Designing Woman: Nahid Holmes

Story By Amy Geiszler-Jones - Photography By Kacy Meinecke

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KACY MEINECKE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KACY MEINECKE

   Creating a new space is always a fun venture for a designer. For Nahid Holmes, longtime owner and lead designer of Design Source Interiors, her new space will be a dream come true, she said.
    Construction is underway for DSI’s new design center and showroom, just two blocks north of DSI’s current location in Andover Square at Central and Andover Road in Andover. Plans call for DSI to move this summer. 
    “This has been my dream of owning my own location,” Holmes said. 
    Holmes initially started in the design business in 1995, when she renovated a College Hill home into a showroom to sell rugs. Shortly afterward, customers started asking the friendly, approachable Holmes for advice on decorating with their new rugs. That led to the creation of Design Source Interiors. Soon she was shopping at markets in places like New York City, Dallas and Zurich to set up a retail showroom of furniture and home décor items.
    In 1998, she moved to Andover Square, initially taking up a small 1,000-square-foot suite in the shopping center. While most of her clients are from Wichita, Holmes chose to open her business in Andover, where she was raising her family, she said.
    She eventually starting knocking down walls on either side of that small suite until it expanded to the 10,000-square-foot space the company has operated in for some time. DSI is a full-service design firm, providing a large selection of furnishings, plus designers with various specialties and an on-site seamstress who does customized projects.
    But Holmes and Bert Conyers, DSI vice president and Holmes’ partner, realized there was room for improvement, plus Holmes still had that dream.
                                                                                       A New Space
    Not long ago, Holmes purchased a small strip mall at 725 N. Andover Road, where tenants include a salon, an insurance office and more. The new, stand-alone DSI center will be immediately to the east of the current building.
    The new facility probably won’t add much square footage to what DSI currently occupies, but it will allow DSI to showcase its capabilities much better and work more efficiently, she said.
    “One aspect of what we do is a lot of remodels, but we can’t showcase rooms,” Conyers said. “In the new space, we can show what a kitchen could potentially look like.”
    Holmes and her staff will be able to visit privately with the four to five clients they meet with daily to develop design and décor concepts. Right now, they pull up chairs around a dining room table in the showroom. Conyers showed a visitor one of the tables where samples of fabric, flooring, tiles and backsplashes covered the tabletop: “Everything you see on it was for a client we just met with,” he said.
                                                                                 Affordable and classic
    Holmes and Conyers said they’ve seen an increase in demand for their services since 9/11. 
    “People started cocooning, entertaining in their homes, taking care of their homes,” Holmes said. “We do a lot of face-lifts, making a home a true sanctuary where families can create beautiful memories.”
    DSI offers a range of design services, from color consultations for walls to helping a client design and build a new home. The company averages about 30 to 40 projects a month, Conyers said. Before and after pictures on the DSI website (dsiandover.com) show that projects don’t need to be elaborate and expensive undertakings – swapping out bedding, for example, for an updated look or rearranging existing furniture and adding a few new accessories.
    “I had one customer where all I did was hand her a rug and some window coverings,” Holmes said. When she does provide a unique piece, like a hand-carved chest, she likes to point out its features. “Then it gets a heartbeat. It’s no longer just a piece of furniture.”
    Many people contact the design firm after visiting the home of a DSI client or getting word-of-mouth recommendations. For example, after one client hosted a Super Bowl party, “the phones were ringing of the hook,” Holmes said. One client even gave the experience of hiring Holmes a special name: “being Nahidized.” That experience usually results in friendships formed between Holmes and her clients.
    Holmes said she likes to create spaces with a classic look, some unique pieces and maybe a touch of trendy. But most importantly, the spaces need to reflect her clients’ lifestyles.
    “When you design, you take the person’s personality and show it in their homes,” she said.