Interview with Maria Loveless
Maria sat down to discuss her career as an Interior Designer with web marketer Sue Thomson, C.I.D.
Q. Tell me about your career and life before Decorating Den.
A. I have been an entrepreneur since I was 17 years old! As well as the interior design business, my husband and I own a Home Improvement | Handyman Service. I received my design certification in 2002, and also took color courses and faux finishing courses. In 2007 I opened my first Interior Design / Decor company and had all kind of clients.
My largest projects were the cafeteria at the ONI government building, the cafeteria at the Walter Reed National Medical Center and a restaurant in New York. In 2016 Tom and I bought a Decorating Den Interiors franchise in the Northern Virginia area to take advantage of the benefits they offer, and here we are!
Q. Have you always had the design bug?
A. Since I was 8 years old! I remember re-decorating our house all the time. Drove my grandma crazy LOL.
Q. What are your favorite styles and why?
A. I am drawn to a crisp, clean and bright feel with pop of colors. Transitional is my favorite, with lots of personality.
Q. What styles do your clients prefer? Is there one that stands out?
A. Transitional! Some like the high end transitional / modern look, some the modern farmhouse.
Q. Tell me what a client can expect from you.
A. Smiling, open minded, a great listening Interior Designer Professional.
Q. Tell me about the process you use with your clients.
A. After receiving interest in our interior design services we:
- Start with a discovery call followed by an emailed questionnaire. When it is returned completed we confirm the on-site visit.
- The Initial Consultation is complimentary. It is important to meet with the client and get to know each other. During this meeting we review the space and discuss details. To move forward with the design development and after being given a budget from the client, we request a small design fee.
- Within a week to 10 business days, we schedule the Design Meeting at the clients home, to review the design.
- When the design is approved by the client, we sign the Contract with a 60% downpayment. The remaining balance is due on the day of installation.
- After the contract is signed, our company begins the procurement & purchasing of everything included in the design. We work directly with the suppliers and workrooms; we track the orders; we work with our receivers and inspect all items.
- When everything is ready we schedule the delivery and installation.
- Finally we Install, Style and give our clients the Grand Reveal!
Q. How long do you tell a client a typical one-room project will take?
A. 2 to 3 months from the time we begin ordering.
Q. What do you like about the design process?
A. It is spelled out and clients appreciate the honesty and transparency of it all.
Q. How could clients make a project go easier for you?
A. Having patience for the bumps on the road.
Q. Why should a client work with you and your company?
A. Creativity. Years of experience. Professionalism. Transparency. Friendly.
Q. What do clients like about working with you?
A. I am approachable, funny and confident in my abilities as a designer.
Q. Tell me about the best project you’ve worked on, and why.
A. I had 2 last year. They were both multiple full room designs (main floors). The client’s homes were old and tired. The transformations were so good!! I used great quality suppliers, the designs were clean, crisp and classy! They had their bumps along the way but the clients were understanding and kind. They both cried happy tears on reveal day. It makes my day every time a client tears up or does not stop hugging me, after the reveal. It’s the greatest feeling!
Q. Name the type of projects you prefer.
A. I really like commercial projects because I have a lot more freedom of design, but I do love the personal touch with residential design. I specifically enjoy family rooms, kitchens and master bedrooms.
Q. Describe your perfect client.
A. In general, my clients are either couples with kids on their way to college or grown up, wanting an updated space for their next phase of life. Or they are dual income corporate professionals or self employed, wanting a comfortable, livable home.
Q. Tell me about your family.
A. My pride and joy! Tom and I have a six kids between us. I have 2 adult kids of my own, my daughter Georgia is 24 and engaged to be married in September! My son Christopher is 22, works full time and lives at home. Family is everything.
Q. What do you do in your spare time?
A. I love time with my friends, wine sipping and girl time. Tom and I LOVE to travel and are blessed to be able to do that a lot. We also like entertaining and there is nothing better than opening up and sharing our home with others. Fitness is also important to me, and I like being involved in the community, volunteering and giving back: