Posts belonging to Category Designer Recommends



WHAT DO TRAVEL AGENTS & INTERIOR DESIGNERS HAVE IN COMMON?

“Hiring a professional to do something you could yourself can be a good idea or a bad one. It comes down to the value you receive.”The Seattle Times, July 2011

 

I just got off the phone with my travel agent. 

Yes, I might be one of the few who still resort to this ‘dated’ practice, when it’s so easy to book your own travel plans online.

But here’s the thing.

Spur of the moment, my husband and I decided to plan a trip to Hawaii.

We called our favorite hotel and were told there was limited room availability at the start of the holidays – plus prices would be higher than usual.

Then we attempted to reserve a flight on the airline’s website, only to learn there was only room for one of us on any given flight.

Clearly, this wouldn’t do.

Enter the travel agent.

The beauty of working with a travel agent is that, for a minimal fee ($35 in our case) she was able to book a flight – for both of us – plus a hotel room at a reasonable rate.

She did all this, and saved us about $2000.

I compare hiring a travel agent to hiring an interior designer. I think you’ll be amazed by the similarities!

 

Expensive? Says Who?

Hiring a travel agent, or interior designer – or any professional, for that matter – won’t necessarily cost you more.

Changes are, you will even save money in the end.

This is because interior designers not only know the ins and outs of their business, they also know where to find you the best deals.

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CELEBRATE YOUR INNER DESIGNER

Next week marks the annual observation of our national holiday – the 4th of July.

For many of us, that means barbecues and fireworks – traditions we’ve held onto since childhood.

But sometimes, we tend to forget what the holiday is all about.

July 4th  is also known as Independence Day.

As you know, this harkens back to a time in our nation’s history when we first declared our independence from the mother country.

The signing of the Declaration of Independence made this moment official.

Webster’s Dictionary defines independence as:  1.The state or quality of being independent; freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on; self-subsistence of maintenance; direction of one’s own affairs without interference.

As you can see, there are many ways to declare ones independence.

Most of us have approached this phase of our lives during our late teens and twenties, when we tend to break away from our parents influence and strike out on our own.

Others, such as my grandparents, declared their independence by leaving behind their homeland, and immigrating to the United States, dreaming of the possibilities for themselves and their families.

Independence, after all, is all about Freedom.

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IS DESIGNER IN A BOX FOR YOU?

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, then you know that I’ve been gearing up to launch my brand new Interior Design Program DESIGNER IN A BOX.

And I’m guessing you have some questions.

Perhaps the most pressing one – correct me if I’m wrong – is this:

How do you know if Designer in a Box is right for you?

Well, here’s a hypothetical scenario:

Let’s say you’ve decided to redecorate your living room and create a space that is invitingly cozy and comfortable and reflects everything you are passionate about.

So, you head over to your favorite big-box furniture store that is currently having a big Sale.

An eager and attentive salesperson comes to your aid, and ultimately convinces you to buy a beautiful white, leather sofa.

You are certain this is exactly what you need.

A few days later, the sofa is delivered to your home.

You’re surprised to learn that it is a little large for the space – you thought it was such a perfect fit!

And while you still think the sofa is attractive, you’re not quite so sure anymore that you’ve made the correct choice.

So you call your mother, and some friends.

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WHEN THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED

“The challenges we go through are often the raw materials we need for the solutions to break through.”  Christine Kane

 

I thought I’d take a step back this week and focus on a topic that many of us try to avoid – the fact that things don’t always go as planned.

Whether you’re re-designing your home, traveling or simply spending time with family – this seems to be a fact of life.

And this is what has been on my mind lately, after returning from a rather eventful, five-day trip traversing the country.

During my travels, I’d experienced everything from lost luggage  – not once, but twice! – a boarding pass that wouldn’t print (resulting in a missed flight), unexpected delays and late arrivals.

In some ways, it seemed reminiscent of an earlier trip this year, where I later marveled at how everything seemed to have played out exactly as the universe intended.

However, this was different.

When things don’t go exactly as planned, or expected, and our stress levels go through the roof – at that point we’re dealing with a whole different animal.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be messed up travel plans.

Maybe you’ve hired an architect to build a new home from the ground up, or have embarked on a home remodeling project.

Chances are you’ve run into a few glitches along the way, including unexpected mishaps and delays.

Let’s face it – they are to be expected.

Since delays on any kind of home remodel or design project are usually the norm, it helps to learn how to take things in stride and not fight the inevitable.

Meanwhile – in the interest of helping you maintain your sanity – here are some things you can do for yourself, regardless of the crisis at hand.

