Membership Matters: Decorative Furnishings Association

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Associations with counterparts and customers are good for business, especially now. The mission of the DFA is to lead the system of supply and distribution of decorative furnishings to the interior design trade while increasing consumer awareness and access to the trade for their home decoration.

DFA has assembled the critical influence necessary to serve each member’s interest while at the same time enabling the industry to come together to seek larger returns than any of us could achieve solely on our own. Influence compounds.

DFA has already delivered real benefits to the members and will continue to:

  • exert the more than 60 members influence toward making an economic difference in widening the funnel between supply and consumer demand. Find the membership roster in the "Category/Members" on the right margin of this page.
  • collaborate with design centers on new approaches to generating more clients for designers, traffic and sales for the showrooms. Find an example in the "Category/Marketing" on the right margin of this page.
  • engage the media to create greater consumer awareness of the benefits from working with an interior designer and the entire design ecosystem. Find the media campaign in the "Category/Media" on the right margin of this page.
  • leverage cooperation with ASID for DFA’s mission and efforts to promote the value of design. ASID participated in the last DFA meeting.
  • exchange information through regular membership meetings sponsored by all the leading magazines on subjects of critical importance to the industry including research on affluent consumer attitudes about using interior designers, the evolving nature of the design community, and other business-to-business matters.

DFA is more than just meetings and talk; it’s action. By becoming a member of the one business association that is specifically and actively seeking the same results you are – you will be part of a movement to create more consumers of design, and simply more business.

For further information about the equitable dues structure (most companies pay less than $2,000.00), please contact Steve Nobel on or on the "Membership" Category on the margin of this page.  We trust we can count on your support for our mission, and welcome your active participation in our new business association.


Consumer: Welcome to the Design Community

Welcome to the Design Community. 

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as seen in New York City Cottages & Gardens

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as seen in Luxe Interiors + Design

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DFA and ASID: Joint Statement for ADAC and Design Community

On October 1st ADAC will open its doors to the public, guided by it's firm policy to drive business to the design professional. Among those who share that vision for a more robust market for decorative furnishings and interior design, Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) and American Society of Interior Design (ASID) are cooperating in ways that should help the entire market realize that vision.

As leading associations representing design and industry, ASID, DFA  along with ADAC, are working to generate more consumers of design by welcoming them to design centers and showrooms, introducing them to designers and the value of design, supporting designers in their efforts to build healthier practices and by enhancing the entire client experience with design. 

The changes before us are occurring because we all know that a larger segment of affluent households should be introduced to the value of working with an interior designer. That’s why throughout the country for the last three years in design centers like ADAC, showroom owners, manufacturers, magazines and the design community have undertaken careful and respectful conversations to plan for a win:win change (several of these conversations were facilitated by DFA and its members in ADAC).

One goal ASID, DFA and ADAC all agree on is the need to increase consumer desire for good design. Too few of those who have the means to benefit from good design are familiar enough with the process value of interior design.  ADAC supports ASID’s local and national efforts to enhance consumer awareness of the value of design, by implementing a targeted campaign to affluent households, inviting them to visit the most logical destinations for design - DFA members' showrooms and design centers - to learn, find and know more about design and designers. In fact, ADAC as a member of DFA has reinforced our commitment to the design community by partnering with the magazines that promote the value of working with a designer. The campaign ad is running this summer and fall in House Beautiful and Elle Decor. And there’s more to come. 

Once welcomed to ADAC, the beautifully designed and furnished showrooms can inspire visitors with furnishings they can not find elsewhere and then introduce them to the real pros who can demonstrate the benefits of the design experience. Showrooms know that homeowners are best served by designers and are working with ADAC and the local ASID chapter to provide referral services. Showrooms will find polite ways to give guests the upmost attention while a the same time referring them to designers - the most accomplished at providing a rewarding design experience.

Members of the DFA and ASID firmly believe that these improvements to the traditional ‘exclusiveʼ model has the potential to enhance the designer/client relationship. It’s an exclusive experience we are after, not exclusive access. We expect designers will attract more potential clients for the real value of design, and in due course improve the economy for interior design and the industry. As business improves, showrooms will be able to expand, add staff and new products while the service bar rises even higher.

ADAC is working with the ASID Georgia Chapter to provide showrooms information about its referral services and point customers to the ASID Georgia Chapter Office.  Designers are encouraged to make their interest known so they can be referred. There is plenty to gain if the design community acts in a spirit of mutual benefit. If showrooms do not want to make referrals, the ADAC and ASID Georgia Chapter Office will have additional resources available through a consumer brochure.  

Because ADAC, DFA and ASID are committed to promoting the designer, this is a pro-designer plan.  At first, ADAC will host consumer marketing events beginning in October, and workshops throughout the year focusing on the importance of using a design professional.  

