Category Archives: Why Should You Hire An Interior Designer?

One of a Kind

This afternoon, we’re dreaming up a one-of-a-kind rug for one of our local clients.  What are you dreaming about?

custom rug design




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Made in America

A few weeks ago, ABC aired a week-long special that really caught my attention.  Their Made in America series visited the home of a family in Texas, looking for US-made products, and they found almost none!  In the living room, a glass vase was the only item that passed the test.  The family agreed to let ABC remove anything that didn’t comply, with the understanding that they would replace it with American-made goods.  I watched as the show host made phone calls for 2 hours, looking for a sofa made here!  She eventually got in touch with Lee Industries, one of our favorite companies, who were glad to help and furnished the home with the furniture below.  (Photo from abc.com)  The coffee table is from Harden Furniture, another line we love.   I was shocked at how hard it was to locate American-made products in the market today and felt compelled to show you that there are so many great furniture lines who manufacture their products here.  Not only in the US, but in North Carolina!

Lee Industries - ABC Made in America Diane Sawyer

Every piece that leaves Lee Industries’ Conover, NC factory features a tag, signed by each person who worked on it. 

Lee Industries - Made in America

Hickory Chair, Hickory White, and Lillian August are several other companies whose products are made in the state we call home.  The photos below are from our tour of Hickory Chair in Hickory, NC.   

Hickory Chair - Furniture made in the USA

I grew up in Shelby, NC which is just a 45-minute drive from Hickory, where all three of those companies products are made.  My family lives maybe an hour from Lee Industries in Conover, NC, and while we were touring the factory I met multiple employees who lived in Shelby and even one who knows my grandparents.  It feels good to support the local economy by working with so many furniture companies within the state. 

Made in North Carolina - Lee Industries

Diane Sawyer shared that if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S. made goods every year, it would create nearly 10,000 new jobs!  Consider seeking American-made products, and if it seems impossible find furniture made here, give us a call, we’d be happy to help!

– Lauren

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To the Trade

I love that major magazines generally always have a resources section and show you exactly where you can get that lamp you fell in love with on page 62!  But as you read, it may say, “Available to the trade only.”  What exactly does this mean?

Duralee To the Trade Exclusive Fabrics

The “trade” refers to interior designers and architects.  Generally high-end furniture, fabric, lighting, and rug lines don’t sell directly to the public, and most of the reasons are cost related.  Why isn’t “to the trade” directly available to all?  “Getting connected to the retail market requires sales, marketing, and advertising budgets that would drive the already-precious price higher, and retail customers require hand-holding that would pull highly skilled customers from their craft.  The level of workmanship they provide is unsurpassed and generally unavailable at the retail or consumer level,” Celerie Kemble writes in her book, To Your Taste

Fabric Inspiration Board

To the trade typically means many more options – custom color, special details, any finish, any fabric, any way you want it!  And that’s why we love the lines that we get to work with.  We’d love to show you what they can do! 

Fabrics To the Trade Interior Design



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My Carolina Today: Judy’s Remodeling Checklist


Those out dated kitchen appliances must go! It is time to remodel and we have come to the rescue. If you are thinking about remodeling any area in your house, we recommend that you watch this video for the complete “Design Lines Remodeling Checklist” from Judy.  

Here are Judy’s takeaways.

1. Decide on scope of the project. Take into account the function & use of the space, storage needs, universal design features, green design, lighting, etc.

2. Decide on whether you will live in the space while the renovation is going on or do you need to set up temporary food prep.

3. Consider hiring professionals – builder, interior designer and architect. Get references.

4. Do your research to manage expectations.

5. After deciding on a contractor, give him as much information as possible for accurate quote.


To see more Design Lines videos from My Carolina Today, click here.

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Why Should You Hire An Interior Designer? {Part 4} Newlyweds

When a man and woman are moving in together and begin to go about decorating their place consider giving up the mindset that stuff is identity and that moving in with someone erases your identity because you have to get ride of some of your stuff…so you fight for things that in the end don’t matter.


Be willing to look at things from a different perspective, change a finish, recover grandma’s chair, and change a lamp shade. You will be creating a new space that reflects both of you while maybe keeping something that has meaning to you. You can always call in an interior designer for a few hours of consultation to help you see the possibilities in the collection of things that you have.

real simple

(Image: Real Simple.com)

Below are a few questions and answers the team at Design Lines has come up with for all those newlyweds out there.

 martha stewart

(Image: Martha Stewart Weddings.com)

1. What specific “bachelor pad” decor items that the guy should consider giving up?

It can be difficult to throw away that door set on cinder blocks that you used as a desk all the way through grad school or the black “leatherette” sofa from your first apartment but they will have to go! You may also have to get rid of the mismatched bed linens and towels, your collection of beer bottles and the random sets of glasses, dinnerware and cookware. Be selective about keeping the sports memorabilia for a future media/game room knowing that now the Hurricanes Stanley Cup limited edition print will not go over the sofa.

2. What specific decor might a girl need to consider giving up?

Women will need to tone down color…get rid of the pink and green, floral bedding, stuffed animals and decidedly feminine art and accessories. Save that frilly mirror, paint it black and pair it with a tailored lamp…to create something you both will like.

3. For the items/or decor that the man or women have have to “give up” when moving in together in order to mesh their two styles, any suggestions for what the couple should/could do with them?

