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Meet Rebecca and TJ Guarino of Tempting Interiors

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca and TJ Guarino.

Rebecca and TJ, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Our arrival in this field was actually a surprise to both of us! It came out of nowhere, turned our lives upside down, but ultimately was a perfect fit.

TJ spent years working in technical fields related to the mechanics of homes and home renovations. Early in his career he worked in the window film and shade industry, and in later years specialized in heating systems and generators. In his free time, TJ was always designing and building projects for our home and for our friends and family. He loves the challenge of fixing things and is truly an artist when it comes to creating one of a kind pieces.

My background is primarily in psychology. I completed graduate school, received my license, and built a private practice. I was intrigued by the idea that a person could improve happiness and human connection through changes to one’s environment. After long days of work, I found myself relaxing as I studied design. I love to organize, to create order in chaos whether it’s through design or psychology.

I am gratified by working one on one with people, helping them figure out what makes them happy, and creating a life and home in which they flourish. When we first got married, we bought a 200-year-old farmhouse. We spent the next seven years lovingly and painstakingly remodeling that home. I designed the spaces and TJ made the projects come to life. I learned to sew and created our window treatments.

After each project, we would find ourselves saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool to do this for a living? Let’s start a business together.” Just after the birth of our second baby, my uncle, Tim Higgins, reached out and proposed that we take over his business. The business, Tempting Interiors, has been a staple in suburban Boston for 45 years but had been dwindling down as Tim and his wife transitioned into retirement. We were flattered, excited… and panic-stricken!

It was a great opportunity, but it would be a risk, and we would both be self-employed. We would need to rebuild and modernize the business in order to attract new clientele. We had a huge amount to learn. We talked it over and decided, now or never, we were going to take the leap!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wouldn’t say smooth… It has been quite the challenge! We came into the business in 2015 and had a few short months of training before taking over the reigns. We bought the business and the building a year and a half later, sold the farmhouse, moved to Southborough, renovated the new home and the showroom, all while chasing around our two little girls!

Owning our own business has been a non-stop juggling act of marketing, sales, accounting, design appointments, installations, showroom hours, sourcing, repairs, and building maintenance. Factor in a few ‘beginner’ mistakes, the seasonal highs and lows in productivity, and learning to work together as a couple… Ha! We have learned to check and double check, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and not take each other for granted.

All that being said, it has been a thrill. We love the opportunity to be creative and artistic every day. We’ve met and worked with so many wonderful people. We see our designs created specifically for the clients come to life and, best of all, we see how it impacts and ultimately improves their lives. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work for ourselves and do what we always thought an unreachable dream.

Tempting Interiors – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Tempting Interiors offers full-scale interior design for projects big and small. We are particularly fond of classic contemporary designs inspired by beautiful places around the world, but we work with a variety of styles that suit our clientele. We specialize in custom window treatments, and we are a Hunter Douglas showcase dealer. We build custom furniture, cushions, and pillows made with the finest materials. We reupholster furniture, and we sell hand-woven rugs and fine art. We work with trusted vendors and contractors to remodel homes.

As a husband and wife design team, we are unique, providing two different perspectives on each project. I offer an ability to connect with and understand people as well as an eye for design. I enjoy helping clients discover what design aesthetics appeal to them personally. I visualize the scheme and create an overall plan for space. I put together a tangible design board, organize and source options within budget, and create and oversee the task list for each project.

TJ brings an artistic and creative viewpoint to each project. He thinks outside the box and comes up with options specific to a client’s needs. TJ can fix or create anything. He can see how an idea will work spatially and he helps clients to improve the efficiency of their homes. We believe each space should improve functionality, beauty, and comfort.

Our goal is to decrease stress and save our clients time and money. We enjoy getting to know people and creating designs that are perfectly suited to their individual style, work, family, and lives.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Our business is built on relationships and reputation. At Tempting Interiors, we value a personal connection to our clients. We take the time to listen and understand each client’s design taste and lifestyle. Our clients are loyal to us because of this and because they see the quality of our work.

TJ is the face people meet when they come into our store. If you meet him, you’ll know what a genuinely kind person he is. He makes everyone feel comfortable, and he goes the extra mile to make sure each project is perfect. I work hard to listen and understand what each client is looking for.

My goal by the end of a project is that each space feels like a stylish and comfortable retreat personalized to an individual or family. Our clients walk away feeling that their space is a reflection of themselves. We are beyond grateful that many of our clients become friends, and recommend Tempting Interiors to others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Katrina Lawton Photography

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