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Learning that comes too late

Photo by Icons 8 Team

Unlike other DIY adventures you might undertake, say learning to make the perfect vanilla ice cream, you don't get a "do-over" when you renovate. Having a second go at remodeling the bathroom isn't as easy and inexpensive as re-making a dessert. 

Still, it's rewarding to be your own designer, job foreman, and even laborer. You learn a lot. Here's the problem: the learning comes too late. You won't see your mistakes until you have finished the bathroom, or the living room, or the kitchen. You won't get to try and fail, or try and succeed, enough to recognize the pitfalls and opportunities in advance.

So, what should you do? Adopt a process. A process is experience summarized and organized. It's all of the gotchas, tricks, and tips pulled together and put into a cohesive plan. 

To become a professional interior designer, I started with education and then layered on lots of experience. Eventually, I organized that knowledge and experience into a five-step process:

  1. Define success,
  2. Plan the space,
  3. Create a budget,
  4. Buy materials & fixtures,
  5. Coordinate the build.
Following these steps made my work easier and my design better. The process kept me on track. I still use it for every project.

 

Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer and Founder of Venue and Wide Canvas

She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.

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1 comment

  • So true! And then you’re stuck looking at your mistakes all day, every day. So important to think through all the elements, but it’s tough when you don’t know what they are.

    Cindy Olnick

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