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Behind the Design: Monique Duarte

Monique Duarte Decor interior design new jersey Ivy


Designer Spotlight: Monique Duarte of Duarte Decor, New Brunswick, NJ


How did you get where you are today?


I come from the Marketing & Advertising industry, having worked over 10 years in Digital and Direct Marketing in helping major million dollar brands, develop, market, brand, and launch new products and services. I worked for some of the giants like Yahoo! and Microsoft. However, after several years, I got burnt out of working long hours, that weren’t fulfilling me. So I starting thinking – what else could I do? What do I enjoy doing? After doing a little soul searching I remembered I had a gift of Interior Design, from decorating my first home. So I went back to school part-time while I worked my full-time job at the time and got my Interior Decorating degree.


After making over $50k in my first year in business on a part-time basis, while still working my job, I decided to take the leap and leave my job. Three years later I expanded my business by launching our Home Essential Services line, Duarte Essentials, which provides home owners the opportunity to save on their home expenses like their energy, cable, internet and home security services. Today, I love what I do. Global Interior Decorating, in helping people transform their lives through Interior Design. I live in New Brunswick, NJ, by way of the world.


Monique Duarte interior design living room Ivy





The moment I knew I wanted to be an interior designer was when…


I purchased my first home. It was a white box condo, with nothing in it. I took my time decorating it over several months in anticipation of my house warming event. It was a major accomplishment for me as it was my first home that I had purchased on my own. When I finally had my House Warming with family and friends who came from different states, everyone said to me, “who did you have decorate your home”. I just smiled and said, myself.. That’s when I knew I had a gift. Not to mention my Grandmother use to be an Interior Designer, and my mother today owns her own design company in fiber arts and quilting. So I guess you can say creative talent runs in my family…



The most memorable space I’ve ever been in is…


A 22 million dollar home that overlooked the Hudson River, in NY. It had hand painted walls, and a master bedroom, that when you looked out the huge glass window, it looked as if the room was floating over the Hudson. Impeccable.



I get to know a new space by…


Getting to know the owner or person who will be dwelling in the space. I believe our environments are made up of our personal experiences, preferences, and lifestyle. So whenever I go to visit a new space that I’ve been hired to decorate, the first thing that I like to do is connect with it’s owner. I get some many ideas and knowledge about how a space should feel, look, and function, by getting to know the owner and who they are. Then once I have a vision, the design work is just putting it all together and making it come to life.



My favorite city for design inspiration is…


Milan, Italy. As a military child (both parents are retired Army) we traveled a lot growing up. So eventually when it came time for me to go to college, I wanted to travel some more, so I moved to Europe (London England) where I completed my Under graduate studies. During that time I lived in London for 4 years and Milan Italy for 1. Most of my friends and classmates were italian, so we’d take weekend trips to Milan, Rome, Luca and many parts of Italy. Every time I would go, I’d see and learn something new about their culture. I’d get a chance to experience a new place, that had it’s own story. So it’s always been that place that has taught me to pay attention to the history of places that are unique and rich in culture. Even today Italy continues to inspire me, from it’s fashion, to bold, sophisticated design elements all through out it’s country.



When I design I feel


Peaceful, and fulfilled.







Every morning I…


Meditate, have breakfast, and affirm that it’s going to be a good day.



I treat myself with…


Going to the spa or a music concert. Two of my favorite things to do.



My personal style is…


Relaxed, casual, and professional with a little european flare.



My tips for staying organized are…


Organize as you go and check things off. I have to write things down. I find that I am most productive when I write down my to-dos and focus on one/no more than two things at a time. As I complete them, I check them off and go on to the next thing. I also protect, guard and monitor my time, so that I can stay organized and on task.



I never leave home without…


My phone and flats. I am on the go all the time. So having a pair a flats and my communication devise is a must at all times.


“Your vision will keep you going through the ups and downs and give you a clear path to success.”


Monique Duarte interior design living room Ivy 2





My role models are…


Oprah & Tina Turner & my Mother. They all have honorable character, class, determination and strength that I admire. They are resilient and stand for something greater than themselves. What’s Love Got to Do with it, is one of my favorite songs and I was told that it was the first song that I sang at the age of 3. Tina made an impact on me back then and still does.



My business mantra is…


Live Life on Purpose to Live Your Dream Life…



For interior designers new to the business, I recommend…


Connect with other designers who are where you want to be. Getting a mentor and a business coach who can help guide you along the way, and creating a vision for your business. Your vision, will keep you going through the ups and downs and give you a clear path to success.



I define success by…


Getting to that place where you have everything that you asked for (big or small) and enjoying not only the destination in getting there but also the journey.



The best advice I have received is…


Never Quit. When the tough get’s going, you get tough with it! (My Grandfather)



The biggest lesson I’ve learned working in the interior design business is…


To be a great listener, the importance of having a tight process to run your business smoothly, and managing your cash flow is crucial to a successful design business.


Monique Duarte Decor interior design Ivy





What’s your favorite thing about Ivy so far?


How easy it is to use and learn. It takes the stress off of having to work a complicated program so that you can focus on the things that matter. Its layout is user friendly, it’s a beautiful interface, and it has everything you need to manage your projects. I love it!



What makes Ivy different from other solutions you’ve used before?


How easy it is to use, and how it doesn’t take a long time to figure out how to use it. I’ve worked in many other solutions, and they all took anywhere from 6 months to a year to fully figure out how to use them, and honestly I would dread having to go into them, because there was always something I’d get stuck on. With Ivy, it’s so easy, that I get excited now to go in and create a proposal or whatever I need to do.



What’s your favorite feature on Ivy’s platform?


How easy it is to convert a proposal to an invoice and send the invoice for payment with one click of a button.


Monique Duarte interior design bedroom Ivy 2



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