We want your design experience to be fun and inviting. In order to do that, we have to create an environment that our clients and firm can thrive in. This is why we created our "POP" motto of always putting the People, Operations, and Product at the forefront. We strive to provide stellar service by creating as smooth and exciting of a process as possible for our clients, and we do that with POP:
PEOPLE: I know all too well what it's like to feel unappreciated and undervalued. I've been that employee that has worked long hours, no overtime pay, and a family to care for. As a working mom, I understand that things happen! Whether it's from medical concerns to work deadlines, we get that your time (and ours) is valuable. Therefore, we value work-life balance, good people, and an environment where everyone can succeed. We understand the importance of treating people fairly, and that goes across the board to our business and clients.
OPERATIONS: We truly want to provide an easy-going process for our clients. Literally leave all the hard work to us! In order for us to create a process that is enjoyable for you though, we need your cooperation. If we understand what your needs are, we can work that much harder to ensure they're met. To meet those needs, we have methods of operations in place. We strive to be efficient in all areas to yield the best results, and we're constantly improving. Our goal is to provide stellar results from the consultation to the installation.
PRODUCT: As with any business we offer a product, and our product is quality interior design. Our clients are families and working professionals that understand the importance of design. We craft spaces to reflect YOU, your families, and your goals. Whether you're a mom with bustling boys, a bachelor that needs a softer touch in your home, or couples looking to make a house a home, we provide your future in your space, at your pace, at top quality. At the end of the day, we want to stand by our product and hope you will too!
We are looking to create a space that is uniquely you. If you're ready to learn more, let us help you get started with a FREE discovery call.
What an exciting week it's been so far! Just days ago, a podcast interview I participated in with Remodel Your Life went LIVE! Camile Finan is an amazing woman working to catapult the careers of women in business. Her podcast reaches women and men alike to encourage them to shoot for the stars. Her interviews cover a range of topics from women in construction to diversity and overcoming struggles. When I was requested to be interviewed, I jumped at the chance. This is an intimate conversation about my journey as an African American interior designer.
I discuss my struggles as a teenage mom and non-traditional college student. I talk about not knowing my career path to finding my passion in design, and having to start from scratch in design school.
The struggles are not without overcoming hurdles. I went from college student to award winning designer and working on incredible projects from residential to commercial and set design. Even designing for actress Halle Berry! Tune in to see how I was able to get that opportunity and meet her in person!
Spreading the Word
I love speaking to budding designers about networking and earning their way to their design degree. You don't want to miss my response when Camille asks me about how I'm bringing design to the attention of as many people as possible.
Want some tips on how to create a magazine worthy design for your own space? One of my favorites is the "Odd Makes Even". Accessorizing in odd numbers helps a space feel balanced. Listen in for my explanation and see what my top 3 tips are to help you get started.
Want to know what's next for me in design? I'm always setting goals and doing my best to reach them. Find out what they are when you listen in to this eye-opening interview! Then check Camille's other podcasts to see what great work she is doing for women in business.
Interior design and decorating for some is easy. Creativity flows freely, ideas come frequently, and the ability to put in the work is effortless. For some though, the simple act of choosing a paint color for their powder room is a daunting task. If you're looking to make some changes to your home or simply want some tips to make decorating easier, check out these 10 Tips for creating successful decors.
Tip #1: An Extra Measure
If you’re redecorating or looking for furniture for your space, you should never step foot into a furniture store without a tape measure. It may feel weird measuring everything in sight, but it’s an important rule of thumb when designing any space. Before you head to the furniture showroom, measure your space and sketch out a rough floor plan. This way, you’ll know that an 80-inch long sofa is probably not best for a small apartment living room. Take your sketch with you when you measure furniture pieces on-site. You can save time and emotional heart ache by not getting attached to a furniture piece that simply won’t fit.
TIP #2: Opposites Attract
Another design tip that is part of #MyDesignTruth is understanding that opposites truly do attract.