 

Acceptance is Key

The first step is Acceptance.

Whatever might have befallen your carefully laid out plans, I encourage you to repeat this mantra – “it is what it is”.

Do this as many times as is necessary.

Unless you’re dealing with something as serious as a death in the family, the situation likely isn’t the end of the world.

At least, that’s what I told myself when I was standing at the Austin airport, realizing my suitcase had remained in another part of the country.

While not exactly delighted about the situation, I also realized that things could be worse.

After all, we had arrived safely.

I had my family with me.

And surely, such material things as a toothbrush or a change of clothes, I knew that I could easily manage without for just one day.

That’s the real message here.

Regardless of the crisis you’re currently dealing with, ask yourself:

  • How bad is it, really?
  • If your project is delayed by a week or two, is that completely unmanageable?
  • What is the worst that could happen?

Knowing that you can’t change what is – that’s the first step toward Acceptance.

 

Be Kind to Yourself

When you feel you’re at your breaking point – rather than give in to your anger and frustration, and feelings of hopelessness – that’s when you need to step away.

It’s now time for some pampering.

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HOW TO BE A SAVVY DESIGNER

In the past few months, the hotel where I routinely stay in Asheville, NC, has undergone a complete overhaul – taking the newly remodeled lobby entrance from drab to “wow”!

At least, that was my first impression, upon entering the revolving front doors.

I thought the new décor was fun and vibrant, and instantly uplifting.

Later, I asked my fellow attendees what they thought, and the response was surprising.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said one person.

“It’s stupid,” said another. “It isn’t safe.”

I saw immediately what was going on.

“Ah,” I said. “That’s the thing – it’s the difference between aesthetics and function.”

As an interior designer, I had initially observed the lobby from purely an aesthetic viewpoint.

But for those who’d actually been lounging in the chairs and sofas, their discomfort level was intense.

“The ottoman is too small & squishy for a big person,” was the explanation. “You could roll right off it.”

“Not to mention the chairs in the dining room,” someone else chimed in. “They’re much too small!

She predicted they wouldn’t last more than a year.

I was then reminded of the previous evening.

While seated in one of the deep, cushy sofas in the bar area, I had been acutely uncomfortable – unable to lean back against the pillows without my feet dangling off the floor.

My back was tired.

In other words, even though the aesthetic – or visual – experience might be a huge WOW, if the design isn’t also working from a functional – or practical – standpoint, then it has failed.

As an interior designer, these are the things I know.

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INTRODUCING: DESIGNER IN A BOX!

Are you ready to create the home of your dreams?  

Well, what if I told you there is now a fabulous on-line tool that can help you do just that?

I’m thrilled to announce my brand new Interior Design program – DESIGNER IN A BOX – the Ultimate DIY Course for designing your own home!

A little over a year ago, I came up with the idea to introduce an Interior Design program in the form of an on-line tutorial.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I thought, “To have an on-line tool that helps you design the home of your dreams?”

The creative wheels have been turning ever since.

It’s moments like these that remind me why I created this program in the first place. 

It’s because I truly believe everyone deserves to have a beautiful home!

Not only that, I believe access to professional interior design advice should be readily available and affordable to anyone.

In order to do this, I realized I would be sharing a lot of information that includes not just the A,B,C’s of interior design but also insider tips, worksheets and plenty of personal advice.

I specifically tailored this Home Study Course towards anyone who is a little more “hands on”, preferring to handle much of the design work yourself while having access to professional advice along the way.

My intention with this program is just that – to help you create a beautiful home that supports and nourishes you in every aspect of your life.

So, how do you know if Designer in a Box is right for you?

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A TEMPLE FOR YOUR BODY

“They are architects of furniture who designed comfortable, livable pieces that define space in a dynamic way….They built temples for your body.”

David Jameson, Architect                                         

 

The above quote was in reference to Hans Wegner and Poul Kjaerholm, two remarkable furniture designers of the early twentieth century.

Think about it.

Imagine having a “temple for your body”.

I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds heavenly.

As I write this, I’m on a quest. I’m looking for comfortable furniture, specifically a perfect chair – one that will envelope my body and fit me like a glove.

I dream of a chair that will allow me to sit comfortably for hours on end, without having to constantly re-position my posterior for greater comfort.

Or squirm in my seat to keep from sliding off, because my feet don’t quite touch the floor.

Being ‘height challenged’ – seating of any kind is usually too deep. (Plus most countertops and upper cabinets are too high, but I digress).