For further information, contact Steve Nobel, DFA or

Katie Belveal, General Manager, Atlanta Decorative Arts Center


Why DFA Exists: Inspiring Consumers of Design

This story is all too familiar, but has a rewarding twist. A young couple of substantial means (uber-wealth actually) wanted their own signature on a big beautiful house in a distant place. The first steps were easy; buy picturesque property, hire an architect, start building and voila - new house rises.  What was not easy was finding answers to the specific questions insisted on by the builder and subcontractors in order to finish the house and furnish the interiors. A few long-distance weekend visits to the shops were already burdensome and never going to be enough. Question: does big money buy interior design? Sure, some do but not enough. On the side lines sits this dream client that every designer and resource waits breathlessly to get. But so far, they held back, unsure. How and where would they find one? And how would the outcome be better if they did? Where would they go for guidance?

Relieving this decades-old dilemma is precisely why DFA exists, and what the last meeting of its members was all about. DFA believes that more and more of these seekers of better living at home should be welcomed to the design community in all of the places where we inspire touching and feeling the best of the best. The initial invitation now comes to them through the pages of our media partners - the magazines they rely on for guidance to splendid design and how to find it on our website It shows how easy it is to go to one of our local showrooms to find out more, meet a designer and discover the rewards from the experience.

Jim Druckman is the owner of NYDC and a Director of DFA. He believes as we all do that a larger segment of affluent households should be introduced to the value of design. At the June meeting of DFA Jim said “This may be the first time ever that the industry is so close to unifying around that goal: to create more consumers of design.” 

Toward that end, Jim also was instrumental in facilitating a new level of cooperation among members of Design Centers International and DFA. He acknowledged that “we are all finding that we have much more to gain by integrating big efforts to stimulate this market rather than taking small steps on our own.” Design Centers and DFA members’ showrooms are aiming at attracting new business more effectively throughout this year and next.

And so are DFA members and the design profession, who, represented in vast numbers nationally through ASID, have established a set of mutual undertakings to promote each other’s goals - creating more consumers of design. Randy Fizer, the newly-installed CEO of ASID reported on the state of the profession and the interdependency between the design community and the industry resources represented by DFA. Closer collaboration with ASIDNY Metro Chapter is likely to be repeated in other chapters throughout the country.

DFA, DCI, ASID, shelter media and others are simply not content with the status quo. Collaboratively, we aim for greater consumer awareness of the value of design and the benefits that new clients like that resourceful couple could gain by working with a designer. It’s an ambitious plan unfolding throughout the country aimed at creating more consumers of design, more clients for designers and more business for DFA members. Furthering the strategy depends on members, and members can depend on the one organization representing their combined influence for the first time ever. Benefits include the ad campaign, listings on the website, recognition in the showroom, promotion through ASID and participation in clear trade practices ... your business, our industry.


DFA: Welcome to the Design Community



Decorative Furnishings Association, Membership Meeting 12/12/11


DATE: December 12, 2011


6:00 pm Membership Meeting


Panel Discussion on Implementation: Susan North, F. Schumacher; Dan Cahoon, Jerry Pair; Cary Kravet, Kravet and Andrea Rubelli, Donghia.

1. Members' Plan to Implement Course of Action in Showrooms; to welcome all visitors, promote interior design and conduct our businesses clearly with integrity.

2. Preview the Consumer Marketing Campaign with our Media Partners; unveiling the new promotion and membership identity package.

Special Report: ASID: The evolving nature of the interior design community presented by Thom Banks, Deputy Executive Director.

For further information, contact Steve Nobel, Executive Director


DFA Showrooms Welcome Visitors

The purpose of this hypothetical script is to provide language for showroom staff or signage that introduces all visitors to the brand and its products, while at the same time clearly explains its policies toward sampling, pricing and purchasing. Each member is encouraged to develop its own language and/or signage that clearly explains its policy and reflects the intent of the DFA Course of Action, whereby the showroom may voluntarily display the DFA emblem pledging this intent.

Welcome to (name brand) showroom. My name is (name).

We are a special resource for satisfying your experience with interior design.

Let me explain how we can help you find great design.

Starting with our varied options for decorative furnishings (as you see here), the right choice for you can be inspiring, or a little challenging.

We recommend that you seek the advice of a design professional that can help you accomplish the most satisfying result for you.

We can refer you to several sources to meet these professionals (e.g. Designer on Call), or to the (e.g., buying service) where purchases may be made.

The prices you see are guides for comparison. The actual price will depend on the terms that you agree to in advance with your design professional (or buying service).

If you see something you like, we will provide (you and/or) your design professional photos, samples and other tools, so the final selection is what’s best for you.

We are here to help you find great design and make the experience satisfying. Visit us again, or our website (        ), or where you can find out more what it’s like to work with an interior design professional.


Members Support Course of Action 2011

The members of the Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) believe that a larger segment of affluent households should be introduced to the value of design. If reforms were to occur in the ways in which they discover the benefits of design, we expect that the entire design ecosystem would be rewarded by the experience.

Therefore, DFA members are taking the following course of action to:

 1.             Inspire more consumer desire for good design. Too few of them with the means to benefit from good design are familiar with the process to do so. Informing them about the value of design is our priority, and we invite the entire design ecosystem to join us in this promotional effort.

1.1.   Introduce consumers to the value of design through a new advertorial beginning this Fall. The campaign will be targeted to affluent households, inviting them to visit the most logical destinations for design - our showrooms and design centers - to learn, find and know more about design.

