THE term "custom-made" can intimidate many yet there is no need, says interior designer Stephanie Rose.
Ms Rose has opened Layered Home in The Junction with her driving force a range of upholstered furniture - sofas, chairs ottomans, bedheads and roman blinds - which she stocks and helps customers design.
"I've tried to make it a straight-forward process; the idea of having something custom-made can sound out of most people's league and it doesn't necessarily have to be," Ms Rose says. "I have hand-selected my range and worked on it with my local manufacturer. It's not a big range but when you add in different [furniture] sizes and fabrics there is lots you can do with it and I can help."
Raised in Newcastle, Ms Rose believes The Junction area is her target market.
She studied architecture at the University of Newcastle then worked as a primary teacher for close to a decade. After having children, she returned to her "true love" of design but was more interested in interiors than built form. Completing a diploma of interior design, she worked at home but saw the value of having a showroom.
"This is a deliberate move from the service to the product, Layered Home is essentially a retail space," she says.
In doing so, she says she can spend more time with clients, rather than the "rushed process" she experienced as an interior designer: "I don't believe in furnishing a house all in one go, I don't think you get a satisfactory result, it has to evolve over time."
The benefit of having a showroom is that clients can view a certain look and be more bold in their choices, she says, whereas otherwise they may hesitate.
Ms Rose stocks ethical brands including The Dharma Door, which works with communities of women in Bangladesh to make woven rugs, and local designers.
Ms Rose considers herself a textiles specialist, having sourced high-end fabrics from around the world including her specialty - linen.
Ultimately, she says, most of us are aiming for a sweet spot in our home styling.
"I think that means where it is relaxed but also has life in it, so it brings you joy but calms you down."