In a typical day, we put our bodies through a lot of stress, from physical exercise, hours sitting at a computer, poor posture in general, and – oh,yes – carrying around excess weight.

Any one of these places extra stress on our muscles and joints.

It’s no wonder, then, that at the end of the day our tired, sore bodies are craving a comfortable place to rest.

A temple, so to speak.

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DEFINING THIS PLACE YOU CALL HOME

For Christmas this year, I gave my husband this little footstool – complete with a ski scene.

My husband happens to be the skier in our family, and an avid one at that, and so – I couldn’t resist.

Does it fit our décor?

Well, not exactly – although, I did intend this footstool for our Family Room, the most relaxed and informal part of the house.

Plus, the furnishings in this room are fairly neutral.

Which, to me, means that pretty much anything can work in this space.

I also have in mind that this particular ski-themed footstool, is a seasonal item that will likely go into storage over the summer months.

I share this with you today to help illustrate a point, which is the importance of blending the personal hobbies and interests of various family members into the overall décor.

You needn’t limit yourself to just the children’s rooms, the home office or your kitchen.

These small, personal touches belong anywhere and everywhere that your family likes to hang out.

Because this, more than anything, is what adds to the warmth and comfort of this place you call home.

ARE YOU A DO-IT-YOURSELF TYPE – OR NOT?

“Hiring a professional to do something you could do yourself can be a good idea or a bad one. It comes down to the value you receive.”The Seattle Times, July 2011


I just got off the phone with my travel agent.  

Yes, I might be one of the few who still resort to this ‘dated’ practice, when it’s so easy to book your own travel plans online.

But here’s the thing.

Spur of the moment, my husband and I decided to plan a trip to Hawaii. We called out favorite hotel and were told there was limited room availability at the start of the holidays – plus prices would be higher than usual.

Then we attempted to reserve a flight on the airline’s website, only to learn there was only room for one of us on any given flight.

Clearly, this wouldn’t do.

Enter the travel agent.

The beauty of working with a travel agent is that, for a minimal fee ($35 in our case) she was able to book a flight – for both of us – plus a hotel room at a reasonable rate.

She did all this, and saved us about $2000.

I compare hiring a travel agent to hiring an interior designer. I think you’ll be amazed by the similarities!

 

Expensive? Says Who?

Hiring a travel agent, or interior designer – or any professional, for that matter – won’t necessarily cost you more.

Changes are, you will even save money in the end.

This is because interior designers not only know the ins and outs of their business, they also know where to find you the best deals. Plus, a knowledgeable professional can always steer you clear from potentially pricey mistakes.

Same thing goes for the travel agent.

Enough said.

 

You Can Save Time, As Well As Money

For every do-it-yourselfer, there will always be someone who finds designing a home by themselves, or planning a trip, to be an arduous chore.

Again, this is where professional help can be invaluable.

What you’re paying for, is someone to do the research and handle all the details – things that you either aren’t good at yourself, or don’t enjoy doing.

Cause let’s face it, who has the time these days to spend on extra things they don’t even enjoy?

In the world of interior design there is an endless array of design options, and decisions to be made, whether you’re looking for paint colors or selecting new furniture.

A professional interior designer will instantly assess your needs, determine your design style and make the appropriate selections, all while narrowing down the list of options to a reasonable few.

An interior design can restore order and sanity to your life.

Ditto the travel agent.

 

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WHERE’S THE MAGIC?

Do you remember the TV commercial from the 70’s – the one with the little old lady at a fast food joint, demanding to know “Where’s the Beef?”

Sometimes I ask “Where’s the Magic?” 

I do this instinctively with interior design, whether flipping through a magazine or seeing a vignette that feels less than exciting.

It’s the same idea, really.

Both scenarios imply that something is missing.

Good design tells a story. It engages and envelops you. The excitement, the magic that I speak of is subtle, but it’s there.

It’s what puts a skip in your step, or makes your heart skip a beat.

It’s a sense of being taken care of, of feeling cocooned in your own home because it is furnished to reflect the lives – and loves – of you and your family.

Are you wondering how to achieve that kind of magic in your home?

Whether your style is minimalist, clean and orderly, or a more laid-back, ‘lived-in’ look – you can rest assured.

Help is on the way!

I’ve just released my new FREE offer – 7 Ways To Create Harmony In Your Home.

A series of seven amazing tips delivered to your in-box over seven days, giving you time to absorb and implement each one.

It’s available IMMEDIATELY, upon signing up.

Simply completing the Opt-In box to your right – and you’re on your way!