Most dating experts will advise that the best way to get to know a person is to meet his/her family or visit his/her home. Naturally, the individuals closest to us can comment most accurately about personality traits, positive attributes and innermost hopes and dreams. However, the four walls that greet a person every morning and night can sometimes offer an even more intimate glimpse into one’s soul.

For interior designer Orna Raz, picking up on the nuances of the inhabitants of any home is an integral part of a day’s work. As a private consultant, Raz enters apartments, villas and houses as an outside eye, brought in to maximize the potential of each space she encounters. And though the material for her work is physical, the personal element is her guiding light when reimagining interiors.

“I’m a people person,” she says. “Interior design and psychology go hand in hand.

Whenever I walk into a room, whether it’s on a professional level or not, I immediately feel the people.”

For those who immediately write off employing an interior designer, Raz’s service may be able to shatter the stereotypes surrounding practitioners in her field. For one, she works with both rented and purchased apartments, thus including a large demographic that usually is excluded from the benefits of interior decorating professionals. Secondly, she tailors her consultations to any price range, providing economical tips to interested homeowners.

Unlike many of her peers, she offers one-time consultations that are not limited by time.

The meetings take place in the home, preferably with all occupants present, and can last up to eight hours.

During her time in the home, Raz goes from room to room, discussing the positives and negatives of each space while carefully logging all comments made.

“Often, if there are kids involved, I’ll wait for them to get home from school so they can tell me what they like and dislike. I like the kids to feel as if they’ve designed their room themselves.

After all, the people living in each space know it best and can really evaluate what works best for them and their lifestyle,” she says.

Once she has surveyed each room, she sits with her clients to discuss their overall desires for their homes.

“So often, people feel like they have to give up on their dreams to be realistic when designing their homes. As if their hopes are going against reality. And while not everyone can afford to do it all, you can have bits of that dream,” she says.

After meeting with the people, she compiles a comprehensive plan, which lists all the specifics a homeowner would need to embark upon a renovation or redecoration.

“If my clients are working with a contractor, I’ll send them exact measurements to pass on. If they are looking to repaint, I’ll send them the exact tone to look for and how much to buy.”

Here, Raz often is able to save her clients a lot of money.

Instead of spending money on unnecessarily large cans of paint, her “How to” sheet is a guide to precision.

“I also will give recommendations for professionals, be it carpenters, painters, plumbers, what have you. And I provide a list of stores that fit my client’s taste and price range,” she says.

When it comes to decorating, she has an arsenal of ideas. Though she is reluctant to give away all her secrets, she is willing to divulge two good tips for any home. “I love pillows. If you ask me, with pillows, it’s always the more the merrier. And plants.

Plants are so important in a home,” she advises.

If there are any doubts about Raz’s abilities, a slew of photos of her own home are available on her website. A natural fix-it gal, she has redone her space from floor to ceiling using inexpensive methods.

“A few things that can amp up a space in terms of design, that I always pay attention to, are lighting, window frames and mirrors. Those three elements have all been central in my home – which is a rented apartment – and are keys to making a space feel like my little corner of the world.”

On her way to every meeting with new clients, she says a prayer. “I’m a believer,” she says. “People often don’t know why they like a house or not, they just feel it. It affects their soul. In my car on the way to a consultation, I always pray that I will be able to give my clients what they need.”

For a one-time consultation, Orna Raz charges between NIS 2,500 and NIS 3,000. For more information about her, visit www.ornaraz.co.il or call 054- 490-7020.



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