Finding the One: How to Pick An Interior Designer That’s Right for You

Think about the qualities you want in an ideal partner. Chances are they’re successful, a good communicator, trustworthy, financially stable, and willing to have fun and take risks… ringing any bells?

Now think about the qualities you want in an interior designer—the similarities are uncanny, right? Creating your dream home is an intimate, time-intensive process that’s not for the faint of heart, which is exactly why finding an interior designer you can trust takes a lot more effort than swiping right or left. It takes thorough research, heavy vetting, and some serious courtship.

In this guide, we outline the top five things you should do while hunting for your happily ever after.


1. Create a realistic budget.

Budget is one of the first things to establish when planning your future home or remodel. 

living room interior

But, as is with any relationship, it’s important to be honest with yourself and your potential design match.

If you can’t afford a $10,000 kitchen table at the moment, that’s totally fine, but needs to be communicated in order to avoid having to have an awkward conversation down the line. Establishing a number before meeting with designers will give both sides of the discussion a sense of clarity and more confidence on whether or not to commit to date number two. While most designers will be happy to adapt to your budget, others may come with a more strict baseline.


2. Identify your style match.

In today’s HGTV-obsessed world, sometimes figuring out what style you’re going for can be overwhelming. The options and possibilities seem endless. We suggest spending some time with Pinterest, design blogs, and good old-fashioned shelter magazines before you start looking for a designer.

furnitureAny time you flip or scroll past an image that gives you butterflies, rip it out, save it in a folder, or pin it. This record will soon turn into your style profile, and will come in handy when meeting with designers later on. (On the flip side, you can even file away images that make you cringe in a separate folder, so your designer can also get a better feel for what styles to avoid.)

After developing your own style wishlist, search for designers in your area who have similar taste. Many designers are willing to be flexible in style from project to project, but pay attention to the mood and feeling that their designs create. Do you like their use of color? Do they offer quality, custom finishes, and furnishings? Does each space feel inviting and comfortable? Spend some time on the designer’s website and get to know their style and approach in order to avoid going into the first date blind.


3. Be resourceful.

A Google search is always a good starting point for navigating the designer matchmaking process, but don’t forget to use your web of friends, family, and colleagues as well. If you walk into a friend’s home and love the way it looks, ask them who the key players were in the design and what the pros and cons were of working with them. Finding a designer who has already been vetted by someone you love and trust may cut out a good chunk of time spent searching for the right fit.


4. Consider your communication strategy.

Are you someone who likes to know the status of every single detail, or would you rather take a more hands-off approach? Figure out how involved you would like to be in the process, and then communicate your expectations with your potential designer.

Make sure you ask about their expectations as well—are they open to texts when an idea hits late at night, video chats, in-person walk-throughs? Communication can make or break any relationship, so it’s important to find someone who makes it effortless and fun.


5. Weigh your options, but go with your gut.

So you finally made it to the first meeting and the mood is just right, the conversation is bathroom interiorseamless, and you’re feeling giddy about the future. That’s great! But don’t dive in just yet. It’s important to weigh your options and meet with a few designers before you commit to a lifetime—err, a project—together. This will give you a clear conscience and help you choose an option with confidence. If after you’ve met with two or three designers and you still can’t get the first person out of your head, trust that gut instinct and take the next step. Mazel!


Your lifestyle, your family, your personality, and your style are unique and personal, so your home should be too. Finding a designer is about so much more than talent, it’s about choosing someone who takes the time to understand those intricacies that will make your future house feel like home.

At Design Studio, we pride ourselves in building lasting relationships with our clients and making the design process exciting and easy from the first meetups to the big reveal. If that sounds like a match for you, stop by our Boulder showroom, call us at 303-652-1727, or send us a love letter at

Why Quality-Made Furniture Matters

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s tempting to go with the option that provides instant gratification.

Sometimes it feels as if we barely have enough time to unwrap a granola bar for lunch, let alone make a family meal from scratch. But when it comes to buying furniture, purchasing pieces from a chain retail store often means sacrificing comfort and durability, and ends with dropping that impulse-buy couch at the dump after only a few years of use.

