It sounds a bit dramatic I know… but hear me out.
Before I started working as an interior designer, I had ideas about what the job would involve… maybe this was influenced a little too much by what we see on tv and in magazines… but in a nutshull, I thought people came to interior designers to have their homes designed. Perhaps overly simplistic, but that’s kinda what I expected – that people would hire me because they wanted someone else to make the decisions for them.
While I was learning how to master the art of designing for clients, I was also learning the skills to run a small business… I educated myself, watched industry peers and tried to find where I fit in… I came to believe that my business needed a strong brand, a clear aesthetic and completed projects for my portfolio – ideally projects that I was proud to put my name on; pushed the limits of my creativity and served as an example of what I was capable of. Projects that made me feel good and made me look like a “good designer” …obviously so that other people could see how incredibly talented I am and want to hire me 😉
But, my reality of working as an interior designer has dispelled both of these beliefs for me…
In all the projects I’ve worked on in the last 10 years, there has only been a small handful where I’ve felt like the objectives of my clients and the objectives of my design practice have been completely aligned. In most cases, there has been a graceful (or sometimes, not so graceful) dance between the two.
Over this time, I have also spoken to countless homeowners who have had encounters with designers that have been more of a battle than a dance and homeowners who have chosen to embark on projects without a designer and go it alone – sometimes due to cost; sometimes because they couldn’t see what value a designer would bring to the project; and sometimes just to avoid the battle.
This “mis-alignment” nagged at me for a long time… and over the last few years it has changed how I work with clients, how I contribute to projects and how I measure success.
But more recently, it has prompted a complete re-think of how I can do things better… how I can completely align what I do with what people want (and need) – how I can provide even more support to those going through the process of building and renovating so that they can design the home of their dreams. Because this is what I do well… this is what gets me excited and this is where I know I can personally be of most value.
So, after working as an interior designer for all these years… this is now what I believe to be true…
There are a whole lot of homeowners that are going through the process of building and renovating that don’t want someone else to step in and make all the decisions for them…and these are the ones I love working with.
What they do want is :
+ to create a home that is unique to them so that the finished result reflects their personal tastes – not the designer that they worked with
+ a clear, actionable pathway so they know exactly what steps to take and they’re not wasting time recreating the wheel
+ clear information on what their options are, why they would chose them and how to pull it all together so that they can make quick, confident decisions
+ to save time and money so they can focus on everything else going on in their life
+ to avoid expensive or irreversible mistakes that they will regret later on
The harsh reality is that none of these things are aligned with what I thought I should be working towards as a design practice… they have nothing to do with my design abilities; whether you like my “taste” in things or whether your project is a good match for my “brand”.
So, I quit being an interior designer.
I quit trying to design things for other people and hoping they will love it.
I quit trying to build a business and brand that showcases my capabilities as a designer.
Because none of these things are (or have ever been) important to me…
I want to help you make smarter choices so that you’re more empowered and in control of what you want to create….
….and I want to feel like what I do adds enormous value and makes a difference.
These are the only things that my service will be focusing on moving forward.
Of course, you can still work with me on your projects and I can still guide you through the process like I currently do. But let’s just remove the expectation that I’m going to design it for you… instead I’ll be coaching you through the process because I believe most people already know what they want for their homes, they just don’t know it yet! You can head to my services page to read more about how you can work with me.
This blog will be a big part of how I connect with you from now on, because I’ve got way more to say and share than I can fit on an instagram post.
So, stay tuned, I’ve been working on lots of things to help with your projects and I can’t wait to get started.
PS. Let me just say this personal journey is no reflection on the enormous value that designers can deliver. There will always be clients and projects that need and want a designer to work with. If you’re looking for one, get in touch because I know plenty of great ones.
PPS. I’m new to this blogging thing… I don’t think posts are meant to be this long. I’ll work on that.
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