Business Spotlight: The Sisters and Company – Decorating Den Interiors®

Where innovation meets passion. Discover the visionaries behind these transformative brands.

For sisters, Barbara Elliot and Jennifer Ward-Woods, The The Sisters and Company – Decorating Den Interiors® is a boutique interior design firm servicing the city of Atlanta and its surrounding areas. Barbara and Jennifer have been in the world of interior design for the past 27 years, beginning their journey separately as Jennifer was located in North Carolina and Barbara already in Atlanta. Their shared passion for design eventually led them to the creation of their own business. What started as a humble endeavor blossomed into a thriving enterprise fueled by their love for design and dedication to excellence. Learn more about the sisters below:

Q: What does it mean for you to be a staple Black design firm in Atlanta?

A: [Barbara] I think that is something that we always wished for and it sort of finally came together. We became a little intentional towards the end, but we weren’t in the beginning. It’s a  great feeling to be able to help showcase our Black sisters. We have such synergy working together and our shared experiences help to support one another. It’s the reason why we call ourselves Sisters and Company. Of course, Jennifer and I are sisters, but the ‘company’ is because the team is like our partners in that we feel like they are family. So we try to support one another while having a family atmosphere here. Especially here in Atlanta where Black professionals and businesses thrive, if not in Atlanta, then where else would we be? Atlanta is definitely a place where things can happen and we can thrive!

Q: What would you say is your general design style?

A: [Jennifer] We definitely have a distinct design style. I would say we have more of a relaxed, luxury feel to most of our design. We have been known for our use of bold colors as well. 

[Barbara] We sometimes have clients that are afraid of color and just want a neutral palette, so we’ll show them a design, and all of a sudden, they’re like, ‘Oh, I do love color!’ . But we do neutrals as well. Sometimes it may be more fitting for the space, but we try to mix it up with different textures and other elements so it’s not flat. 

[Jennifer] A lot of times, people think they want something, but after we show them something different, they adapt to that. That’s when we’re really able to get them into the realm of using color. It could just be a pop of color in a monochromatic color palette. Sometimes just the thought of using color sometimes scares people so we put them in a comfort zone about how to use it.

Q: How does your design process typically start?

A: [Barbara] Well, it starts first with A LOT of conversation with the client. We work like detectives. We do ask them to go through catalogs or magazines to show us things that are inspirations to them. We also go through our portfolio with them and ask them to comment whether they like it or not along with the colors, how they use this space, what their comfort level is when it comes to upholstered furniture, do they like glass, or wood, etc. It helps us narrow down some of the specifics. When it comes to the actual design itself, we spend a lot of time introspectively trying to come up with a look and playing around with a different color palettes. We try to find inspiration to start with a design, which could be a picture that we’re going to use for artwork, an area rug, or even fabric. Typically, we try to find that one thing that sparks the design for us. Once we have that, then we just start building piece by piece. 

[Jennifer] We also spend a lot of time educating ourselves on the current trends by going to different market places to view the furnishings, accessories and artworks. Learning about different design aesthetics is essential because there are some new and current design aesthetics that are more popular now that different generations like better. So we have to be abreast to what our marketplace loves. By doing that, it keeps us in the realm of creating a design that is not only what our clients want, but it’s something that’s going to last for a very long time. 

Q: What is something that you think people would be surprised to learn about interior design?

A: People think it is expensive. They also think that it’s all fluff and really easy. They don’t realize the work that goes into making those selections. Once the design is approved, the work really starts after that. Everything then has to be ordered, tracked at the warehouse, delivered and then installed. People don’t realize the number of hours that actually goes into a project. All you see are the befores and afters on Tik Tok or Instagram. It doesn’t quite happen like that. There’s a science behind what we do. There are rules to design. Of course, those rules are sometimes broken or bent but the overall principles of design that we always adhere to is making sure that we have the right balance, right proportions and making sure we have the form and lines as much as necessary and even knowing why certain lighting is needed and where to put that lighting. Those are all things that we have been taught and educated ourselves on. This is not a stagnant industry at all. It is one that’s ever evolving where we have to constantly be learning.

Q: What separates your client experience from other firms in Atlanta and beyond?

A: [Barbara] One of the things that we always try to do is to give our clients a luxury experience. Our company as a whole and everything we do, we always do it to the utmost level of professionalism. We’ve always had a certain standard for that. From the time that we meet with a client, until they come in to see the presentation, we try to make sure that the presentation is at a certain level. We do that with renderings, design boards, fabric and materials. We try to do as much as we can to help them to visualize what that end product is going to look like when we finish. We go through the same process once we start ordering, always ensuring we are following up with clients to make sure if there’s any issues with anything that is backordered, or something that we need to reselect, we let them know immediately. Then, the fun part for us is when it’s time for the actual design to be revealed. We usually have our clients not be home when we install everything. So we’re going to put the bed sheets on the bed, pillows in the pillowcases, steam the window treatments, put in fresh flowers, have scented candles and more so when you come in, every sense from your sight to your smell is going to be aroused. You’re going to feel that luxury. 

Even after the job is complete, we continue giving them service. If there are ever any issues we can handle those. We stand in the gap between the manufacturer and the client. We’re also there to make sure that the client knows what they’re supposed to do with the new items they have in their homes. We also keep detailed binders with notes on all of our clients. We can pull it up at any time and we give the information to them, including updated pricing.

[Jennifer] Our clients are like home to us so we internalize it. When we’re working on a space, we want for our clients what we want for ourselves. We’re always conscious of that. What they ultimately care about is how you make them feel. That’s the thing that we want to leave with each and every person that works with us. We want them to remember how we made them feel, whether it was during the design process, but most importantly, on the reveal, because on the reveal is where we’re always thinking if our clients don’t cry, we haven’t done our jobs. 


Stay connected to The Sisters and Company – Decorating Den Interiors®:

Have a news tip for The Bold Maven? Submit your news tip or article here.