Working With an Interior Designer

Have you worked with an Interior Designer in the past, or are you considering working with one for the first time?

We’ve put together some of our TOP TIPS for you when working with an Interior Designer so that you can make the most of your time and investment. These are in no particular order as we think they are all important and helpful.

Before you go on, however, please read our blog, How Do I Find An Interior Designer?


Have a budget in mind? Let’s say you want to design your family room and one of your first purchases will be a sofa. Sofas range in price from $599 up to amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We would never sell a sofa for $599 because it will be junk and you will want to get rid of it within the year. And we have never sold a sofa on that high end either. A decent quality sofa will start at around $2,700 and the price will go up from there.

Often times a client will ask us what a room may cost and we will provide that information. Ideally, if you can provide us with a range, we will be able to tell you if we can do what you are looking for within that range. If your budget is $10,000 and you want new flooring, window treatments, a sofa, chairs, tables and decorative painting, we will also let you know that we cannot do all of those items for that price and we may suggest you begin with the floors.

We want to provide you with quality items and workmanship so that years from now you don’t have to replace everything because it has fallen apart.


You are hiring professionals with many years of experience. You may come into a project thinking you know exactly what you want to do, but we ask that you keep an open mind as our job is to provide you with ideas that you may never have considered. A key part of the design process is open communication.


We will often ask clients what they currently like in their home and what they don’t like. This gives us an idea of your preferred style. Again, open communication is important with this step.


You may have a long list of what you would like to do in your home and we will often ask for your priority items to get the project started.


We’re really good at it. But seriously, you are hiring a professional with experience. We’re used to Murphy’s Law and can handle stressful situations. When decisions are being made and once decisions have been made, we will guide you through the design process. We will let you know if a fabric won’t work on a sofa, when the scale of a faucet won’t work in your application, if a paint color will make your home dark. We will do our very best to make sure the final product is something that you will fall in love with.


We’re not mind readers. We want you to ask questions and provide us with feedback. Open communication is something we strive for to make the design process an enjoyable thing.


Too often, we see people go into this process like it is torture. One of the reasons you are hiring a designer is to take the pressure off yourself. Our best outcomes have been achieved when the client truly enjoys the process and has fun with it.

Working with an interior designer

Interior Design: Creating Custom Furniture

Custom furniture design allows both client and Interior Designer to experience design without limits. With Interior Design, if we can envision it and put it on paper, it can be built. Built-in furniture and custom furniture pieces are very popular in the MD, DC and VA area. Custom furniture allows you to express your individuality while meeting needs such as storage and display. We recently made a visit to Steve’s shop in Silver Spring. Steve is the owner and cabinetmaker in this impeccably clean shop where designer/client visions are sawed, sanded, stained and delivered. We visit the shop when visuals are needed and details need to be ironed out.

Interior Design

Wendy and Steve review the intricate details of an entertainment unit for a client.

How Does the Process Work to Create Custom Furniture?

How does the process work? Once we’ve assessed a project will involve custom furniture, we begin with a myriad of questions for the client. Let’s say the piece in question is a media cabinet. We would ask questions such as:

What size is your television?
Will it be wall hung or rest on the piece of furniture?
What are your storage needs?
Do you want to display any items?
Do you prefer the piece to be stained or painted?
Etc., etc.

The questions vary based on the piece being created.

Once we have a good idea of the desires the furniture needs to fulfill, we begin with a rough drawing in AutoCAD. That rough drawing is tweaked and modified until we have come up with a concept drawing that performs two functions: 1.) it meets the needs of the client and 2.) it is aesthetically pleasing.

Custom Furniture: AutoCAD DrawingNext, the drawing is shown to the client for approval or input. If changes are needed, we implement those changes. The beauty of an interior design studio using AutoCAD is that changes can be readily made and a new copy of the drawing printed out for the client to approve.

Once the drawing has been approved by the client, we email it to our cabinetmaker for pricing. Once pricing has been approved and a deposit has been received, we send the final concept to our cabinetmaker. He then submits shop drawings to us for final approval. Back at the shop, the item is built and then transferred to the finish department for painting or staining. When the piece is complete, we schedule delivery and installation with the contractor or client, depending on the scope of the job.

We have designed countless pieces of furniture, built-ins, vanities, desks, fireplace mantels and more over the years. Some of the finished products are shown below. If you are considering a custom piece such as built-in cabinets on either side of your fireplace, CONTACT DANZIGER DESIGN FOR A CONSULTATION TODAY.

Custom Furniture

Interior Design in McLean and Chevy Chase

We wanted to share some of our recently photographed Interior Design projects with you…

The first pictured below is a transitional family room in McLean, VA. This favorite hangout incorporates new furniture, rug from C.G. Coe & Son and window treatments with treasured family pieces such as framed pieces, sculptures and musical instruments. This blending creates a warm, inviting and user friendly space to gather, play games, or spend quiet down-time.

