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Q&A with Interior Designer Debra Del Monte

As someone who just bought her first home I had no idea where to even begin making my house a home. Whats trendy? How do I make my dollar stretch? Which room do I start on first? How do I decorate my home in a way that I will enjoy it for years to come?

I know we all ask ourselves these questions whether we just bought a house or if we have been in our house for years. How do we make it our home we can be proud of?

I sat down with an interior designer and she answered all my unanswered questions. Debra Del Monte started her business D. D Designs back in 2004. After working the corporate America side of life she decided she needed a change. She wanted her blood, sweat and tears to be her own and to turn a hobby into a business. As a girl, she was surrounded by people that were creative and inventive, and it sparked something in her. She taught herself everything: sewing, upholstery, floral arrangements, tile work, electrical, plumbing and even painted art work for clients.

Listening to Debra talk about her work, it was apparent that she differentiates herself by taking the time to listen to her clients. She loves helping clients pull together their vision. I asked her how she figures out how to decorate when someone doesn’t necessarily have a vision or a certain thing that they like. She said that its easy for her to tell in a lot of ways just talking with the person, getting to know their personality and sometimes even checking out their wardrobe. If they don’t have anything specific to work off, she says, “Show me your shirt and ties!”

Then I started piling on my questions to her and here are her answers:

Which room do I start on first?

Start with the bedrooms - make your room a sanctuary. Make your kid’s rooms a place they love. It will turn your house into a home that much faster. Create a great family time space next. Dining room and kitchens should be done last. Do one room at a time and finish it! Don’t start another until your previous room is completely done.

How do I stretch my dollar?

Spend your money on bigger pieces of furniture. Investing in quality will make the things you use the most last longer. Pick pieces that our timeless- that way they can match with trends as they come and go. When shopping do it during major holidays. If your dealing with contractors ALWAYS get 3 quotes.

How do I make my home enjoyable for years to come?

Again, make all your big expensive pieces of furniture timeless. Its easy to accessorize with color. You can easily replace rugs, pillows, art and accessories for a lot cheaper than changing furniture and painting walls. Pick neutral colors to paint your walls and accentuate with color.

What is trending right now?

Grey is really big right now for paint color (beige is out); but using any neutral colors will keep things timeless. Green, navy blue, teal and yellow are in right now for accent colors.

Any other advice?

You should have at least 3 live plants in your home (they help bring oxygen into the home and helps clean the air). It’s okay to mix different kinds of woods and painted pieces. One of my favorites is the Zizi Plant. The less things match, the better! And always use rug pads.

What are the best resource tools to use?

You don’t want to have to many resources or you get overwhelmed. My favorites are pinterest and With these tools, you can create pages of things you like, and my clients just send all their pages and pins to me so I can pull all of their ideas together.

Whether starting with a new home or needing a make over, using these tips can make an impossible job possible - maybe even fun!

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