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Working with a Decorator or Interior Designer

When looking at houses, have you noticed that some houses have a harmony to them and feel really good, while others are merely structures that house the owners' belongings, and they may or may not be pleasing to your eye or to your senses.

Chances are that the houses that please your senses, that flow from room to room without distraction, that have colors that blend well and furniture that is correctly scaled and appropriately arranged, benefitted from the work of a professional interior designer.

Decorators or interior designers — and I use these titles interchangeably — work in a number of ways. You may work with an interior designer on a consulting basis and be charged an hourly fee or a flat rate. Or, if you are purchasing carpeting or window treatments or additional pieces of furniture, or having furnishings re-upholstered, the decorator may work with you on straight retail less a certain percentage, or where the decorator buys through wholesale sources, it may be cost plus a percentage, or you might even work with your designer on a basis that combines these ways.

Even if you have everything that you need in one house, when you move there are usually changes that you'll find you have to make. If you are going to be buying new items, choosing new colors and the like, you might as well have the right guidance. Your home should reflect your personal taste in both color and style, and a good decorator will be sensitive to your personality and your preferences.

Two vital elements of good design are scale and proportion, and color. Color can make a big difference to a room. The right color choices can make a large space more inviting or a small space look larger, and the scale and arrangement of your furniture is an extension of the same idea.

In my own home, I have worked with Virginia Hottel of The Wright Whitmore Design Group in McLean. It has been a delight working with Virginia and I am thrilled with everything she has recommended. Her touch has made my house "fit right", and that is a source of real pleasure to me. Virginia can be reached at 703-734-9770. I highly recommend her services.

Rachel Widder

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