In response to this week's announcement that the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) will open its doors to the public beginning October 1, Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) and American Society of Interior Design (ASID) issued the following statement:
As leading associations representing design and industry, ASID, DFA along with ADAC, are working to generate more consumers of design by welcoming them to design centers and showrooms, introducing them to designers and the value of design, supporting designers in their efforts to build healthier practices and by enhancing the entire client experience with design.
The changes before us are occurring because we all know that a larger segment of affluent households should be introduced to the value of working with an interior designer. That’s why throughout the country for the last three years in design centers like ADAC, showroom owners, manufacturers, magazines and the design community have undertaken careful and respectful conversations to plan for a win:win change (several of these conversations were facilitated by DFA and its members in ADAC).
One goal ASID, DFA and ADAC all agree on is the need to increase consumer desire for good design. Too few of those who have the means to benefit from good design are familiar enough with the process value of interior design. ADAC supports ASID’s local and national efforts to enhance consumer awareness of the value of design, by implementing a targeted campaign to affluent households, inviting them to visit the most logical destinations for design - DFA members' showrooms and design centers - to learn, find and know more about design and designers. In fact, ADAC as a member of DFA has reinforced our commitment to the design community by partnering with the magazines that promote the value of working with a designer. The campaign ad is running this summer and fall in House Beautiful and Elle Decor. And there’s more to come.
Once welcomed to ADAC, the beautifully designed and furnished showrooms can inspire visitors with furnishings they can not find elsewhere and then introduce them to the real pros who can demonstrate the benefits of the design experience. Showrooms know that homeowners are best served by designers and are working with ADAC and the local ASID chapter to provide referral services. Showrooms will find polite ways to give guests the upmost attention while a the same time referring them to designers - the most accomplished at providing a rewarding design experience.
Members of the DFA and ASID firmly believe that these improvements to the traditional ‘exclusive' model has the potential to enhance the designer/client relationship. It’s an exclusive experience we are after, not exclusive access. We expect designers will attract more potential clients for the real value of design, and in due course improve the economy for interior design and the industry. As business improves, showrooms will be able to expand, add staff and new products while the service bar rises even higher.
ADAC is working with the ASID Georgia Chapter to provide showrooms information about its referral services and point customers to the ASID Georgia Chapter Office. Designers are encouraged to make their interest known so they can be referred. There is plenty to gain if the design community acts in a spirit of mutual benefit. If showrooms do not want to make referrals, the ADAC and ASID Georgia Chapter Office will have additional resources available through a consumer brochure.
Because ADAC, DFA and ASID are committed to promoting the designer, this is a pro-designer plan. At first, ADAC will host consumer marketing events beginning in October, and workshops throughout the year focusing on the importance of using a design professional.
Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) will host a discussion of the changing nature of the design profession, design centers and the to-the-trade model on December 3 at the association's next meeting hosted by Hearst Design Group.