Nathalie Rhodes helps clients through home remodels
Wilmington native NATHALIE RHODES has always been interested in interior design. She took a class in high school and has worked in the construction and flooring industries for nearly 20 years. Designing and remodeling came naturally to her.
After graduating from Cape Fear Community College in 2009 with a degree in interior design, Rhodes interned with an interior designer and continued to work in flooring sales. But, as a sales representative, Rhodes didn’t like being limited to just selling one certain product.
In 2016, Rhodes started The Grand Scheme LLC, allowing her to focus more on the customer. What’s unique about her business is that she has incorporated a flooring and countertop store with full-service interior design and project management company.
Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can be overwhelming and stressful. “I give clients a whole experience. Rather than focusing on the sale of a product, I focus on the functionality of the home,” she says. “You get a more specialized experience when you work with a designer. I’m able to take the pressure off the customer by learning their taste, managing the project, crunching the numbers, and creating something that makes them feel good.”
Since her overhead is low and she carries all major flooring and countertop manufacturers, Rhodes is often able to offer better pricing than big box stores. And, she knows many contractors from working in the Wilmington industry for many years.
Bathroom and kitchen remodels are her most common projects, but Rhodes works on commercial jobs as well. Her passion is home finishings – flooring, paint color, tubs, handles, sinks, countertops, backsplashes – all the final touches that make a home functional and reflect the owner’s style. “I enjoy helping clients choose what products work best for them – and their home.”
Consultations with clients typically begin with a phone conversation where Rhodes learns more about their likes and style. She then conducts in-home measurements and brings pre-selected and carefully curated samples. She builds the design and helps her clients make final selections.
“I let the home speak and make the finishes work with the home, as well as complement the owner’s personal taste,” Rhodes says.
COVID-19 has impacted her business. “It slowed down quite a bit in the beginning,” she says. “We couldn’t receive products during the shutdown.”
Rhodes used that time to earn her woman-owned business certification from N.C.’s Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB). HUB promotes economic opportunities for historically underutilized businesses in state government contracting and procurement.
“This certification allows smaller businesses to grow and gives them a fair chance when bidding on state jobs,” Rhodes says.
Spending more time at home during the shutdown has prompted people to make some home improvements.
As the state reopens, Rhodes’ clients are getting ideas and looking at their budgets for future remodeling work.
Most construction will begin next year, as concerns about working being in the home are still prevalent. Even though we’re working and living under abnormal circumstances, Rhodes still strives for excellent customer service, a great client experience, and a well-designed space where clients will love to live in.