Creating a safe space for you to create your perfect place – Jolene Toder’s job in a nutshell.
“People’s homes should be their sanctuary but, too often, living space becomes the object of stress, anxiety and upset,” said Toder, who has been helping homeowners turn their houses into havens for more than 20 years now through her company JT Interiors. “It can be anything from helping someone choose paint colours, organize, declutter … all the way up to helping them generate 3-D plans to construct a home from scratch.”
She said she thinks things like Pinterest, HGTV, and DYI shows/magazines/websites have left many people feeling they should be able to do this work themselves … and then feeling inadequate, intimidated and overwhelmed when they run into barriers.
“Most people know what they love and have a sense of what they want – just not how to bring it all together. And why should they know that, they have expertise at other things; their jobs, their families, etc. No one can be an expert in everything. “And that’s where I come in.” She said she has never, in 20 years, had two clients the same – the one commonality being that they want something more from their living space and could use a helping hand in creating it.
“I had a client tell me she would love to entertain friends and family at her place, ‘But look at my house!’. I can help people figure out how they want to use their space, how they want to live in it. Right down to making laundry more functional.”
She said she gets a lot of requests from blended families wanting to incorporate each other into their lives in inclusive, respectful and workable ways, but who are challenged to make it appealing for a variety of tastes, gender and ages.
“You want them to feel loved and honoured coming into your home, not like they’re giving something up,” she said. “For me, it becomes breaking it down into the simplest approaches, function and goals, and choosing the best tools and methods to get you where you want to be.” She has everything from contractors to engineers to draftspeople ready to pitch in should the need arise, but is also happy to work with anyone you might prefer to do the job at hand.
She also employs technology as an assist – doing most of her work online, through Skype, Facetime and other communication options that allow you to access her services from anywhere in the world – and while still in your pajamas.
Renovations, remodelling, new-house design, interior design, staging houses for sale, or homes for living – she is, at heart, a facilitator, helping you achieve the space of your dreams without any nightmares along the way. “I guess that’s the other thing all my clients can count on having in common – the process is all about you. How do you want to live, how do you want to spend time, what do you love? MAKE IT HOME.