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Behind the Design: Ivy Design Firm Harper Haus Interiors


Behind the DesignHarper Haus Interiors – Southwest Florida


 

Kelli – how did you get where you are today?
Kelli Esposito: I’ve always had a desire to be creative from the time I was small. I started my professional career as a fashion designer for the first 12 years after college. I loved researching new trends, sourcing new fabrics, and pushing the limit in silhouettes, but I always felt a little something missing. That was when I decided to reach out to a local commercial design firm and was hired as their FFE Design Manager. Over the next 3 years, I learned the ropes of the furniture world and fell in love from my first Market. Although I loved what I was doing, my entrepreneurial spirit continued to grow and I made the leap to start Harper Haus Interiors and focus on Residential Design here in Southwest Florida.

 

Jim Freeman Photography

 

Harper Haus Interiors is dedicated to creating more environmentally responsible homes in Southwest Florida. What are your go-to sources and materials?
KE: The sky is the limit when sourcing! I feel it is my responsibility to educate clients about environmental opportunities and choices we have when sourcing finishes, furniture, and accessories. The best place to start making the world a better place is right at home! Whether its renewable woods and sustainable materials or creative ways to incorporate convenient recycling, we all can make a difference. I’m a huge animal lover and as in fashion, often times animals and their environments are the recipients of human destruction. I believe if we educate, we can make a change for the good! My go-to sustainable sources are Surya, Cisco Brothers, Sika Design, Stem, Eskayel, and Home Trends & Design. I like using renewable and sustainable materials such as bamboo or cotton soft goods.
“My goal is to offer my clients newness but also longevity within their home. Modern elements mixed with classic style seems to create the right balance.”
Who are your favorite locals vendors and people of the trade to work with?
KE: I love to support small businesses! What goes around comes around and I have met some fantastic contacts as each project brings new resources such as my photographer, Jim Freeman, wallcovering installer Mark Johnson of MJ Wallpapering, and Wallpaper Boulevard in Tampa.

 

Can you offer interior designers tips of best practices for designing eco-friendly homes?
KE: Do a little homework as you’re sourcing. Identify which vendors are committed to environmentally friendly and cruelty free sourcing. You will feel great knowing you are fulfilling a higher cause!

 

Jim Freeman Photography

 

How do you integrate your background in fashion into your design work?
KE: Just like fashion, the interior design industry trends in cycles. I love researching color and finishes, fabrics, and trends to see what is new. My goal is to offer my clients newness but also longevity within their home. Modern elements mixed with classic style seems to create the right balance.

 

What are some fun projects you’re working on right now?
KE: I have an amazing family in Naples, FL that is building their dream home. With two active little boys, the challenge was how to make their home beautiful yet functional and fun! They are so open to new ideas and concepts which has made this project exciting!

 

How does designing make you feel?
KE: Like I am doing what I was born to do. As a new business owner, I’ve quickly realized every day is not going to be creative and fun but when I get to really focus, turn on my jams, and pull together fabrics, finishes, and furniture, I am totally in my element. I’m pretty sure you could find me smiling ear to ear and dancing in the studio!
“I feel it is my responsibility to educate clients about environmental opportunities and choices we have when sourcing finishes, furniture, and accessories.”

Jim Freeman Photography

 

What’s your business mantra?
KE: Make your haus a home.

 

Why did you join Ivy?
KE: I was toying with the idea of starting my own business…it was a scary time. I had a 3 month old baby, an 8 year old, and a husband in medical school – how could I even consider this!? I knew I could design but the logistics scared me. Within days, an Ivy ad popped up and I played around with a trial version. With Ivy, my logistics have resolved, plus, the countless benefits and Ivy Facebook Group are priceless!

 

What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Network?
KE: I’ve learned that I can ask anything and someone is always there to help! For most of my professional fashion career, I felt the cut-throat corporate lifestyle. With Ivy, I feel like I am surrounded by people that want me to succeed as much as I want them to. It’s been so refreshing!

 

Jim Freeman Photography

 

How does Ivy help streamline your day-to-day workflow as an interior designer?
KE: I love the reminders feature. I can rest easy knowing things will continue to move as I multi-task different projects.

 

What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
KE: The Ivy Facebook Group. Whether they know it or not, Ivy Members have been my mentors and motivators. When I questioned quitting my day job to start a dream, there was so much support and success stories. I would not have taken that leap without the Ivy community.

 

Jim Freeman Photography

 


 

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