When picking a color palette for your space, start with the color wheel. Once you locate your favorite color, view the hue directly opposite it. This is called the complementary color. Although they may not appear to work well, they give just the right amount of contrast to balance each other out. The trick is using one as a primary, and the other as an accent. Then find accessories in different tints (like a pastel version) of the accent color to help it all tie together.
TIP #3: Rule of 3
I’m an “odd” girl. I really like even numbers and odd numbers that appear to be even, like the numbers 11 and 22. In my design training, I’ve learned that odd numbers are your friend in creating an evenly balanced space. When accessorizing, place groupings of 3, 5, or 7 to create a cohesive whole in your design.
TIP #4: Something Old to Something New
Save costs by giving an old furniture piece a face-lift. Let’s say you have an item in your home, such as a dresser, that is the perfect size and shape, yet lacking in the color department. A fresh coat or two of paint can make it look like a brand-new piece. A trip to your local hardware store to find new drawer pulls and the right shade of blue can make all the difference is saving hundreds of dollars on new furniture.
TIP #5: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall
If your home feels cramped, create visual windows by adding mirrors. Mirrors help to make a space feel open and are great at hiding imperfections on a wall. Frame it and hang curtains around it to give the illusion of windows. Use them to add symmetry to a room where there’s only one window in the corner. You can even place it near well-lit areas to reflect light and illuminate the space. The possibilities are endless with mirrors, which make it a timeless piece that can be used anywhere.
TIP #6: Illuminate
One way to make a space feel new again is to change out your light fixtures. Exchange your pendant lights for industrial light bulbs, repaint your table lamp shades or replace them with new ones of a different color. These small changes will add a lot of character to your home without spending your entire budget.
TIP #7: Add Art Work
Nothing says conversation piece like an intriguing work of art. Changing the wall art is a great way to make a space feel new again. Whether you purchase new pieces or simply move around existing ones, artwork is a simple and fun change. This is your opportunity to play around with different colors, graphics, and create a new theme in the space. Look for art that speaks to your personality and fits within your color scheme.
TIP #8: Try New Fabrics
Create layers upon layers of comfort by trying new fabrics. Pull out the velvet and wool to add a sense of warmth to the space. A wool throw rug is a great addition to a space, because they’re easy to clean, flame resistant and biodegradable. This makes them perfect for cozying up near the fireplace (from a safe distance of course). Cashmere and velvet fabrics are great for throw blankets when you want to take a quick nap on the sofa or cuddle up with when watching movies.
TIP #9: Plant Good Seeds
If you’re looking for an added boost of happiness, sprinkle a few plants throughout your home. Studies have shown that plants are good for our psychological development. Not only do they help clear the air (literally), but they help to release your space of negative vibes by creating a sense of calmness and relaxation. Even wax plants mentally give you the same effect, no worries about forgetting to water them. A bit of greenery will aid in fostering an inviting environment.
TIP #10: Remember the 5th Wall
You can create a more spacious feel by adding a bit of glam to an often forgotten about area of the home, the ceiling. Frame the ceiling by adding a decorative crown molding. Paint it a bright white color to make it pop against a darker while paint for contrast. With the new light fixture as suggested in a previous design tip, your entire space will look brand new. Even adding a glass mosaic tile to the ceiling in your bathroom will add a bit of sparkle. Incorporating these design tips gives a sense of luxury to the space and make it feel more open. Not a fan of tile? You can also paint a mural. Remember, the sky’s the limit. Explore and find out what works for you.
These tips will help you be well on your way to creating a space that you'll love to show off to family and friends. To maximize your budget when revamping your design and when hiring a professional designer, be sure to read this recent blog post on the Hidden Costs of Interior Design. Comment below on with some of your favorite design tips.
In the business of design, typically, an interior designer would send a proposal for an item, the client pays and then the designer places the order with the vendor. This may vary for designers offering rendering services, like myself. Designers do their best to give their clients a complete scope of the costs for each item, however additional costs such as storage, shipping, insurance, and unexpected labor do occasionally happen. Here are some costs that you should expect to run into.
