BY JILL NAGY
Sometimes a tweak is as good as a makeover.
Carolyn Keating, owner of Heritage Lifestyle
Design, offers advice to people who want to perk
up their wardrobes or the interior of their homes
without spending a lot of money.
She helps clients retain both clothes they have
or furnishings they love, by freshening them up
for a new look.
Keating calls her work, which she began about a
month ago, in clients’ homes “interior styling,” not
She makes what she calls “loving suggestions”
for improving their surroundings without spending
a great deal of money and “incorporating
things they love into their lifestyle.” The name of
the business reflects that philosophy.
“So much of who you are comes from family
and experience,” Keating noted, and she tries to
build on that background.
The process often begins with a home visit, a
chance to get to know both the client and the home.
“I try to get to know them and understand
their lifestyle,” she explained. For example, are
there small children in the home? Cats or dogs?
Then, she will make suggestions to rearrange some
things, get rid of some, add a few new things,
perhaps paint a wall a different color or change
an area rug. Often, she will recommend adding
some touches of color to a room decorated in
Keating does not sell furnishings. However,
she will find the items for her clients, preferably
through local businesses.
“I try to keep it as local as possible,” she said, but
if something is not available locally, she will help
a client find it and buy it online. In addition, she
can arrange the installation of the furniture item,
or be at the home to receive deliveries. However,
she leaves most of the “heavy lifting” to the clients.
In the future, Keating said she hopes to establish
relationships with area retailers that can result in
discounts for clients.
Her approach to “personal styling” is similar. She calls herself a “closet stylist,” ready to look through a client’s closet and “work with what you have to
create new looks.” She wants her clients to “get a
better grasp of whatever is hanging in their closet”
and to try new combinations.
She and the client may go shopping together to
find the items that will brighten up the wardrobe.
“When you look better and like what you are
wearing, you exude confidence,” she said.
She tries to find local sources of clothing and
accessories but for what is not available nearby,
she expands to online sources.
For more than a year, Keating has done personal
styling for men. She has delighted in seeing her
clients “changing their lives through changing
what they put on their body,” she said. “They were
Keating relocated to Ballston Spa about four
years ago from Westchester County, but until
recently, she continued working in New York City.
Her background is in fashion, both menswear and
women’s clothing, most recently as an account
executive with a women’s accessories business.
She officially launched her new business in October
at the Saratoga County Business-to-Business
Expo hosted by the Saratoga County Chamber of
Commerce. She expects to continue networking at
similar events as she builds her business, depending
upon referrals and word of mouth. She also has
a website and plans to create a blog. Later, she will
add conventional advertising to the mix.
For now, Keating is working from her home but
she hopes to have a shop “in the near future.” She
meets clients at their homes or at a local coffee
shop. She doesn’t know yet what the balance will
be between home styling and personal styling
projects, but expects that to vary with the season.
Generally, she anticipates people are more likely to
want to freshen up the closet in the fall or spring.
For more information about Heritage Lifestyle
Design, visit www.heritagelifestyledesign.com.
You can also reach Keating by email at Carolyn@
heritagelifestyledesign.com or by telephone at