Marketplace: It’s time to Revamp your Park City home
Jennifer Robinson, president of Revamp Design, understands Park City. A New York interior designer by profession, she maintains ties here because she spent several years growing up in Park City.
People looking for East Coast tastes but Western sensibilities have given her enough business here that she now works out of both locales, flying back and forth for clients.
Seamus McMahon uses her because he has homes in both communities. He said he likes working with her for three reasons: she listens, she works with you and she respects a budget.
"I’ve worked with a number of designers in New York and Park City she really tries to understand what you want the space to be," he said. "Instead of coming to the job with a strong point of view and getting you to agree, in a generous way she ties to understand what you want for living in that space."
He also finds her to be very patient when he has an idea of what he’d like, but can’t express it appropriately. Sometimes the idea isn’t as good in real life as in his imagination, and Robinson will help develop it into something of good taste, he said.
Robinson said working out of both locations gives her the ability to find great pieces and stay under budget. In fact, being a "cost effective" design firm has been a great niche to fill, she said.
Many Park City homes were built during a boom in the 1990s. Almost 20 years later, they’re ready for a makeover. The recession makes people nervous about a full renovation, so Robinson shows people how small changes in kitchens and bathrooms can improve resale value and even bump up what tier the property is in for nightly-rental revenue.
"There’s a lot of demand for smaller scale, lower risk changes," she said.
Referrals have been the primary way she’s built her business despite the crowded market place for designers.
"How you work with a client is of the utmost importance," she said.
Another benefit to working in New York is having access to greater variety. So many Summit County homes are designed as "antler chic," she said. Even when trying to find something different, stores in Park City and Salt Lake City cater to a certain image of Western décor that pleases the majority of residents, but lacks variety.
In New York she has access to thousands of types of tile, to give one example. She can also sit on the couches found in magazines and catalogues to know what she’s buying will work for her clients.
"So many homes are spec. homes they need something to stand out," she said.
Robinson described her own preferences as mid-century modern and eclectic. A good designer can do anything, but they gravitate toward color combinations that have tended to please clients. Robinson has worked with people who want to be involved in every step, and others who don’t want to be bothered. She’s comfortable accommodating any needs.
"Our base point is, ‘How does the client want to feel in the space?’" she said. "Getting to know the client is 80 percent; aesthetics is only 20 percent that’s why it’s so fun."
If someone is thinking of making a change, Robinson said she believes the time is now.
"Labor costs are low everything is negotiable," she said.
It’s a cost-effective time and because contractors and vendors are anxious for work, they’re being very accommodating.
"Everyone is benefiting so long as people are willing to take the next step," she said.
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The Park City Planning Commission held a lengthy meeting about a development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort, centering the discussion on traffic and transportation.