Once a month, we feature local small business owners and artists who are using their creativity to make the homes and businesses of Roanoke beautiful.
This month, our spotlight is on Lisa Fuller of 1 Shabby Chic Kitchen and Bath Painting. Lisa transforms kitchens, bathrooms, and large built-in furniture with new paint and hardware. She also consults with homeowners on how they can add new design elements such as countertops and backsplashes for an updated look that fits their budget.
Ten years ago, when Lisa lost her full-time job during the recession, she decided that she was going to “remake” herself. She wanted a job that she loved, one that enabled her to use her creativity. Little did she know at that time that she would start her own business, “remaking” people’s homes into something new.
In the slow economy, Lisa had trouble finding job leads. She started taking furniture from her own home, repurposing it in creative ways, and selling it at a local vendor mall. One of Lisa’s faithful customers from this booth asked her to come to her home for advice on how to arrange all the furniture she had purchased from Lisa.
“That was really a light bulb moment for me,” Lisa said. “She gave me my wings to take off. I realized that I could be creative and make a living doing it, and I haven’t stopped since.”
From there, Lisa continued repurposing and selling furniture, but she also began consulting with homeowners about decorating, specifically, how they could update their spaces by repurposing their current furniture. She received a lot of requests to re-cover couches and chairs and to repaint old furniture. A couple friends asked her if she could paint their kitchen cabinets, and in time, that was one of her most demanded services.
So what started out with business from friends and people she met through her furniture booth grew to opening and co-owning a retail store in 2013. The store closed earlier this year, and Lisa now exclusively runs 1 Shabby Chic, painting kitchens, baths, and large built-ins.
“I work with clients who want to repurpose their kitchens rather than doing a full kitchen design,” Lisa said. “I always look at their wants, needs, budget and figure out how we can repurpose and also add to it. So I repaint the cabinets, and then I love to help them add the finishing touches – what I call the jewelry, like countertops and backsplashes.”
In addition, Lisa also works with a lot of clients who are trying to sell their homes. “If they can’t sell their house because the kitchen is too outdated, I can help with the small updates so they can make the sale,” she said.
Lisa’s Cabinet Painting Process
Lisa hand paints all the kitchen and bath cabinetry for her clients. She removes the doors and hardware and takes the doors to her workshop. There she cleans them, primes them, and paints them before reinstalling them and the new hardware at the end of the week.
“With a whole lot of elbow grease and paint, you won’t believe the transformation,” Lisa said. “I’ve been doing a kitchen a week lately.”
Most of the kitchen repainting requests she receives are for white cabinets with brushed nickel hardware. She has seen this across the board, from younger homeowners to retired couples. “Everyone is huge HGTV fans, and they want a lighter palette with lighter backsplash finishes,” Lisa said.
She advises her clients to go for classic colors and styles. “I always say that the design needs to be more timeless, while the décor can be trendy.”
No matter what type of furniture she is painting, Lisa is passionate about working with people and creating transformations in their homes. “I love seeing the potential in people’s homes and being able to turn that around so the client can see it too,” Lisa said. “I work within the means that someone has and make it come to fruition. At the end of the day, the final result you get from painting that project is amazing.”
Lisa also loves that she can work with and refer her clients to other contractors and small businesses in Roanoke for their design and remodeling needs. And the Roanoke community has certainly benefitted from Lisa’s “remaking” of her career into one where she remakes furniture for an updated look.
“It’s been a really fun journey.”
For more information about 1 Shabby Chic, check out Lisa’s Facebook page or give her a call at 540-312-9092.