Home remodeling during COVID lockdown leads to startup of Naperville interior design firm – Chicago Tribune

Company: Cleanly done

Address: Naperville

Phone/Website: 217-766-2224, www.neetlydone.com

Owner: Neeta Robu, 39, of Naperville

Years of activity? A

How did this business start? “It all started when I updated my own home and shared this experience and journey on a social media platform, which resulted in people contacting me for interior design services. Then, I created the company,” Robu said.

What impact has the virus had on your business? “During the pandemic, we were all stuck at home. We didn’t have the bandwidth and the time to work on the house before that. Being home eliminated commuting time. The kids were home, so I wasn’t running around. It freed up time to start making the house what we always wanted and dreamed of.

“I started to slowly learn to use all the power tools. I do all my carpentry and cabinet work. …I really like it. Piece by piece, everything fell into place. »

How long have you lived in this house? “Eight in September.”

So, has it changed? “Absolutely. If you look at old photos, it was a toy zone. I definitely didn’t feel cohesive. … My biggest task in an open concept like this is to make it cohesive, to give each piece a personality, but also to make everything work together.

How many children do you have? “Three boys, 10, 7 and 4. There was really no time for house plans before.”

Do you have another job? “I still have a full-time job, but they allow us to work remotely. During the day that’s what I focus on and this stuff happens the rest of the time. …I do project program management for CNH Industrial in Burr Ridge. They manufacture agricultural equipment.

And this job? “It fuels the creative side of things. I appreciate that. It’s almost therapeutic for me.

How is it therapeutic? “First, it gives me the freedom to do things, at least in my home, to take risks, to play with colors, textures and design – within a budget, of course. … There are a lot of things that come into play. You try to see the vision of a space because it interacts with everything else. And, also, the supply of materials.

What happens when someone contacts you? “First of all, I want to understand what mode they are in. Are they in a house and want to start customizing it? Do they want to build to modify the space? Understanding scope is the first step.

“Second would be an in-person or virtual consultation if they are really far away. Then I try to get a visual myself in order to walk through the space, to sort of see the lay of the land. I do photos, measurements, any unique features they want to incorporate. I take notes. Then I come home and load it all into 3D visualization software. I like to see things in 3D rather than trying to map something in 2D. … In 2D, you can’t see depth.

How’s it going? “It keeps me busy. I still have four clients in progress, which is a good thing. Word of mouth has been huge. »

What’s the key? “The most important thing is that they need to understand and tell me what their design style is. Are they more traditional? Are they modern? Are they contemporary? Are they somewhere in between?”

Is there a hot style? “In the early 2000s, a wall painted one color was one thing. Everything else was beige or white. is a very dramatic look where it creates a cozy feeling, especially if it is a darker color.

You studied electrical engineering at the University of Illinois. Have you ever imagined doing this? “Even back then, I watched HGTV like everyone else and I wish I could do that.”

Do customers get benefits? “We launched a line of coffee. … I wanted to associate coffee with interior decoration. … The message to the coffee line is that little jolt you need to get started. … The names of the blends are “Inspiration” and “Satisfaction”. If you take your inspiration and work with it, at some point in the journey you will end up being satisfied.

What do you like best? “Interaction and Relationships.”

Negative points? “Balancing (time) is definitely hard.”

What makes Naperville good for business? “People care about their homes and the value of their properties.”

What misconceptions can people have? “How easy it is.”

Are customers learning about design? “I was recently painting a room for a client. The owner wanted to help me. I gave him an idea of ​​how to paint.

What is your advice for someone starting a business? “Be less afraid.”

If you have a business to profile, contact Steve Metsch at [email protected].

Steve Metsch is a freelance writer for the Naperville Sun.