Desk1j.jpg (39562 bytes) VITA DESIGNS is an interior design service founded by Vita Sims. I am a licensed interior designer in Maryland and the District of Columbia. I worked for local furniture stores for 12 years, before starting my own business. I work for clients in the Washington D.C metro area.

I'm also an artist and I've included some photographs of my artwork on this site for you to enjoy while you browse my site.

Design Consultations

We would typically have a brief telephone conversation to discuss your needs. I will give you references and send any additional information at this time. Sometimes my clients are ready to begin immediately, and I will make an appointment to come to your home. I will then gather the details of the project and present my recommendations to you.

I will handle your project with the greatest care and consideration, whether it's a simple color selection, drapery design or whole home make-over.

My fees are charged hourly and vary according to the length of the assignment. Depending upon the manufacturer used, I offer a designer discount for furniture, decorative accessories, fabrics etc.

Draperies

I offer a full drapery design service and use an expert drapery workroom. I will come and look at your interior during the day and take measurements. We will then select the best colors, fabrics and designs. Sometimes I will bring fabrics for you to look at when I come to measure, or I will bring a picture book of window treatments that I have assembled. Besides draperies, the project may call for other window treatments such as blinds, soft shades, roller blinds, and shutters etc.

After I have seen and measured your space, and we have talked about it, I will work up a presentation for you. This presentation will include a to-scale drawing of your proposed window treatment, the materials selected, and any other details required.

I have over 15 years of experience in creating beautiful window treatments and I will use my color and design sense to create unparalleled window treatments for you.

Wall Coverings

Wall coverings are always in style whether they are used in a dining area, hall, study, powder room or bedroom. I offer a wonderful selection of choices, including period papers, faux wall techniques and hand blocked designs. I often visit the Design Center in Washington, D.C. to find ideas that I think my clients will like.

Upholstery

furn11.jpg (60087 bytes)Upholstery is one of the key focus areas in a room, as it is one of the top surface areas and can make a lot of impact. The amount of pattern and color to use, as well as the comfort and functionality of the pieces, are key issues. Each space will have its own distinctive characteristics. A seating group makes for an inviting space when coupled together with the correct balance of comfort, pattern and color.

I use the Design Center extensively to find manufacturers. However, if the job requires reupholstering, I often use local craftsmen whom I have found to produce well-designed and constructed upholstery.

 

Carpet

Wall coverings, upholstery, the floor area -- the colors, textures and patterns of these surfaces reflect your tastes and style. The concerns about which I would like to advise you include:

These are all concerns that I can address and help you with. I have several excellent resources for custom carpet fabrication, as well as for professional installation.

Room Makeovers

Room makeovers are so much fun -- each room is an adventure unto itself. Sometimes the job is to separate the wheat from the chaff. Which pieces to keep? Which to move to another room? Which to give away? Existing rooms may just need a face lift, and the work can be as simple as rearranging furniture and accessories from within the home into new configurations.

Then there are the walls, the floors, the windows, the accessories, the lighting and the upholstery: do their colors, patterns, fabrics, textures and other design elements need to be changed? And what about the natural lighting and directional elements (rugs, patterns, lighting) and architectural features of the space? Sometimes, only the needs of the people who live in this space need to be considered, and sometimes others need to be considered as well.

Floor Plans

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I may use drawings to communicate my ideas. I also like to use a simple magnetic template set to show different room arrangements and which allows my clients a visual aid. Drawings evolve from creative concept sketches, to to-scale floor plans and elevations for simple rooms and entire homes. My drapery drawings are always drawn to scale.

Reupholstering

I recommend reupholstering antiques, family heirlooms and quality, well-constructed pieces. Those special pieces that you feel you cannot part with (because of the comfortable seating depth) would also be included. Reupholstering is not always a cost effective option. There are fabric and labor charges. Sometimes, purchasing a new piece might be more cost effective, but it is not always the right design decision. Slipcovers are also an option and can be used to give your space a seasonal change. I use many fabric sources, including distributors and manufacturers that I have confidence in and am always discovering new resources at the Design Center.

Color and Paint Consultations

house11.jpg (83064 bytes)The walls in a room account for the largest portion of the surfaces. Painting them is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to change an interior. Color selection can be very important. There are good reasons to pick white or off-white -- for example, one may want to brighten the room or feature an art collection. Many interiors can benefit from going with a color other than shades of white, and this choice can be very personal. We will consider architectural details, lighting, the color and style of furnishings and decorative objects, and perhaps the historical period of the home.

