With a vision to deliver high-end, luxury homes within any budget, Mark and Shelly Strouse founded Décor Design and Construction (DDC) in 2008. It has since built a strong reputation across Ohio, particularly in Medina County, for not only quality, but for its integrity and honesty throughout the building process.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2023, the business remains family-owned-and-operated, completing anywhere between 25 and 30 unique homes every year, which are entirely tailored to the client’s lifestyle and desired visuals. It has completed a broad range of projects, with budgets ranging from $250,000 to $10,000,000, but DDC prides itself on delivering the same high-quality services regardless of the home’s value.
“The vision has always been to treat people with respect, take responsibility for the build process, and demonstrate to our clients that we truly care about their needs,” Mark begins. “Whether it’s a small residential project or a huge mansion, we treat everybody equally. We genuinely put our heart and soul into every design and do our best to facilitate success and efficiency in all stages of the process.”
Having begun his career in the construction industry, Mark boasts decades of industry experience and expertise. “I have always loved and wanted to build houses,” he recalls. “I used to draw houses as a child and envision how I would decorate them. I started my first business while I was still in school, so I was roofing, siding, and framing houses in all my spare time. Then, in 2008, when we established DDC, my aim was to bring consistency to the construction industry, as well as provide clients with the highest quality products.”
Amanda Parks, Social Media and Marketing Manager, adds: “That’s what makes our business so unique, because Mark has experience in all aspects of the construction process, rather than just one element.” As such, DDC supports its clients from start to finish, beginning with an initial meeting to discuss the overall vision, budget, and desires for the proposed home. Once the first drawings and budget overview are complete, including any client revisions, the construction process begins!
During construction, DDC takes responsibility for the necessary permits and complicated aspects of the build, so that clients can relax and enjoy the process. “I try to maintain an honest, open line of communication with clients throughout the build, and answer any questions they might have; I don’t sugar-coat anything because that often leads to more problems further down the line,” Mark explains. “My goal is for our clients to feel comfortable, relaxed, and well-informed; this way, people often return to us to build another home!”
Reputation for excellence
No two of DDC’s designs are ever the same. “Mark has an excellent ability to change designs for the better,” states Shelly. “He certainly isn’t afraid of a challenge; whether it be adding on a different roof, or designing a completely new blueprint, Mark always delivers the customer’s dreams. He takes every little detail and creates a beautiful home time-and-time again!”
The business maintains a stringent set of building standards to ensure projects meet the company’s reputation for excellence. “Although we know we probably have higher standards than other custom homebuilders, we believe this makes our homes unique,” details Michael Parks, Vice President. “We do nine-foot-high ceilings as our standard, for example, and in terms of exterior, we incorporate a combination of different textures to enhance the uniqueness of the building.”
Once constructed, DDC supports clients to make personalized selections and details for the home’s interior. However, these interior design elements are often well thought through before construction even begins. As the company’s completed homes often include vaulted ceilings, for example, or ornate details like ceiling roses and traditional-looking features, these all require concise, early planning.
DDC attributes much of its success to the family-run element of the business. “When you have people you love and trust alongside you, especially in a business venture, I believe you are much more likely to succeed,” states Mark. “It’s very much a family operation; Shelly is our Design Consultant, assisting clients with interior design, our daughter, Amanda, looks after all our social media, and Amanda’s husband, Michael is our graphic designer and Vice President. We also live right next door to each other, so we really are always together!
“Most of our projects are referrals from past clients, or friends and family of past clients,” he explains. “We tend to have a great relationship with clients after completion, as they appreciate the help and support we provide them. In fact, a lot of our customers are very welcoming in showing our realtors or potential clients around their new home, giving them a feel for the floorplan and design, which is particularly helpful for those individuals not au fait with certain technology, preferring to physically experience the space instead!”
DDC’s positive relationships are not only customer-based but extend to its suppliers and partners too. “A lot of our vendors and sub-contractors across the board really appreciate working with us, especially because we are a family business,” Mark says. “People love that we are compassionate and treat everyone like our own family.
“This was particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we had to work closely with all of our suppliers and vendors to find relevant solutions,” he continues. “Solutions were hard to find on some occasions, but we worked through it together, finding ways of getting required products or appropriate alternatives. For the last year or so, we are back in full force and free from hiccups!”
Turning to the year ahead, Mark reveals: “We are currently working on our biggest project yet in terms of square-footage. It’s 18,000-to-20,000 square feet, with every luxury you can imagine; a bowling alley, arcade, bar, multiple pools, spa, and sauna. It’s really exciting for us to work on such a large, luxury home, so we cannot wait to finish and deliver it to the client.
“In terms of the distant future,” Mark concludes, “we hope that the business will continue through more generations, with our grandchildren eventually taking over and continuing our legacy.