Interior decorator Veronica Simmons, left, and Linda Darwish, right, stand in Darwish’s Farmington Hills home after redesigning it.

Interior decorator Veronica Simmons, left, and Linda Darwish, right, stand in Darwish’s Farmington Hills home after redesigning it.

Photo provided by Simmons + Co. Design

Interior designer transforms living spaces with comfy flair, wins award

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published August 15, 2018

 Simmons recently was recognized for her interior design skills.

Simmons recently was recognized for her interior design skills.

Photo provided by Simmons + Co. Design

 Darwish’s family room is a modern, livable space.

Darwish’s family room is a modern, livable space.

Photo provided by Simmons + Co. Design

METRO DETROIT — When Farmington Hills resident Linda Darwish’s large family room was not living up to its full potential, she called Veronica Simmons, of Simmons + Co. Design, to transform her space anew.

The dramatic change revitalized her dark furniture, overwhelming wall mirror, oversized lamp and cluttered area into a chic, sleek, airy space that seemingly grew in size with light, pastel blues, grays and warm tones that draw the eye in.

 “She came in and had a look at the room, and we talked about the dated mirrors on the walls and things like that, and she put together a plan — made it very clear on paper and brought in samples of materials,” Darwish said. “(She) gave me options there of how to fix those kinds of things.”

Simmons said in a follow-up email that she became an interior designer because she has a desire to change people’s living spaces.    

“I have a passion to create beautiful spaces, and I wanted to utilize my gift of being able to visualize and see things come together,” she said.

In a phone conversation, Simmons — whose company recently won second place for Darwish’s family room in the family room category in the Decorating Den Interiors 34th annual Dream Room Contest — said that clients are the most important part of her job.    

“We believe in making spaces that people can use — not just spaces that look really great. Getting to know the client and getting to understand how they live is a really important aspect of what we do.”

Her initial appointment entails talking to the client about their design preferences, how they live, what their hobbies are, their family life, their space use and more.

“It all helps to play into giving them an excellent design,” she said.

According to a press release, Simmons’ company won the family room award based on tallied votes and judging from journalists in the United States and Canada.

Her second-place win was from 33 rooms entered in the contest, which was the most entries of any category, according to the release.

The release states that winners were selected based on their “design excellence, creative problem-solving and overall presentation.” 

Simmons said that the win was humbling because not only was her client happy, but others liked her space too.

Simmons said that there are numerous current trends in design.

“Grays and browns, blacks and whites. We’re doing a lot of textured accents, like stone around the fireplace or around an island. Textured wallpaper … textured vinyl,” she said.

She added that many paint companies’ colors of the year are vibrant, jewel-toned colors.

“From a color perspective, we are seeing a lot more bold … color choices, and the jewel tones that people are doing as accents in spaces … it helps to liven up a space,” she said.

She added that even if one has a home with mostly neutral colors, one could have a jewel-toned bathroom or a jewel-toned cabinet.

“It gives you a little pop of interest,” she said.

More casual living is in, and the formal lifestyle is pretty much obsolete, she said.

“People are more concerned about casual comfort, living in their home,” she said, adding that gone are the days of putting plastic over furniture. “That is what we try to execute and what we are seeing a lot of.”

West Bloomfield resident Linda Myers is a returning client of Simmons. Myers said that Simmons earlier this year transformed a dining room for her, and Myers was in “awe” of the result.

“They did the windows, they did all of the artwork, they did a chandelier,” she said, adding that accessories were also creatively arranged.

She said that the process involved some faith in the designer.

“Some of it was trusting their vision — the overall concept I really like,” Myers said.

Simmons said that in terms of design mistakes that she encounters and corrects for people, one is balance. 

“We walk into a lot of homes where the scale and balance are really off,” she said, meaning that there are disproportionate elements in the room when compared to the size of the space. “We see this a lot with upholstery, area rugs, lighting.”

For example, one might place a tiny lamp on a huge end table, and neither piece is accentuated with the arrangement.

 Darwish said that the mirrors on her wall, above her fireplace, were to give her room space and depth, but they wound up doing the opposite.

“I didn’t want them anymore, but I was afraid that it would make the room look much smaller, but it really doesn’t,” she said. 

Stone above the fireplace is now in place of the mirrors — there is a smaller mirror hanging on the stone, and it brings the room to scale.

Simmons said that pieces have to be scaled appropriately toward each other and the ceiling.

“If you have a large room, you need an 8-by-11 or 9-by-13 area rug. You can’t get away with a 5 by 8 and call it a day,” she said, adding that balance is also key. 

“One of the biggest issues people have is they want to plop everything over here and … we don’t have enough distribution,” she said. “Those are the big things we help our clients with.”

Simmons added that her favorite rooms to fix up include the family room, bathroom, living room and bedroom.

“It is so important when you wake up and go to sleep in a nice, calm, soothing space. It really affects your day,” she said.

Simmons has owned her franchise since 2008 and operates a studio location at 1600 W. Maple Road in Walled Lake.

For more information, go to, or call (248) 596-0300.