Winter 2023 1 cover
Winter 2023 | Issue 26

Running a design firm is often the byproduct of chasing one’s passion, not the starting point. Yet while projects come and go, there’s no off-ramp from building a business. With this issue, we’re taking a deep dive into what it takes to get it right today. From how to weather a recession and retaining talent to crafting a contract that sets you up for success, our focus is how to make creative entrepreneurship more manageable—and more meaningful, too. 

After two action-packed years, the interior design industry is showing some signs of cooling off. Here’s how to know if your business is slowing down, and what to do about it.
BY Fred Nicolaus
A contract isn’t just a get-out-of-jail-free card if something goes wrong. A strong but approachable letter of agreement can establish positive ground rules for the designer-client partnership in addition to protecting your business. Here’s how to get it right.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
A new industry survey charts how designers charge, how much they pay their teams and how they compete for talent in a challenging market. How does your firm stack up?
BY Caroline Bourque
Design Dispatch
Hadiya Williams’s mixed media designs pay homage to the African diaspora.
It’s a game-changer to find a piece that can be a chameleon, enhancing many different spaces without growing stale. Noz Nozawa, Justin Q. Williams and Kristen Rivoli share their tried-and-true favorites.
Virginia-based designer DuVäl Reynolds wanted an easy way to virtually manage his go-to products. In the process, House of DuVäl, a drop-ship retail operation, was born.
Let the glittering spectacle of freshly fallen snow give new meaning to bringing the outdoors in.
Two Pittsburgh designers take sides over maximalist, patterned sofas.
The Handbook
Home stagers lift the curtain on how to make it big in a booming sector.

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