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Savor the Moment at the End

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I just received a text out of the blue from a client that I had done a lot of work for in my last job. They were inviting me to see their brand new home as it is finished and they want everyone involved to see how well it has turned out. I felt very special. What a lovely thing to do. Unfortunately they have to sell it, so I just went online and had a sneak peak at the for sale photos on the real estate agent's website before I go and visit tomorrow. It looks amazing, I am so thrilled for them.
It is a wonderful feeling to see a project that you have been involved in finished. I don't know about you, but I am always so busy that often finish one thing and I am straight onto the next without stopping to savor the moment and look at the results of all the hard work. (I am suddenly realizing why they have a lot of emphasis on the end of a marathon, you cross the line and everyone cheers and your photo gets taken for making it to the end.) So tomorrow I am going to take some time …

You are Paid for your Attention to Detail in Design

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You are Paid for your Attention to Detail in Design

We recently went to a wonderful hotel for a very special family occasion and I was really impressed with the interior design of the hotel. It was smart, well themed for the era of the building and it was inviting, warm, welcoming and created a lovely setting for this occasion. I was incredibly impressed with the design as well as the service we were given. It wasn't until later on in the night when I visited the bathroom that I was let down. I went to open the door and I grazed the joints of my fingers on the timber moldings on the door. It was a lever styled door handle which means you pull it down to open the door, it was also a fire door so it was very heavy with very firm door closer on it. I had to push quite hard to get into the corridor for the bathrooms and that is when my hand hit the molding and took the skin off. Of course I took further inspection being the nosy designer that I am and to my surprise, it appears as I s…

You are worth something

You are worth something!


I just found this blog post that I had started writing a few years ago and never finished.  I though it may be of interest to you.

I am so tired of working myself ragged and then to be told by the customer that they won't pay me. I find it humiliating, firstly that i have to ask them for payment, then that they say they won't, after they have the information you have provided them, used it and then bare face look at you in the eye and bring up a complaint or something that was never mentioned earlier that they aren't happy with. It makes my blood boil. It takes me a lot to get angry, but when I do I get really mad! I am now mad and should probably not be writing this in this state but hopefully by doing so it will mean that some of you can lessen the risk of it happening along the way.

I wrote that about two weeks ago, I am no longer mad just disappointed in myself for not having a better process. The scenario I was talking about was not an interio…

Bathroom Choices

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Bathroom Choices

What do you need in a modern day bathroom?

Bath - Vanity - Shower - Toilet - Bidet - Heated Towel Rail - Demister Mirror - Heated Floor Tiles - Heater - Extract Fan - Stereo - TV?

As our lives get busier the time we spend looking after ourselves is diminishing. Way back in time - taking a bath wasn't a luxury like it is now - it was the only way to get clean. Now in the time it takes to fill and prepare a bath we could have already run through the shower, got dressed and be onto sorting out our hair! Does it have to be this way?

From a design perspective we put so much effort into creating a bathroom that looks fantastic and has all the modern conveniences that will save water, power, keep our towels warm, make sure we don't get cold feet, keep the bathroom dry and healthy, yet we don't instruct our clients how to use it.

I start with the bath - too often now I hear people saying to me; "No we don't want a bath - we don't have kids at home anym…

The Importance of Working to a Budget

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The Importance of Working to a Budget

I can't stress this enough. Budget rules! You can have the best ideas in the world but if your client can't afford it then those great ideas will go nowhere.

One of the keys to being a successful interior designer is being able to work to a budget.

Here are some tips to help you with this.


Lists - yes a boring list. Get your client to write down everything they want in priority order. This way you can focus on incorporating into the design what is most important and spend the money wisely. They need to be realistic and know that they won't get the entire wish list but will get the most important things.Shop around. Know your products and how much they costs to install. Some items may be cheaper to purchase but cost more to install. So you don't achieve a saving, sometimes it can end up costing you more for a lesser quality finish.Be realistic at the beginning when you set a budget. Don't stretch people too far at the front end a…

Always Have an Opinion on Design

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Always Have an Opinion on Design

This may seem like an obvious statement, but I have recently been put in my place about sitting on the fence.

Here is the background.

I had been working for a company that managed insurance rebuilds and repairs after the Christchurch earthquake. This was a very labor intensive role, a very emotional role and a role where I had to turn off my "design" way of thinking and focus on managing the process and the client. This was initially difficult as I love having input into how a new home will look. My job was to progress the rebuild or repair from taking the scope of work, through design, consent, and into construction. This sounds reasonably straight forward. It was but along the way there were constant battles between the client wanting to change things and the insurer letting them know they could but would have to pay for it. We all know when it comes to money there is always conflict! Therefore to keep the process as smooth as possible, the…

Always Keep Searching for Something New

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Always Keep Searching fro Something New

As usual  I am on my "high horse" about products. There is so much choice when you are an interior designer that it can become easy to just specify what you know and become lazy. This is my advice for you today, don't - keep searching for something better. There are so many new and exciting products becoming available that it is difficult to keep up with but if you don't you will miss out on exciting opportunities to create something special.

I am currently working with a client and they want a large feature wall coming from the outside in - they want it to be concrete and look really special. The obvious way to achieve this is create a concrete tilt slab panel, but this is a very expensive option as the wall is very long. I just happen to stumble upon an alternative solution when I was looking at tiles - it is a very large tile that looks like concrete has been poured over timber and the finished result is a wonderful timber t…