Wednesday, August 16, 2017  


Q&A: Tips From Nancy

Why use a designer?

When I opened my business in White Stone, Va, I thought it would be helpful for everyone that came into my store to have an explanation of why having an Interior Designer could be helpful and basically answer the question “Why Have One?”. This is what I came up with and still feel it is most relevant now and perhaps even more important in our changing economy! In redesigning your home these are the critical areas where a professional designer can offer expertise in an ever-changing landscape—your space! Enjoy!

To provide a “Difference in Design”...shaping a space built on clients needs, desires, budget, lifestyle,
and dreams.

Access to the diversity of styles and price points offered in home decor.

Guidance in selection of fabrics, furniture, wall and floor coverings, lighting, art, and accessories from quality vendors.

Knowledge of designer to arrange all
elements of an interior plan and
supervise the execution of that plan.

Presentation of written proposal
including materials and labor on all agreed upon choices.

Scheduling of subcontractors through coordination of workroom production, artisans, installers,
and deliveries.

Assuring design plan has been
executed and job specifications
are complete.

The ability of the designer to provide a design that will create a space with only you in mind.


Is there anything I can do to change the look of my room and not spend any money?

Actually there is! One of the very first things I address is the room arrangement as everything else is dependent on it. Stand back, look at your room with a critical eye and make a plan on paper, then grab a hand and re-arrange! For instance where you need lighting, where the pictures need to be hung, and even what size the rug may need to be, can all be determined by good room arrangement. Before you recruit your help, have your plan in mind! This exercise costs absolutely nothing and will change your space in a positive way if you follow these steps! No money, just a plan!

What color should I paint my room?

Sounds like such a simple question however not an easy answer! Make your paint choice a well thought out decision, not a guess! It is important, for it will be the canvas on which you paint your room! It is the backdrop that does not get changed, the curtain that opens the show, and sometimes the one that steals the show! Remember this—the paint or the backdrop is the icing on the cake. No matter the circumstances, don’t rush to do it. Take your time and plan! When possible make the paint choice last after you have reviewed your fabrics, art, floor coverings, accessories. Have your paint choice be a direct connection and enhancement to these things. That way it is a well-developed and thought out solution and addition to the development of the space.

How do I decide how I want my room to look?

This is one of the questions that everyone facing the wonderful idea of recreating a room has to figure out! However it turns out  the answer to this one is simple—it should be a reflection of you and your family and the people that occupy the space! It is your palette so make it your own! What colors do you like? What do you like to do in the space? How do you want the space to function? Most importantly what mood do you want to create, what memories do you want to carry here? and what whimsicalness will you enjoy? Then go about choosing your fabrics, art, etc, with all these “you” things in mind!

I like the work of interior designersbut am afraid I do not have the budget to use one. How can I maximize the talents of a designer on a limited budget?

Do not assume that you cannot afford a designer. Professional designers can help you make hundreds of decisions that will save money in the end especially when it comes to helping you decide on priorities. Consider an initial consultation with an experienced designer an opportunity and probably one of the most informative objective hours you will have on discussion of problems and interior dilemmas in your home! This initial consult can definitely maximize the talents of the designer you have chosen to come into your home and help you decide if he or she is the designer for you!

Some designers have a “look” that they seem to fall back on. How can I insure that a designer won’t push their look on me?

Great question and one I love answering! A competent designer will not push ideas on the client! They do not need or want to. A talented designer will know it is there job to find out what it is the client is looking for and it is their job to produce it! Make sure that the designer you choose to work with will make it his or her priority to find out what look it really is that you are after. A good designer will listen to your responses concerning your needs and dreams and watch carefully for the ways you relate to fabrics, furnishings, color, etc.

When is it more practical to buy new upholstered pieces rather than have my pieces reupholstered?

The answer to this question depends on several things. Sometimes it goes one way; sometimes another. Things I consider when I do comparative pricing for reupholstering vs. new are: How is the condition of the frame, cushions, etc on the original piece? Does the style of the frame still work in the room? Does the scale of the piece work in the room. Is it a piece the customer definitely wants to keep because of sentiment or original quality? If the answer to all of these are YES, then this is definitely a piece to possibly recover! If however there is a NO to any of these three, then we sometimes consider new! Financially these estimates can be considerably different or come out closer than you may think depending on the above factors!

What and where are some areas that I as a homeowner can address and are commonly design dilemmas?

Look at areas without interest, like long hallways and consider groups or pictures or mirrors. With rooms with absolutely no architectural interest consider adding dimension by installing crown molding or creating an accent wall through the use of paint, wallpaper or even a hand painted mural! Rooms that have no warmth need to perhaps add personal collections, color, or bookcases. Consider lamps and lighting, an area that can be immediately updated by a new lampshade! And last but not least, organize, clean, and be tidy! These disciplines will create harmony!
Use common sense in solving some obvious dilemmas in areas that can be improved with a low budget or some time and effort! These adjustments will make a difference and encourage you to move forward with more challenging projects! Get help if you need it!