May 16, 2022

Home Design Consultant

Enjoy Home Design Consultant

Q&A: u-fab interiors design consultant shares tips, trends to elevate your space | Brand Ave. Studios

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Fabric is an essential part of any home. From upholstery to window treatments to wallpaper, colors and textures work together to create the look and feel of a room. But with so many options out there, the choices can seem overwhelming. We chatted with Diana Vicenti, a professional design consultant at u-fab interiors, about how to make the most out of the space you have, the next big design trends, how to use color with confidence and how you can (and should) break the basic rules of design.

Diana Vicenti - u-fab interiors

Diana Vicenti, professional design consultant at u-fab interiors.

How did you arrive at your passion for great interior design?

I was born into it. My mother wasn’t an interior designer, but she should have been! My parents were kind of crazy in that they would fix up a house and then move and start all over again. I’m also from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is Amish Country. So I grew up around these beautiful handmade quilts and textiles, and it inspired me to pursue the fine arts as a career.

How does a design consultant help a client with a project?

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We’re going to give you a fresh perspective. Sometimes a client has become too accustomed to what’s there already to see the potential of what can be. My goal is to always make your house reflect who lives there and consider how you use the space. It also saves time and money because a consultant can often create the look you want by repurposing what you already have.

Give us a glimpse into the next big decorating trends.

After being stuck at home during COVID-19 and things feeling dismal, people want color back in a big way — greens, subdued purples and warmer colors like browns instead of grays. People want cozy comfort with materials like velvets and bouclé. Bold wallpaper prints are coming back, especially in powder rooms. Furniture is becoming less boxy and more curved, with sculptural accent chairs — things are becoming more fun again.

How can someone get the most bang for their buck when updating a room?

Reupholstery. A fun, new fabric can make an old piece of furniture look completely fresh for a fraction of the cost of buying a new piece. Fresh paint on the walls in a new color always helps. Kitchen hardware, picture frames, lighting, window fixtures and ceiling fans can all date a room, so those are great, easy updates to make. Even something as simple as new accent pillows or rearranging furniture can be a cost-effective upgrade. 

How do you identify a piece of furniture that will look great reupholstered?

Almost any older piece of furniture is going to have high-quality wood that’s worth saving. If it has good bones and feels sturdy, it has tons of life left in it. If it’s rickety, u-fab can reglue joints or retie springs. So many people want to save pieces passed down from loved ones because you just can’t buy the same quality today — well, you can, but it’s going to cost you twice as much as reupholstering. It’s more sustainable, too. Our goal at u-fab is to get you another 30 years out of a piece so you can enjoy it for a long time and hand it down to the next generation.

We want to incorporate color but don’t know how to pick a palette. Any tips?

If we’re starting from scratch, I tell people to look at their wardrobe because those are the colors you already know make you happy. But if we have a rug or great piece of artwork as a focal point, we’ll use that. For example, the client may only see the main red and navy colors in a statement Persian rug, but we can look deeper and pull out subtle colors in the background like a soft pinky coral or hazy steel blue. From there we can work on creating a palette and start mixing colors and patterns.

What are some services people might be surprised to find out u-fab offers?

People think of u-fab as a reupholstery shop, but we’re really a one-stop shop. We create custom headboards, window treatments or ottomans and can even source outside pieces (photography, framing, gun cabinets, you name it!) from local and national artisans to give our clients’ projects a unique look that thousands of other people won’t have.

Designers like to say there are no rules. Do you agree?

There are certainly guidelines to follow in design, but there are no steadfast rules. Sometimes our customers will say they hired an outside designer and spent a fortune to have a house that looks great and “follows all the rules,” but it’s just not them. Unless your home reflects your personality, what’s the point of it all? 

u-fab interiors has two locations: 7921 W. Broad St., Richmond, Virginia (804-888-8322), and 2171 Ivy Road, Suite 5, Charlottesville, Virginia (434-245-8322). Appointments are recommended for personalized services. For more information, visit

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