Often we look at the outer shells of our spaces as places to just arrive into and escape the outside world for awhile. We stash our stuff, eat , sleep and do all the mundane utilitarian things we are bound to do. We can of course condense our life down to a TV, refrigerator, bathroom and bed. Simplifying our lives does have merit. But I believe most of us have an innate desire to enrich our environments with design elements that make us feel unique, that tell a story about who we are up to now and who we strive to be.
Design elements work by engaging our senses of color, texture, sounds, smells. They can be subtle inferences or they can loudly announce our stand in this world. The entry in our home makes the first indication of what we are about.
As professional designers and decorators, no one is impervious to the client you have taken on shopping on their own, checking the validity of your prices, coming up with new products etc. etc. Here are some guidelines you may consider when this dilemma arises.
1 – First really zeroing in on the clients you are about to deal with is crucial. Using confidence and discernment, ask the right questions in the first appointment. This goes a long way in seeing whether they are your ideal client.
What is a functional floor plan? You can’t think about the functionality of a floor plan without thinking about how the household functions on a day to day basis.
Each person in the family has a routine, habits of living and an individual energy level. Multiply the number of people in a household by all those factors and life could get messy. Building some safeguards into a floor plan reduces the headaches a family could encounter.
If you took the time to trace the trips throughout the home made in a day with a different colored marker for each person what do you think you would see? Would there be constant congestion in the kitchen? Would there be rooms never used? How about trips up and down stairs just to maintain the laundry? If you used time lapse photography, would you see a gradual build up of flotsam and jetsam accumulating in the family room, the entry, mudroom or around the kitchen table or the bathrooms? These would require more trips to clean and control repetitively but could cease to be a problem if proper storage or places to perform various tasks were planned in advance. Perhaps you would discover with the colored marker chart the difficulty of getting from point A to point B because of large pieces of furniture blocking a traffic pattern or a lack of passage ways or stairs.
It is necessary that we all know the differences between the many styles of design eras, furniture and houses, but do we also think about descriptions of interior styles in a more thematic way? For instance: Glamorous, Well Traveled, Sexy, Industrial, Botanical, Curated, Into the Wild, Lodge Luxe are all decorating schemes we’ve seen in marketing for stores, products and magazines.
Many creative types that pursue a career in designing or art manage to keep the mathematical area of the world at arms length – until it inserts itself into their lives in order to calculate pretty much anything or run a business without making all the mistakes first.
In the last post we described the limitations of what a gross profit, gross profit margin and net sales are. But we also explained our businesses have more “bags” that hold more figures that need to be factored into a financial report.
In business, we are all about not just doing a great job for our clients and building our reputation, but at the end of the day, we want to see profit also.
There are so many ways to justify a personal expenditure of a new suit, new bag or briefcase when you are in the design field. After all appearances mean so much don’t they? Our work is judged by how we look and come across, isn’t it?? Especially when we “know” we made profits on our last couple of jobs we should be able to allow for a splurge, right? Don’t we need to celebrate a new contract with a delicious lunch after an appointment?? Isn’t that what return on investment is? Or was that petty cash or owner’s capital – a tax deduction? Whatever!!
On a daily basis, we don’t give our brains the respect they deserve. Just take a look at your computer history for the day, let alone the week. We have asked our brain to go to a zillion sites, read our never ending e-mail, sort and recall. That alone is commendable! But do we appreciate that in order to not overwhelm this vital organ, it has devised myriad programs over time to short cut what our five senses come dragging home continually?
Driving through various parts of the American pastoral countryside, it is common to see an old barn in various stages of decay still sporting signs of bright red covering. Why red? Did farmers get together at some point and decide against green – or white?
~~How do we learn to see
We arrive at the world of design because we somehow have proven to ourselves we have a better process of visualizing spaces than the average person on the street. We delight in the properties of color, shape, placement, texture etc etc. But, knowing we have an innate ability, training that ability can involve a lifetime of learning to see in a new and encompassing way in which we can hone our talents.