Motivational Monday: Holiday Cheer …

Edna Ferber Quote

I was talking with a few friends and they all agree that for some reason Christmas this year just does not “feel” typical.  It’s like putting on your favorite cashmere sweater only to find out that it’s too small, itchy & uncomfortable.  Something seems to be off and I am determined to figure out what it is.  This week, I have given myself a mandate – find your joy.  Find your bliss.  Find your inner Santa.

Whether it’s with families and friends or at the bottom of a mug of spiked egg nog, the mission is simple – get out of my head and get into the season.  I need the “holiday magic” – it’s better than any anti-depressant.  I am in desperate need of some “Christmas Prozac”.  So I am putting on my PJs, cranking up the holiday tunes and immersing myself in babies, baking and boozing. I figure one of the three should make this Scrooge McGrinch smile…..

[photo credit:  aubrie pick]

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Motivational Monday: Holidays…

Shaw Holiday Quote

It’s the beginning of December and I can feel the “bah hum bugs” starting to erupt.  One of the things about being the occasional stylist is that I find myself more often than not thinking about holidays several weeks if not months before they actually start.  Christmas planning started in September and decorating commenced in October in tandem with Halloween and Thanksgiving.  The poor kids that visited my house on Halloween were confused as they saw a house with split personalities – garland on the staircase, pumpkins on the stoop and a horn-of-plenty on the kitchen island.  It all read like a case of Hoarders: Holiday Edition and I am positive I may be the source of one child’s “decor PTSD”.

It all came to a head during Thanksgiving when I found myself in a post- turkey haze thinking about Valentine’s  Day decorations.  WHAT?!?  I am in a perpetual state of “holidaze” and it needs to stop for my creativity and sanity!  So I am front loading the blog up with some amazing posts on food, decorating, holiday gifts and some very special libation made exclusively for me by two fantastic mixologists (check by tomorrow).  In addition, I have a special holiday fashion feature I will be sharing to ensure that the man in your life stays on your nice list this year!

I am pushing hard to ensure that when Christmas does roll around, I will be all set and ready to kick-back and relax.  And that is what I wish for each of you this season, the opportunity to sit back and relax!  Cheers…..

[photo credit: courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.


Motivational Monday: Getting Clients To Share…

Robert Sterns Quote

Whether you are an architect or a designer, I think the above quote speaks volumes to what I do….

I pitched a project to a client last week and got the feedback that the design “didn’t quite feel like him,’ which didn’t strike me as shocking.  The pitch was based on what I thought was the ideal design for the space, but it was missing something critical; his input.  Schedules barred the client and I from having the critical “Come To Jesus” design conversation I tend to have for all my projects.  It is during this conversation that I take the initial talk we had about likes/dislikes couple it with a bit of psychographic data (I was a sociology major) and then assess how the client wants to really live in their space.

The issue is that often during the initial introductory conversation, clients have a tendency to tell me about their “fantasy spaces” — children with sticky fingers don’t exist,  pets don’t claw furniture and the daily chaos of life is kept at bay.  They exaggerate their budgets and under-estimate the time it takes to complete.  This conversation gives me a peek into how a client wants to live, not how they need to live.  It’s that second conversation where I really get the facts and come to understand their needs, their wants and eventually their dreams for their home.  This second conversation can be awkward, uncomfortable but more times than not reveals the truth on how I need to design their space to merge beauty with function with reality.

But to have the best design possible, clients have to (1) make the time to be present for this journey and (2) be open to this process because as I said, it can and often does reveal things clients don’t realize or want to admit.  As I said we didn’t have “the conversation” and the client  instantly picked up that he didn’t see those personalized  elements that spoke to him and how he wants to live in the space.  When he realized that he didn’t give me the opportunity to really dive deep with him, he instantly understood that what was lacking was ….well him.  We talked for an hour and I think we are back on track to getting him the space he wants and deserves.  At the end of our talk, the client said “I didn’t realize how much I wanted out of my space and how much I was taking it for granted that you would figure it out…”

And that is just it folks, I can figure it out with the right input.  As the quote states, design is an intimate process.  Think about it — when else do you allow a stranger into your home for weeks, months or even years at a time to essentially help you orchestrate how you will live?  I get up in your business.  I get to know dirty secrets.  I explore all the shades of what it means to be you in your most comfortable and exposed.  It’s an honor.  It’s a challenge.  It’s what I do for a living.

I don’t create fantasies.  But I do make dreams come true.

[photo credit:  courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.