1.2.   Publish the advertorial by our media partners in at least nine magazines twice this year, prompting more visits to our website with directions to participating design centers and showrooms.

1.3.   Present educational programs in the showrooms and/or design centers aimed at the entire design ecosystem, including the design profession and consumer audiences.

1.3.1.     DFA has a presentation that has proven to be effective in preparing the design profession to manage the transitions underway in the market.

1.3.2.     DFAʼs media partners and participating design centers have programs to introduce consumers to the value of design, as well as to designers.

1.4.   Urge design centers to redirect their marketing investments in print advertising, events and online media to leverage our investment in this campaign and educational programming.

2.            Guide access to our showrooms, and welcome all who are inspired by our campaign. By September 2011 or before, we will welcome all visitors with a warm greeting and introduction to the value of the design experience.

2.1.   Prepare our showroom staffs to inspire all visitors with the features and benefits of our products, as well as to explain clearly our policies toward sampling, pricing and purchasing.

2.2.   Renew our commitment to the trade as the preferred provider of value throughout the design experience. Professional interior designers are integral to the success of the entire design ecosystem, so DFA members will continue to cooperate with ASID in promulgating standard credentialing and helping to build sustainable businesses.

2.3.   Introduce visitors to interior design professionals or other services that add value to the buyerʼs experience, such as Designers on Call, Buying Services, Referral Services, Designer Registry, etc. We believe everyone deserves access to good design whether itʼs an item, a room or an entire residence.

2.4.   Plan for optimizing a visitorsʼ experience with the local design ecosystem and communicate those plans throughout the system.

2.5.   Participate in local marketing initiatives that are conceived from these local plans.

2.6.   Post a decorative emblem or logo indicating that our showrooms welcome all visitors, support the campaign and adhere to this course of action.

3.            Present pricing with a clear explanation of what it means to trade and non-trade visitors.

3.1. This action toward greater clarity adds integrity to the various pricing formats that are used throughout the market, and is more reflective of the fair market value of the products.

3.2.  We acknowledge the decades-old debate to standardize on a single format (e.g., MSRP, Wholesale to-the-trade, both simultaneously or even some tiered combination thereof). We want to reinforce the diverse models being used as long as they are clear to the visitor and explained when they visit.

4.            Communicate support for this course of action throughout our showroom networks, so that the actions described here are implemented at the local level by October, 2011.

Through these actions, we continue to respect the various business models employed by other brands, distributors, showrooms and especially by the design community. It is not our position to impose. We do believe, however, that these improvements to the traditional ʻtradeʼ model will enhance the designer/client relationship, not interfere with it. Indeed, we expect designers will attract more potential clients for the real value of design, and in due course improve the economy of the design ecosystem.

We are committed to this course of action and invite others to join us,

(Signatures by DFA Members)


Interior Design News, Events, Jobs, EditorTV, Editorial Submissions & Content | The Editor at Large > DFA makes progress on important industry issues

Interior Design News, Events, Jobs, EditorTV, Editorial Submissions & Content | The Editor at Large > DFA makes progress on important industry issues.


DFA Members

DFA's members make the mission possible. The list below is current as of December 2011

Ainsworth, Noah
Atlanta Decorative Arts Center
Browning & Chandler
Brunschwig & Fils
Century Furniture
Chella Textiles
Dallas Design Center
Dean Warren
Decoration & Design Building
Decorative Center of Houston
Denver Design District
Design Center of the Americas
Egg and Dart
F. Schumacher
Farrow and Ball
French Heritage
George Smith Furniture & Fabrics
Grange NY
Grizzel & Mann
Hinson & Co.
Holland & Company
Holly Hunt - Great Plains
Jerry Pair
Jim Thompson Thai Silks
Laguna Design Center
Las Vegas Design Center
Lee Jofa
Marketplace Design Center
Martin Group
Marvic Textiles
New York Design Center
Pacific Design Center
Pierre Frey
Pindler & Pindler
Ralph Lauren Home
Robert Allen Design
San Francisco Design Center
Seattle Design Center
Stark/Old World Weavers
Stout Brothers
Webster & Co.

DFA Membership Meeting, June 7, 2011, New York


DATE:             June 7, 2011

LOCATION:    1stDibs Headquarters, 156 Fifth Avenue (at 21st Street), Suite 200, New York City

6:00 pm           Reception

6:30 to 8:00    Membership Meeting

This meeting is being generously hosted by Beth Fuchs Brenner, Publisher, Traditional Home Magazine


  1. Preliminary Concept for New Consumer Marketing Campaign
  1. Presentation and Discussion of Draft Policy Resolution regarding consumer marketing, access to showrooms, pricing methods and various options for transacting sales.

Guests are welcome. Even though DFA members are the only companies invited to this meeting, we want you to bring a guest from a company that should be a member of DFA - a showroom or another company that sells to the trade. Just let us know. Membership makes it happen at DFA, and we find that members are the best ambassadors for recruiting prospective members.

RSVP to Jayne Mielo