At Studio Designer, our goal is to streamline the logistics of an interior design business so that more attention can be devoted to creative pursuits. Our Designer Spotlight series highlights the business success and design work of Studio Designer clients who use our platform to advance their goals and thrive as creative professionals. DuVäl Reynolds, owner and principal designer of DuVäl Design, LLC, is not only a Studio Designer client but also a 2022 High Point Market Style Spotter. He drew from his extensive experience working at California Closets for over a decade to launch his eponymous firm with fresh, bright, and streamlined interiors that keep clients returning time and again.

If you’re attending Spring 2022 High Point Market, don’t miss DuVäl and the other 9 Style Spotters presenting the market’s best finds at Style Spotters LIVE! on Tuesday, April 5 from 9a m-10 am. It is taking place at the High Point Theatre, Transportation Terminal.

Read this candid interview with DuVäl who shares how he launched his career, what inspires him, and how he uses Studio Designer to run this thriving practice.

A photo of DuVal Reynolds with information about him

Tell us a little bit about you. How and why did you decide to become a designer?

Hi there! I’m a residential designer in Fairfax, VA. I’m originally from a small town in southern VA, called Critz. I initially went to school for neurology but ended up leaving and changing majors to interior design. I landed a job at California Closets as their receptionist and ended up with a 12-year career as their Design and Sales Manager for the DC Metro region. While there, I recognized that I had a flair for design, and a new dream for myself was soon realized. So, I finished my degree in interior design and made plans to start my own business, which eventually opened in the fall of 2017.

Spacious and bright dining room with table and armchairs
Dark Floral Embrace | Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Describe your design aesthetic

​At this time, we do not have a definitive and notable design aesthetic. However, for each space, we do try to create rooms that look and feel clean, intentional, but effortless.

Share some design references to turn to frequently to spark your creativity.

Honestly, I’m still very much inspired by other designers. Because I still feel new to design, I look to them to fill in gaps in the learning curve that you can’t find in other places. It’s the small things like how to use trim details, how to scale artwork, or how to layer patterns. Of course, we’re all inspired by travel and fashion but I do turn to other more experienced designers to help me be creative as it pertains to design implementation.

Large kitchen island made of dark wood
A Heavenly Gourmet’s Corner | Photo by Stylish Productions

Who are the interior designers, architects, artists, or creative professionals you admire?

Any and everyone. I used to just focus on bigger firms but nowadays these young designers are really breaking molds and creating spaces I would never think of. But a few of my go-to favorites at this time are Jean Stoffer, Sean Anderson, and House of Bohn.

Spacious living room next to the kitchen
Modern Farmhouse Collective

What design project of yours are you most proud of and why?

We have a project titled “Modern Farmhouse Collective.” I would probably select this, not only for the aesthetic but because of the surrounding supporting cast. This project encompasses our design aesthetic mentioned earlier–clean, intentional, and effortless. But besides the finished room, this was our first time installing an entire first floor for this 6,500-sf house, with an extremely flexible client, a supportive builder, and a reasonable budget and timeline. Although the clients had a general direction for guidance (“modern farmhouse”), we were still able to have a lot of creative freedom for this family of nine.

Share a story about how you acquired an unusual item for a project.

​I don’t have any projects where we’ve sourced some crazy one-of-a-kind piece–not yet, at least. However, when we are able to manage an antique haul, we try to find things that our client wouldn’t expect to purchase for their homes.

A blue car in a modernly lit garage
The Iconic Home | Designed for the Black Interior Design Network for AD

Share your advice on how to run a successful design business and maintain a creative edge at the same time.

First, you have to understand that they’re two different disciplines and they have to be treated as such. For business, there is a need for structure and organization. These needs must be met with processes and systems, to keep the ship moving. But with creativity, there is a need for exploration and a little chaos. And to meet these needs, one has to be allowed the time and freedom to explore, to experiment. And to run a successful design business, there has to be a balance of framework and flexibility within the company. Make space to nurture both aspects of the business and you’ll be successful. 

Duval Quote

How do you use Studio Designer to successfully run your business?

​Currently, we use Studio Designer to house all of our final product selections for each client and space. We use SD to also create our POs for our vendor orders. And one of the best features we’re obsessed with is the color-coding status. This really helps give a quick snapshot of the life of our orders—whether something is ordered or back-ordered, if it’s in progress or shipped. As of last month, however, we hired a team to help integrate all of our financials into Studio—meaning, we’re moving our QuickBooks financials into Studio and will be invoicing and keeping a track of our time-billing, in this program solely. Studio Designer is such a robust program and in 2022 we really want to maximize its potential.

Bright living room
A Household’s Embrace | Photo by Markus Wilborn

What advice do you have for designers building their businesses?

Stay the course. It’s hard work—no matter what anyone tells you. Reach out to people who are willing to help. Ask for advice. Get mentors and peers who can help you avoid simple traps that you don’t know are near. And if you don’t have anyone, reach out to me—you’ve read all of this—so, yes, of course, I’d be willing to help in any way I can!

Want to learn more about Studio Designer?

Email, or register for our weekly demo. We can’t wait to connect.

Studio Designer is the leading digital platform for Interior Designers managing and growing their design businesses. Featuring fully integrated project management, time billing, product sourcing, and accounting solutions for the interior design industry.