For husbands Michael Peters (pictured left) and Jason Dunn, interior design is a labor of love. The two make up the creative force behind 2 Gays and a Design, the Atlanta-based residential and commercial interior design company they’ve run for about a decade. While the primary focus of their business is interior design focused in metro Atlanta, they’ve recently branched off into doing remodels and new construction in the Blue Ridge area. With their business, the couple is using their passion for design to give clients the home of their dreams.
“Being able to create and design is a huge passion of mine,” Dunn told Georgia Voice. “To have been able to turn that into a business with my husband is just a bonus.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of having a comfortable home is paramount. Dunn says the extra time indoors has moved more people than ever to consider a refresh.
“With the pandemic and more people working from home, our business has been booming,” he said. “People are going stir crazy, so they’re looking around their house and thinking, ‘Should I completely gut it? Should I sell the house?’ We’re in a good market right now, so it’s a win-win situation for us. We couldn’t be busier.”
However, as with all businesses, the pandemic has created some issues for the couple.
“On the construction side of everything, everybody is busy, and everybody has delays,” Peters said. “[The pandemic has] been good for our business, but with COVID and factories shutting down, it’s definitely hurt us as far as timelines go.”
The pandemic hasn’t stopped the couple from working with their clients to transform their homes into something timeless. Dunn describes their design style as “transitional,” adamant that they aren’t interested in following trends, but instead creating something that will last. More important to them than their personal style, though, is listening to what the client wants.
“The first thing on the agenda, for any design project, is to listen to the client,” Dunn said. “Nine times out of ten, they don’t really know what they want, which is why they hire us. We start to figure out the commonalities we have, and once we get over that hump, we start focusing on the home or business. You don’t want to overwhelm the client with the jargon that comes with the industry; it’s more so, ‘Hey, what would you like to see? How would you like to make this your home?’ We want our clients to feel like they had a say in it, like they had a part in the project. Most of our job is just being able to connect with and understand one another.”
“We find our design style different with each client we meet,” he continued. “It’s a living and breathing entity. I don’t think we stick to one style, it’s very eclectic. We like to listen, we like to create, and we have open minds. We want to give you a beautiful space, but we also want you to have a say in your home.”
About 90 percent of the business 2 Gays and a Design receives is through referrals, something Dunn said is “amazing because we were able to make an impact on our clients.” However, if you’re interested in hiring the couple, you can also contact them through their website, 2gaysdesign.com. If hiring an interior designer isn’t something you can afford now, the couple emphasized the transformational power of some simple tidying.
“To make your space feel more comfortable, decluttering is probably the biggest thing we try to get our clients to do,” Peters said. “Many think the more furniture, the better. That’s not always the case; maybe if you’re not home a lot, you want your space to feel cozier. But if you’re there all day, every day, and not leaving a lot, you want it to feel like a bigger space. That’s what we try to recommend for clients, especially those working from home.”
“It’s important to make our clients feel like they have that space where they can go and retreat,” Dunn added, “even if they’ve been there for the past year.”