An experienced interior designer doesn’t approach a home the same way most people would. We have a different way of viewing a home, the way you use the space, and what you want your home to inspire in your life.
This is no different from how other experts excel at their crafts. A seasoned entrepreneur might approach a new business venture differently than someone just starting out. Your financial adviser might suggest investing in retirement differently than you would guess. And yet…
…if you need their services, you trust these professionals, right? You know that they are backed by deep knowledge and decades of experience. They think differently than we would, and let’s be honest, when we can get their expertise on our side, it saves us a tonne of time, money, and fuss!
The same is true for the way an interior designer helps their clients with their homes. Today, I want to take you through 4 ways designers think differently and how you can adopt this approach for your own journey (or work with a designer, of course) to create a beautiful forever home.
This is a topic we’ve discussed at length with the Journey Home Decorating Club, and I think some of these might surprise you! Come take a look…
1. An interior designer looks at the big picture of the home
Most people look at their homes through the lens of what they want and need in the moment. For example:
“I don’t like my sofa”. You go buy one.
“The space would look better if it was lighter in here”. You shop for the perfect shade of ivory and hire a painter.
“This wall is empty and it just needs something”. You purchase some accessories and decor and try to spruce up the space.
I would bet that in 95% of these scenarios, you, the lovely heroine of this story, do not feel long-term satisfaction, pride, or joy in the resulting space. Sure, someone might already love their home and just need some curtains to top it all off. Fantastic. However…
…this is not the case for most. Those curtains aren’t going to change what’s already there. There are no magic pillows that will automatically help you love that puffy recliner your husband insisted on buying. (I know because I’m the one who usually gets called in to help years of frustration later.)
Designers know how everything in your home works together. Saying that you “just need one thing” may be true, but it’s likely a symptom of a bigger problem. If it is, your designer will get to the bottom of it.
To think like an interior designer, you have to look at the whole space holistically, from the floor to the walls to everything inside. And you can physically feel the difference – a well-designed space feels cohesive, complete, and intentional.
2. An interior designer plans for your future
Speaking of “big picture” thinking, an interior designer’s purview isn’t limited to the space itself; we also think about your lifestyle. And not just how you want to use your home tomorrow, but what your life might look like in 5, 10, 20 years down the track.
What does this have to do with the interior design of your home? Everything.
Remember this article I wrote on designing your forever home before retirement? That’s just one of many considerations. You’ll also want to consider…
How long will you be staying in the home? Who will be using it? Do you have adult children who visit? Young children? How about grandchildren? If not now, maybe in the future? What needs might you have in 10 years that you don’t have now?
Etc. I firmly believe that interior design is not an investment in “pretty things” — or at least not entirely. It’s an investment in your life. Your home quite literally takes care of you! And, it inspires you to take good care of yourself.
To think like an interior designer, you have to ask yourself these questions, especially the hard ones. That’s the only way to create a forever home that supports you, well… forever.
3. An interior designer follows an established process
Believe me, you will not see any designers worth their salt “just winging it”. A forever home that is designed holistically and for your brightest future takes time, care, and strategy. I’ve found that most people, even if they are thinking about the home holistically, have no idea where to start or what process to follow.
Although you may encounter different processes from designer to designer, any professional you hire should have a solid system in place.
At Journey Home, we follow a 4-step process. We don’t go out of order, but you are welcome to jump in at whichever stage is best for your current project. If you’re unsure which is right for you, I suggest booking a chat with me. I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
4. An interior designer helps you invest wisely
I have a hard time knowing where to start with this one. Money is a tough topic, but it’s important because it always rears its ugly head during a project. Designing or decorating your home is not cheap. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but if you want your home to look good and last, at least some level of investment is required.
Of course, Nadine, I know that.
I thought so. But here’s where an interior designer thinks differently from most people — we know the best places to invest and we know the payoff you’ll see in long-term satisfaction, ease, and beauty. I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve “talked into” a large expense — luxury drapery, a sofa — only to have them tell me, “THANK YOU!” and “You were right” down the track.
I don’t say this because I think you must spend a tonne on everything to love your home. Not at all. But there are places where the extra investment results in endless positive returns, and I have become an expert at identifying where those places are!
Great interior designers know which elements make the design sing. In fact, my team and I will often look through hundreds of options for an item before selecting the one that we feel is right for you (and getting your approval, of course). But our superpower is this:
We can identify certain expenses for what they really are — a long-term investment in your happiness and quality of life.
These four mindsets are what make interior designers so good at what they do — and help our clients live beautifully at last. Adopt these mindsets for yourself and you’ll be well on your way to living better than ever and creating the forever home you’ve been dreaming about.
Speaking of, if you’re in the planning stages, grab my Design & Decorating Project Planner here. It’s a great resource for mapping out your goals and ordering your biggest priorities (#1 on this list!).
Until next time,