After spending so. much. time. at home, we have a laundry list of things we want to change about our home…but we never know where to start. If you’re in the same boat, we’re here to help! We talked to Lynn McDonough and Nancy Sakino Spears, trained design experts and leaders in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for some help.

But let’s start with some background. ASID is a professional association that represents interior designers in all areas of design and provides a benchmark of credentialing. So you know you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing! And interior designers are not the same as decorators. Decorators can help you decorate a space, but interior designers can provide a comprehensive plan of space design and a construction plan. They’re trained on design and construction practices through the final stage of decorating. Being an interior designer requires a degree (and you can get your interior design degree at La Roche, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chatham, and Mercyhurst if you’re interested).

Lynn and Nancy are both one-person firms that specialize in residential and light-commercial – think small businesses, healthcare practices, private companies, and law firms. Designing a commercial space comes with a whole new set of safety codes, so it’s important to find someone who understands those from the start.

Phew, still with us? Awesome! You’re probably thinking, okay, that’s great and I understand, but what did they say about updating my home? You might be surprised to learn…they can’t get enough wallcoverings to transform a space. But they’re not talking about your grandma’s wallpaper, we promise! Wallcovering designs take their cues these days from the fashion industry. Do you know how everyone is loving gray in their home decor? That’s thanks to gray making an appearance on the runways of Paris in 2006.

Still not quite convinced? Lynn and Nancy came up with their top 10 reasons to use wallpaper or wallcoverings:

  1. Makes a BIG impact on small spaces.
  2. Gives you that wow-factor.
  3. Allows you to upgrade your design without construction.
  4. Adds depth or dimension to a space.
  5. Can imitate natural materials in the environment.
  6. Softens sound.
  7. Gives you an accent or focal point for a room.
  8. Warms a drab space.
  9. Can be quite custom and creative.
  10. Budget-friendly.

There are endless options for wallcoverings for every room in your home, no matter what your style is. In fact, there can be so many that it’s overwhelming. That’s where working with someone like Nancy or Lynn can help. They can guide you through the process and create a comprehensive plan that you work towards, chipping away bit by bit as you’re time and budget allow. Before reaching out, you can do some homework: measure the space you want to update and come up with your budget, including any labor you might want to hire out. And, yes, it’s okay to create a mood board or get inspiration from popular shows and sites, but keep in mind they’re mass-produced and driven by-product sales. Working with a local interior designer, like Nancy and Lynn, will keep the focus on you and your style, and they’re happy to go on that journey with you.

Interested in working with Nancy Sakino Spears, Allied ASID of Savoy Interior Design LLC? Connect via phone (412-584-7357) or email (

Interested in working with Lynn McDonough, ASID of Lynn McDonough Interiors? Connect via phone (724-591-8339), email (, or on her Facebook or Instagram.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Lauren Roberts

Lauren loves all things Pittsburgh and all things food! When she's not checking out a new restaurant, you can find her in the kitchen trying a new recipe, working on her photography, or out on a bike ride exploring the city.

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