Episode 288

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I’m so excited to be back with you again this week, and I’m joined in this episode by Ashley Tapley of House Candy Home.  Ashley has been a member of the Academy for just over a year, and she came from a career in marketing and graphic design.  She started with a home staging business, and then after a couple years she had several realtors referring her to their clients who had recently purchased new homes and wanted help with interior design.  Ashley felt like she needed to up her game in order to take on these clients and serve them well, so she sought out more education and landed in the Academy.

This episode, we discuss…

[3:04] Ashley’s leap from marketing to home staging

Ashley has always loved remodeling her own home, pouring over decorating books and magazines, and watching HGTV.  When she was growing up, her parents built their house.  Ashley’s mother works in the trade, selling furniture to hotels, and she also has a great sense of design.  Ashley thought, why not?  She set out to support herself through interior design.

[4:15] Ashley’s background and family life

Ashley is from California, and she has lived in several different cities throughout her life.  She has had a lot of houses, and therefore has had the opportunity to redecorate frequently.  Her favorite part of moving around was setting up the interior of her new place.  She married her college sweetheart and they live at the beach.  They have two daughters and one grandson.

[5:38] Why Ashley felt she needed more education to serve interior design clients

Starting a new career, Ashley felt like she didn’t know what she didn’t know.  People go to school for interior design, and she wanted to make sure she had a solid background in interior design before advising others.

Staging is great, and it has allowed Ashley to experiment with room layouts.  When you are staging, you bring in the furniture you have and you make the best of it.  When you are doing somebody’s home, you are purchasing furniture.  You have more choices, but you also need everything to be just right.  Ashley wanted to get some support to make sure she was getting the principles of design right for her customers.

[7:32] What made Ashley choose the Academy

Ashley listened to my podcast and read my book.  These resources helped her to learn a lot about putting rooms together, balance, wood tones, and more.  They helped with staging because she was able to make the most of the spaces with what she had available.  She wanted to go further and investigate what she could learn about interior design in the Academy, and it has been a great fit.

[8:30] The characteristics of the Academy that appealed to Ashley

The floor planning software, mood boarding, and the support creating client presentations have helped Ashley to take what she does to a more professional level.  The Academy was a game changer, and she refers to it as akin to putting gasoline on her career.  She now has a waiting list for clients.

[12:45] What excites Ashley about interior design

From a financial standpoint, interior design is more lucrative.  People will only pay so much for staging.  Staging is also backbreaking, physical work, and you have to have warehouses and manage your inventory.  It’s a lot to take on, so Ashley plans to do it for a few more years before focusing solely on design.

Interior design also feels more rewarding for Ashley.  She enjoys staging, but she always feels like the Grinch when her team takes everything out of the homes.  The house is gorgeous, and then they pack everything up and drive it away.  Designing homes that people love resonates with Ashley.

[18:17] Ashley’s journey through the Academy

Ashley found a lot of value in the tools within the Academy.  Floor planning can be really challenging, as far as building the room and getting everything in the right place.  The mood boarding is also fantastic.  You can put together a few different versions of a room so they can see it and be able to click and shop through their options.  Having access to these tools has been helpful, and her clients love working with them as well.

[21:01] The importance of mood boards

I always tell my designers that the mood board sells your presentation.  The bottom line is, whatever is going to sell your vision is what the mood board should be.  For certain rooms, I make it more of a collage style.  There are other rooms where I feel the need to really put it in perspective and maybe even drop in some windows and flooring.  It is quite personal to the client, the space, and your view.

[24:28] The workload of interior design + home staging

Since adding design services, Ashley’s workload has doubled.  She gets calls almost every day, thanks to her marketing background.  Ashley is consistent with her Instagram, and she has networked with several realtors that send her referral business.  People also find her on Yelp and Google because she has excellent reviews.

[26:24] Advice for people who are hesitant to make the leap into interior design

Ashley urges people who may be hesitant to make the leap, to just go ahead and try.  What if it could have gone really well and been fulfilling and fun, but you didn’t try?  Ashley is living her dream now.  If you are passionate about design, you will be interested in everything you can learn in the Academy.  It gives you the opportunity to take your design dreams to the next level.


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