Shipping: Shipping is largely calculated by weight & distance. If the vendor is unsure of how much the package will weigh until its packed up and ready to ship to you, shipping will usually be billed later.
Storage: For a quick turn-around and an awe-inspiring experience, the install should happen all at once, preferably while you're away so clients can enjoy the impact of what the space looks like finished. To get the awe-struck moment, your stuff has to spend some time in storage. Tucked away until everything is in and ready to be installed for the big "ta-da". Trust me, it's so worth it.
Insurance: It's important to have insurance and to check with your insurance company and interior designer as to who is responsible at what time for that $25,000 Coromandel screen you're having shipped from the Far East. Just sayin'.
Unexpected labor: Sometimes we as interior designers, can't possibly forsee everything (why is it so hard for me to admit that?). Perhaps something was hidden behind a large family portrait on the walk-thru, or covered up by wallpaper, maybe that Coromandel screen needs a little repair work but it's not clear how much. Things come up and you've got to be flexible (anyone who has ever remodeled knows this all too well, right?).
Expected labor: Vendors don't know how much time and effort it'll take until they see what they have to do. Is that vague? Maybe restoration work does need to be done on an antique, maybe the silk fabric needs knit-backing, perhaps a lantern needs powder-coating, or rewired. Many of these things we can get estimates for, but until the work is completed it may not be possible to get an exact cost.
Minimum Fees: Sure you can order a yard of fabric, but it'll cost you extra with many vendors because of their minimum yardage requirements. It may seem unfair, but it is time-consuming and not as lucrative to cut one yard as opposed to twenty. You'll also see mimimum fees if purchasing from a wholesaler and not reaching their minimum order requirements. And unfortunately, vendors often may provide quotes without this minimum fee, only to have it show up on the invoice when you are ready to purchase.
Rush fees: If you want to be at the front of the line, you'll have to pony up. Amazon and the airlines do it so this one isn't too surprising.
Given the recent tragedies of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille and the Dallas Police Department/DART Officers, we need to strengthen our communities more than ever. The more improved our communities are, the more improved our households will be and our compassion towards each other. The old adage says, "It starts at home", and this is true! If we begin the process of improving our homes, it can raise the morale of the individuals inhabiting the space and trickle over to action in improving the community. Here are a few ways that design can strengthen and improve our habitats.
COMMUNITY HOME BUILDING
Low-income communities and even higher income communities can benefit from building homes as a group. When I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that thrives on volunteers to help build affordable homes, I learned so much about people from all walks of life. Each person brought their talents together to help a family in need. During the process of home building, you begin to LIFE build! You build connections, lasting memories, and compassion for one another all in the name of helping someone achieve their dream of home ownership. Not only are you improving the look of the community by building new or re-building distressed homes, but you are improving the lives of a family. You're playing a part in establishing lifelong memories and connections with neighbors. Not to mention that if programs for home building, and even updating abandoned hotels and motels to use them as transition homes, you can decrease homelessness tremendously, thus improving the quality of the community and safety for everyone.
If home building lays the foundation to building strong communities, improving the interiors helps to ensure it stays strengthened. Your home is not only a reflection of you, but it also has a direct effect on your quality of life. That's why organizations, such as Dwell with Dignity, work to improve the homes of families in need. Their mission is, "to help families escape poverty and homelessness through design; one household at a time". My experience with volunteering through this organization over the years has shown me how the quality of live is drastically changed through updated interiors. The same is said for the interiors of offices and other buildings.
Color Psychology studies show that something as simple as changing the wall color of your interior can change your mood and increase connections with others. Earth tone colors, reds, oranges and yellows stimulate conversations, which what we need more of today. "These are colors that encourage people to sit around and talk," says Kate Smith, a color consultant in Lorton, Va. "You feel the warmth, the connection with other people." Research teams from Norway and American also believe that adding plants in the home and workplace improves productivity. Colorful flowers in hospitals and views of greenery also shown to improve the healing process for patients. Plants also improve the quality of air and overall health. Imagine how a paint change, adding plants, and a few changes of furniture pieces and improve the moods, health, and quality of life as well as businesses in the community and in your home. It may be time to take up DIY activities!
