3D image is a useful tool to help visualise a space in a new way. What I’ve learned from seeing these designs in person is their designers exist to sell you their products, so the design you receive is entirely centred around the items they want to sell you. For certain, it’s helpful to see a new take on your home, and the $50 price tag has to be enticing. Occasionally, they hit the mark and
that’s great. But, like I said, I’ve had more than a few clients hire me after not loving the results from a virtual design. Your home is personal, so the process should be too.”

Equally, like fashion, design trends vary year on year. What was in vogue one year can fall out of favour the next – as such, timeless, personal design is the key to enduring success. “Sometimes people ask, ‘ What’s in right now ?’ I personally enjoy watching trends pop in and out of favour and seeing style elements reappear after being gone for a few decades. But, I rarely incorporate a trendy element into design, unless it’s one that has been so fully embraced by the industry that it’s impossible to avoid – the past few years of gold finishes, for instance. At the end of the day, my path is the one my client is on at the moment, so we incorporate elements that lead you to the right “feel” in your home. We’ll bring something in because you really want to see it in your home – not just because it happens to be ‘in’ right now.”

In her closing comments, Dawn summarises her approach to design: “Whether you’re redesigning a room or starting from scratch, the process can be overwhelming. I take the pressure off. First, I learn how you want to feel in your home – that’s most important. Then I give you parameters to narrow the options. But I also broaden the view of what’s possible in your décor. I really enjoy hearing ‘ I never would have thought of that on my own, and I love it!’ ”

Company: Eye to Eye Interiors, LLC Address: Downers Grove, llinois, United States Website: www.eyetoeyeinteriors.com Telephone: +1 773 350 7020