A Gift for Design Stalkers

Tis’ the season for parties, gatherings and celebrations. Designers sometimes dread this time of year for one reason. Much like a doctor, if asked at a party “what do you do?” we open the flood gates to get cornered, questioned, poked and probed.

Why? Because when we answer “interior designer” – well-meaning, design enthusiasts want to have all their specific design questions answered and have their home designed on the spot! We lovingly refer to these folks as “design stalkers.”

Even though “how-to” info is abundant and at their fingertips, people still want and need personalized design guidance.



This is not unusual. Many people know what they want but are simply overwhelmed because, although they know what they like, they don’t know how to put it all together.

Sound familiar?
Well, stop the struggle – we have a solution! Like a good doctor, Design Vision Studio provides house-calls!

If you or someone you know has ever said “I wish my home can look like this” – be a HERO and give the gift of interior design!



We will share our experience and expertise so your home can reach its full potential. You are welcome to share inspiration photos, ask questions and take notes. We will provide verbal recommendations and qualified opinions on what can be achieved with your desired budget. + more

Stop feeling self-conscious… become house-proud!
Your home can be more beautiful than you ever could of imagined!

We are just a click or call away…



For those of you who follow us on Facebook and Instagram
you know that over the past few months we have been designers-on-the-run!

Team DVS is currently working on several vacation and residential design makeovers. The approach for these types of projects are quite different. Most people set the bar at “good enough” when designing and furnishing a vacation property. For primary residence projects, you should set the bar higher and the decisions can be far more emotional and difficult to make.


We enjoyed a trip to back to Toronto and a successful presentation of our “Design Bible” (as we refer to it) to our Canadian clients for their primary residence. This project has been so much fun and a dream come true for both Patricia and Kym.


On the heels of that trip, Patricia headed out to Arizona to work with her high school volleyball coach. Yes, the fine lady on the left was Patricia’s coach! Luckily, a photo from that period is not available: mainly because (between the two of us) it would show a mullet, braces, and very big eyeglasses… phew!

Initially their place in Lake Havasu was a vacation property. And although Design Vision Studio had successfully designed their primary residence in Temecula, these clients chose to “save a few pennies” and go it alone. Within the year, their vacation home became their primary residence and it quickly became apparent that “good enough” was “not working.”

They realized things just weren’t quite right but they didn’t know how to fix it on their own. They hired us again to incorporate key pieces from Temecula while elevating the look and feel of their new home. Celebrating their retirement and a more carefree lifestyle, they wanted a fresh, happy home with bright colors and a touch of whimsy.

With the design installation almost complete, here is a colorful sneak peek



Moral of this story… our clients say they wish they had called us from the start to help them with their home on the lake. In the end, they didn’t save a dime because they made several “mistake purchases” (ouch!) They also had to wait longer before calling it “done” (one of Patricia’s favorite words.)

Design Vision Studio can help you with your primary residence, your vacation home, and even a rental home. All of these types of projects must be approached with a different mindset and different goals. We can help you get the most for you money while elevating your space and helping to increase the value of your investment.


The million-dollar design question…

Nestled into a private cove on Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands, our clients acquired a funky, vintage lodge filled with crazy collections, stories and possibly even ghostly spirits.


Kym and I were recently invited up to spend a weekend there to discuss a possible design and remodeling plan for this property. We later found out our clients were a little hesitant and unsure how their interior designers were going to react to their eccentric home where every single possible design rule has been thrown out the window.


The main collections are authentic totems and Native American art, all things maritime with an emphasis towards luxury cruise liners, and then a wing filled with treasures from the Orient.

Our clients say the theme is “understated is overrated” and, in this case, we couldn’t agree more!


As certified Design Psychology coaches, we encourage people to create and live authentically in their homes by surrounding themselves with their favorite things and memories.

But what happens when those “favorite” things don’t go together? What happens if you want to thin out your collection a bit? What do you keep, what do you let go of? Or, what happens when repairs and TLC are needed but replacements are no longer available?

We can help answer the million-dollar question…
is it time to CHERISH or is it time to CHANGE?


Our clients tell us they don’t feel like homeowners as much as they feel like curators of a vast collection. This home and nearly all of the contents were lovingly passed on to our clients. It serves as a legacy to the amazing couple that spent nearly 40 years hunting and gathering the amazing collections that adorn this home.


You can’t help but thinking this island home is the “life of the party.” Dressed outrageously with midcentury modern furniture, several sets of fine china and over 30 country and 12 state flags to greet visitors on their private dock. The home also boasts a vast collection of fine scotch that looks like it should be on the set of Mad Men.

Somehow, it not only works but it FEELS GOOD to be there.

This is the “Auntie Mame” of properties and needs to be CHERISHED. We all agree that the restoration and remodel of this home needs to be done without disturbing the amazing character of this property.

Interior Design is like a HOT DOG


As seasoned designers we often juggle availability and lead times for both products and labor without breaking a sweat. However, the REALITY is that our clients personality actually determines how quickly a project progresses.

I just love analogies, so think about this for a moment:

What type of client are you?

If your car were broken,
you would take it to your trusted mechanic.
You would then sit back and let the professional fix your car.
You wouldn’t go into the work bay
to watch and analyze every step, right?

