We took the time to interview our Design Studio Team in Northern Virginia to see what they had to say about current trends in the interior design industry and what they love about their job. Here is a sneak peak in a day of the life of a Design Studio Consultant!
• What is your favorite part about your job?
We love working with our homebuyers, and sharing in their excitement of building a new home. We get to help them create one of the most memorable and exciting things that they may do in their lifetime, with one of the most important purchases they will ever make, and that makes us feel content in the job we do each day. Working with a happy new homebuyer as they embark on the journey of crafting their brand new dream home makes us feel like we are the lucky ones – watching them leave with a smile on their faces makes it even better!
•What kind of pendant lights would you recommend in a kitchen with light cabinets?
If the kitchen has a warmer cream or antiqued cabinet we tend to lean towards a darker bronze pendant light selection, particularly if it is a more traditional style. If the kitchen has a more modern feel with a bright white cabinet and cleaner lines, than the silver tone pendant in a brushed nickel or chrome finish works best. The Northern Virginia design studio offers so many different styles of pendant lights with various glass and metal finishes, that there is definitely a style and color that will fit the overall theme of our customers’ homes.
•How do you pair back splash with cabinet color? Do you have a system you use to choose?
When composing a kitchen palette, the first thing we start with is the cabinetry, then we move on to choose the flooring and the counter tops. The backsplash and cabinet hardware are the finishing touches that tie everything together. When we work with our customers, we identify the characteristics of the granite that they have selected and use that to guide our recommendations on selecting a backsplash. It is important to ensure that a backsplash doesn’t compete with the other parts and pieces of your kitchen, especially your counter tops. We have many different backsplash options to choose from, from classic marbles and tumbled stones, to neutral and clean subway tiles that accent busier granite patterns, to backsplashes that are bold statement pieces made up of patterned mosaics, blends of marble, glass and metal or stone.
•Would you say you help customer choose their finishes based on their personalities?
Absolutely! The most important thing we do is to first determine what our customers want to see in the “finished product” once their home is complete. We have found that the best way to do that is to have our customers browse the Stanley Martin gallery of homes on our website, or Stanley Martin’s Pinterest or Houzz pages where they can compare the photography from our model homes to see what they are drawn to. Once we determine what they like and what they don’t like, we can select the parts and pieces that fit together to match their desired outcome as well as fit within their budget.
•Would you say helping customers design their homes is a passion of yours?
We have all worked in the housing industry for over 10 years (over 45 years combined!) and we can all undeniably say that we love what we do and that this is a passion of ours that we enjoy during our personal time at home. Unfortunately for our spouses we bring our work home with us on a regular basis in the form of wanting to redecorate, re-accessorize or repaint a room, and coming up with weekend warrior projects in our own homes! One of the best rewards is when we have the opportunity to walk a customer’s home before they go to settlement to see the finished product that we had a hand in creating, or get to visit our beautiful model homes and see what we’ve crafted first hand.
•What are the most popular trends you are seeing in home finishes now?
Most customers are still drawn to the classic finishes that stand the test of time; light colored cabinets, bronze and brushed nickel metal finishes, marble accents in bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes, soft carpeting and rich hues in hardwood floors. We try to avoid adding really trendy finish options to our design portfolio – but if there is a new style that we think would be popular, we are on top of it. On the other hand, if we find that an option doesn’t really work, we don’t offer it. Our goal is to help our Stanley Martin homebuyers create a fun and memorable space to call home and to be thrilled with it when they move in, and continue to love coming back to that beautiful home every day.
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