Taking the time upfront to choose thoughtful, quality-made pieces that are built to last is not only beneficial to your space, it’s better for the environment and can actually save you money and stress in the long run.

How does it save you money? The pieces aren’t necessarily less expensive than the big box stores, but lines like our Design Studios Private Label were designed with sustainability, quality materials, and customized craftsmanship at the core of its mission.

You can also create 100% custom, one-of-a-kind upholstered pieces that last a lifetime, which means you will have to buy less pieces over time, and ultimately realize savings.

But don’t take our word for it, here, we provide four reasons why our Private Label is the best choice when picking your next signature sofa, recliner, chaise, bar stools or headboard.

Mother Nature approves

According to the EPA, furniture is the number one least-recycled item in a household, and furniture waste accounts for millions of tons of trash each year. We don’t believe in filling landfills with the disposable furniture that’s being sold at a lot of retail stores.

Crafted by a premier furniture manufacturer, our Private Label furniture is made with solid hardwood (not the particle board or plywood often used commercially) and is built to outlast wear and tear, so your custom-made chair can survive multiple moves and generations. That’s something we can all stand behind.

It’s tailored to you

You don’t want to wear the same dress as someone else at the party, so why would you want the same exact sofa your neighbor has?

We work with you from the very beginning to tailor each piece of furniture to your space, family, and style. With our Design Studios Private Label line, customers can choose from thousands of fabric options in a variety of textures and patterns, and can customize each piece down to the type of cushion and shape of the armrests. In addition, customers can provide specific measurements for furniture that fits perfectly in every nook. This results in a meaningful, one-of-a-kind piece that’s bound to be a conversation-starter.

Always made in the U.S.

We proudly partner with a U.S. manufacturer that’s been crafting quality furniture in North Carolina for more than 15 years. They work with quality materials from the inside out: solid hardwoods, comfortable foams and feathers, and hand-tied coiling for extra durability. You can’t beat American made.

It outlives trends

While we’re committed to providing clients with timeless furnishings that they’ll love for years to come, we also realize that the style you love now might not be your style for life. That’s why with our Private Label line, we offer full reupholstering services so you can switch to a fresh fabric just in case you outgrow the pattern or color you pick now.

Eco-friendly. Exclusive. American made. Timeless. Need we say more? For more information about our Private Label line, call us or stop by our 6,000-square-foot showroom in north Boulder, where one of our skilled designers will walk you through each step of the process—from helping you select a custom fabric or finish that exemplifies your style and suits your budget, to scheduling a home delivery date. Let’s make your dream space a reality.

Design Studio is Named Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies

Proof that hard work, sleepless nights, dedication, and an unflinching desire for success can and will pay off, Design Studio’s CEO Judy Goldman recently stepped on stage to receive the award for “Rising Star” during the ColoradoBIZ Magazine’s reveal of their annual list of
Top Woman-Owned Companies in Colorado.

Our rapidly growing company came in 87th, a significant accomplishment since Judy, acquired the business in 2016.

What’s the secret to Design Studio’s success?

Our talented, passionate, and dedicated women-led creative team whose focus is building strong and lasting client relationships.

“Design Studio was founded with a vision of providing women a place to find their life’s purpose and mission through feeling supported, trained and most importantly, empowered,” says Judy. “By investing in our employees, we’re creating an environment where they will be dedicated to the long-term view of the company and furthering their careers doing great work.”

Judy’s structured approach to team support and growth has been a notable factor in our company’s success, including a full operations, logistics, and front office team to help support the designers.

“We all collaborate and are committed to teamwork. In my experience, it’s having these core values of support and collaboration that propels success,” adds Judy. “While it is exciting to be recognized for our business growth, it came from true hard work. This was truly a team effort and a perfect example of why meaning and purpose are critical to success.”

In addition to her efforts with Design Studio, Judy works with young women at the University of Denver’s Rising Women program where she helps guide young women looking to prepare for life in the workforce.

“We need to empower the next generation to be successful in whatever career field they choose,” Judy continues. “One of the biggest ways female business leaders can give back is by sharing their knowledge and mentor younger generations to own a seat at the table.”

