New Interior Design Book Features Local Tastemakers

New Interior Design Book Features Local Tastemakers

Interior designers offer advice on creating an elegant home.

Fall not only brings vibrantly colored leaves and pumpkins, but it also ushers in a slew of new book releases. Among those is an interior design book featuring local designers.

Melissa Mather’s “Creating Elegant Interiors: Designers in their Own Words” is a collection of narratives from design experts who offer advice on creating a stylish home. It is filled with photographs of rooms that offer a variety of definitions of elegance, including modern, traditional and even preppy.

“We presented questions to a variety of skillful tastemakers, each with a discerning eye for style,” said Mather. “Their answers are intended to help the reader discover their own personal style and create a home that is both elegant and comfortable. The designers share some of the insights they use while guiding their clients to the discovery of their own unique design style.”

Among the designers in the book are Victoria Sanchez of Victoria Sanchez Interiors and Victoria at Home in Old Town, Alexandria, who describes how she begins her design projects.

“I always ask lifestyle questions early on in the design process to understand how my clients want to best use their space,” said Sanchez. “For example, do you have a big family that requires 10 seats at the dining table? Do you host the weekly playgroup and therefore need open spaces and childproof fabrics? Write down your answers and you will quickly see what you need and what’s important to you, and this will help you develop the right space.”

Personal touches and do-it-yourself projects are great ways to showcase your tastes and sense of style,” said Allie Mann of Arlington.

“Don’t be afraid to use your space as a creative outlet,” she said. “Do-it-yourself projects don’t need to be super time-consuming or terribly sophisticated, either.”

CREATE A MASTER PLAN before beginning a project is advice offered by Kai Tong, an architect at Hopkins & Porter in Potomac, Md. “It doesn’t need to be implemented and finished immediately, but it will allow the clients to live in the space and observe how both the space and their vision and needs evolve,” he said.

One of the first things to ask and consider is how the space is going to be used, said Ann O’Shields, an interior designer and owner of The Nest Egg in Fairfax.

“Will it be adults only in a formal setting or a space with children and pets?” she asks. “From there, I recommend identifying spaces or things in your current home that you enjoy. It’s important to give your home personality and add elements that you enjoy.”

“Creating Elegant Interiors: Designers in the Own Words,” can be found at bookstores and on