Successful interiors involves a designer who has a combination of creative solutions, qualified sources, superior craftsman and careful planning. There are always many ways to put together an interior space but getting the best combination of style, merchandise and budget is a close collaboration of designer and client. The designer can help interpret thoughts and stretch imaginations bringing in the newest elements and mixing them into a uniqueness only for that client’s project. All clients want a dazzling and one-of-a-kind interior look that captures and expresses each client’s individual spirit.

Interior design creativity comes in many ways and includes formal and continuous study, artistic experience, extensive travel and product knowledge for the designer to transform a blah room into something spectacular. Creative interior solutions can include adding or subtracting large elements such as a feature wall or as small as adding detail trims to pieces of upholstery. It’s rewarding sorting through all the possible items and blending them cohesively together so that the interior is not overwhelmed and can transform with the client’s lifestyle changes. Exposing clients to materials and resources they would never be able to find on their own is also a primary objective. There is a professional responsibility to explore several design possibilities presenting the best two or three before selecting one choice for a final approval. Weighing the pleasures and practicalities of an endless array of styles, colors and products down to a final choice can be daunting without professional direction.

Interpreting comfort for a client in an interior is an important function that covers a lot of roles and purposes. Some would consider a large shower in the master bathroom comfortable while other clients would consider down cushions on the sofa a must comfort. Comfortable also covers how well the traffic flows through the kitchen or how soft the colors are in the living room. Lighting certainly has to be comfortable in every room; giving off task lighting, ambient background lighting and general lighting. Comfortable design, whether traditional or contemporary, lends itself to numerous comforts that function well, look elegant and can be added to over time.

With so many of our materials and products coming from abroad such as tile, wood, appliances, fabrics, etc., it becomes necessary to check availability and shipping time to make sure it will work for the design project. It is common to have to wait three to six weeks on many products because companies are not stocking as much as they used to.

If a fabric is back ordered it could hold up the installation of drapery or upholstery pieces. Then, either a substitute fabric needs to be chosen or you have to wait for the favorite fabric, which could take weeks to get. Waiting for one thing could cause a domino effect on other parts of the project.

Delayed materials means the craftsman that was to install has taken another job and wouldn’t be able to get back to finish your job for several weeks adding to the wait. In a remodel it becomes a problem, but when building a new custom home the wait may be worth it to have exactly what you want.

We all want a comfortable space to live in and enjoy, but we need to define what comfort means before starting an interior design project. And finally, creativity can transform an ordinary space into a successfully elegant, beautifully functional and distinctly unique interior.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Carol Sampson is an award-winning interior designer and author of 35 years. Reach her at (480) 759-6763 or visit

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