Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 21, 2004

Color factors in new LP decorating business

By Starrla Mathews

Color can make a huge difference.

Just ask Theresa Otto, owner of a new decorative painting service, located just outside Lester Prairie on County Road 9.

The business, Creative Impressions by Theresa, offers several unique painting styles and techniques, including Old World, traditional, contemporary and eclectic.

“I believe that the color of walls is the backdrop for art,” Otto said. “Everything is complemented by the color of your walls.”

Otto got her start at Boger’s True Value hardware store in Winsted. She then began working in the paint department at the Mound True Value, where she discovered her passion for color.

“It really sparked an interest for me,” said Otto. “People with newer homes would come in wondering what colors to paint their white walls.”

Otto frequently helped customers put together a color palette. She said that people appreciated receiving advice on what colors to use in their homes.

From there, Otto made a decision to continue her education, and began by taking a six-week class in color theory at the Minnetonka Art Institute.

She later received training and certification in faux finishing design at the Decorative Arts Center in St. Louis. There she learned elegant, as well as basic, techniques. She started soliciting jobs on her own, and after three months, went back to school to learn more.

Otto said her goal is to specialize in home color analysis. “I look at everything they have, including furniture, and suggest colors to use,” she said. According to Otto, the work is highly rewarding, and she stresses the importance a color scheme can make in a home.

She said that she does color analysis at a reasonable rate. “I let them know where and how much paint to buy,” she said.

“For some people, that’s enough,” she continued. “They want someone to help them pull the colors together in their home and give them some ideas.”

Otto said that one of the advantages to her painting service is that a decorative look can be achieved without ever having to strip wallpaper. “It’s like an investment in your home,” she said.

So far, Otto said she has been very busy with customers from the metro area, and has not marketed locally. She said she plans to change that, and has considered going to local hardware stores to do demos. Because of driving costs, Otto would prefer to stay local, and said that she would “give local customers a big discount.”

Most jobs take between two to 10 days to complete.

She has a complete portfolio that she brings to each customer’s house.

“I spend enough time with my clients and in their space, that the finished product totally represents their personality,” she said.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call Otto at (320) 485-3894 or (612) 812-0173.

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