To see the full listings of ColoradoBIZ’s Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies, visit Colorado Business Mag here.

You HAVE to See this Custom Bathroom Remodel

Last year, a Boulder-based client came to us with a fully-custom master bathroom in mind. Their existing master space, built in the 1990’s, came complete with a non-functional layout, very little storage, a small shower, and a bulky built-in tiled bathtub. The faux-Tuscan decor didn’t align with the homeowners’ usual clean, simple, and modern stylistic preferences.

When a client comes to Design Studio seeing a custom home redesign, they usually already have a few pain points in mind: The need for more space, more storage; the need for additional bathrooms; the need for a more open floor plan. When new clients bring these concerns to the table, we always see them as an opportunity rather than a challenge— an opportunity to deliver our clients their dream home, and really exercise our design expertise in order to make it happen.

The new design had to fit within the existing footprint while ticking all the boxes. The homeowners needed maximal storage, plenty of space for a free-standing bathtub and a large shower, and necessary accommodations for the height difference between the husband and wife. The homeowners also wanted to brighten up the space and create a light, open feel.

Our designers knew right away there would be some obstacles with the provided space. The clients expressed concerns about the lack of lighting, as the home’s north-facing window only allowed for sunlight in the late afternoon. Our workaround: A variety of lighting sources to help illuminate the space. A drum light in the center of the room provides the main source of light, while sconces flank the mirror to provide bright reflection for morning routines.

To achieve their vision of spaciousness, Design Studio integrated floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to create the feeling of height and create storage; designed a free-floating vanity to lighten up the space; and installed custom cabinetry in a light gray tone with plenty of storage space. Built-in storage options also included special rollout trays for organization.

The space is grounded with light colors, including a soft-green ceramic tile shower floor, gray walls and floors and custom grey stained cabinets. The more contemporary materials used —tile, tub, shower door, fixtures— are low-maintenance but stylish, and the overall color palette is calm, quiet and relaxing, eliminating that bulky retro 1990’s aesthetic. Most importantly, the light and accessible color palette won’t become dated in the next few years, and the couple will be able to enjoy this space comfortably for years to come.


A Peek Inside Our New Headquarters

Just a few short months ago, Design Studio Interior Solutions owner Judy Goldman found herself facing a question many successful business owners do: The demand for their services was far exceeding their capacity for growth.

In just 2 short years, Judy has transformed her local, Boulder-based interior design company into a nationally known brand, completing projects across the country from California to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Ohio, and Washington state, to name a few. As a result, their former— and much cozier— space located in Niwot, Colorado, was not permitting the team to work to their highest capacity.

The space, though adequate, didn’t allow the designers to comfortably meet with clients, explore fabric, furniture and finishes, and preview their projects.

Understanding that these limitations would only be solved with a larger space, Judy set out to create an environment that provided plenty of room for the clients, as well as the designers.

The solution: A Boulder-based, 6,000 square foot design center with soaring ceilings, ample space to showcase fabric, finishes, furniture and fixtures, that also acts as a testing ground for the firm’s commercial design department.

The Vision for a New Design Studio Interior Solutions Headquarters

The task of creating a new interior design headquarters from scratch took a lot of vision. The cavernous space was effectively a raw warehouse shell with concrete floors and soaring industrial ceilings.

“From the moment my design team saw the raw space, they became excited at the prospect of finally having breathing room,” says Goldman. “We decided to make this a team project, so everyone had an opportunity to contribute their ideas.”

The challenge of turning the old warehouse into a warm and inviting design headquarters was thrilling to the designers who had an opportunity to use their skills in creative problem solving and space planning.

Each aspect of the design is deliberate, and every nook and corner of the center is a display showcasing products, design concepts, color palettes and space planning solutions for both commercial and residential clients.

From the enclosed offices and the spacious conference rooms, to the thoughtfully crafted kitchen, every area of the headquarters is a representation of the design team, and a reflection of Design Studio’s technical expertise.

A Dynamic Design Hub

The new space has also become a hub of productivity, thanks to thoughtfully incorporated Dirtt systems including pre-fabricated walls, and embedded technology like televisions that vanish behind glass whiteboards. Each conference room features a selection of white boards, push pin walls, and large spacious conference tables.

