Here’s my interview with Carma Becker, the Design Studio Manager for our Manassas, Virginia location.
Carma: Our design studio isn’t like most. It is broken up into small, unique spaces for each individual homebuilder. It allows each homebuilder to have a dedicated space for their homebuyers. These dedicated spaces allow the homebuyers a more personal one-on-one experience with a passionate, dedicated designer. We offer a full-service Design Studio for all of our builders. We not only cater to homebuilders but also custom homebuilders as well as the public for retail. We make selections for all flooring such as tile, hardwood, laminate, carpet, etc. but it doesn’t stop there. We also help make all interior selections with the homebuyers that include but not limited to cabinets, countertops, appliances, plumbing, lighting, trim packages, fireplaces & surrounds, and even some electrical; basically, anything on the interior of the home depending upon the builder. Our appointments last anywhere from 2-7 hours depending on the builder and the selections that we need to make for that community/homebuilder. We run multiple appointments at a time, which could be 3-4 depending on the number of designers working that day. We’re currently averaging 25-30 appointments per week out of our Manassas design studio.
Carma: The designers love one-stop-shopping. Even though we don’t install every product selected with the homebuyer, it makes their experience (and ours) much more seamless to choose it all in one location. It provides the homebuyer the opportunity to see all of their selections for each room at one time and really brings the home to life. We (me, the designers and the builders) love that the homebuilders have their own dedicated areas for their homebuyers. This provides the homebuyers with a more personal experience during their one-on-one appointment with their designer. Some builders that have their set program and like that their homebuyers are more confined and able to select from their predetermined program only. I like that the Design Studio is organized by builders. It makes it easier to find the products that the customers are interested in and can be found in one area.
Carma: I have a great group of talented, passionate designers that do a wonderful job for our homebuilders and homebuyers.
Every designer is a little different but they deliver the same great results, a happy homeowner and a beautiful home. The designers look forward to training on new products and pretty much anything that will expand their knowledge throughout the market. This provides them with the knowledge and confidence needed to sell and design a unique home for the homebuyer. It also keeps them current on products and new trends.
We attend training from our vendors throughout the year. I have scheduled training for most months in 2020 consisting of hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl plank tiles, carpet, tile, cabinets, and countertops, along with builder training that we do yearly.
Carma: We would love more of our builders to offer navy blue cabinets with brushed brass fixtures. Ultra-Natural light-tone woods in wide or multiple widths. Texture/subtle patterns instead of busy and loud designs on various tile, wood, countertops, etc.
Carma: We like to have fun both at work and outside work, and we work hard each and every day!
We’re open 7 days a week. Monday – Thursdays from 8:30-7 pm, Fridays 8:30-5 pm and 9-4 pm on Saturday and Sundays. We’re the only flooring company in our area that is opened every day. This allows us to better serve homebuyers with busy schedules.
We look forward to doing some updates to the studio this year!