Tomco’s Favorite Designer, Carol Klein

Carol Klein

Carol is Tomco Company’s interior designer of choice. While Tom develops floor plans and pricing, Carol helps clients specify fixtures, surfaces and colors.

“Many remodeling clients can be overwhelmed by all of the choices. I get to know them and their homes and simplify the process by guiding them toward safe selections that will suit their design styles, homes and budgets,” she said.

Carol started her own interior design business in 1984, just one year after getting her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from University of Wisconsin-Stout. As a recent empty nester, she says she finally feels she can balance a dozen interior design projects and her passion for hiking, skiing and gardening.

The Circle Pines designer has two tips for Tomco clients:

  • Pick furnishings such as upholstered furniture and throw rugs first and paint colors last. Color choices for furnishings are limited, but paint colors are endless.
  • Consider the domino effect. If you plan to remodel one room, you probably will need to do at least something to the adjacent spaces.

“Clients not only need to make a lot of choices, they must approach them in the right sequence,” she added.

She reminds Tomco customers to remember the big picture. “When friends come to see your new kitchen, make sure the guest powder room also makes the grade. Changing the light fixture and sink and removing old wallpaper when the electrician, plumber and painter are already there won’t add much to the cost of the project, but it will have a big impact on the overall impression you make,” she said.

Carol charges Tomco clients by the hour. Her services range from offering a professional designer’s take on the homeowners’ choices to meeting couples at showrooms and shopping for items on her own.

Carol sees herself as a bridge. “The sales person at the showroom may want to sell people top of the line everything, even if it is not appropriate for their budgets or the rest of their homes. I’m interested closing the gap and making everything work together,” she said.

Tomco President Tom Schiebout calls Carol an important, trusted resource on the Tomco Company team. “We often work in the background to discuss selections and budgets. Most often I sit in on the initial meeting to answer questions that may arise about particular products. Then I trust Carol go it on her own,” he said.