“Each of these elements increases productivity, but also becomes a launch pad for creative ideas. There is something powerful about putting ideas on display. Collaboration becomes seamless, we get next level design solutions, and the team can push each other’s creative boundaries,” says Goldman.

A Bright, Bold, Beautiful Future

Since the opening of the new space, Judy sees an even brighter and bolder future on Design Studio’s horizon. With ample space to learn, interact, and grow together, Judy envisions creating an environment for her designers that fosters a sense of community, and pushes them to provide extraordinary service to clients.

What’s next for Design Studio? Aside from tackling a full roster of Summer projects, Judy plans to open the design headquarters for public events and education classes on everything from selecting paint colors and tile, to understanding how furniture is designed and made. Proceeds from these classes will be going to deserving local charities.

“One of our core principles is giving back,” notes Goldman, who is a supporter of the arts and culture including Boulder Symphony, Colorado Ballet and the CU Performing Arts. “It’s our way of thanking this community for supporting us.”

What is Judy’s favorite part of the new space? Simply walking around, soaking it all in, and watching the designers create their magic. “It truly lights me up to watch this powerful team collaborate, design and engage. They are some of the most talented designers in the country, and I’m thrilled to give them an environment where they can thrive.”

Visit the new Design Studio Interior Solutions design center today to see the team in-action for yourself. The new headquarters, situated off of bustling Spine Road in Gunbarrel, just a short 10 minute drive from downtown Boulder.

Ultra Violet: Laura Hodgson Weighs In on Pantone’s 2018 Color

Design Studio Interior Solutions’ designer Laura Hodgson sheds light on Pantone’s vibrant and bold Color of the Year.

Pantone is known internationally as the world-renowned authority on color, provider of color systems, and a leader in the technology for the selection of color across a variety of industries.  They are responsible for most of what is available on the mass retail market by following high style, cutting-edge visionaries across numerous industries and emerging trends. They have a panel dedicated to traveling to every major trade show across the globe, from cars to jewelry and everything in between.  After distilling this information, they publish forecasts that are sought out by companies ranging in industry from graphic arts and fashion to home goods and industrial design. 

Needless to say, Pantone holds a significant amount of clout within the design world, dictating what color trends to expect in the coming year. Their goal with the color of the year is to capture the pulse of the world, and where we are in terms of our psyche.  This helps marketers and retailers understand our hopes, fears, goals and what we want… making it easier to effectively market their products.  Having followed the Color of the Year predictions for over 10 years, I can say that Pantone diligently seeks to understand what consumers are struggling with, and where our world is headed.  I have heard Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, talk several times and find it fascinating to learn the process they follow to collect and distill this information.

Four years ago Pantone selected a shade of purple with red undertones, vibrant full of energy. This year, Pantone has opted for a moodier hue, Ultra Violet. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. Though the shade itself is dark and rich, the blue undertones suggest grounding calmness. It represents complexity, change, turmoil, and the strange comfort we find in embracing it. “Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance,” Pantone states. “Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”

Regardless of shade, purple is an interesting color.  At the end of the visible spectrum, it is harder for our eye to process and which tends to confuse the mind as to how to feel about this color. In essence it knocks people off-balance, psychologically. By choosing this particular color, Pantone is creating a statement about the unique times we are living in now, and how the world around us is constantly shifting and changing.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindful practices, royalty, and spirituality. In these nebulous times, it has become increasingly important to find grounding energies, recharging our batteries, and seeking higher purposes. The world is open to new possibilities and the unknown as we are all seeking to find our place and our joy.

Ultra Violet’s visceral effect on the global community can be emitted throughout your life, and most importantly, your home. If purple speaks to you, there are many ways to integrate it into your home’s design this year. A great place to start would be adding this eye-catching hue to your paint palette, accent pieces, and accessories.

For example, adding throw pillows, vases, or tableware is an easy way to incorporate this dynamic color. Many shades of purple pair beautifully with neutral interiors and look sophisticated with grey and dark brown. Modern homes can handle a pop of purple in a rug or accent wall and still maintain their quiet and refined aesthetic.

