Interior Motif owner Stephan Elbaz landed in Hoboken on a whim more than 16 years ago and ended up calling it home for his interior window fashion business. As the only Hunter Douglas Gallery Dealer in Hudson County, Interior Motif offers interior design and home décor needs, including custom window shades, shutters, draperies, and curtains among other products.
Originally from Montreal, Elbaz had tried out other locations in places like North Bergen, Ridgefield, and Englewood before settling in Hoboken in 1998.
“It took me a few years to find Hoboken,” said Elbaz during an interview in his showroom. He said that when he first arrived in Hoboken he felt it in his soul and from there the business manifested.
“You felt that there was a lot of energy and a lot of things that were coming about,” said Elbaz.
“When you’ve been doing this for so long you get a sense of what a client needs.” – Stephan Elbaz
While his parents did window treatments such as curtains, drapes, and upholstery, Elbaz took his experiences growing up in the industry and expanded his work to include window shades, soft window treatments, drapes, beddings ensembles, headboards, and footboards. He also studied every aspect of the window fashion industry.
Catering to client needs
“We want to make sure that the client’s buying experience is like no other,” said Elbaz. “Not only are you buying a window shade of the Hunter Douglas brand but you are also buying it from Interior Motif.”
Elbaz noted that a window dressing can change the lighting of a room and provide soft elegance as well as complement a room the way furniture does.
The company won the distinction of being chosen as an exclusive Hunter Douglas Gallery in 2007. The Hoboken gallery was among the first five of such locations out of 420 nationwide. The Hunter Douglas product is American made.
“You have to have reached certain goals and levels [to achieve the distinction],” said Elbaz. He said that in being named a Hunter Douglas gallery his company met certain criteria related to customer service, follow up, installation, quality control, and volume.
“When you’ve been doing this for so long you get a sense of what a client needs and what they know and don’t know,” said Elbaz.
“We make sure that the buying experience is 100 percent by the point.”
Elbaz noted that Interior Motif will offer a one-time replacement if a client is not happy with a window dressing even three weeks after it has been installed.
The company has seven employees including certified installers.
Elbaz personally reviews each client project. He said his success comes from being very particular about his work.
“It is like a signature,” said Elbaz. “I have to make sure that it looks a certain way.”
From traditional to transitional
Interior Motif offers individualized consultations with prospective clients who can choose from a range of styles including traditional, modern, contemporary, and transitional. Transitional is a combination between contemporary and modern. Elbaz said contemporary designs are the most popular.
He said that his company serves a range of individuals, from those who merely want one shade in their home to those that want a complete house done. He said the company has a range of products and lines depending on the client’s budget and needs.
“The service, the product, [and] the manufacturer is all the same,” said Elbaz.
He said the company encourages people to stop in even if they only have questions about window dressings.
Interior Motif has provided design solutions for renters, homeowners, corporations, and government agencies including Hoboken City Hall. Celebrity clients include New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera and Nets basketball coach Avery Johnson among others.
“First we want to find out what [the client’s] needs are,” said Elbaz about his approach during an initial consultation. He said that he develops an understanding about what criteria the client wants met and will learn whether they have kids, pets, or use automation in the home. Elbaz noted that a client who uses automation to turn on lights or a television will typically desire motorized shades.
“Many clients will do their own homework and then ask their own questions and then there are other clients that come in and are looking for our opinions and want to see our work,” said Elbaz.
While the window fashion business is closely linked to real estate trends and low or highs in the economy, Elbaz said that he has taken a proactive approach in facing challenges head on.
“We always want to make sure that we are a step ahead,” said Elbaz. “Throughout the years I have constantly redone my showroom…to make sure it suits the clients’ needs.”
Interior Motif is expanding its offerings with informational classes about interior design that address colors and trends or child safety and motorization among other topics. The company will also host a series of wine and cheese events as well as home show events.
Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.