The Mark of Interior Design Expertise
What Does Being an Interior Design Expert Mean To Me?
I like to think that I’m an expert – someone who knows a tremendous amount about interior design and decoration. At the same time, I don’t always know the answer to every problem or question. Sometimes I have to go back to my office and give your question some thought; sometimes I need to research the best answer for your needs.
Not knowing the answer immediately? Doesn’t that mean I lack expertise? Well, it may seem like a paradox, but I strongly believe that being an expert means knowing when a question requires more thought and research.
Truly confident people in any industry realize that it is not possible to know everything. In fact, Hubspot Founder and CEO Dharmesh Shah describes confident people as not being afraid to be wrong, listening carefully to others and – this is key – being comfortable freely asking for help.
If one of the greatest digital marketing and business minds thinks it’s okay for an expert to ask for help, I certainly won’t disagree. With that in mind, though, I will say that an expert in any field knows what resources to use to find the best solution.
How to Find the Answer
You can’t know everything, but I can usually find the answer. Here’s what I rely on:
1) Industry knowledge.
I have a process for how to successfully manage almost every type of interior design project. There are roughly 9,000 decisions that have to be made about design when you’re building a house. You’re doing it for the first time, but I’ve been there and done that many, many times. I know what needs to happen and when. I can guide you through (almost!) every single decision you have to make, and I can help you avoid time-consuming and expensive mistakes. My past knowledge helps me find current solutions that work for you.
2) Network of contacts.
I know which vendors or tradespeople are the best for meeting your unique design goals. Got an issue I’ve never seen before? I know who probably has seen it and who can come up with a solution. And I have been doing this for a long time, so I have a pretty extensive list of people to call on for assistance.You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? While I can’t completely agree – I think having a strong base of knowledge as a design professional is vital — I do believe that knowing the right people to help when you come across a problem differentiates the best designers from the so-so folks in the field.
3) Industry relationships.
Along the same lines, it’s important to know peers and other designers who are willing to bounce around ideas and answer questions. Spending time cultivating relationships with other design experts can pay off – and it’s something that takes a lot of time to do right. It’s hard to ask for help if you’re the new kid on the block, but if you’ve brainstormed and chatted and worked with another person in the past, they’ll usually return the favor. That’s another reason why I attend the top trade shows like the High Point Furniture Market every year – so I can strengthen existing relationships and continue to make new ones.
If you’d like to work with me based on my knowledge and expertise, I’d love to discuss your project. I know we can find an amazing solution for your interior design needs, whether you’re building a brand-new house or remodeling a room. And I promise, if I don’t know the answer immediately, I’ll have great resources for finding the perfect solution for you!