Design Divas Enter Unique Partnership

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Two African American designers partner to create a unique interior design company that serves both Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Two African American women designers in the lucrative Baltimore-Washington corridor, Susan Featherstone-Schemm and Sherry Burton Ways, wanted to offer interior design services and home décor which reflected the style and well-being of the client rather than that of the designer.

In December 2005 they launched DESIGN SCHEME INTERIORS, LLC (DSI), a full- service design firm, focusing on uniquely transforming living and working spaces at affordable prices. The unique aspect of the firm is that it serves both the Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan area. Clientele focus is both commercial and residential.

Each project is a creative endeavor for DSI to work directly with the client to explore innovative and unique options for walls, floors, windows and furnishings. In addition, DSI offers a unique component, holistic interior design services, as part of their design program.

Both Susan and Sherry are experienced decorators and designers. While many African American partnerships of design firms are either mother- daughter or husband-wife, Susan and Sherry are unique in that they are not related to each other. Another significant difference is their ages. Susan is in her twenties and Sherry is in her thirties. Despite their age difference, this duo has created a unique bond based on good design and satisfaction of their clients.

Interior Designer, Susan Schemm, formerly of Gina Levy’s Rainbow Designs of Owings Mills, Maryland, has advanced knowledge of in all aspects of interior design; residential, commercial, hospitality, educational and healthcare. She worked on such projects as the University of Baltimore, Baltimore City Community College, and various same day surgery centers throughout Maryland. Susan seeks to help clients create beautiful yet functional spaces. She artfully combines clients existing furnishings with new items to create a comfortable aesthetically pleasing living atmosphere. She is also a graduate of the Bradley Academy where she studied interior design.

Sherry Ways owned and operated a Washington, DC based decorating firm, Kreative Ways and Solutions, LLC, for three years before joining with Susan to create DSI. When asked about her signature design style, Sherry will call herself a self-proclaimed “holistic” designer. She uniquely draws from the ancient Chinese method of placement, Feng Shui and color therapy to create inspiring interiors to the satisfaction of her clients. Sherry has training in Color Therapy and has received advanced training in Feng Shui in addition to interior design. Her most noted project is Avalaura’s Healing Center in College Park, Maryland where she used both Feng Shui and color therapy to create a unique and relaxing healing and counseling center.

The latest role accepted by Schemm and Ways finds the duo collaborating with a local magazine (Port of Harlem), and a gallery (Overdue Recognition, Bowie, Maryland) to conduct workshops on the value and use of interior design, incorporating fine art, and Feng Shui. In addition, plans are in the works to develop an on-line, web-based home décor store for clients to purchase unique, one-of-the- kind home accessories to compliment their designs.

The motto for DSI is “Design for Life”. These two will definitely continue to incorporate holistic and artful lifestyles into every design using unconventional methods not used by other designers.

For more information, call (202) 257-6165 (Washington, DC studio) or (410) 744-2977 (Baltimore, MD studio), or visit


DESIGN SCHEME INTERIORS, LLC Established 2005. Company Website:

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