The Design Process: Our Experience
Marin Design Co. was always a dream, and for a long time I thought that was all it would ever be. Designing and decorating have always been a passion of mine. It was a way for me to express myself and my creativity. I wasn't ever sure if it would be something I would ever get do professionally, but with a lot of hard work, Marin Design Co. came to life. Since starting this business, I have learned a lot, changed a lot, and stressed out (a lot)!
With every project I have learned new things. I wanted to write this blog post to relate to other designers who know that there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on as well as a significant learning curve. One thing I have loved about the interior design community is the support they provide for one another and sharing tips on how to be successful. It was such a warm welcome when I first got into this business.
Expect the Unexpected
Going into this business (or any business for that matter), everyone will tell you to expect the unexpected, as it is completely new territory. I am someone who likes to have a plan when it comes to my life, and this business has taught me to be more flexible and understand that life happens and you can't always have control, but you can control how you respond when your plans don't go your way. Deadlines get pushed back, things get backordered etc.
When most people think about interior designers, they picture what they have seen on TV. Picking the perfect hard wood floors and kitchen fixtures on the first go round. I have learned the hard way, that is not usually how it goes. Most of the time the perfect tile you picked will not be in stock or absurdly too expensive, so always be prepared to have back ups or the flexibility to go back to the drawing board.
Designing in the beginning
When I first had the vision for Marin Design Co. I blissfully underestimated how much work goes into projects before designing. I have grown to love the work that comes with the design territory. You create such special relationships with clients, I love getting to know them and then help them direct their vision to truly represent themselves and their families.
My tips for aspiring interior designers is to start off with fewer projects and build your portfolio designing your own home as well as friends' and families'. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions and trust your design instincts. You're doing this for a reason and are your biggest competitor, so don't get in your own way!
The most important thing to have in a client-designer relationship is trust, second to that, open communication. When there is trust, the project usually stays on the timeline best and matches the intended vision in the beginning. Open communication is important because it leaves less room for ambiguity. Both the client and designer will see the same vision and how to get there, communication is always something that can be worked on and advanced. I like to remind myself there is always room for improvement.
End of project
A tale as old as time: the "end of project feeling". I think both clients and designers can attest to the overwhelming feeling of excitement and anticipation for the final reveal. It is truly a gratifying feeling watching your hard work come together just like you imagined it. And I love being able to make someone's home have new life and finally fit them. It makes it all worth it!
I know Marin Design Co. is just starting out, but we are all so excited to see where we will be in a year from now. My advice: life is too short to live in fear of failure, go for it!