A downturn in the economy hasn't drastically slowed down business for interior designers but they say more than ever clients are looking for the most bang for their design buck.
"The trends have been focusing on longevity," said Pam Holschuh, owner of Copper Leaf Interior Design Studio in Marietta. "People, when they hire a designer, make a conscious decision of 'I don't want to do this again.' The trend is not to be so trendy."
Copper Leaf will celebrate its 15th anniversary Tuesday. Its services range from serving as a design resource for furnishings and flooring to assisting with the emotional and physical aspects of relocating and downsizing.
ASHLEY HILL The Marietta Times
Robyn Spataro, left, and Pam Holschuh, right, look over swatches of paint, material and wallpaper at Copper Leaf Interior Design Studio. Holschuh, owner of the business, said despite the downturn in the economy, she has not seen a decline in business.
"As far as our business, we have not seen a decline," Holschuh said. "People are definitely focusing on looking at the option of staying where they are versus moving."
Another current focus of clients is "green" living, she said. According to www.inventorspot.com, marrying beauty and sustainable energy is popular this year, through items like solar-powered plant pots.
"If you're presenting them with a product...one's green and one's not...they're going to choose the green product because they do feel better about that purchase," Holschuh said.
Interior design trends:
Contrasting pale cool pastels with the deeper colors of iron and brick on the interior, while emphasizing stone colors and darker irons architecturally
Transforming a kitchen into a cooking, eating and meeting space
Furniture that is simple and geometrically designed
Using pieces inspired by the Elizabethan period to the 1940s for everything from materials to lighting
Incorporating sustainable energy and beauty by using, for example, solar powered plant pots
Hiding or camouflaging artificial lighting into the lighting design.
The inventorspot.com Web site indicates the current theme for interior design is "minimalist," and Carly Spindler, an owner of The Granary in Beverly, agrees.
"Design is getting more simple and clean," she said. "People are deciding that sometimes, less is more."
Spindler and her husband, Matt, run the interior design business. They have catalogs from which clients can order custom window treatments and they also have a showroom filled with hardwood and laminate flooring, as well as ceramic tile.
While it's Matt's job to install the flooring and window treatments for clients, Carly does decorating consultations with clients to help them pick out paint swatches or determine how furniture should be arranged.
"Where we've seen business suffer the most is the big jobs like flooring, but I do a lot of decorating consultations because it's an inexpensive way to get started," Carly said, noting that she charges $35 an hour for a consultation, which usually lasts no more than two hours.
"People are kind of doing smaller projects now as opposed to larger ones and I think they're doing projects that are really bringing value to their home," Carly Spindler added. "People are doing projects to spruce up their house as opposed to totally renovating it."
Doug Hines, owner of Circa Furnishing & Design in Belpre, said he's noticed during the recession that his clients are "wiser" and "more educated," and many of them like that much of the furniture he sells is made in America and may last longer than furniture made overseas.
"That's a very green way of looking at things also - it's less that's being made," Hines said.
Much like the designers at Copper Leaf, Hines said he tries not to follows trends, either.
"If I were to come into your house and do your living room and dining room, I can trust it will look as good in 25 to 30 years as it does today," he said. "It's always going to look good and it's always going to be in style."