Design A La Carte: The Washington Design Center's Consumer Buying Program

Design A La Carte: The Washington Design Center's Consumer Buying Program

Leah Moss
Jul 17, 2009

You're lazily paging through House Beautiful when you spot the wallpaper of your dreams. Heart racing, you flip to the sources page; your eyes scan the columns excitedly, and finally you spot it—perfect! But then...your spirit begins to deflate. Next to your beloved wallpaper appear those dreaded words: "to the trade only." Washingtonians, take heart! If it's not in your budget or preferences to hire a designer, but you still desire certain "to the trade" pieces, you have a new option. This spring, the Washington Design Center started a program just for you. Here's how it works...

If you are not currently working with a designer but you have your hopes set on a particular piece(s), you can make an appointment with one of the Design Center's design professionals who will be able to offer you up to 2 hours of design advice to discuss floor plans, paint colors, fabric choices, etc. During these 2 hours, you are able to purchase key items from showrooms that are otherwise only available to the design trade.

The program is not meant to replace the work of interior designers, but rather, to give design-minded non-designers a chance to access some of the luxurious resources of the Center's showrooms.

However, this luxury does have its cost, so don't expect low prices. Purchases made in the first hour are sold at the designer net rate (the base price that a designer would normally pay for the product) plus a 20% mark up. Purchases made in the second hour come with a 25% mark up.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the program, visit the Washington Design Center's website.

(Images: 1: Schumacher, 2: Larsen via Cowtan & Tout, 3,4: Donghia, 5: Scalamandre)

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