In 2018, my house was struck by lightning. Because of the mold, water, and smoke damage, the entire home had to be gutted. I lived in a hotel for 6 weeks with my family of 5, lived in a rental for two years, fought with the insurance company, and got less money than I should have. Oh. And I learned that my builder was way overcharging me. I had to fire him which left me with no contractors and no plan. Sound horrible? It wasn’t. Not by a long shot. Because I had Teresa Tumminia.
I met Teresa in 2006 when I first moved into my house. She had sent a mailer to my home that outlined her skills as a decorator. I am not the kind of person that uses a “decorator” – I wasn’t interested in spending a lot of money for a condescending person to tell me that my walls should be royal purple with silver foil ceilings. I knew my own style and strove to achieve it on a low budget. Still, for some reason, I kept the mailer.
A few months later, I was really overwhelmed and sick of looking at white walls and bare windows. The mailer had said Teresa did window treatments and I thought that maybe this individual could just point me in the right direction. So I called. And what followed led me on a fantastic and fun-filled journey that made my house a home.
When I first called Teresa, I was immediately struck by how approachable she was. She was warm, friendly, down-to-earth, and asked all about my style. I explained that I was really on a budget and that I wanted to be heavily involved in the decorating process. Teresa assured me that the process would be completely collaborative and that she could work with any budget. When we did meet, Teresa was true to her word. She patiently went through all of her fabrics, wallpaper, and paint colors with me, sometimes introducing her own ideas, many times building on mine. She encouraged me to take my time and never pressured or upsold me. We became such a team that after awhile it was like she was in my head! Additionally, contrary to my stereotyped image of a haughty decorator with whom I would just hemorrhage money, I quickly learned that with Teresa, I actually SAVED. By using some of the vendors that sell directly to her, cutting out the middle man, I often spent less than I would have had I purchased things on my own. We did my house one room at a time and I couldn’t have been happier with the result.
Fast forward to 2018 when my house was burned. I called Teresa, who was in semi-retirement at the time and told her what happened. She jumped right in and agreed to help. When I told her I had to fire my builder and didn’t know what to do, she said WE could do it – that she had a team of contractors. She postulated that for a fraction of the cost, we would be able to build the home with higher-end finishes than my builder had been willing to give me. She was right.
We are now almost done and Teresa was with me every step of the way. She spent hours with me finding the perfect tile combinations, spent entire days looking at wood floors with me making sure they were exactly the right width, color, and price. She would always lend her opinion. She would tell me if she thought something was great, why it might not work, or point out detriments of which I hadn’t thought. However, if I was insistent on a particular look, she happily supported me. She guaranteed all of her work and all the work of the people she recommended and if something wasn’t done right, she made sure it was fixed. I cannot wait for the finished product and to have Teresa help with all my window treatments and furniture.
So it’s quite a story. If Teresa could decorate my home, have it burn down, and then do the whole thing over again from scratch, she can fulfill any of your needs. She is knowledgeable, helpful, timely, responsible, and wonderful to work with. I cannot recommend Teresa Tumminia and her At Home Custom Interiors firm highly enough.