ASID MN’s Guide to Good Design 2016

Twist Interior Dining and Living Room

Above: Sandy LaMendola, ASID, Twist Interior Design, Photo by Susan Gilmore Photography

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the leading organization for interior design professionals. It’s a community of industry professionals, educators, and students committed to interior design. From corporate boardrooms to home offices, hotel suites to health care facilities, ASID designers help create the places where we live, work, play, heal, and worship.


  • With more than 38,000 members through a network of 48 chapters, ASID is the oldest, largest, and leading professional organization establishing a common identity for professionals and businesses in the field of interior design.   
  • ASID members must pass rigorous acceptance standards: They must have a combination of accredited design education and/or full-time work experience, and pass a two-day examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
  • When you hire an ASID member, you get an experienced practitioner who can solve problems, help you avoid costly mistakes and, most importantly, create an attractive, affordable space designed specifically to meet your needs.

Amber Ranzau, Allied ASID, Hauthaus, Inc. photo by Joe Hansen, courtesy of Modern Design Cabinetry

Above: Amber Ranzau, Allied ASID, Hauthaus, Inc. Photo by Joe Hansen, Courtesy of Modern Design Cabinetry 


You find pictures in magazines, you clip them out, you have a vague idea of how to incorporate these ideas into your own space. And then, a few years later, they are still just ideas. When it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing, ASID MN designers have valuable technical and artistic training to help you formulate a solid plan of action, and valuable experience working with architects, contractors, trade-only businesses, and vendors that allow them to help you make the best selections and negotiate fair values. They also save you time by doing the overall big-picture thinking, looking at the furniture, the lighting, the color combinations, the patterns, the accessories, the spatial relationships, then doing the measuring, researching, shopping, ordering, delivery-coordinating, and problem-solving. Most importantly, a designer will help bring out your personality and inject it into the space, allowing you to tell your own unique visual story.


Once you’ve decided to hire a designer, what do you do? According to ASID MN, think about what you want and need in your space. Your designer might ask about activities, how long you plan to stay in your home, your timeframe, your budget, and an overall feeling you want the space to convey. It can seem overwhelming, but your ASID MN interior designer will patiently guide you through the process. The more information you can provide, the better. You want to give your designer the necessary tools for meeting (and exceeding!) your expectations.

Gather visual references of what you like and don’t like (photos, postcards, logos, examples of rooms or fashion pulled from the pages of magazines). Think about your favorite room in the house (why is it your favorite?). What unites the things in that room (color, simple lines, scale, shape?). Where do you like to travel? What’s your favorite hotel? Is there one piece of furniture in the room that’s different from the others? Why? The best designs are ones that are thoughtfully collected, a reflection of your personal style.

The second step is to interview ASID MN designers. Interview several designers to compare personalities, styles, and business methods. Explain your project. ASID MN designers will listen to your ideas and concerns, bringing expertise, education, integrity, and insight to the table. They will give you as much—or as little—hand-holding as you need and offer objective solutions, taking the time to carefully explain design decisions.

Once you’ve interviewed several designers, take time to compare their estimates. According to ASID MN, “Don’t base your decision on price alone. Keep in mind that differences in each proposal reflect variables such as level of service and quality of merchandise.” With experienced designers, you’re paying a premium for their experience and inside knowledge/tricks of the trade, but don’t discount the younger designers. Younger designers with less on-the-job experience are often energetic and excited to try and learn new things. They are ready to take on the world.

No matter what, be honest with your designer about your budget. According to ASID MN, “A professional designer assesses your needs and helps you determine where to spend and where to save, prioritizing expenses while creating an interior that is within your budget. Also, remember that not everything has to be completed at once. Your designer can develop a long-range plan, consult with you to establish a list of priorities and determine a timeline for accomplishing your project.”

Hiring an ethical, professional ASID MN member can result in a beautiful, functional space designed specifically to meet your needs.



Designers: Lisa Peck, ASID, and LuAnne Silvia, ASID

A Chic and Calming Refuge 

LiLu Interiors was asked to design a master suite within a contemporary urban condo. The client wanted a sophisticated, luxurious aesthetic, unified design, ample storage, and in the narrow  footprint of the bathroom—a separate shower and soaking tub. The client requested this space be a peaceful, relaxing escape.

Design Challenge + Solutions

The challenge was to provide continuity and visual interest while creating a luxurious space reminiscent of a boutique hotel. LiLu designers Lisa Peck, ASID, and LuAnne Silvia, ASID, achieved a sophisticated feel by using a monochromatic color scheme contrasted by textural elements. To create visual order, they employed a simple massing of materials and forms and thoughtfully appointed closed storage.

LiLu Interiors Bathroom spa tub

The Bedroom

A custom designed floor-to-ceiling headboard—flanked by a dramatic wall covering—balances the large built-in storage opposite. The rich mélange of textures creates a vibe similar to a weekend stay at a stylish boutique hotel. The bed, nightstands, and cabinetry storage were designed to be built-in, providing ample storage in a streamlined clutter-free space.

The Bathroom

In order to solve a space-planning problem presented by existing columns in the bathroom, a deep Japanese soaking tub was incorporated—adding an artisan touch to the room (while offering a place to sooth sore muscles and revitalize the senses). The custom glass mosaic accent tile in the shower provides a beautiful focal point in the long, narrow room, while the vanity provides needed countertop space and storage along with a sense of balance. Just as the client hoped, the redesigned master suite and bath is a calming oasis, a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle of a busy day-to-day routine. 

LiLu Interiors Vanity

Visit for a list of current interior designers, including their contact information, expertise, and sample portfolios.

ASID Minnesota Chapter
275 Market Street, Suite 160, Minneapolis, MN 55405
612-339-6003 • Email:

By Christina Sarinske

Featured project photos by Brian Droege

Personal Designer

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