Are you interested in a career in residential remodeling design but don’t know how to get started?

The growth of the remodeling and home building industries through the past 8-10 years, in Central Ohio, has created a need for not only labor from workers who are in the skilled trades but also for those in the design profession. Along with this industry growth, many home design-related tv shows over this same time period have inspired many looking for a new career path to pursue interior design, architecture, drafting, etc.

At The Cleary Company Remodel Design Build in Columbus Ohio, we use a team approach for collaboration to create the scope and plan to meet our client’s needs. Through the process of working together, the Project Developer, Designer, Estimator, Design Consultant and Project Manager ensure the client is getting a great experience along with a project that meets their needs.

Differences Between a Residential Designer vs a Design Consultant?

What is a Residential Designer?

A residential designer is a type of interior designer who specializes in working with clients to create functional and visually appealing living spaces. Working with client specifications and requirements, they create the layout and structure of either new or existing homes. Our Designers advise on home construction features in relation to how each room should function to meet the client’s needs. They work closely with our Production Team to create a construction plan to help build the various features for each design-build project.

What is a Design Consultant?

A design consultant is a professional who provides aesthetic expertise and product knowledge based on the evaluation of the client’s needs and style. Our Design Consultants –

  • Assist with client selections of fixtures & finishes
  • Create selection sheets for Design-Build projects
  • Price project selections within budget
  • Calculate material take-offs & place orders
  • Manage samples in design studio
  • Coordinate vendor meetings for new product offerings and lunch-n-learns

Meet Our Design Team

Laura Watson, ASID, UDCP – Design Department Manager – 30+ years experience, 12 yrs @TCC, Degree – BA in Interior Design @ University of Charleston

Matt Zimmer – Designer – 8+ years experience, 3 yrs @ TCC – BS Hospitality Management & Business @ The Ohio State University

Katie Florjancic, UDCP – Designer – 10+ years experience, 2 yrs @ TCC – BS in Interior Design & Business Management @ Ohio University

Cricket Kirk, NCARB – Designer – 15+ years experience, 1+ yr @ TCC – BS in Architecture @ University of Virginia & MS in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology

Shannon Tannehill – Design Consultant – 6+ years experience, 1 yr @ TCC – Interior Design @ The Art Institute of Cincinnati

Margot Sheehan – Design Consultant – 10+ years experience, 1+ yrs @ TCC – BS in Fashion Merchandising & Business @ University of Wisconsin

Design Team Q & A

We asked all of our designers the following questions and were intrigued by their answers. Read on to learn more!

How did you get your start in design and/or remodeling?

Laura – I found my passion for remodeling after working for a custom home designer and eventually my own Interior Design business. I loved the challenge of designing for remodeling projects.

Matt – I was born into it! From my great grandfather to my father, many members of my family have been involved construction. My father was a home builder for nearly 18 years. As a young kid, I would hang around his job sites, learning the nuances of building a home. I purchased my first house to remodel and flip while I was in college and since then I’ve never stopped working on some type of remodel project.

Katie – I started in the New Home industry where I ran the Design Center, picking out materials with clients. After that, I had the opportunity to work with a Kitchen and Bath Designer, where I focused on perfect rendering skills and learning all the details of custom cabinetry in high end kitchens. Looking for more of a challenge, I made my way into the remodeling sales & design working for a small company.

Cricket – I’ve always loved houses! My first job out of college was with a high-end residential architecture firm. I’ve also done some commercial work. In 2008 I started my own one-woman business, Kirk Studios. After more than 13 years working for myself, I was ready to be part of a team again.

Shannon – I took my childhood passion of rearranging my bedroom to art school and working in a furniture store. After a few years I made the switch into cabinetry and tile design. Now, with my nearly 10 years of design work, I joined TCC helping clients choose materials for their remodeling projects.

Margot – After I completed a successful addition and whole house remodel on my personal home, friends began asking me to consult on their home design projects. For the past 10 years I’ve been freelancing and in 2020 I was able to get an entry level position at TCC. When the Design Consultant position opened up in 2021, I jumped at the chance for the promotion!

How would you describe your design style or philosophy?

Laura – I like many elements of different design styles. I think the key to being a good designer is to be able to give the client a design that reflects their lifestyle, personality, and function of their home. It shouldn’t be what the designer necessarily likes.

Matt – This is a people business first and foremost. The best skill I can offer my clients is listening.

Katie – My design style leans towards midcentury modern furniture with accessories and decor acquired from travel or meaningful experiences.

Cricket – I really love the best of all styles but lean toward modern. My philosophy is to try to create the most personal and custom space for each client.

Shannon – Transitional roots mixed with something unexpected.

Margot – I like to honor and maintain the architectural style of the home while combining the client’s personality and taste.

Just for Fun!

What design trend are you most excited about? Why?

Laura – Multi generational living in remodeling. It’s wonderful to create a living spaces for older generations to living with younger ones. It’s important they have their own private space but can still be part of the family unit.

Matt – Products that have Green/Sustainable objectives. In real estate, buildings are seen as “improvements” on the land. If we can add improvements while also creating a smaller footprint on the land, that would be something great.

Katie – The natural, earthy look. There is something very comforting and simple about this style.

Cricket – The trend of moving back to a combination of large spaces for gathering and cozy spaces for reading or hanging out. I find the open concept floorplan with no cozy spaces uncomfortable and noisy!

Shannon – Ash Grey hardware!! it’s a nice in-between of satin nickel and matte black and goes with everything. I love the use of greens and blues in kitchens. They add a neutral tone while not being boring.

Margot – Incorporating a “show stopper” design element into each room. This can be with a unique light fixture, a piece of art, accent color or texture. 

What is your favorite (or least favorite) color? Why?

Laura – Least Fav= Grey, it’s so overdone. I love when clients are open to exploring more color. Choosing the right color can help improve overall well-being, mood, and mental health. Grey is not that color.

Matt – Least Fav= Maize, specifically, when paired with a Blue. No reason, lol.

Katie – Fav= Blue-green, calming and reminds me of nature.

Cricket – I love all colors and plenty of it.

Shannon – Fav= GREEN!!! So many shades to convey different styles. Least Fav= RED. Used in small doses it is ok but it can also be very overpowering.

Margot – Fun fact, I do not have a favorite color. Every color has a purpose. It depends on how it is used.

Is a career in residential remodeling design in your future? If you need some help or guidance, our designers are here to answer your questions. Who knows, you might just find yourself in a job working with our Team! Visit the Careers page on our website for current available positions.