The Decorating Coaches

By on August 4, 2012

Photo: Elburn residents Mary Lynn Gehrett (left) and Christine Katkus are the Decorating Coaches, offering redesign services to create extraordinary spaces in ordinary places. The duo created the business in 2012. Courtesy Photo

FOX VALLEY—The Decorating Coaches is a home redesign and staging business in the Fox Valley area, owned by Mary Lynn Gehrett and Chris Katkus of Elburn and created in 2012.

The duo’s redesign services try to create extraordinary spaces in ordinary places, with staging services to help sell homes quickly with a larger return, and color consultations that are a quick, fun way to refresh a room.

The Decorating Coaches staging services help put a “method to the madness” of selling a home. A staged home is appealing to a buyer. It showcases the home’s best attributes and gives the potential buyer a vision of “home sweet home.” The Decorating Coaches offer consultations and walk through a checklist of “things to do” with you. This list includes decluttering, cleaning, repairing and neutralizing. After the list is completed, The coaches stage your home with furniture placement, rugs and accessories.

Home Redesign offered by the coaches uses the homeowner’s existing furniture, art and accessories in new ways to brighten up the space. Redesign can transform a room without spending a fortune—the space gets a fresh look on a comfortable budget.

The Home Redesign services offered by the Decorating Coaches start with a consultation and walk through of the space. They discuss your desires and needs for the space and develop a plan. After the plan is discussed, you can hire the Decorating Coaches to implement the plan or do it yourself.

The Decorating Coaches are a partnership between Gehrett and Katkus. The partners discovered a mutual love for design while working together as teachers. Both are professionally certified through SRA, Staging and Redesign Academy in Crystal Lake, Ill.

As a child, Gehrett loved to redecorate her room when the seasons changed. Now she loves vintage-inspired furnishings and still redecorates seasonally. She also dyes wool to use in her original rug hooking designs. Gehrett and her husband’s home was featured in the November 2008 issue of “Country Sampler”magazine.

Katkus is inspired by nature’s kaleidoscope of change when creating beautiful spaces. Four years ago, her world expanded after taking an art class. Color, texture, paint and design opened up a new area for Katkus, bringing much joy to her life. She enjoys painting landscapes, while portraits of four-legged critters and people are also part of her portfolio. Katkus’ work has been displayed at libraries and the county fair.

For more information, contact Mary Lynn Gehrett at (630) 272-8030, Christine Katkus at, or visit