Family Room - Interior Design - McLean, VA

This sunny spot serves as an area for conversation or a great place to curl up with a good read. The addition of plants truly brings the outdoors in.

Family Room - Interior Design - McLean, VA

An area next to the the sofa welted in royal blue provides a metal and glass console with clever basket storage tucked below. The baskets add a dimension of texture to the room while being highly practical at the same time. Not shown in the picture is a custom cabinet built into a former closet and a game table with chairs.

Family Room - Interior Design - McLean, VA

Traveling the beltway to Maryland, the family room in this Chevy Chase home provides a completely different feel. The furniture style and clean lines give this room a more contemporary look than the previous family room. The sofa features a rich looking tobasco colored Pollack fabric. The custom-made, decorative-painted bookcases store a bevy of books and family collectibles. The smartly designed Randolph and Hein table blends raffia panels with rich mahogany.

Family Room - Interior Design - Chevy Chase, MD

Enter through the door on the far left to be greeted by the sounds of piano music. Aside from the handsome piano, this light-filled elegantly appointed music room features custom draperies, a klismos-style chair by David Iatesta and a bench by Michael James furniture covered in a textured cream fabric by Calvin.

Music Room - Interior Design - Chevy Chase, MD

Thanks for taking the time to view these projects!

Main Line Today Magazine Features Our Farmhouse Project

 Click HERE to read the article in Main Line Today.

A house search for our clients, Katie and Justin, became much more than finding a place to live and call home. It also turned into finding the venue for their upcoming wedding and reception. Their search turned into finding a 300-year old farm house complete with a large historic stone (party) barn. Although the barn may not have been the main reason for buying the home, it certain was in the top five.

This is the house…


And the antique stone barn…


This project turned out to be fun, creative, and unique. The goal inside the house was to lighten and brighten the rooms and to furnish them with long-lasting pieces that worked in the old house but reflected the young and vivacious personalities of its new owners.

We began in the kitchen by lightening the dark wood cabinets and exposed beams, adding period lighting and replacing the current countertops.




Here are some “befores” of the kitchen…

Before - Kitchen2

Before - Kitchen3

Before Kitchen1

The family room was brightened with new lighting, a fresh warm paint color and comfortable sofas, a reading chair and ottoman and a cocktail table made from reclaimed wood.


This is the family room before…

Before - family room

Moving on to the dining room, we added a new light fixture and provided furniture for large comfortable gatherings. Because the room was so large, the oversized host and hostess chairs were a natural. A large credenza provides storage while an antique sideboard on the opposite end of the room adds a bit of nostalgic warmth to the room.



And the dining room “Before”…

Before - Dining Room

Katie wanted to create a lady’s office where a sitting room was no longer needed. In this space, she wanted a romantic look while keeping modern office functionality in mind. With the large fireplace and period built-in in the background the room was furnished with desk, credenza and two plush velvet chairs in burgundy. The end result is a warm, sophisticated and space exuding warmth and a romantic vibe.


And the room “Before”…

Before - office

The master bedroom began with a rug from CG Coe & Son and blossomed from there.


One of our favorite features are the custom night tables from Tritter Feefer. Since there is a niche on either side of the bed, we used two tables on each side. The larger table resides in the niche, while a smaller table on wheels tucks neatly underneath or can be rolled to the side of the bed.


The master bedroom “Before”…

Before - Master Bedroom

Since the entry foyer gives the first impression of the home and its residents, we gave that the lightened and brightened treatment as well. We began with a star-shaped light fixture on the ceiling. Next, the walls received a light decorative paint finish. Tables and accessories were added and the space was grounded with a navy rug.


The foyer “Before”…

Before - foyer

Currently, the barn is undergoing a complete renovation for the upcoming nuptials. What couple can walk to their wedding venue whenever they so desire? We’re just thinking of all the parties and events that will come after the wedding…


* all “AFTER” photography by J.W. Smith Photography *

Multitasking Homeowners Demand More From Their Space

A few weeks ago, Wendy received a call from Melissa Dutton, a writer for the Associated Press. She was writing an article about today’s multitasking homeowners and how interior designers must accommodate multi-functioning rooms in their design. She came to the right source!  We have been incorporating multi-purpose rooms at the client’s request for some time now.

Take a look at the article:

Multitasking Homeowners Demand More From Their Space

For example, this small, 9’x12′ den serves as both a TV room for four and a guest bedroom for two. Its good looking and multipurpose sleep sofa with queen mattress does double duty for overnight guests. Two smaller-scaled tufted chairs are comfortable and easily moveable. Custom-built cabinetry hides audio/visual components, provides display for pictures and books, and offers up storage for the homeowner. When open as a bed, the mattress comes within inches from the cabinetry. Talk about creative and careful design!


Do you multitask?  If so, does your home make multitasking easier?