ProSource | 8/22/2017 | Expert Advice
Lorraine Davis joined ProSource Wholesale as an interior designer member in 1994, and is still going strong today. This is evidenced by the fact that this year—on August 27—she’ll celebrate her 90th birthday. Here, she shares some of the secrets of her trade that have led to her lasting success. Congratulations and happy birthday, Lorraine!
What trends in home design and remodeling are you seeing?
“Open concept is now huge, thanks to HGTV,” says Lorraine. But homeowners are finding that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. “If one area is cluttered, then the entire space is a mess. And there’s less wall space for wood cabinetry and artwork.”
What advice would you offer to clients and homeowners before they begin an interior design or home improvement project?
“Hire an interior designer,” advises Lorraine. Watch home improvement shows and browse online inspiration, and figure out what most appeals to you. “Collect pictures of rooms that you would be comfortable living in year round.” Take advantage of the ProSource website to organize your inspiration and share your favorite ideas with friends, family, and your trade pro.
What advice would you offer to interior designers just breaking into the business?
“I have advised everyone to work for someone else in the field before opening their own business,” says Lorraine, a retired professor and chairman of the Interior Design Department at Paier College of Art for 34 years. “Major in interior design in college. And join ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) to continue learning and to network with seasoned professionals.”
For you, what is the most valuable benefit of being a ProSource Wholesale member?
Lorraine says that she can do all of her shopping – “an unequaled selection at true wholesale prices” – in one stop, thanks to ProSource.
How has ProSource Wholesale helped your clients?
Clients can take advantage of a tremendous product offering, get help with product selections, and enjoy affordable, wholesale prices. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” says Lorraine.
What are the greatest challenges you face in your work?
Lorraine says that ordering home improvement items online can present a unique set of challenges. “Clients learn too late that you choose more wisely when you see, touch, and compare products.” With more than 145 showrooms across North America, ProSource Wholesale makes it easy to evaluate products before taking the leap.
What brings you the most satisfaction in your work?
“The reason I am still designing after 68 years is because of the wonderful feedback from clients,” says Lorraine. “I don’t drink or smoke—I get my high from happy clients.”
Describe a project of which you’re particularly proud and tell us what made it so satisfying.
“In my church, I installed 5,580 square feet of Armstrong’s luxurious plank wood-grain vinyl flooring,” Lorraine says. “The church members say how wonderful the ‘wood floors’ look. The maintenance crew is constantly thanking me. I just smile and say, ‘thank you.’”
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