Have a “flee market” party and invite friends to come over to claim your junk as their treasure. Invite another couple to pool their discards with yours. To give back to the community you could donate to a shelter, or check in with your church to see if there may be some need who would welcome your donation.

4. How would you suggest a couple find a style of home decor that matches them; that represents them as a couple?

Walk through furniture store vignettes and read home decor magazines and talk about what appeals to you and what doesn’t. I find that some of the most important decisions when buying furniture as a couple is to find the right scale of upholstery…something that both the woman and man finds comfortable. Allow each to have a favorite chair that fits only that person. You don’t have to be comfortable in every piece  you have. To start with stay somewhat neutral…rule of thumb the bigger the piece or the more expensive it is the more neutral you should make it. (Neutral doesn’t have to be beige!) Color and personality can be used with paint, pillows and accessories that can be economical and easy to change. Do splurge on that one antique or leather chair that you will have forever. Buy the best that you can afford.

To see more from the four part series click here.

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Why Should You Hire An Interior Designer? {Part 3} The Roles of An Interior Designer

As interior designers, we wear many hats and fill many different roles. This interior designer ornament hangs in Judy’s office and perfectly illustrates the many things we juggle and manage – the things that we love about our job!

Interior Designer Ornament

 An interior designer is ________.

clairvoyant: a “fresh set of eyes” to know what clients want before they know it.

conjurer: to make dream believers out of clients, so when they say, “I never would have thought of that,” you say, “I did.”

couturier: like ‘made to measure’ apparel, everything a designer does is custom fitted to a client.

confidant: to listen well, really well, for the revealing cues to do what’s right for clients.

counselor: a neutral 3rd party between romantic partners to take some of the pressure off decision-making.

advocate: for a client’s cause throughout the entire process; they have probably made mistakes before, which can be discouraging and expensive!

navigator: to chart the course for successful results, in spite of misgivings clients carry with them, or have not been able to resolve on their own.

co-creator: leader of a team that brings the best ideas to the top of the list.

curator: honest and experienced editor; you know what belongs and can make the tough choices about what does not belong.

systems engineer: staying the course in strict phases; managing the subcontractors, making site visits in boots while balancing budgets and timelines.

techie: able to incorporate a myriad of technology for entertaining, healthy living, and all the new ways of living well.

concierge: the ‘go-to’ person for just about everything (florists, caterers, clubs, schools, etc.), including special access to special things in special places.

(Taken from Kravet’s design blog.)

Is there anything you would add to the list?  What else would you say we do?

Look for Part 4 of “Why Should You Hire an Interior Designer?” next Tuesday!  For Parts 1 & 2, click here.


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Why Should You Hire An Interior Designer? {Part 2} Establishing Your Goals

When working with an interior designer it is important for the client to define their goals for the project. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to change the whole look and feel of the room? Tackle a remodel project or your out dated master bathroom?


DLL pic5


Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed we can come to the rescue! Below are a list of questions to ask yourself when you going through the initial thought process. Remember, designers have the creative and technical knowledge to achieve your goals.


Design Lines, Ltd.


  • Define the areas of trouble. What is it in that room that you don’t like? Make a list of needs and wants.
  • Establish items that you want to keep. This might be family heirloom or an expensive piece of art.


    magazinecovers copy


  • What inspires you? Spend a couple of bucks the next time you are at the grocery store and get an interior design magazine. We recommend Traditional Home, House Beautiful and Elle Decor. Tear out sheets that you like and jot a note down of why you like them. This helps an interior designer establish the style  you are drawn to and can easily invision your style. If you can’t decide what you like about a picture you see, tack it up on the wall like this one from Potterybarn below and come back to it with a fresh mind or show it to your interior designer. They can see common threads in the pictures you have selected.




  • Establish a budget! Look at the dollars you have allocated and decide what is important to you. Where do you want to spead more money? Maybe get the nice hardware for the bath and pick out a less expensive custom shower curtain to hang up. It is all about choices. Looking at how you live and where you want to spend your money will help in establishing this budget. You usually want to spend money on the things that are hard to change, for instance plumbing or countertops or sofa and rugs. 

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Why Should You Hire An Interior Designer? { Part 1 }

Although interior design is a creative field it has a very complex business model. For years, people have associated interior design with fluff and the affluent demographic.

DLL-Why You Should Hire An Interior Designer

To us, being an interior designer is about being our client’s life activist. We are about design and quality, not just about selling furniture. We are not here to tell you what kind of style you are, or make you stick to a specific trend. Ultimately it is our mission to make your life easier, more fun and more functional. It is our job to bring your dreams to life and visions of where you call home. It is through our 30 years of proven business practices and special technical and creative knowledge that we can be curators and innovators of good design. We are qualified by education, experience and examination.

DLL Portfolio-Ray Barbour

According to ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) interior designers should receive their education from a CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) qualified schools. ASID’s website has a wealth of information about selecting accredited schools  and picking the right interior design program. Here are a list of CIDA accredited schools in North Carolina.

All of the interior designers at Design Lines come from accredited schools and are members of ASID. Molly & Ashley hail from ECU, Judy calls Florida State her alma mater, Lauren received her degree from Meredith and Brittany graduated from the interior design program at BYU-Idaho.

Check back next Tuesday for {Part 2} on “Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer?” We will help you identify your goals and determine what you would want to achieve when working with an interior designer.

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