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Category Archives: Interior Designer

Re-Design is a growing trend in interior decorating

Following on from my last blog I thought it a good idea to look at the growing interior decorating trend for Re- Design. This could be an excellent way of obtaining interior design projects in these hard economic times.

Many interior decorators are offering Re-Design services. With catch phrases like “Would you like to create a unique new look using your existing furnishings?” Re-designers are promoting re- design as a cost effective new alternative in interior decorating. They recommend using existing items suggesting the process can be completed in a short time the only cost the decorator’s/designer’s ‘Creative Labour’

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Re- design is not about replacement but re-placement of a client’s items to create a better functioning environment. Thinking about redecorating can be a costly headache for many people. With re-design they can use what they all ready have and maybe just buy a few items.

I have created the interior design mood board above featuring a Zebra floor rug from Zuomod, Zebra ottoman from Wunders and Zebra futon and lamp shade covers from a company called Surefit. Instead of replacing a sofa, futon or lamps shade using covers could be a cost effective alternative.


Some tips from a Master of Interior Design

As I drifted off to sleep a few nights ago I was thinking about design not unusual for me but in particular about New York Style.  Would you believe it the next morning I read in House Beautiful (September 2011) the start of a new column called Master Class. In the first Master Class column the colorist and designer Alessandra Branca was interviewed.

Alessandra Branca Interior via Consider Yourself at Home blogspot

Alessandra makes a number of recommendations. She suggests investing in a few classic pieces that will stand the passage of time. An example of this is the Louis chair she has in her apartment (see image below). Branca states a sofa with clean lines and in a neutral fabric can be (like clothing) dressed up or down. She dislikes sofas with huge arms as they take up too much space.

Alessandra Branca’s use of Louis chair via Home Beautiful

When designing she thinks it is most important to have a plan, think everything through; it takes time to decorate successfully. Alessandra states it is important to see the overall picture and consider each detail.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Tips from a Master of Design on Design

  • Have a plan
  • Take time
  • Think everything through
  • Consider each detail
  • See the overall picture
  • Invest in classic pieces
  • Select sofas in neutral fabrics with clean lines and small arms
  • Oh and remember the corners of rooms

Branca describes her New York apartment as a mix of English country comfort, old world Italian elegance, and French sensuality with a relaxed American sensibility and a punch of red. The corners of her apartment are decorated with a botanical grid painted by her artist mother. Alessandra believes corners are under considered in room design.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

I have created some mood boards inspired by Alessandra’s electric mix of styles and use of red. It is great to have the opportunity to have a glimpse into the mind of a master designer like Alessandra.

Design Life Audit

Do you need to do an audit of your design life?

Interior design has become a trendy profession. Students often comment about how much more is involved in interior design than they originally thought. Although it can appear glamorous, it takes hard work and long hours to succeed.

‘Intelligent people are always open to new ideas’ 
Proverbs 18:15

I was amazed when I looked through the list of interior designers in the yellow pages in the major cities of Australia to see how many designers are listed. When I first started out in the 1980’s the lists were much shorter.

To succeed in interior design these days’ designers need to be many things. Besides having creative and organizational skills there are a number of things a designer needs to be and things they can do to stay ahead of the game. More than ever interior designers need to be aware and adaptable.

Designers need
• Creativity
• Organizational abilities
• Technological expertise
• To be a team player
• To have time management skills
• People skills
• Selling skills
• To be adaptable
• To be flexible
And the list goes on……

Work out your niche
It is important to work out your niche in the market place. To do this you need to know your strengths and weakness. Target your business to your strengths. This may appear obvious but sometimes we struggle along trying to fulfill the many roles involved in interior design practice. It pays to do an audit of our design life every few years. Ask the hard questions. Am I enjoying my work? Am I making as much money as I desire? When do I feel a sense of achievement? Am I stressed? How could I improve my work life?

Work out your strengths and weakness by asking questions
1. What do you love about your work?
2. What do you hate about your work?
3. Am I enjoying my work?
4. Am I making as much money as I need/want?
5. What activities give me a sense of achievement?
6. Am I stressed?
7. How can I improve my work life?

Some experts in the field recommend designers specialise. To base your design business to a particular niche that enhances your strengths. It can be based on something you excel at or the most popular need in your area.

Success comes by:
1. Continuing to learn as much as you can
2. Being professional
3. Adapting yourself to different seasons in the market
4. Looking at opportunities to increase your options

For example:
• Solar panel installation
• Help others become green
• Clean technology consultants are in high demand
• Emission Trader

You may be very successful and completely happy with your design life. So you can ignore all of the above. But it is helpful and encouraging to see the number of diverse skills and the abilities we need and often have.

I left the field of design for a number of years. When I came back I did a refresher course and had a close look at my strengths and weakness. Although I am a good organizer and manage my time well my weakness was in the business side of the design business. I hated dealing with money, doing quotes and accounts.

My main strengths were my people skills and creativity. I had also found I loved to encourage others, to teach and write. So I have found my niche I now combine my people skills, training skills and artist skills by tutoring, writing, some consulting and doing the occasional painting. I don’t think I have ever been as happy in my work as I am now.

‘Get all the advice and instruction you can 
and be wise the rest of your life’
Proverbs 19:20

One of my favorite books is the book of proverbs. Every time I read it (which I try to do every day) I find new gems of wisdom to help me along life’s way. hope you find or have found your niche, success and happiness.

Designer in raptures over Sample Board Online

Designer in raptures over the Sample Board Online concept, today I presented the eco friendly, cost effective Sample Board Online design tool to the busiest designer in town. Rebecca was absolutely convinced the Sample Board Online concept was a real winner. She was so impressed she wanted to approach the suppliers she uses to invite them on board. 
SBO will save her time, energy and money

This lovely lady said the SBO tool would save her time, energy and in the long run money. She was delighted with the professional looking boards created on the SBO site.  Some suppliers in Australia have been a little bit reluctant to be the first to come on board. This is slowly turning around. Soon we will have an avalanche of suppliers wanting to come on board SBO.
Eco friendly electronic design tool  

Eco friendly, professional boards can be so easily created on The Sample Board Online website. The fact that the board can also act as a specification sheet is an added bonus. SBO will truly become the designers one stop shop. Designers encourage your suppliers to come on board. Rebecca said I want to use this brilliant tool I want the suppliers I use to embrace the excellent SBO electronic tool and come on board.   

And it acts as a specification sheet as well   

 ‘Good design at least part of the time, includes the criteria of being direct in relation to the problem at hand – not obscure, trendy, or stylish. A new language, visual or verbal, must be couched in a language that is already understood.’
Ivan Chermayeff


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