Interview with Marva Don

Marva Don sat down with freelance writer Sue Thomson to discuss her career.

Marva Don with her beautiful French Bulldog Sammy

Q. Have you always had the design bug?

A. When I graduated high school at 18 I wanted to attend design school but like so many of us at that time I got married instead and raised a family. When the children had grown a little I managed a Medical Optometry practice. Over the years I was responsible for remodeling the practice three times. I also enjoyed the selection of frame colors and shapes which gave me a creative opportunity on a much smaller scale!


Q. Tell me what clients can expect from you.

A. Honesty. I will collaborate with them so the dream design for their home becomes a reality. I will not let a client make a bad choice. Giving them honest guidance, I bring them a design that they would not have thought about themselves. If anything, I think functionality first, then the design. A home should look attractive but my clients LIVE in their homes and I want them to come in and feel right at home! For example, performance fabrics give us so much more functionality nowadays — not only do they look good and feel nice, but who doesn’t want a fabric that if you spill red wine, you can just blot it and it’s gone!


Q. Tell me about the process you use with your clients.

A. We discuss their vision, color schemes, design styles and always address their budget. I explain that I cannot start the design process without asking “where are you in establishing your budget range for this project?” then if they answer “I don’t know” I reassure them that they did the right thing in calling me to help with the budget process. They are in control of their finances and we work together to create a starting point.

Marva Don choosing fabrics in her studio

Q. What do you like about the design process?

A. Designing is work! I like being creative and giving each client their individualized design. It is so fulfilling when I see them at reveal time when they now fully understand what I designed for them. So many times clients have happy tears and say, “now I see it’s even more beautiful than I imagined.


Q. How long does a typical one-room project take?

A. Clients are advised that the design process takes about three weeks and then I’ll be ready to present to them. Once they go under contract it will be ten to twelve weeks before the BIG REVEAL day! All along I stay in contact to keep them updated on our progress.


Q. Why should a client work with you and your company?

A. I have the creativity, and my affiliation with franchise organization Decorating Den Interiors, has given me access to the furnishings and manufacturers that many other  designers don’t have access to. Whether a client wants window treatments, a whole home redecorated or even a she-shed, we have a vast supplier network for anything needed to complete any interior design project.

Marva Don Card interior designer

Q. What do clients like about working with you?

A. I have been told so many times it’s my personality — I cannot lie, I smile and there is always a solution! Clients tell me I am easy to be around, I make the process comfortable and fun, and I follow through, listening to all their ideas. My design is both functional and aesthetic, and I want products to do more than just look pretty!


Q. Tell me about the best project you’ve worked on, and why?

A. I am in my second project for our military base Gowen Field Air Force Base.  I am so honored that I am designing the Officers living quarters while they are stationed here for training in Boise, Idaho. It’s amazing! There could be no greater honor than creating a stress-less home environment for them while they are working to protect and serve!

Q. Tell me about your family.

A. I have  three amazing daughters and eight grandchildren. Life is extremely busy with the families and I am blessed that all my children and grandchildren live in the beautiful Treasure Valley. My mother also lives close by and we enjoy many family dinners together. The latest member of the family is my beautiful boy Sammy, a delightful French Bulldog.

Q. What do you do for fun?

A. I enjoy walking and playing golf but I inherited my mother’s work ethic so tend to work more. When I have time I enjoy traveling and kayaking, biking the Boise greenbelt, and the occasional glass of wine!