There is something of a misconception that interior designers exist only for the privileged; that their services are an indulgence that the everyday American can ill afford. If you feel that an interior designer isn’t an option for you, you may be wrong. There’s a legion of designers out there who are waiting to hear from you. Designers who specialize in transforming your home into a place you’ll love. Residential interior design isn’t about creating a show space that will be the envy of the neighborhood but that you’ll be too afraid to step foot in. It’s about creating a home you can enjoy; a home that’s comfortable and that reflects your personality.
Who are these interior designers and how are they performing this magic? Well they’re everywhere and the best way to get an idea of how they work is to ask them. Let’s take a closer look at the stories of four interior design firms who have made a name for themselves by creating finely designed homes while remaining sensitive to the needs and budgets of their clients.
Real Life, Real Design
Nandina Home & Design
Interior design firm, Nandina Home & Design, work hard to put their “real life, real style” motto into practice. They understand that “kids, dogs, parties, and life do happen and no one needs to skimp on glamorous living because of them.” From their two locations, in Atlanta and Aiken, SC, the team at Nandina works with clients to design homes that they will love.
Co-owner Susan Victor believes that people’s homes are defined as much by emotion as they are by beautiful objects. She thinks that a well-designed home makes us feel happy, comfortable, inspired, and alive. The key to creating this kind of space is all about client collaboration. Susan says, “a successful design in my opinion is one in which my clients and I collaborate to produce a space that reflects their personal style and delivers both emotion and beauty.”
“The team from Nandina, listened and responded to our needs. At the same time they did not hesitate to speak out if they thought we were headed down the wrong path. Also, appropriate attention to costs was always present… the professional staff at Nandina efficiently guided us through all phases and eased the rough moments. I am pleased to recommend Nandina.”
-Randy Potter CEO, Savannah River Banking Company
The Nandina Team cater to all tastes; traditional, eclectic, and contemporary. No matter the style choice or budget, they use their expertise to make their clients’ homes an expression of their true selves. They provide design that enhances the lives of their clients – this may be just one special piece or a whole new look. “Relaxed yet refined, exclusive yet affordable,” is their design approach to all projects.
Casually Elegant Interiors
Talianko Design Group
Of course designers have individual styles and preferences. But it’s important to remember that the designer is there to work for you – to listen carefully to your needs and tastes, to identify what you are seeking, and to deliver it with the polished ways of a professional. A good designer will give advice and suggestions but ultimately the final decisions are yours.
One designer who goes to great lengths to ensure client satisfaction is Debbie Talianko, principal designer of the Talianko Design Group. Working out of Sierra Madre, California, their goal is to ensure that their clients fall in love with their homes. Debbie ensures her customers’ happiness by making the design process simple and convenient for them. She believes in making the client feel at ease.
Debbie says, “by listening carefully to their requests, we can thoroughly understand their needs. And in the end, we produce something both beautiful and personal.” Their tagline, “casually elegant interiors” says it all. They create stylish homes for everyday living.
So how does this process happen? How exactly are the client’s needs met? Debbie has a very specific approach, one that she has fine tuned over the years to make the design process convenient for clients and efficient for her team. She starts with a series of client interviews to gather as much information as possible about their needs and wishes. Then she develops visual aids so the client has a better understanding of what is being proposed, and to ensure a successful outcome. Debbie also pays close attention to a client’s budget. She shares all documentation with them along the way to ensure there are no uncomfortable surprises.
You can see exactly how Debbie walks through the design process with clients here.
“We’ve had Debbie as our interior decorator for a major remodeling project. We couldn’t be happier. Debbie has a way of knowing exactly what we’ll like, which saves us a lot of time. She has impeccable taste without breaking our budget.”
-Frank & Patricia Hall, Sierra Madre, CA
The Approachable Expert
Joanne Jakab Interiors
Award-winning Joanne Jakab, an Ontario based interior designer of Joanne Jakab Interiors, is known as the “approachable expert.” Interior designers exist to guide you and Joanne likes to use the unique experiences of her clients when designing their homes so that their particular tastes are reflected in their surroundings. Her design philosophy focuses on a fusion of local viewpoint and global perspective and she creates one of a kind homes tailored to the individual needs of the homeowner.