Our team at Design Vision Studio specializes in interpreting client goals and selecting the most beautiful, harmonious, and functional elements for the space. Most of our clients are more interested in the RESULTS of their project. We have found that we get to the finish line quicker when we have clients who trust us by letting go of the need to control each and every detail.

Other clients simply need more time to digest and analyze. Some clients want to understand each and every detail of their design plan and have many “why” questions. Other clients are paralyzed by needing to make so many decisions.

If any of these are the case, most of our design time is spent EDUCATING by offering detailed explanations to justify each reason for our selections and suggestions. This is, as you can imagine, a more lengthy and costly process which often impacts the project timeline.

So the “HOW LONG” answer can vary depending on the personality of our clients. Don’t worry, we have experience working with all types of clients. And we really do understand the anxiety that accompanies design and remodeling projects! Our projects often require literally thousands of decisions – some big and some small. We see the “big picture” and will help you proceed with confidence. As Jerry McGuire (Tom Cruise) would say “HELP US HELP YOU.


“Interior Design is like a hot dog…
sometimes it’s better not overthinking the details
and just to enjoy the outcome”


2 Beers = 60K in the Design World


PL - cop Long before I was an Interior Designer, I was a Police Officer. (Yes, that is me in the photo!)

When I was a cop and asked someone “how much have you had to drink?”, no matter how intoxicated they were, the answer was usually “two beers.” As a designer when I ask clients “what is your budget”, often times, no matter the size of the project, the answer is 60K. So my experience has shown me that regardless of facts and reality, 2 BEERS = $60,000 in the design world.

Thanks to hope-provoking design shows, many clients come to us with no real idea “HOW MUCH” their dream project will cost. They will give us their long project wish-list to include: a new kitchen, three new bathrooms, new flooring and finishes throughout, upgraded lighting, new appliances, new fixtures, paint, and all new furnishings and décor. Great, right? Well, hold your horses. When asked what their budget was to cover all of this, you guessed it, 60K was the answer.

So here’s a little BUZZ KILL… according to the “Cost vs. Value” report by Remodeling magazine (2012), the projected nationwide average for a midrange kitchen makeover is approximately 60K. Bummer, right? Yes, money can’t buy you love, but your 2 beer budget can cover the cost of hiring a professional designer and contractor to give you a gorgeous new kitchen and perhaps remodel a small bath too.

The TRUTH is that our experience with handling hundreds of whole-home design makeovers and remodeling projects have shown that 4-10 beers is a more realistic investment to tackle the above mentioned project wish-list. But remember, success is not always about HOW MUCH you spend – it’s about WHERE you spend and how you put it all together.

LET US HELP YOU. We specialize in interpreting client goals and selecting the most beautiful, harmonious, and functional elements for your space. Remember, design and remodeling projects are in our wheelhouse. If your budget isn’t flexible, then we can help turn your wish-list into a priority-list to make the most of your budget.

Take a deep breath and repeat after me:
“Good, Fast & Cheap – you can have two but you can’t have them all.”






Version 2

by Patricia Lockwood

President & Fearless Leader of Design Vision Studio
Award-Winning Interior Designer
Certified in Design Psychology
Founder & Past President, I.D.S. Palm Springs Chapter
Interior Design Society (I.D.S.) National Board of Directors
Author – “Sleepless in Portland”

Internship Review – Bonus Blog – Ashlyn Morrison is a future design rockstar!


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Design Vision Studio had the wonderful opportunity this summer to work with Ashlyn Morrison, who we believe is a future design rockstar! Ashlyn is currently an Interior Design student at Abilene Christian University in Texas. Part of her curriculum required her to complete a 30 day internship with a design firm. Although Ashlyn had many options of where to intern, we feel lucky that she chose Design Vision Studio!

It has been a privilege to have Ashlyn join our team. I didn’t want to waste a minute of her talent by having her sharpen pencils and fetch us coffee. (I remember not being taken seriously at the beginning of my design career). Instead, I wanted to give Ashlyn full access to all that we do in a small design firm. It was a chance for us to mentor a young up-and-comer while also getting some great and much needed summer help.

Ashlyn jumped right in. She received hands-on experience with client meetings, design development, and sourcing materials for projects. She was also able to help us upgrade our technology with better methods and visuals for how we present our projects to our clients. This is the fun part of design.

Ashlyn was also involved in the development of new client forms, internal systems, contracts, project management, and inventory tracking, etc. This is the not-so-fun side of running a design business. And the list goes on.

The bottom line is that Ashlyn required very little direction and handholding. Her skill set is off the charts. She is decisive, resourceful, and whip-smart. Ashlyn impressed everyone she came across and represented herself as nothing but professional. I give Ashlyn a 5-star recommendation to any potential future employers!

So when it was time to say goodbye… I had no choice but to beg Ashlyn to stay.


Upon her graduation in December, Ashlyn hopes to start her career with a design firm in Dallas. We hope she is given this opportunity because we know she will shine in an environment that values all that she has to offer. If she changes her mind and wants to return to Design Vision Studio, Ashlyn has a full time position waiting for her as a junior designer.


Patricia Lockwood
along with Kym Carilo & Sarah Rochford