Ahwatukee interior decorator Claudia Dabdoub has added another award to her collection.
Her business. D’Amore Interior Design received the Phoenix Award for Kitchen Remodeling Contractor.
The program recognizes the best local businesses in various categories, focusing “on companies that have demonstrated their ability to use various marketing methods to grow their business in spite of difficult economic times.”
“The companies chosen exemplify the best of small business; often leading through customer service and community involvement,” award program organizers said.
In a message to Dabdoub, organizers said, “For most companies, this recognition is a result of your dedication and efforts as well as the work of others in your organization that have helped build your business. Your team is now a part of an exclusive group of small businesses that have achieved this selection.”
D’Amore Interior Design is a five-time winner of the annual Best of Houzz for customer service, one of only three awards handed out annually by the website houzz.com, which claims 40-million users a month for its home decorating ideas.
Dabdoub decided to be an interior decorator while studying for her degree in architecture at the University of Arizona.
“I didn’t want to be a doctor or lawyer or something like that because I didn’t want to deal with people’s lives,” she explained in an interview with AFN several years ago. “Instead, I wanted to make their lives better by making something beautiful.”
Her advice and planning on remodels and new homes have earned her a reputation beyond Arizona’s borders. And the way she treats clients has earned her worldwide recognition.
Houzz vice president Liza Hausman said the award to D’Amore Interior Design is a “recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”
An Ahwatukee resident for the last more than half of her 28 years in design and decorating, Dabdoub has worked with residential and commercial clients across the state as well as in Mexico and California, providing floor-to-ceiling consultations on both new and existing homes and buildings.
Much of her work has involved turning outdated kitchens and bathrooms into contemporary works of near art.
She initially had set out on a different course when she started her post-secondary education: she started studying architecture.
But after two years she realized that she just didn’t want to make shells of buildings.
“I didn’t want to build buildings, and I decided I wanted to get into cabinetry, lighting. I realized it would be easier to market myself that way,” she said. “I have been living my dream in helping people enhance their living spaces.”
Dabdoub’s customer-friendly focus starts at the moment she’s hired.
“I tell them I get paid up front because if I charged by the hour, it would be much more expensive,” she said. “I tell them, ‘I won’t leave until the job is done. My interest is to help you.’”
Because she maintains relationships with key manufacturers and suppliers, Dabdoub said her business takes the worry of ordering accessories like cabinetry or flooring off clients’ shoulders.
It also enables her to travel outside Ahwatukee for jobs because “I can have the products delivered anywhere.”
Dabdoub will even recommended floor coverings and furniture to accompany her room designs, though she prefers the client handle that part of the ordering.
Many of her clients are empty-nesters who downsize and want the kitchen, bathroom or other rooms to look the they had always dreamed of.
“Most of my customers are couples,” she said, stressing she rarely encounters disagreements between them over what the new look should be.
“They are people who have been married a long time and know what each other is thinking,” she said.
“I love what I do, to create timeless spaces for my customers to enjoy for many years to come,” she said.