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Angela Elliott Helps JRC Clients’ Design Dreams Become Reality

Some people think hiring an interior designer to help them with their new home or renovation is too expensive or too much trouble.

But designer Angela Elliott argues that having a designer on board from the beginning of a project, as well as working with a proven construction company, can actually save you money and, maybe even more importantly, head and heartaches along the way. James River Construction (JRC) has collaborated with Elliott on nearly a dozen homes, so we know first-hand the value she brings to a project, and so do our clients once they see the outcome and realize how much less stressful it is to leave design decisions to a professional.

Recently, JRC and Angela Elliott teamed up to design, build and decorate a 6,000+ square foot new construction home. When a home has that much space, it can often overwhelm homeowners who just aren’t sure how to make every room usable, warm and inviting. Elliott helped the clients with everything from hardware and finishing decisions to furniture and fabrics. “I’m good at listening to people and understanding what they’re saying about themselves. I can take that and create a space for them that feels like home” she says.

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Elliott and JRC also have a great communication rapport. Of JRC she says, “they’re just so much easier to work with than other contractors because they have the same philosophy as me – make the client happy and comfortable and forget about ego or doing it ‘my way.’ James River has their team and their method and it just works.”

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Elliott takes on whole-home renovations, new construction, and single room projects – something many designers who are concerned about a home having their particular aesthetic will not do. She says she doesn’t want a client’s home to “look like her design” but rather to look like the home they imagine for themselves – not something that has been staged.

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Working with a designer can reduce project time, stress and even save money. “Many people don’t realize they need a designer until they’re faced with a blank wall. Creative minds like to collaborate, so the earlier I can be a part of the project and work with the architect and contractor, the better the ideas will be.” Elliott has worked with clients who didn’t realize a major part of their home’s design didn’t work for them until construction was complete and they had brought her onboard. By then, every change was a major expense and hold up. Bringing in a designer at the start of a project means the dreams, design and reality all match up.

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Elliott enjoys repurposing materials and using pieces client’s already have and love. She once saved a client hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, by recommending they reuse some of their home’s original doors to create French doors in their newly renovated space. But when the perfect piece doesn’t already exist, that’s OK – Elliot just has it made made. She specializes in working with her own and JRC’s craftsmen to design and create custom furniture, cabinetry, lighting, rugs, art and more. A quick trip to her studio in the Museum District highlights the vast amount of custom possibilities.

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Elliott’s design sensibility in one word? “Soul. I like spaces that have soul. Old and new, custom and antique – I like the tension you can create by working with multiple styles and designs. But at the end of the day, I’m not living there – my client is. And they need to feel like they’re at home.”

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