An Interview with Valery

Find out more about Asheville interior designer Valery Huffenus


Tell us about yourself

I love to have fun and be around people. My husband is the greatest gift I ever got. Family is big for me! All my kids are in their 20’s and we have a great rapport with all of them and are having such a good time watching them navigate life and being there right beside them. Love true, authentic people who want to make a difference. I love having a varied life, filled with family, friends, interior design, travel, exercise, and reading.


How did you get started in interior design?

I actually started a long time ago in my 30s as an assistant for a Decorating Den Franchise owner in NJ. It got put on the back burner until my kids were in school. That’s when I went back to school and added an Associates Degree in Interior Design to my Bachelor of Arts degree from another college. I also owned a “store” in a multi-merchant space selling interior design pieces and accessories for 5 years while I was at school. I worked on my own till I bought my franchise in April of 2016.


What led you to purchase a Decorating Den Interiors franchise?

I wanted to take my business to the next level and I felt that Decorating Den could do that. They offered a lot of what I needed – back office systems, a website, marketing, training and more!


How has your business grown?

My business has grown in client base and the quality of my work. I only like taking on higher end clients. I do not discount shop and will not do renovations unless it is in tandem with a reputable company. I specialize in soft interior design and whole room transformations. I do not like to go in and “clean up” someone else’s mistakes whether it’s the clients mistakes or another designers.


What type of projects do you prefer?

Residential and commercial. People who are willing to make an investment in their space to change it dramatically.


What are your personal favorite design styles and why?

Personally I love modern and traditional design. I love the history behind the traditional design and the focus on real design elements and principles of interior design. I find old architecture so inspiring especially in NYC or abroad in Europe. I love modern because of the mood it can create which can be more on the “cool” side and more minimal. I often love marrying the two, to create an eclectic design. I like a clean, stream lined look with some accessories that are different and unique and using well made furniture pieces. I love to pair original art into any design I can. Art pieces are so transformative and nothing beats original art!


What styles do your clients prefer?

My clients want a design that is cohesive, makes sense, is harmonious, looks great and is a reflection of who they are, not me. I love doing that. It’s like figuring out a puzzle and putting all the right pieces together to make a most beautiful picture!


What can a client expect from you?

They expect reliability, punctuality, experience, expertise and individuality and honoring their investment ceiling.


Why should clients work with you?

I help make their dreams come true.


What do clients like about working with you?

That I listen, make suggestions, get them to stretch their design muscle and think out of the box, finish with a great look that suits them personally and is an amazing design with elements and pieces you may not see elsewhere.


Describe the perfect client.

One who likes to spend money and invest in their property, one who will go outside the box design wise and go for it, those who want a complete design – not just parts of it.


Tell me about your family.

My husband and I are married next March, for 29 years. Like I said, he’s the best present I ever got. He’s my buddy, my friend, my confidant, travel mate, loves to laugh and is always there for me! Love him to pieces!

Our three children are all in their 20’s. Our daughter, Danielle, is almost 26 and lives in Asheville with her boyfriend. Our middle child, Will, just graduated from college and is at his first job in Rockville, MD. Our youngest is Eric and he is currently in college in Boone, NC. We love them all and are excited for all of them during this exciting phase of life. We are all really close and love spending time with each other!


What do you do in your spare time?

I get together with friends, family, play games, share wine and fun experiences. I love to travel with my husband, friends and family. I also like to stay fit by exercising. I like to read as well.