We had the privilege of interviewing Marina from Designer Premier. She is currently working with Jon Terry, the owner of Alaris Properties, and is helping him find the perfect designer to create his nursery in preparation for his beautiful baby boy who is on the way. Marina was able provide helpful insight into her field, emphasizing on nursery design in particular. This “Design Matchmaker” truly provides a unique service, and has allowed us to see what goes into designing a space from start to finish.
Looking to get the inside tips and tricks from a true professional? Keep reading!
Introduce yourself! How many years have you been doing this? What made you start this business?
My name is Marina and I am the founder of Designer Premier. I help clients find the right interior designer that best fits their needs, style and personality. In 2003, I was hired by the Denver Design Center to help start designer connections. In other words, I would market the value of hiring a designer, show prospective clients around the center and ultimately help them find a designer. Working with different designers helped me understand how big of an impact they have on each client’s life. Even when there are hiccups behind the scenes, when I work with a designer I love how it gives me a purpose and makes me feel like I am making a difference. Clients get so happy when their space is completed and it really is a fulfilling experience for me. I’ve learned that it is so important to make your home “you.” At the end of the day, you need a place that’s safe and comforting to come home to. Your home really is your sanctuary, and I am lucky to be able to help clients create this sanctuary.
So what is Designer Premier all about?
My business is only 1 of 3 in the United States that offers the services that I offer. I truly give my clients a personalized service from start to finish. Initially, I meet with the clients in their own home for a couple of hours and get to know them. I go through a questionnaire in detail and figure out how each client makes decisions and what each client likes. For example, Jon wants the pretty things, but his husband is analytical. Right off the bat I knew I needed a designer who was both right and left brained. In this process, my goal is to thoroughly understand the client, as I’ve learned this makes a big difference. This process also allows me to understand whether or not they have worked with a designer before. If they are new to the design world, I help the client understand the importance of using a designer and the process that each designer goes through in order to make their space unique and special. After asking extensive questions and going through different pictures of different designs with each client, I provide them with the online portfolio of 4-5 different designers that I believe will best fit their needs and will truly mesh with their style and way of thinking. After doing this, I set up interviews between the client and the designer to ensure that it’s a good match. Essentially, Designer Premier is a concierge service of the design world.
What are some interior design trends (specifically when it comes to nurseries) that you are seeing this year and absolutely loving?
I have found that design trends in the nursery space are following the general design trends this year. Softer color palettes are definitely in. We are seeing a lot of neutral colors on the walls: soft whites, beiges, pastels, rose/blushes, and pale turquoises with a splash of bold colors. Gold accents are also very popular in order to give the room some glam. Overall, people are trying to simplify their space. Rather than having a lot of little patterns, they are going with big patterns (ex: large print flowers instead of small complex floral prints). Parents are also deciding that they don’t want to create a room that is solely for a baby. They want to create a space where their child can grow within the room so they don’t have to make constant changes to the space. They don’t want to make it look like a traditional nursery that they have to completely redo when the child turns 5, 7 or even 10. We are also seeing a lot of organic elements (canvas, plants, natural wood, etc) incorporated into nurseries, giving the space a very natural feel.
Nursery design by: Greg Comstock
When designing a nursery (or any space), why is it important to use a designer instead of doing it on your own?
I think the biggest difference between doing it on your own and partnering with a designer is that you only know what you know. Designers have so many different resources and can introduce new concepts and ideas that you probably never thought of or even heard of before. They are able to give you a personalized space and experience, helping you explore different ideas and concepts along the way. Designers are also able to get more unique pieces you might never have had access to. They expose you to things you don’t know and push the boundaries, creating the perfect unique space that blends with the rest of your home.
I know you’ve been working with Jon. What has that experience been like?
What is his style? Anything that he has picked out that you love?
Jon has an artistic eye. He has really cool unique pieces in his home that he has collected from his travels all over the world (ex: elephant chairs, unique paintings, etc). He truly appreciates design. While he has all these unbelievable pieces, he’s not really good with knowing where these pieces might look the best. This is where the designer is going to come in and move different pieces around so they stand out and enhance the space. Designing his nursery is going to be really fun. I know he’s going to want to incorporate unique pieces and will have a lot of creative ideas. His designer said nurseries aren’t really designed for the child, rather they are designed for the parents. She wants to incorporate elements that aren’t just beautiful to the eye, but that also incorporate the parent’s love into the nursery. You want to fill a nursery with meaningful things, and I am confident that Jon’s nursery will be beautiful.
What are some unique local places designers use to find things (furniture, accessories, paint, etc) that really make a nursery unique and special?
Designers primarily utilize special trade places like the Denver Design Center or Carter Inc. They want to find you the most unique pieces as possible, so although they might get a few things from a local store, they are going to utilize their own personal connections. They want to go to trade places that have pieces you can’t access anywhere else so you are really getting a customized space.
What is the most important thing to consider when first starting to design a nursery?
The client first has to decide who they really want to design for: themselves or their baby. One my of designers, Jenn Medoff states, “Though I believe infants can sense the energy in their space like adults, specific themes and designs are often more for the parents until children are old enough to recognize them.” It’s important to incorporate the parent’s wants and needs while also making the space baby friendly. She likes to address the style desires of parents while keeping in mind that infants really respond to light, movement, contrast, and sound. In addition, you need to figure out how long you want the nursery to work or serve that child. Like I said, you have to ask yourself: do you want the space to just be used as a nursery, or do you want to create a space that the child can grow with and only have to make minimal changes to in the future.
Nursery design by: Greg Comstock
Anything you should absolutely NOT include or do when decorating and designing a nursery? How do you ensure that the room is “baby proof”?
Make sure that you keep anything that can be chewed on (ex: lamps, plants, etc) off of the ground. These are great accent pieces, but it’s important to take into consideration the safety of the child. Get down on your hands and knees and look at the room from a baby’s perspective. I would also take the Philosophy of Color into account. You want a nursery to be a nurturing space for your child, so using bright bold colors that are overstimulating might not be the best idea. Jenn also believes that basic comforts like air flow, humidity, and proper fabrics are a must. Like adults, she believe infants can sense the energy of a space. A nursery that is well organized, has a good flow and has a pleasant combination of “soothing and interesting” make the most nurturing spaces.
Anything else you think is important for people to know? Anything else you want to touch on?
I think the biggest problem when designing any space is that people try to do it on their own, spend half of their budget and then come to a designer with a limited budget left. Reach out to a designer first and start the process from the beginning. Designers can help guide customers on how to utilize their budget effectively. Because of this, you should maximize your budget and hire a designer right off the bat. I know people get so excited and they can’t wait to start buying things, but I would advise them to wait. You need a solid design plan before you get going, and you don’t want to waste money on things that aren’t going to flow with your space or go with your theme in the long run.
Thanks so much, Marina, for taking the time to speak with us. Make sure you go check Marina out and keep Designer Premier in mind when designing your next space!