Faces of Home / Raelyn Woltz of West End Interiors
For the love of design
Updated yet timeless West End Interiors maintains a long list of vendors that Woltz has worked with over the years. The goal is reliability and a unique, custom look.
Photos by Stephen Gabris
686 Main Street Suite 1
Buffalo NY 14202
(716) 289-3380 or www.westendny.com
As principal designer of West End Interiors in downtown Buffalo, Raelyn Woltz celebrated her interior design studio’s first birthday this past March. In her seven years in the interior design business, she’s developed a style that she sums up as warm, timeless, and modern.
She describes her new studio as being like a glass box, with natural light pouring in during the day. The walls are lined with tiles of all materials, shapes and sizes that allow for creative freedom on any project.
“It’s exactly what I pictured for my first studio space,” says Woltz. A former student, from Woltz’s days teaching interior design at Buffalo State, works part-time. The studio offers full and partial design services, and makes clear Woltz’s passion for tiling. To get inspiration, Woltz travels the world to places that have a completely different aesthetic. Closer to home, Woltz frequently goes to New York City to bring modern tiles back to Buffalo.
Woltz has also taught design at Buffalo State College.
How’d you decide to launch your own business?
I always knew I was going to be my own boss. I really wanted my own brand and I had a lot of ideas and personal aesthetic that I wanted to implement. We really hit the ground running on projects when we opened West End Interiors.
How would you describe your style?
Warm, timeless, and modern. I’m not forceful. I listen to my clients’ wants and needs and put my spin on it. It’s not matchy-matchy, there’s not a lot of ornate detail, but a lot of clean lines and detailed work on tiling, cabinetry, and molding. I’ll mix in some vintage or textured pieces so it’s not a sterile feel. I like to give spaces an updated feeling but not brand spanking new. We try to tone down trendy elements so the design is timeless.
When someone hires you, what does that process look like?
People think hiring a designer is intimidating but the whole idea behind our brand is being OK with people who want to walk in the studio and look around. Nine times out of ten, I work on a full-service project from start to finish. That starts with a consultation and detailed proposal, and then goes into the measuring and planning phase, leading to sourcing materials, creating a storyboard, and then executing the project to the bidding process, buying materials, and doing walkthroughs during the construction phase to make sure everything is on track.
How do you source the materials you’re working with?
We work with a ton of vendors. We put a lot of time into curating who we purchase materials from. From working in the industry so long, I have a long list of brands we can count on. That gives a lot of options for a unique, custom look. There are a ton of tiles on display in the studio right now from best sellers to new samples.
Do you have a certain material you love working with the most?
If someone has a tighter budget and we use subway tile, there’s a thousand ways you can lay a subway tile that isn’t just a brick pattern or a herringbone. We sit down and come up with patterns that look like a million bucks but save on cost. That’s what I’m most passionate about, and I love working with tiles.
Anywhere you’ve traveled to in particular that’s influenced your brand?
I traveled the Pacific Coast Highway. Stopping in all those West Coast towns, the aesthetic is so beautiful and influenced a lot of the colors and materials we use. A lot of light blues and light woods we use have been heavily influenced by my time there.
If someone walks in unsure of what they want, how do you handle that?
We can make suggestions, maybe draw on their floor plans, and build off of their ideas. The studio allows us to help a wider range of people.