By Gary Nager
Like most men, I know precious little about decorating, other than if you gave me an unlimited amount of money, I could definitely fill a house with stuff I like…most women might cringe at some of that stuff, but still.
Considering that most of us don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend these days, we still want our homes to look their best when friends and family come visiting for the holidays — or any day, really. So, who can you turn to for everything from custom window treatments to entire kitchen and bath remodeling jobs?
Owner and long-time New Tampa resident Judy Dechant of Mar-Go Interiors (located in the Medallion Corporate Park off S.R. 56, behind the Goodwill Donation Center), says she can help add value to your home.
“A lot of our customers are empty nesters who just want to give their home a new look,” Judy says. “Even a lot of our neighbors in New Tampa and here in Wesley Chapel are in that position. They’re staying in their homes and just want to do what they can, on a certain budget, to freshen things up.”
Judy’s husband Tom, who handles the bookkeeping for the store, says his wife keeps up on current decorating trends, but he believes her greatest talent in business is helping people.
“Some of the clients who come in here come in looking so lost and not knowing where and how to start…and how to sift through everything available to find what they want.”
Judy adds, “A lot of our customers will have looked through magazines like Architectural Digest and Florida Living before coming in here, but they have no idea how to find the right window treatments, fabrics and things they need.”
She adds, however, that Mar-Go is always getting in new samples all the time. “The fabric companies send us new collections every season,” Judy says. “And there really are new products hitting the market all the time.”
Although Judy works with a licensed general contractor, so she can actually do an entire home remodel, including kitchens (including cabinetry and countertops), baths, floors, walls, etc., she says her “specialty” is still creating custom window treatments.
“Yes, our forte is everything from blinds, shades and shutters to drapes, valences, cornices and sheer fabrics (instead of full drapes) and we carry all the top brands although Hunter Douglas is still the one most people ask for and the brand we sell the most of, too. We also do a lot of energy-efficient shutters and shades to keep out the Florida heat and occasional cold.”
Mar-Go decorators also can reupholster and paint your furniture, transform the older European style furniture and window treatments to the more Modern look that Judy says is a new trend, “even though modern doesn’t always mean ‘contemporary’ these days.”
“Decorating trends change about every ten years,” she says, “and we always keep up with those trends. We can create that ‘vintage shabby chic’ look with Candice Olson and other name brand fabrics for your home and even create entire new environments for offices. We’ve been expanding our commercial work for doctor and dentist offices recently.”
A Little History
You may be wondering why Judy and Tom own a store called Mar-Go Interiors, although many of Judy’s customers know that “the most established design center in New Tampa & East Pasco” was started almost 15 years ago on S.R. 54, just east of Bruce B. Downs Blvd., by Maria Gorter (Maria Gorter). Judy joined Maria in 1999, worked with another design firm from 2004-09 and returned as the manager in 2009 when Maria moved Mar-Go Interiors to the new “furniture district” on S.R. 56, between Haverty’s and Ashley Furniture. In 2010, Judy and Tom purchased Mar-Go from Maria and earlier this year, they moved it to it’s current location just off S.R. 56.
“We stopped stocking all of the household items Maria used to have,” Judy says, “so we didn’t need a location right on a major street. We couldn’t compete on inventory with the big box accessory stores anyway and most of our business is still repeat customers, so we didn’t really need a high-visibility location.”
Judy and Tom also depend upon word of mouth through attending Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) events (Tom even was on the WCCC Fall Festival committee this year) and advertising in local media like the one you’re reading now.
For more info, call Mar-Go Interiors (2648 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Suite 104) at 991-9660, see the ad on page 22 or visit Mar-GoInteriors.com. Ask them about holiday gift certificates!