A bad ear for color
March 7, 2007 4:58 AM   Subscribe

How do I find a good interior designer/decorator in Washington DC?

After several false starts, I've realized that a good sense of color and design is like a good ear for music. And I don't have either.

We're not talking about anything grand - a one-bedroom condo on the Shaw-Logan border, but I would like to avoid the visual equivilant of chopsticks or, worse, just banging on the piano keys with both hands.

Googling and local magazines lead to people who seem to specialize in either 23-room McMansions or industrial-scale lofts with zebra-print furniture, and Craigs List doesn't have much selection. I just want solid, simple, modern but no-more-Ikea, unpretentious colors and furniture. And not expensive. Did I mention not too expensive?

Any ideas for how to find a person in the DC area who can provide that?
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You may want to place an inquiry here: redecorate.com They specialize in using what you have, but will recommend needed furniture items, paint color, etc.

I don't live in the Washington DC area, but many interior decorators, even the upscale ones, offer a one-time consultation. They will make recommendations, you do the work. You could always email or call and get a few one-time consultation quotes.
posted by LoriFLA at 5:43 AM on March 7, 2007

Corcoran has a graduate program for interior design -- maybe see if a student is interested in your project? Design students are always looking for ways to fatten their portfolios, are they not? Plus, a student might be willing to take the challenge of the budget and other constraints to flex their designy muscle in other ways. Oh yeah, they would probably work for non-Potomac prices too.
posted by contessa at 7:18 AM on March 7, 2007

Angie's List (angieslist.com) and Washington Consumer Checkbook have recommendations (and unrecommendations). You have to join both (and pay). E-mail me if you want specifics.
posted by TheRaven at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2007

If you have any friends in Loudoun they can consult Consumer Checkbook for you in any library branch.

from http://www.lcpl.lib.va.us/alphadb.htm#checkbook:
Consumers' CHECKBOOK: CHECKBOOK evaluates the quality and prices of local service firms and stores, such as auto repair shops, plumbers, dentists, banks, and insurance companies. CHECKBOOK has won the National Press Club’s prestigious First Place Award for Excellence in Consumer Journalism. This service is available only in library branches.
posted by phearlez at 2:07 PM on March 7, 2007

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