July 12, 2024

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MY BIZ: Eastern Iowa home decor business expands to Solon

4 min read

Ideal Decorating co-owners Jon Scherbring (left), Beth Gudenkauf (center) and Kelly Milbert sit in their home decor store in Solon last  Wednesday. Kelly Milbert took over her parents’ furniture and decor store in Dyersville, opening another store in Guttenberg and now in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Ideal Decorating co-owners Jon Scherbring (left), Beth Gudenkauf (center) and Kelly Milbert sit in their home decor store in Solon last Wednesday. Kelly Milbert took over her parents’ furniture and decor store in Dyersville, opening another store in Guttenberg and now in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Lamps with warm lighting are displayed at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Lamps with warm lighting are displayed at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

SOLON — If you’re looking for a design solution, whether that’s furniture, décor or flooring, the team at Ideal Decorating may be able to help out.

With the flagship store and warehouse for Ideal Decorating is in Dyersville, the business offers everything from mattresses and bedding to area rugs, furniture, artwork, lighting, and flooring, for both residential and commercial spaces.

The team also offers home consultations and free delivery within a 60-mile radius of Dyersville. And it’s just opened a new retail store in downtown Solon.

A  living room is staged at Ideal Decorating in Solon.The store also sells fabric and swatches at the store at 310 E. Main St. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

A living room is staged at Ideal Decorating in Solon. The store also sells fabric and swatches at the store at 310 E. Main St. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Beth Gudenkauf, 31, is one of the owners, along with Tommy Dee, Jon Scherbring and Kelly Milbert, whose parents ran the Dyersville business for more than a decade before she took it over in 2014.

The business partnership among the four has grown over the last decade.

“We’ve built a company that we are really proud of,” Gudenkauf said. “We cherish the fact that we are continuing the legacy in a way that I know our previous owners would be really proud of, too.

“I think what sets us apart from the rest is our outstanding customer service,” she said. “We build relationships with our customers and love to see the final outcome of their projects, whether it’s big or small.”

It also has helped the business grow. Just two years into taking over the business, they opened a second location in Guttenberg, along the Mississippi River in Clayton County.

This is one of the displays at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

This is one of the displays at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Gudenkauf describes her role as operating manager of the Solon store, which opened March 10.

“I’ll help with anything from office work — flooring blueprints, sales, orders, and inventory — to scheduling flooring installs and managing employees,” she said. “I’ll spend days getting caught up on orders, flooring estimates, scheduling jobs/deliveries, work on some social media, all while also helping customers as they come in.”

Scherbring also does a little bit of everything, she said.

“He’ll help with the overall design and look of the three locations,” she said. “He’s great at helping customers pick out furniture and decor and isn’t afraid to go a little out of the box with his designs. You’ll see him at every furniture and decor market, checking out the new trends and bringing them to life in our stores.”

Milbert handles the finances and will help on the sales floor when needed, Gudenkauf added.

And Dee, she said, “was a big influence in coordinating the Solon project but has also helped with our build-outs at the other locations. He is an owner that will continue to help with the growth in Solon.”

Fabric swatches are displayed at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Fabric swatches are displayed at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Gudenkauf said when Ideal Decorating was at a point where it wanted to expand, it landed on Solon.

“We saw the growing demographics in that area,” she said. “We also saw a lot of similarities between Solon and Dyersville, which made us believe it was a good fit for us.”

Gudenkauf said she is thankful for the teamwork of the owners, eight full-time employees and a few part-time high school students who help with their schedules allow.

“Every day is different,” she said. “One day I might need to help with a delivery or unloading a truck and the next day I might spend the entire day at my desk.”

A staged living room is shown at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

A staged living room is shown at Ideal Decorating in Solon. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

That variety is a perk of the job, Gudenkauf said.

“Every customer is different,” she said. “We’ll have customers that still have a very traditional style and we’ll cater to that and the next one that walks in the door wants a very modern look. We’re very accommodating to all the styles that are presented to us.

“You can walk into our locations and get the urban industrial vignettes, as well as a farmhouse vignette right next to it. We have a very collective design group and use that to our advantage when ordering for our showrooms.”

Know a business that should be considered for a “My Biz” feature? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

Ideal Decorating

Owners: Tommy Dee, Beth Gudenkauf, Kelly Milbert and Jon Scherbring

Address: 310 E. Main St., Solon

Phone: (319) 624-2030

Website: theidhome.com

A bedroom setup is displayed at Ideal Decorating in Solon, which opened in March. The owners frequently change the staging of displays  to highlight different pieces. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

A bedroom setup is displayed at Ideal Decorating in Solon, which opened in March. The owners frequently change the staging of displays to highlight different pieces. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)


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