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Designer makes homes, gardens serve their owners

Rochester Business Journal
April 4, 2014

There are many ways to uncover beauty every day. Through his business, Joseph Nardone, owner of Nardone Home and Garden, makes it a point to rediscover that splendor.

“As a society, we all need a little help from time to time,” he says. “So do our homes and gardens.”

Launched in fall 2012, Nardone Home and Garden offers services related to interior design and landscaping, creating living spaces indoors and outdoors.

Designing homes and gardens should not be intimidating or prohibitively expensive, Nardone observes. He notes that homeowners often wonder if interior design is affordable. Clients also fear that their ideas are not good enough or do not match designers’ opinions.

At Nardone Home and Garden, communication is key. It is not uncommon for Nardone to ask a customer to pick favorite items, like an antique, and then work to develop a design plan around it. He says his specialty is rediscovering what the client already has around the home.

“There has to be something beautiful that was handed down or means something to you that is in a closet somewhere that you don’t know what to do with it,” he says, calling these items little treasures.

A former Eastman Kodak Co. executive who also has previous design experience from his work at Leighton Design Group and Arena’s Florist, Nardone blends experiences from handling clients and sales in both the advertising and corporate worlds.

He applies his creative background to his passions for interior design and gardening. While Nardone has studied marketing, interior design, landscaping and horticulture, seeds for his interest in home and garden design were sowed early by his parents’ love for the arts and gardens.

Nardone works from his home and has garnered more than 30 clients in the first year of his business, he says, surpassing his goal. Nardone Home and Garden uses local crews for construction, design and gardening work. Nardone treats every consultation, installation and design differently, he says. The cost of each project is dependent on the time and involvement with the plan.

Drawing on a client’s life, history, heritage and other meaningful aspects is what makes each residence a unique project.

“People always want to redo things, but they don’t necessarily have to start from scratch,” Nardone says.

When working with a client, he often wants to know how a particular room is lived in or used before trying to design it. People can have visions of their homes and gardens that might not be practical to implement, wanting beautiful appearances without the upkeep. Nardone Home and Garden attempts to be sensitive to its clients’ needs and capabilities.

With gardens and landscaping projects, Nardone considers the exterior of a home as an extension of the inside. He wants to know details before he begins the design process. For example, sometimes it makes a difference if a residential area has deer that pass through, since they eat certain plants. A shady garden dictates the type of flowers that make it into a bed. Outdoor pools also are a consideration.

Nardone Home and Garden’s business is evenly split between interior and exterior work. Still, it can be a seasonal industry. Given the work and planning involved, he stays busy year-round despite that.

So far, Nardone has been gaining clients through word of mouth and a personal network, but he also plans to start marketing to reach more customers. For now, he is working to make sure Nardone Home and Garden’s designs tell stories and reflect clients’ lives.

Samantha Reynolds is a Rochester Business Journal intern.

Small Business is a biweekly feature focusing on entrepreneurs. Send suggestions for future Small Business stories to Associate Editor Smriti Jacob at

4/4/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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