NEW YORK, NY — If you want something done right, do it yourself. It’s an old adage that everyone has heard.
Well, Doryn Wallach, Allied ASID, has too, and she’s made it the core of her new design venture, Doryn Wallach Kitchen and Bath, based here. She launched the one-person firm last year, and loves having the opportunity to “do it all.”
“Only recently when renovating my own home did I realize how difficult it is to find a designer with kitchen and bath experience to ‘pull it all together,’” she reports. “So when I come into a project, I coordinate all of the design elements – including stone selection and custom cabinetry, among others – and make sure they all complement each other aesthetically and practically.”
Her services range from consultation to design to product selection, including furniture, lighting fixtures, kitchen tables and stone, among others. The firm acts as the “coordinator” between all involved throughout the sales and design process. According to Wallach, this can include the cabinet maker, contractor, architect and all sub-contractors.
“Basically, I act as a middle man for the entire design process to make sure everyone is on the same page. I see to it that the clients are achieving both the aesthetic they want as well as the ease of construction and practicality of good, easy-to-live in design,” she reports.
Wallach brings a diverse background to each project, having studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and worked as a design assistant on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and as a stager for the real estate market, where she would redesign homes to make them as attractive as possible for resale.
“My experience as a real estate stager provided me with a strong understanding of what people are looking for in terms of resale,” she remarks. “I make sure that these elements show up in my design work for clients, as this is very important to the young, ever-growing – and ever-changing – family.”
She notes: “Ultimately, I want my clients to feel like their space can grow with them and that, if the space is designed thoughtfully to begin with, implementing change over the years will neither compromise the design nor break the bank.”
According to Wallach, serving a unique niche in the industry sets her firm apart.
“Kitchen and bath renovations by young families is very commonplace today. These clients want the kitchen and bath to flow with the rest of the home. However, they have no idea where to start,” she comments. “With my design expertise in interior design and construction, I am able to be the ‘art director’ in a project and process that many people find overwhelming.”
For instance, she has helped with shopping and referred resources; made selections in stone, wallpaper, paint, light fixtures, furniture pieces and hardware, and helped clients transition to the kitchens and baths in their project, making sure the space complements both the clients’ lifestyle and the other aspects of the home.
“I have encountered too many designers who seem to forget that their clients will actually have to live in their newly designed space,” she states. “I like my designs to be fresh and practical, and this emphasis on achieving high style that is also ‘inhabitant friendly’ has certainly contributed to our success.”
Before each project, Wallach makes sure that she has an expert on hand who understands the local codes and permitting procedures, as well as any co-op or homeowner’s association rules, in order to make the project a seamless process.
“I can also do almost any style, which I think many designers can’t do,” she offers. For that, she credits her travel and living experiences overseas, which afforded her first-hand exposure to some of the most beautiful hotels and locales in the world.
“As a young mother, I also have a strong understanding of the worth and value of practical and timeless design,” she adds. “[I take pride that] I can design a space for my clients that will allow them to see their living situation in their space long-term, and I can create a space that complements my clients’ taste, while keeping the design neutral enough to attract a potential buyer.”
While her clientele varies, the one thing they all have in common is a desire to combine style and function. “Many clients have children, and don’t want to sacrifice practicality in order to achieve a [kitchen or bath design they really like],” she says.
Wallach has put together a unique project portfolio that reflects her varied abilities.
“Our focus on the New York Metro area allows us to pursue a wide variety of different projects – from ‘cozy’ NYC apartment to expansive houses in Connecticut,” she says.
“Currently, I am working with a young family that wants their powder room to make a bold yet tasteful statement because it is the first room you see when walking into their foyer. Our goal is to achieve a young, hip vibe, but at the same time keep it manageable for high traffic with young kids and house guests,” she reports.
“I truly believe that being a young mom sets me apart and enables me to design in a way that’s fresh and hip, but most importantly, practical.”
Not surprisingly, Wallach handles all of the marketing aspects for the firm herself.
Specifically, she publicizes her business through a blog she writes online, as well as via social networking site such as Twitter and Facebook.
“We offer promotions on social networking sites, including taking polls and running contests,” she reports.
“This allows fans to see my work and how I am transforming and growing as a designer,” she notes. “It also allows me a different angle to talk about products that are out there that enhance the kitchen and bath design community.”
Additionally, she attends industry-related events to gain further industry knowledge and to network.
“We strive to engage with our target audience as much as possible, making sure we get to know who they are inside and outside of the living space.”