With exterior paint colors many issues come into play: natural features around the home, the color schemes of neighboring houses, the historical character of the home and what color will be most complimentary to the materials used to build the home.

Shopping Service

I offer a shopping service for all of your design needs. This service can include shopping with you, if you have selected items which you feel requires a professional opinion. I can also be hired to shop on my own for carpeting, wallpaper, bedding, accessories -- whatever is needed to furnish your home.

Accessories

accesso1.jpg (32951 bytes)Accessories such as lamps, artwork, family heirlooms, collections you have acquired, treasures from your travels, mirrors, are essential parts of the interior. Without them a room lacks personality and pizzazz.

Sometimes, I find that my clients have too many items to select from and aren't sure what to place together. Being selective can declutter a room and bring attention to a beautiful display of decorative accessories. For other clients, I have many resources available to help me find those decorative items needed to complete a room.

Offices

Offices can be at home or at a place of business. I have designed interiors for both types of offices, and while the usual design considerations, such as floor plans apply, offices present a special challenge. I feel that humanizing the workspace makes the atmosphere both more pleasant and leads to better working. This can be done with the judicious use of color and other design elements. Sometimes the use of natural materials can provide a visual and tactile relief to the sterile feel of many business interiors.

The home office is usually compact; so storage and organization are some of the design issues. Built-ins can be one solution. Since you will be spending a good part of the day in either type of office, it pays to buy good-quality and well-designed office furnishings.

Artwork

An excellent accessory is original artwork. It adds beauty, authenticity and culture to an interior. I encourage you to visit your local galleries and art shows. There are many talented artists in the Washington D.C. metro area, at the Torpdedo Factory for example, and their works are quite affordable. It is possible for anyone, regardless of budget, to have original paintings.

Besides doing interior design work, I am trained as a fine artist. You can buy most of my paintings displayed on this page.  As a watercolorist, I exhibit my work in local juried art shows. I am familiar with the local art scene and am able to locate pieces to compliment your interior.

Faux Painting and Painted Furniture

outdoor1.jpg (53560 bytes)There are many faux painting techniques that are too numerous to list here. Sponging, ragging, combing, wood-graining and marbling are described in such books as Paint Recipes by Liz Wagstaff and The Step by Step Art of Paint Techniques by David Japp. These techniques can give the appearance of age and character to a room or piece of furniture. I have used some of these techniques, when appropriate.

Painted furniture is usually customized according to the decorative needs of the piece of furniture as well as the room in which it is placed. Stenciling, hand-painting, pickled and whitewashed effects are some of the options.

There are local Washington D.C. area artists and muralists who specialize in painting floors, walls and furniture. I am able to do some of this work myself. In addition, there are manufacturers that offer customized paint finishes.

Lighting

Each room requires lighting designed to meet its unique circumstances. We will consider the functional use of the room and the activities engaged in it. For example, lighting for a game room will be different than that for a library or bedroom; other rooms may require mood lighting or special lighting for art objects. It’s possible that a room could make use of the light itself as a decorative object. We will design an appropriate lighting plan for every room.

Floor Coverings

There are many choices to be made for floors: should one leave hardwood floors exposed and, if so, what color should they be? -- dark like the furniture or blond, to contrast? Should you paint the floor? Hardwood floors are very desirable, but you may consider protecting them with area rugs, which also offer some sound proofing and warmth. I have on several occasions created custom designs for rugs and carpets that were either free-form, geometric, floral, architectural, or inspired by a part of an existing wallpaper or fabric, and then had them manufactured. The sky is the limit.

Other choices for floor coverings include ceramic tile, stone and marble. Each material has its own beauty, limitations and applications.

An unusual idea that dates from colonial times is to have a canvas, hand-painted floor cloth. Another fun idea is to paint a design on the floor, such as a compass or stenciled pattern. I have extensive experience in all of these areas.

Oriental carpets are a classic choice that will always be in style. One can obtain reproductions of famous carpets, hand-knotted carpets and ones created with Australian wool; carpets that are machine made and those that are priceless antiques are all available on the market.


For more information about how I can help you to design your home interior, please contact Vita Sims at: consult@vitadesigns.com

VITA DESIGNS, Kensington MD
301-949-8482