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Interview with an Interior Designer

March 15, 2023

An Interview with Interior Designer Joye Mayer


Our estimator AJ Gretz recently sat down with Interior Designer Joye Mayer. In addition to working for Ethan Allen here in Kalamazoo, Joye offers color consultations for PMV Customers who are looking for a professional opinion as they renovate a space in their home.

This interview has been edited for clarity.


What exactly does an interior designer do?

In a retail setting, I greet clients and build relationships with people to help them select styles and/or color choices for furniture and fixtures. When I consult with PMV on projects, I work with customers to select colors for rooms or cabinetry that will be painted, and I try to help them develop a cohesive set of color choices that will work well with the space.


What are some of the things you are paying attention to when you enter into a house?

I start by looking at the exterior’s architecture and the property itself. Once inside, I consider the home’s floor plan (whether it is an open-floor plan or a traditional home with smaller, more defined rooms). I look at the ceiling heights, flooring transitions, traffic patterns throughout the public areas of the home, how much natural light the rooms get and which direction the house sits in relation to the sun.  I inquire about family, pets, and lifestyle. All of this help’s me determine what works for a given space.

An interior designer will be able to find the balance between the home’s potential and the client’s needs. Space planning is as much about the vertical walls as it is about furniture planning and finding the correct size and scale of furniture to place in each room.


Why does color choice matter in someone’s house?

Paint colors can influence a mood or feeling within your home. I have taken color theory classes during my studies and ongoing learning. Color can create warmth, energy, or calm.


I am guessing that in your line of work you are sensitive to the way a house “feels.”

Yes, absolutely. I always have been since a little girl. I am blessed to work in a beautiful showroom that feels like a beautiful home. I love what I do because I can help clients create the stories they want their home to tell.


How should someone start the process of choosing a color for a room?

I always find it is helpful for a client to gather some inspiration from pictures on Pinterest, Houzz or in a trade magazine. Many times, clients are able to identify what they like through pictures easier than trying to explain their vision.

Most paint companies today allow you to upload photos and play around with colors virtually. They also have popular color palette put already that can be helpful, since the colors have all been determined to fit together. That can be helpful to generate some inspiration if you are feeling lost on where to start.


Do you have advice for someone who is looking to have their cabinets painted?

When selecting a cabinet color take a moment to consider the size of the kitchen, ceiling height, window trim color (wood or painted) counter tops and flooring. Are the counters and flooring changing, or is it something you need to incorporate in the color scheme? I know PMV works with a carpenter who can make small or large alterations to existing cabinetry. That is something people should consider looking at and I have often suggested while consulting with clients. Sometimes adding a small piece of trim to an island or beadboard panels can really create a customized and well thought out plan.


Any parting wisdom?

I always tell my clients that not every part of the room is going to be the “Lead Role.” Sometimes certain pieces of the puzzle are in more of a “supporting role” and that is ok. For example, if you want to highlight a beautiful quartz countertop in a large kitchen, then perhaps the backsplash should be more subtle. A professional can help you navigate those decisions for a harmonious balance between everything in the room.


How can people get ahold of you if they would like to utilize your expertise?

You can stop by Ethan Allen at 6025 West Main Street, Kalamazoo MI 49009, text/call 269-598-2400 or email me at [email protected].

Posted in Kitchens, Residential Exteriors, Residential Interior