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Design 101

Posted by Michele Reed on Sep 5, 2013 11:12:00 AM

WandaBlogging. . . what a strange word. I prefer to think of it as talking with people I can’t see, seems friendlier. Hi, I’m Wanda, one of the Designers at Reed Design Build. I’m not a Designer’s Designer. I never learned to speak designer-ese, must have missed that course in college. Words like fabulous or stunning just won’t roll off my tongue with any sincerity. I entered the world of Interior Design at ground level, which requires wearing comfortable shoes and not 4” stilettos. As design assistant to a world-class Interior Designer at the top of his field, I learned the mechanics required to create the glamorous exterior perception of this industry. Interior Design is one of those occupations which appeal to a lot of people. “Oh, that sounds like fun” is a common response when people find out what I do for a living. And, you’re right, it IS fun. And demanding, overwhelming, challenging, and rewarding. Which is what has kept me in the business for more than 25 years, I never get bored. The space planning, design solutions, drafting, finish selections, and putting it all together with balance and harmony, this is the fun part most people see and understand. But to be a successful Designer requires personality traits and skills which are not so highly visible, more the workings behind the curtain (or “drapery” for my fellow Designers). By successful, I don’t mean making the most money, or having the most published projects in the magazines (nothing wrong with either of those things, they just can’t be the main focus). To be a successful Designer, all you really need is happy clients! Sounds easy, right?

A good listener. Hear what people say and what they don’t say.

A diplomat and counselor. Design is working with people in their most intimate space, their home. Often, it involves working with couples who may, or may not be compatible partners. When a disagreement over a paint selection escalates into name calling, be prepared to referee and diffuse the situation.

Problem-solver and solution expert. Think outside the box, that’s your job. Anyone can see the obvious, it’s up to you to offer the creative solution to any problem or obstacle.

Multi-task is an understatement. If you can’t do three things at once, while planning the next three, you’re going to fall behind.

Broad range of knowledge. In a single day you may be required to converse intelligently on construction methods, framing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, every conceivable material known to man, how to install it, how to care for it, lighting, which toilet has the best rating for flushability, space planning solutions, the best tile layout for your intended design, and on and on. We may not actually do the construction and installation work, but we’re always double-checking to be sure it was done right.

Bottom line, you have to get things done. So, that’s my take on the job I’ve been completely happy doing for most of my working life. Making people happy, and leaving a space better than I found it, one project at a time. Welcome to my world!



Topics: Blog, Advice for Homeowners