Like many designers, Julie Dastvan loved rearranging her dollhouse for her Barbies when she was a child. Unlike most designers, however, she didn’t realize that, as she puts it, “I was making a career choice at the time!”
Even as an adult, Dastvan didn’t recognize where her real interests lay. She worked as an administrative assistant, then went to school to learn real estate. It was at this point that it finally began to dawn on her: Getting into the houses to see how they looked was far more compelling than selling them. She changed course, enrolling in some design classes at Montgomery College to test herself, and was thrilled with the results. “It was intoxicating and validating,” she recalls. “I loved every minute of it. In fact, I would love to be a professor of interior design someday so I could teach that first design course and see the lights go on for other students.”
Dastvan interned with DC designer Camille Saum while she was still in school, then landed a job as an assistant designer for Sharon Kleinman of Transitions, where she worked for three years. Combining her administrative and artistic abilities, she launched Dastvan Designs in 2007; clients found her through word of mouth and even the faltering economy hasn’t slowed her down.
Dastvan prefers to work with a range of clients and budgets. “I like to mix little jobs with big ones,” she says. “I love a big project but I get such immediate satisfaction from the small, tweaking jobs.” She adds: “Everyone should be able to walk in their door and be happy they’re home—no matter what their budget.”
INTERIOR DESIGN: Julie Dastvan, Allied ASID, Dastvan Designs, LLC, Darnestown, Maryland
**Out of the array of interior design magazines, Home and Design magazine stands out as a primary idea source for luxury home designs. Wonderful visuals of inspired décor and lush landscapes are combined with expert advice to provide a fundamental reference point for bringing amazing home interior design ideas to life.