Interior Design for Real Life on a Real Life Budget

Lola Magazine Lola Shreveport, Rebecca Hays of House of Hays

Written by Rebecca Hays of House of Hays

Our lives and our world have completely changed over the past few years-with the design and construction industry being no exception. Design and décor have been evolving quickly over the past 3-5 years due to technology, our fast-paced lives, and the economy in general. AND I’M HERE FOR IT. 

As we learned in 2020, mental health is as important as physical health, and guess what makes a huge impact on your sanity? YOUR HOME! If you don’t believe me, do a little google search or let your house become a pig stie for a week and see how good you feel. Spoiler alert: you’ll feel like crap.

After working in the residential design industry in Shreveport, and then the commercial design and construction industry in New Orleans, I felt like there was a huge market being overlooked, I realized the everyday person needed my services the most! So, after making the impulsive decision to quit my corporate job and start my own business, I decided I would make my company, House of Hays, an accessible company. Accessible to those that don’t have thousands to spend on one rug, or who can’t afford a complete remodel at one time because guess what? They’ve got kids! And we all know how expensive those little angels can be. They’re the ones that have student loan debt (still holding out on that loan forgiveness BTW ;), they are just starting their careers, and the list goes on. I also wanted to make sure I was working for my clients and not my portfolio. Yeah- if you go check out my social media pages you will see a wide range of projects-because everyone needs and wants something different and that’s what I’m going to give them.

And to be honest, I’m by no means some design prodigy that is reinventing the wheel. I’m just a girl who hustled her way into the design industry with a dream to be her own boss, solve problems, and use my eye to create a space where people want to live and THRIVE in. Everyone deserves that. Am I right or am I right?

I also wanted to COLLABORATE with other businesses in the industry. Why don’t we work together to make people happy, create work we are proud of and ultimately be more successful? I realized quickly that other businesses are very hesitant to let you in. They want to continue to do things the same way they always have. And they can do that…but they are going to get left behind because the world as we know it (design and construction industry included) is evolving. And we’re all going to need each other.

I was lucky enough to find a business that DID want to collaborate with and teamed up with Brent Barger owner of Barger Home Improvement, to bring projects from ideas to reality. Barger, originally from New Orleans moved to the Northshore and decided working for someone else wasn’t going to cut it. (See a trend here?) With grit and determination, he’s been able to establish a successful contracting company with a list of references a mile long. Not only does he do excellent work, but if you ask any of our past, current, or future clients, they will all tell you the same thing- “He’s so easy to work with”. Which is why I like working with his company. Have you ever tried to find a contractor without an ego? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. So, whenever I met Barger, I knew it would be a good fit. And we’ve been knocking out projects ever since. 

BUT enough about me and my business (which is also my baby). On to the “story”.

Recently, I was approached by a woman that was recently divorced and had just moved back to Louisiana. She needed some help making her house a home and was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.

Initially, she just asked for a “master plan” that she would chip away at as she could. Well, I didn’t like that idea, because I really liked her and wanted her to have a finished project. Personally, I like instant gratification (who doesn’t?!) So, I asked her if she would be up for a “designer grab bag” solution so to speak. As you may know, designers end up with left over merchandise and inventory all the time. So, the plan was to take items I already had, and the items she already had to create a cohesive, inviting space that made her and her children feel at home in their new digs. So that’s what we did. They were thrilled with the finished product and didn’t have to save up for months to be able to do it. And it makes me super happy that the day we finished, they were able to have a family movie night in their living room for the first time since moving into their new home. That’s the good stuff people. 

As for the process, we did have to paint because that teal just had to go. I gathered and collected items that were in my inventory as well as sorting through her own items. Then we just sent her and her children out for the day while we worked our magic. Is it perfect? Maybe not. Is it high design? No. But did we solve her problem and give her a beautiful space to live in? Hell yeah. And that’s what we’re trying to do at House of Hays. Give people a beautiful, creative space to live in that fits their needs and reflects who they are without having to sell one of their kidneys.

So, my point is, forget the Persian rugs that cost thousands of dollars, forget looking for “the perfect piece”, forget everything you think you already know about interior designers. And for those that I’ve already lost because their attention span is that of a fly, here are the main points to take from this.

You CAN afford a designer
(yours truly)

You DO deserve to live in a space that keeps you sane

You DONT have to buy all new furniture

You CAN do one room at a time (for some reason many clients have told me they didn’t realize this)

You CAN be my next client (slide in my DM’s)

Ultimately, there is no standard or “box” I can put my clients in. It’s impossible- trust me, I’ve tried. Every person is too unique in their needs, their lives, and their financial situations. That’s why I’m here to take what we have and make it what we want. After all, that’s what life’s about right? Learning how to take what you DO have and make it what you WANT. I think (actually I know) there’s a Kris Jenner quote floating around to that effect. Yes, I just brought up Kris Jenner, but regardless of loving her or hating her you have to agree those are some pretty wise words. 

So, I’ll leave you with this- you’re home makes a major impact on your daily life, mental health, and self-esteem. Don’t think you don’t deserve it. Give me a call and we’ll figure out a way to make it happen that fits YOUR needs!  

xo, 

Rebecca