Sarah Roussos-Karakaian and her husband Nick are Nestrs, the husband and wife organizing, design and construction team. This month, they’re offering 8 hours of free design work for clients in the tri-state area. WHAAAAT? Read on for more details…
Sarah and Nick have a passion for space planning, interior design, and home renovations. You may have seen them on HGTV’s summer series Beach Flip, in which they demonstrated their classic revival design approach to flipping a beach house in Gulf Shores, AL.
Sarah is a Professional Organizer and Interior Decorator and began her journey after ten years traveling the world performing in hit Broadway musicals where the only constant thing was her two thoughtfully compartmentalized suitcases. Her husband Nick Karakaian is a general contractor with a masters degree in architecture.
You’re giving away 8 hours of free home design/organizing to select clients in the Tri-state area over the next 3 months. Why?
Our homes are our safe havens. We’re seeking potential clients who aren’t afraid to shout, “Help! I can’t get organized on my own.” or “Help! My space is boring and I just can’t figure out how to make it beautiful.” or “I don’t have time!” I’m giving away design work to build my portfolio and showcase the kind of work I want to do more of – I want to refresh your living or bedroom, help you with your nursery or playroom, or even update your patio – gauzy curtains, rugs and a full outdoor living space. I’d like to take ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures — these will help my business grow.
I’m looking for spaces that need saving for clients who don’t mind sharing their experience with me in exchange for 8 hours of complimentary work. Everybody wins!
How did you and your husband Nick create Nestrs?
I was sitting in a coffee shop one day waiting for a friend. I was on HGTV.com, looking for inspiration for clients and came across a casting call for an upcoming reality show to air on HGTV. My friend was running late so I decided to fill out the questionnaire. The next day I got a call from a casting director – and the rest is history. HGTV auditioned both Nick and me several times over the course of 4 months and loved our complimentary talents of organizing, construction, and design. We beat out over 1,000 applicants to be on Beach Flip. We flipped a 3 bedroom condo on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It was a grueling and exciting 2 months of filming. When we got back to NYC – we took a week to sleep off the exhaustion – we had this excitement inside of us. We couldn’t share where we had been or what we were up to with our friends and family until the show aired three months later – but the chemistry between Nick and myself fixing up this home was electric. We hoped this show would draw attention to Nick’s general contracting work and my talents for organizing, space planning, and decorating. So, we started a company together and called it Nestrs, highlighting our organizing, design and construction work.
You just redid your house in Astoria. What are you most proud of?
We just finished our kitchen and it. is. everything! The house is super tiny, technically 650 sq ft – but we count the basement since it is finished now – so that makes it a sprawling 1300 sq ft. The kitchen is in the basement and could be considered weird – until you see it now! We’re lucky enough to have a backyard, as small as it is, and it’s right off the kitchen, so it’s a great entertaining space in the warm months. We knew we had to make the kitchen the show piece of the home it is now so no one will ever think to ask why it’s located in the basement. It used to be two small rooms – one laundry room and then the kitchen space. We decided to unify everything to make it feel more open. It’s gorgeous and we’re so proud of it! That being said, we’ve learned a lot on this house.
Who is your ideal client?
I love helping busy people who have an appreciation for gorgeous, but sensible, design – they just don’t have the time or know-how to make it beautiful. I really jam with people transitioning in their lives; it could be moving into a new home, having a baby, getting ready for a significant party, or starting over in some capacity and needing a change – I excel at working with deadlines and making positive change happen as quickly as possible. I work well with clients who are looking for a no-nonsense professional who prides herself in complete client satisfaction.
How much of finding the right client is a personality / aesthetic fit? Do you bring your aesthetic or help the client find theirs?
It’s important that our personalities jive, but our design style definitely doesn’t have to. A lot of clients aren’t sure what their style is so we must be able to communicate comfortably in order to figure it out! The way we organize your linen closet or work flow of your kitchen has to work for you – not me – I just ask the right questions to help you figure out what makes sense to you. Same goes with design: I have the eye to make what you’re attracted to in the magazines work for your space, lifestyle, and budget.
How can potential clients be sure you’re the right team for them?
To start, Nick and I will walk you through all aspects of our proposal. Furthermore, we believe in our chemistry and craftsmanship so much that when its appropriate we often have potential clients come over to our home and see our work first hand for themselves. Ever wonder what a professional organizer’s closet looks like? I’ll show you! We sell 100% maple cabinets that are affordable and beautiful. Don’t believe us? Come over and open and close our drawers! We’ll even provide snacks and wine for making the trip. Our home is almost like a showroom – we know how personal it can be having us in your home that we want potential clients to know how much we appreciate them considering us for their big project by welcoming them into our space in an effort to put their mind at ease moving forward with us as a team. We think that’s pretty special and can’t be said of all home improvement businesses.
Where do you shop? Do you have a design philosophy?
There are so many styles out there and each one ends up getting tweaked or mashed up with another style to make it perfect for an individual or family. In the end, I’ll see to it that we nail the look you’re after. I love sourcing materials and decor items from places like Target, IKEA, Wayfair, and Etsy. We go through so many phases in our life, I’d hate to design a space that you’d need to completely renovate to change it up! These resources offer most of the products you need to transform your space, but with the flexibility to mix it up a bit down the road. I’m so on board with splurging on the perfect couch or super comfy mattress – I just don’t think vases need to cost thousands of dollars in order to achieve beautiful design.
Do you have any tips for us regarding spring cleaning?
Why yes! Yes I do! It just so happens that I have 14 Tips for Spring Cleaning and Organizing. Find them here on my blog.
Why did you reach out to a coach?
I want to go from great to superstar status! I’m proud of the journey I’ve taken so far. And yet, I feel like I’m just getting started. I’m a big believer that life is meant to be enjoyed – it’s part of the reason why I love organizing and designing so much: we should surround ourselves with peace and harmony and eliminate stuff that takes up too much of our space and time. That said, there is always room for improvement and growth and that’s where I am in my career. I want to work smarter, not harder. Having a skilled coach who can look from the outside in is just the thing I need to advance as a business owner. I love helping others and admire when they finally get the courage to pick up the phone and call for help. I wanted to take my own advice and do the same. It’s been the best decision I’ve made thus far.
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