To Josette Kark, the interiors of homes and businesses are not just spaces. They are expressions—each one a “definition of each client’s lifestyle.”
Thus, Kark, the owner of the respected Josette Kark Interior Design firm for parts of three decades, doesn’t just design a new interior or redesign an existing one, she develops relationships with clients, then creates “pleasurable experiences”—places that not only look stylish but can be lived in later—that linger long after she has left the building.
“When I do work for a client, I listen to what their needs are, to what their expectations are,” said Kark, who learned a philosophy to match her creativity at the New York School of Interior Design. “Then I design an individual look for every client.”
While Kark recognizes the need for each client’s home or work atmosphere to be their own, the style is recognizably hers—“traditional and transitional, with a contemporary flair,” her website describes.
“You can usually spot a room that I have done; there usually is a signature that is my look,” said Kark, who used the words “elegant” and “timeless” to help define her style. “It’s comfortable, and you can live in it. But, there is a little glitz and glamour.”
Kark supplements her work with clients—most are located in northeast Ohio, but others are spread throughout the country—with the operation of a retail space. Her shop, selling new items fitting her decorating style, is located inside Ruthanne Wilkof’s Anew Room, a store at 4349 Dressler Road NW in Belden Center Plaza that resells furniture, wall hangings and decorative accessories.
“The majority of my work still is in interior design, and I get much of that through referral,” said Kark, who can be reached by calling 330-806-1414 or by emailing email@example.com. “But, for people who aren’t familiar with me, the shop gives me exposure. It allows them to come in and see my style and my range of work.”
That range of work is continually broadening, she said.
“Each year, I feel as though I get more creative,” said Kark, explaining that she learns from each project she designs. “I enjoy every client I work with because each one is totally different.”
The subtleties of her style are expressed in the details that Kark designs and creates, going “from A to Z” in terms of developing plans, pricing, ordering and working with trusted contractors to complete each project.
“If I have to make a special tabletop accessory, I make it,” said Kark, who noted that she usually can walk into homes and assess quickly from conversations with clients what kind of design meets their basic needs. “From there, I can pinpoint how far I can stretch them—where else I can go—in determining the right kind of lifestyle to design for them. I can design a living space for them that is theirs, and yet says that Josette has been there.
“The ultimate satisfaction when a project is complete is the smile on a client’s face or a phone call I get from someone saying, ‘I can’t thank you enough.’ I know I’ve done my job.”