Beth McVay’s design business celebrates 25th year

STEUBENVILLE Beth McVay opened her interior design business on Jan. 1, 1984, and in the 30 years since she has worked on thousands of projects in the Tri-State Area and beyond.

“The people of the Ohio Valley have been incredible. This is home, and the people have been good to allow me to make a living here and introduce them to the world of interior design and show them what interior designers can bring to the table for a client,” she commented. “When I first started in business, there was nothing on TV about interior design. So I was really sort of a pioneer in the area trying to educate people about what exactly an interior designer can do for them. That in itself in the beginning was challenging.”

In 1974 McVay received her bachelor of arts degree with an emphasis on interior design from West Virginia University. She worked as a consultant at stores such as Carlisle’s and Lewis Limited in Steubenville until she felt the ambition to start her own business.

“I started out in a tiny little office in the Ohio Valley Towers downtown,” she recalled.

After she spent more than a decade establishing her business there, McVay moved to a bigger location near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and John Scott Highway.

“When I was located there, it was more of a gallery where I sold retail,” she said. “Then, four years ago, I decided it was time to change my whole business plan.”

That’s when McVay relocated to her present location, 4019 Sunset Blvd.

“It was great decision. Now my business has evolved to the point that this building and other locations I have are just staging areas for projects that I’m doing,” she explained. “I’m doing a lot more renovation projects in which I act as project coordinator and work with subcontractors to put the project together from a construction standpoint kitchens, baths, room additions, that sort of thing.”

In addition to residential locations, McVay has done commercial design projects in hospitals, extended care facilities, restaurants, professional offices, a yacht and even a vintage touring bus.

“That was an interesting project. You never know what the next thing down the line is going to be,” she said.

McVay compared interior design to fashion and provided examples of which trends are “in” right now in the world of design.

“Some of the things that are popu-

lar right now are granite countertops and hard surface flooring. Hardwood floors are extremely popular,” she said. “Twenty years ago you never saw color on the wall, ever. That’s a big thing now. Color enhances everything around it. It’s a background that makes everything pop. Window treatments have changed a lot also. They used to be heavy with a lot of fabric, but now it’s more minimal, lighter. People are generally taking a more minimalistic approach to decorating. A big thing you can do to improve your home that costs nothing is to de-clutter and move things around.”

McVay believes that hiring an interior designer has many benefits for those with busy lifestyles.

“Everyone today is busy. There just aren’t the hours in the day for people to do what they do. An interior designer is one-stop shopping. You meet with the designer. You formulate the plan. Then you turn it over, and the designer implements it,” she said. “It eliminates costly mistakes. I have such top-notch people working for me. We are so customer-oriented, and we are very detailed. Instead of a person having to run all over the place, it’s just so convenient to come here and then turn it over to me and get it done. It works like that with small projects and enormous projects.”

McVay said she’s in the early planning stages to open a second-hand consignment shop to sell appliances, decor and furniture items that her clients have replaced or updated.

For information, visit, or call (740)264-9870 to schedule a consultation.

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