Joanne’s primary design market is in Southern Ontario: Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, NS Etobicoke, but her business has grown to include the interiors of clients’ second homes in Muskoka, Collingwood, and the Southern U.S.
Joanne’s comfortable working relationship with clients, coupled with an understanding of the demands of a modern lifestyle, leads a client-centric approach to design that makes everyone at ease. She has spoken recently about how a family values lifestyle shouldn’t mean giving up on design and style. She says “growing up I know many of us were kept away from the good furniture unless we were dressed up for a special occasion and even then little hands were carefully watched.” Certainly many can relate to this on some level.
But Joanne understands that clients don’t want to live that way. She makes a point of sourcing fabrics that suit the modern lifestyle. Fabrics that are sumptuous and luxurious but also durable and stain resistant. For example she selected these kitchen chairs which have subtle metallic infused faux leather that is both elegant and practical.
It’s important to Joanne that clients feel understood and reassured. Sometimes that simply means letting a client know what their options are. She informs clients that with today’s technology you can create a luxurious family friendly place that is entirely stress free.
Well Appointed Urban Spaces
Another designer who is committed to pleasing her clients is Ebonee Bachman of Moonlight Interiors, Washington, DC. Ebonee is a designer popular for her friendly approach. For her, the best part about being an interior designer is seeing the improvement to her clients’ quality of life after the transformation of their homes. Ebonee sees redesigning homes as a personal experience and she likes being part of that process. No job is too big or too small for her.
Ebonee works hard to involve clients in the design process. She even offers a “do-it-yourself” package which consists of a virtual design software program. The program assists clients in making design choices and ensuring everything goes exactly as expected from beginning to end. A satisfied customer applauds Ebonee’s approach.
“Ebonee is very knowledgeable and good at what she does. She listens carefully to her customers and then develops plans based on what they share.”
– Crystal M.
Form and Function
Interior design doesn’t only apply to those with an entire house to renovate. Maybe you have just moved into a home and you need it designed throughout. But more often it’s just a single room or area that you want to pay attention to. Interior designers can be hired to style just one room. Say you’re expectant parents, and you want to convert that unused spare room into a nursery. Call in an interior designer to create a calm, tranquil yet practical space. Designers are frequently employed to restyle just one room. Whether it’s a bathroom, a lounge or a hallway.
Employing an interior designer isn’t always about making your home more luxurious. It’s about functionality too. Maybe you’re a mom with a growing family and that kitchen/utility area just doesn’t work for you anymore. You need more space, but have no time to think about measurements, colors, worktops and tiles. Employ a designer; not only to style your home but to make your life easier. They’re not just color and fabric experts, they can create functional rooms that make the best use of available space. They design rooms that suit the lives of busy people; people who want a stylish home but simply don’t have the time to devote to restyling and decorating. A good designer will understand what you need. They will consult you about design choices along the way and before you know it you’ll be living in the home you always pictured.
Designing your own home can be difficult and time consuming. Between color choices, choosing the appropriate furniture, and styling, it’s not an easy task for everyone. We often cannot imagine the colors and furniture properly in a space and may regret our choices. Consider hiring a professional who will do it right first time and avoided all the frustration. An interior designer may seem like an expense, but it could also avoid a costly mistake in wrong furniture choices down the line. Also, many designers pass on their discounts to their clients, often counterbalancing your design fees, meaning their service fees probably won’t greatly impact your initial budget.
The next time you are thinking about changing something in your home, consider hiring an interior designer. There’s one near you waiting to make your home a more comfortable and beautiful place.
You can find an extensive list of interior designers in your area at Houzz and a list of some of the nation’s top interior designers at Key Interior Designers.
Read more about interior design on my blog and connect with me on LinkedIn.
Other articles of interest:
New Technologies Usher in the Era of Modern Eco-Homes
Interior Design that is Both Timeless and Trendy
Baby-Boomers and Vacation Homes
How 4 Famous Architects Inspired Their Sons