By Julie Unger
Jeffrey Aaron Inc. is the creative collaboration between general contractor Jeffrey Russell and interior design specialist Aaron Coen.
The partnership began when Jeffrey installed cabinets and did a bathroom renovation for Aaron. “I was shopping for the products and having Jeff install them. That was in 2007,” Aaron recalled.
In 2009, they worked together to completely redo a rental home in Wellington. Later, when a friend purchased a home, Aaron and Jeffrey worked together to make the home more fluid. “That was the first time I had done spatial change with Jeff,” Aaron said.
It was at that point that they knew a unique partnership was in the making. That idea was solidified when working on a complete overhaul of a 1929 Quaker farmhouse in Pennsylvania.
In 2012, they were sitting on a porch and discussed the possibility of working together. “Jeff came to me and said, ‘I can build a really good box all day long because it’s the cheapest way to do it and it’s the fastest way to get out. You can take a box, manipulate it and do something completely different that I would never even consider,’” Aaron recalled.
Aaron, a dressage rider, isn’t formally trained in design, which, as he points out, is a strength. It’s the difference between knowing how to deal with a sick horse in the middle of the night versus having read about how to do it, he explained.
“Even with fabrics, having gone to college and earning a degree in animal science, I know more about cotton than any book could tell me,” Aaron said.
Jeffrey started remodeling older homes in the northeast, then moved to Florida and continued his home remodeling business.
In July 2012, Jeffrey Aaron Inc. officially came to be.
“Our approach is ‘Do it once, do it right, do it your best,’” Aaron said.
Seeing how thrilled clients are once the job is done, Jeffrey said, makes all the effort worthwhile. They know they’ve done a great job when clients refer Jeffrey Aaron to their friends.
“It’s so hard to find a good contractor,” Jeffrey said. “They’re just overwhelmed with joy. It’s great.”
During a project, Aaron said, it is imperative to sit down with someone to figure out a design plan, “to find out people’s wants, likes and dislikes,” he said.
“That’s where you start, and then you come up with ideas. Then I’ll present them with pictures. ‘Would you go for this?’ The reason why they’re reaching out? They don’t have the vision to see the end result,” he said. “To give them something to look at to get a protocol is the best-case scenario. It’s very personal.”
Jeffrey suggests that clients stop for a moment and live in their home as-is, observe where the sun hits, and what sort of things need attention. Living in the home, taking the time to get to know the nuances of how the house works, is important.
“Let’s talk about how you live and what you do,” Jeffrey said.
Six months is a good amount of time to get to know a home, he said.
One of the goals at Jeffrey Aaron is for people to feel comfortable in the space, for them to understand the project and truly feel at home. It’s personal, and Jeffrey and Aaron want clients to feel like they can come to them for anything.
They specialize in kitchen and bathroom renovations — the things that add value to a home and can make or break a house sale — as well as remodeling and design.
Part of what makes these projects special, Aaron said, is that you’re giving the place a fresh start, and there’s always an end to the project. Knowing that the client will be happy in the end is everything. “For someone to get exactly what they want, in their budget, is totally awesome,” he said.
One of the amazing things with interior design is that similar cabinets, countertops and accessories can be used for every budget. It’s the same basic product, and same approach, regardless of what the project budget is. For example, they redid an entire kitchen’s cabinets for $7,000, and it cost less than if the cabinets were purchased new elsewhere.
Among the trends that Aaron has noticed is that different generations are going to the Internet to learn about design and are requesting “double-word” decorating. For example, now clients ask for “modern coastal.” This gives the design two goals to meet.
Jeffrey Aaron stays away from a signature design look and instead lets the client’s needs determine the look.
“Whoever calls, you need to go there and give them what they ask for,” Aaron said. “I’ll normally tell Jeff what I want, and he’ll tell me how he can make it happen.”
Jeffrey enjoys learning how the homeowners live, and then taking a customized approach to fit their needs. Making the home ergonomic, neat and personalized, is special, he said.
“The planning is the most important part,” Jeffrey said.
Considering clients’ heights, or whether they are left handed or right handed, and adjusting things accordingly, Jeffrey is able to work with the owner and make their ideas come to fruition.
In this way, Jeffrey Aaron is able to transform a house into the client’s dream home.
“We’re a one-stop shop,” Aaron said. “Our motto is ‘making your house your home.’ You go through the stages, and it becomes yours. It’s very personal. Jeff handles the building contractor end of everything. I am the middle man for making appointments with subcontractors and getting them out there… and, of course, the decorating.”
For anyone looking to have the assistance of a design company, Aaron suggests sitting down with the designers, getting to know the space and not leaving any stones unturned. Designers should know the local codes and be able to offer a wealth of knowledge, he added.
Jeffrey Aaron’s showroom is located at 3220 Fairlane Farms Road, Suites 7 and 8, in Wellington. Appointments can be made by calling (561) 676-0540 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info., visit www.jaimpressions.com.