Homeowners who prefer traditional interiors could also take part in the trend by adding purple to olive or hunter green color schemes. Ultra Violet has also been paired with navy for a richer effect. Purple can be more “livable” and stay in style longer when mixed in with more traditional elements.


As always, Design Studio is here to help you figure out the best way to realize your home’s potential, and integrate vibrant colors and unique designs. Give us a call if you want to add a little individuality, mystery and Ultra Violet to your life this year.  We are happy to help!

Boulder County Behind the Scenes: Art Movement

Design Studio’s Top 2018 Design Trends

Every year, we see a shift in design trends ranging from finishes and palettes to furnishings and materials. As innovations in the design world move confidently forward, we see the creation of new concepts, the invention of new materials, the curating of new styles and methodologies. All of this taken into consideration, Design Studio has laid out the trends that we see playing a big part in 2018 interior designs.


Experimental Color Palettes

This year, the bolder the color, the better. Both Pantone and Benjamin Moore, the industry’s top trendsetters and color experts, chose energetic tones as their respective winners for the color of the year. Pantone’s Ultra Violet, a lively grape tone, and Benjamin Moore’s Caliente, a rich, deep scarlet, let you make a statement experimenting with colorful accents. For finishes, we see matte black rising in popularity. Its contemporary neutral tone and uniquely versatile characteristics make it a modern choice for anyone looking to add a little edge to their design aesthetic.  


Meet Ultra Violet and Caliente.


Partial Glass Shower Dividers

Open concept designs are the fastest growing trends in interior design. For the bathroom, partial glass dividers are the latest way to add more natural light to your space and increase accessibility. This half sheet of glass performs the functionality of a divider and shower curtain in a chic, elevated fashion. With the partial partition, you can show off a statement shower with ease while maintaining an open and airy feel where you want it most.

Design Studio Interior Solutions original design.


Concrete Accents

Concrete is favored across the design spectrum for its chic urban vibe.  Striking yet humble, it wows minimalists and modernists alike for its distinguished industrial feel. Its cool and comforting gray tones create a relaxed atmosphere that’s strong and durable to the touch. In today’s on-trend styles, we see concrete being used in everything from walls and floors to coffee tables and countertops. For an easy introduction, try simple fixtures like lamps, planters, or candles.

Contemporary and bold polished concrete floors.


Bold Sofas and Chairs

If you’re looking to throw a statement piece into your home’s design, look for seating in bold colors and patterns. A colorful sofa perfectly balances form and function while adding a splash of color to the room. Not ready to commit to a statement color? Look for colorful slipcovers that let you see if a color works with the rest of your design.

Design Studio Interior Solutions original design.


Calm, Modern Bedrooms

Your bedroom should be a place of rest and relaxation where you can unplug, unwind, and get a good night’s sleep. Your design should support this stress-free sentiment, not hinder it. It’s best to avoid ornate design and jarring colors—save those for more public spaces where they will be more appreciated. Let calming colors lead your room’s design and decor. When picking your colors, opt for pale blues, grays, purples, or pinks. These quiet tones are scientifically proven to reduce stress. A good night’s sleep starts with a peaceful environment, and smart design is the first step.

Simple, clean, and monochromatic design.


Patterned Tile Backsplashes

A tile backsplash is a quick and easy way to add personality and color to any kitchen style. Subway tile, characterized by its large glossy rectangular pattern remains as popular as ever. However, we’re seeing more and more unique patterns as homeowners experiment with shapes, textures, and tones. Herringbone, arabesque, and hexagonal tile patterns are popping up more and more frequently as a fun way to personalize your cooking space.

Simple and sweet subway tile backsplash.


Florals Are Back

Spring is right around the corner and that means all things floral. But this year, flowery prints are getting a big update. Look for patterns with large, close-up blooms. Oversized floral patterns make a fantastic accent pattern, come in almost every color scheme and application imaginable. Mix up bedding, curtains, wallpaper, and rugs with this classic look. Pick up some stencils so you can customize your own look.   

Boulder County Behind the Scenes: Boulder Blooms