IMPROVE PUBLIC SPACES
The vibe that you get when entering and living in a community has a huge affect on how one lives in it. If buildings are worn out, open parks are scarce, and there is no place to get out and enjoy the fresh air, you feel isolated and distraught. Improving the walk-ability and appearance of public spaces has a huge and lasting impact on the people in the community. Adding more parks and walkways builds neighborly connections. Designing more green spaces to improve air quality and usability. Reducing waste as well as add more community gardens and local groceries reduces food droughts and isolation while improving the quality of life of its inhabitants. Making the communities more sustainable is what is needed because it can help reduce crime. It can also improve the health of individuals by reducing diseases, reduce overcrowding and even green house gas emissions. Aside from health and physical improvement, building sustainable communities and public spaces also increases the economic and social success of a community by creating more bonds and more places to shop. Tom Borrup of "Project for Public Spaces" believes that, "even in the best-designed spaces for public interaction, activities need to be planned, and the space needs to be clean, secure, and well maintained, or it is unlikely to serve people well." Public spaces need to be planned and designed to serve the community so that it can thrive. Through community efforts and collective actions from programs such as the American Society of Interior Designers 1% program, U.S. Green Building Council and the American Society of Landscape Architects in collaboration with the communities, this is a dream that can quickly become a reality.
Mark 3:25 states, "If a house is divided against itself, then that house cannot stand." So can be said for this country and the communities within it. If we stay divided, we cannot stand strong. If it is divided, we cannot help each other grow, survive and thrive. If we want to strengthen our communities, improve communication, get back to connecting with each other, and improving our quality of life, it starts at home. It starts with us. If each one reaches one, if each one teaches one, and if each one does their part we can be the great America that we all strive to be. If it is to be, it begins with me.
As a interior design student and leader, I think it is important to get over the nerves, push yourself, and go for what you want. Over a year ago, I joined a Facebook group of design professionals and came across Mikel Welch. He's the top 4 finalist of Season 7 of the Design Star, personal designer for Steve Harvey, on-screen set designer for the Steve Harvey Show and founder of Mikel Welch Designs. After following his work for a few months, I reached out to him and asked him if he would be my virtual mentor (as I had only met him through Facebook at this point). To my surprise, he agreed! We would connect via social media a few times over the year and and December of 2015, I thought I'd go out on a limb. I told him that I loved his work and would love to be his intern. He replied, "You sure can! Email me!" Wow! Anxiously I sent him an email outlining my academic achievements and experience as a student member and leader with ASID. 5 minutes later, he called me to discuss the internship and two days after that, I was hired! I have been his intern since January, and the opportunities have just thrived since then, including a recent opportunity to be on the Steve Harvey Show.
My experience with the Steve Harvey Show has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! The opportunity to see snippets of my hard work come to fruition and aired on television, all because of, and along with the amazing Mikel Welch and the Steve Harvey Show! The hustle and bustle during the taping of the show and being able to participate in the behind-the-scenes aspects gives me a new-found respect for set designers and television designers. As students, we don't realize how much goes into the field of design until we begin to take design courses. Mixing the profession of film with design is even more chaotic, but still fun! It's so hectic! Mikel not only had to manage us (his design team), but he also had to manage the design project as well as handle taping for the show. He's definitely a pro and handles his responsibilities well. And luckily, as his intern/design assistant/PR assistant/project manager (as you can see, he has me dabble in many things for this company!), I was able to gain experience in project management, taking a design concept from start to finish, and learn the ropes of designing for television.
