Joe Luther purchased a beautiful new home in Birmingham but said that because it was a spec home, it was too neutral for his taste. In the past, he had worked with an interior designer, but, to his disappointment, she ended up turning his previous home into her own style rather than bringing out his.
“I searched the internet and seemed to keep finding the same thing, but finally my girlfriend showed me Dan Davis Design’s website, and I gave them a call,” Luther explained. “They told me that if someone comes in a house they’ve decorated and knows they’ve been there, then they’ve failed. They didn’t want their look to be the same look house-to-house, which sold me.”
Luther knew what type of interior designer he wanted; however, he said he had no idea what designs he wanted for his interior. (Well, at first anyway).
“I was kind of like dealing with a kindergartener,” Luther said, laughing. “I was given a stack of magazines and had to point out what I love and what I hate. I was told nothing neutral. We also went out shopping, so we could get a feel for the furniture, rugs and other styles I liked.”
Owner and designer Dan Davis said they give all of their clients' homework; his partner, designer Paul Johnson, added the adjective “a lot” to the word homework. But for good reason.
“We look for threads, commonalities, biases, a lot of different things,” Davis explained. “What came out of Joe’s homework was that he wanted splashes of color and the house to be more fun, more him, since he’s never had a chance to do this before.”
Based on Luther’s “homework,” Luther said Davis and Johnson put together a few presentations for each room. Once these were discussed, they got to work, ground-up.
“We like to collaborate with clients,” Davis said. “Joe likes to travel, so we give him lists when he travels of what he should be looking for. We’re not our-way-or-the-highway kind of designers but rather here to guide him.”
Johnson agreed: “We tailor each design to the client. We don’t repeat the same things, which really makes it hard for us since we have to come up with new accessories every time. Joe, for example, wanted a lot of art that was made by Detroit artists or felt like it came from Detroit.”
Additionally, part of Davis’ and Johnson’s process is to teach clients the "why." They pride themselves on never making a final decision for a client. Instead, they tell them the pros and cons since they believe a house is much more beautiful if the homeowner can explain the choices versus, as Davis said, “the HGTV way” where homeowners walk into an already-finished home, having made little to no choices along the way.
“They really enjoyed the moment when I started to get my swagger and was able to start contributing more to the conversation with what would be good in the home,” Luther said. “They’d say, ‘Look at you! Little boy’s all grown up!’”
Johnson said it has been wonderful working with a client who was open to push his boundaries and explore what his home should feel like.
“Room by room and floor by floor, they have really helped me recreate my home,” Luther said.
Dan Davis Design, LLC is located in Ferndale. Services include residential interior design, commercial interior design, conceptualization, space planning, furnishings/colors/finishes selections, kitchen/bath remodeling and more. For more information, visit dandavisdesign.com or give them a call at (248)-224-9169.