As Mikel's intern/design assistant and somewhat project manager for this installation, I was given a number of tasks. About a month or so prior to the installation, Mikel and I collaborated on the design concept. He sought my assistance on furnishings, wall coverings, and accessories as well as putting together a digital presentation. Of course, most of the finished product is Mikel's design, but it was so cool to see what it's like to go from the start to finish of a project. I had to search for and purchase window treatment accessories, nursery furniture, lighting fixtures, upholstery locations, and I had to pull together trusted design volunteers that knew how to keep a secret! When you're designing for television, you have to keep vital information under wraps until the show airs, and even then, you still have to be selective about the information you share. Signing the waiver documents was a huge reality check! A week before the install, Mikel and I went to upholstery shops to see the finished product of the custom upholstered daybed (in which I helped choose fabric for) and custom window treatments. A few days before the install, one of Mikel's other interns and I went shopping! This is the fun part! We picked out accessories for the window treatments, purchased nursery furniture and accessories, and put custom artwork in the gold picture frames. We hang the curtains, constructed the crib, I managed the placement of the picture frames as well as the temporary interns I recruited, and I personally wrote the blessing tree cards for the family and Steve Harvey! Between the lunch breaks with Ben and Karli Harvey as well as the production team, we still had to work on organizing and decorating the space. There were so many odds and ends to this project, delivery issues for the crib (the most important furniture piece!), furniture layout (my job), measurements (my job), matching paints to fabrics (my job), meeting vendors (my job again!), getting trade outs and other things in between, but the end result was beautiful!
Getting the opportunity to meet Mikel in person and work on this project has been a thrilling experience. It has been a blast to get to know the amazing production crew, the moving company, painting company, and even Karli and Ben. They are such a genuine and sweet couple and it was a pleasure to connect with them! Congrats to them on their new baby boy. Take a gander at photos from my experience during this project as well as a VIDEO of the project segment. You'll see me when Mikel talks about the design crew! The moral of this story is: Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, because the result may be an experience you'll treasure forever. Enjoy!
The excitement has come to a close! The Steve Harvey Show installation with Mikel Welch was thrilling and hectic! I've participated in television productions before (I was an extra for the Dallas County Community College District commercial), but this was a completely different experience. During commercial shootings, you are given very specific instructions on where to be, how to look, what to say....there is re-take, after re-take, after re-take. It requires tedious, and often times, specific movements.
Doing an install for television is the same way, except that it's not always specifically planned. Instead, most of the taping is done on the fly! It was interesting to see how you add in sponsor mini-commercials, needing to say specific promotion lines, handling a design crew, learning camera angles, and all this while worrying about missing furniture, delivery shipments, and mishaps. Wow! I was thoroughly impressed by Mikel and how he handled the pressure.
When I tell you there was pressure, THERE WAS PRESSURE! It was a bustling day the entire week. Every minute was crunch time. When it was time to go, you went fast! The great thing about installs is that once the craziness dies down, you get to bask in the final product. Seeing the complete product and working with it from start to finish is so rewarding. It's all worth it! I met some great people, got a chance to connect with Mikel's other interns, made new business connections and learned quite a few things about video production! The design and production crews were amazing. I will never forget this experience.
Now that the project is complete, it's basically a waiting game from here on out. As soon as I find out when the show airs, I'll be SURE to share. You're not going to want to miss it! Until then, it's time to get back to school projects. Be sure to check out the other posts regarding the Steve Harvey Show Install on my blog along with inspirational quotes and design inspiration. #MyDesignTruth
Contrary to popular belief, interior designers are not the same thing as interior decorators. If you're expecting to earn a degree learning how to hang wall coverings, purchase furniture, and decorate an interior with fun little knick-knacks to become a designer, you are sadly mistaken (and in for a BIG surprise). Interior design requires knowledge in many aspects aside from as aesthetically pleasing interior. Here are some differences between an interior designer and an interior decorator:
Interior designers are professionally trained in space planning. In 18 states, they must pass a strict exam and be licensed. While both designers and decorators are concerned with aesthetics, style and mood, interior designers have comprehensive training and command skills that may include an understanding of:
•flame spread ratings, smoke, toxicity and fire rating classifications and materials
•space planning for public and private facilities
•national, state and local building codes
•standards regarding the needs of disabled or elderly persons & other special needs groups
•Ergonomics (Practice of designing products with the user in mind)
•lighting quality and quantity
•acoustics and sound transmission
A decorator works only with surface decoration – paint, fabric, furnishings, lighting and other materials. Because no license is required, upholsterers, house painters, and other trades people also claim the name “decorator.”
(Source: American Society of Interior Designers, Illinois)
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
An interior designer is professionally trained to create a functional and quality interior environment. Qualified through education, experience and examination, a professional designer can identify, research and creatively resolve issues and lead to a healthy, safe and comfortable physical environment.
Interior designers provide various services including:
•consulting services to help determine project goals and objectives
•generating ideas for the functional and aesthetic possibilities of the space
•creating illustrations and renderings
•developing documents and specifications relative to interior spaces in compliance
with applicable building and safety codes
•allocating, organizing and arranging a space to suit its function
•monitoring and managing construction and installation of design
•selecting and specifying fixtures, furnishings, products, materials and colors
•purchasing products and fixtures
•designing and managing fabrication of custom furnishings and interior details
•designing lighting and specifying
(Source: American Society of Interior Designers, Illinois)
You can see that the work of an interior designer is very difficult, but challenging and rewarding. Although the work of an interior decorator has some similarities to that of an interior designer, understand that there are very distinguishable differences between the two. A designer has vast skills that make them ideal for any interiors job. Take these differences into consideration when determining whether to higher an interior designer or a decorator.
As part of the POP motto, the operation of my business is a top priority. That’s why I’ve incorporated steps to help make the client process more seamless. You may have already had a discovery call and are considering scheduling a consultation. Here’s what to expect from a design consult with Design with Veronica Sanders.
Let’s say you’ve found me on Instagram or came across my website from a friend or colleague’s referral (yay!). You’ve done your research and are ready to schedule the consultation. You can either call to book and schedule your consultation, which you will receive an invoice for. Or, you can pay for the consultation through the website. The consultation is a meeting that is paid up front. Although some designers may charge a free consultation, a paid consultation ensures that the designer doesn’t hold back on ideas and expertise. You paid the consultation, so I want to make sure you get the most from our visit!
The purpose of our design consultation, which I loving call the “Buzz Session”, is to learn as much about you as possible, so that I can craft the best possible solution for your design needs. The Buzz Session is our opportunity to get the creative juices flowing! This is why it’s important that you take part in the second step when scheduling the consultation; which is filling out the New Client Questionnaire. I know, it’s a long document. And although you aren’t required to fill it out, doing so does help maximize our time together for the good stuff during the session! Plus, it helps me better prepare for our in-person meet-up, so you get the best bang for your buck.
DURING THE BUZZ SESSION
I’ll arrive at your doorstep with a few items: Your printed questionnaire (or a blank one), camera/smartphone, voice recorder, paint deck, measuring tape, notebook, and my laptop. (I’ll tell you why these are important, keep reading!)
INITIAL CONSULTATION – CLIENT PROJECT
Master Bedroom | Lighting | Bedside lamps too small and don’t provide enough light. | Recommend they add larger lamps with energy efficient lighting and updated ceiling light fixture. | Recommend they call their electrician for ceiling lights, shop LampsPlus.com or CircaLighting.com for fixtures.
AFTER THE BUZZ SESSION
It’s that simple. Although every designer operates in their own fashion, I find that this allows for a solid foundation before beginning your project. All the hard work on your part is already done. Using this method has shown to be very helpful in my business operations. What do you think? I hope this gives you a better understanding of what to expect during a Buzz Session consultation. However, if you still want to know what I have to offer, click here to go to my services page to view the design packages. I look forward to hearing from you!