Design Chick  

Sage advice for designers

Each week, I share my love of interior design with the world, but this week, my fellow designers and decorators, is for you.

If I can share any sage advice that might help you on your own professional journey, this is definitely it: here are three of my top takeaways.

Charge For Your Consultations

We all know how tempting it can be to take a meeting with a potential client, in the hope of it leading to a much larger project, for free.

We think that once we have an audience, they’ll fall in love with our amazing personalities and stellar design advice, and of course, book us for their job. But let me be perfectly honest here: free advice is rarely taken, and always undervalued.

If you’re not willing to establish yourself as a business professional by valuing your services enough to charge for them right from the beginning, your client won’t view you as such either.

Sure, there are other companies or individuals willing to offer free design advice or in-home consults, but when a potential client pays for your time, they’re invested – and will treat you, your time, and your expertise with respect.

Know When To Walk Away

No project is worth conceding your energy, time, and talent over. It doesn’t matter how amazing or visible the project is. If a client is compromising your professional standards and expectations, or starts jeopardizing the outcome and final quality of the project in any form, walk away.

This is especially hard to do when we all rely on constantly updated portfolios to help sell our services, but the stress, time wasting, and energy drain a less than stellar client causes is never worth sticking it out for in the hopes you’ll have some pretty pictures at the end.

While you’re busy saying yes to a bad situation, you’re saying no to an amazing opportunity waiting in the wings.

Artsy People, Know Your Worth

I find designers and decorators are cut from a similarly familiar cloth: we’re people pleasers, ultra concerned with our clients and their needs.

We agonize over minutiae; needing things to be perfect and harmonious in order to feel a healthy level of self-satisfaction and worth. High achievers, we’ve been praised mostly only for our talents throughout our earlier years, and as a result, we don’t always know our own self-worth as adults, let alone professionals.

If you want a super-solid business practice, with well-paying clients and superb projects, you have to first truly know your own self-worth, what value you have to offer this world – especially your clients, and lastly, charge a fair and established premium for it.


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About the Author

Crispin Butterfield is the creative force and mastermind behind Urban Theory; a graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, her engaging personality and design-commerce savvy make her a valued and well-respected professional and mentor within her field.

She’s able to uniquely see the parameters and vision of each project in ways her clients often cannot, and has honed the process and proficiency required to grow incredible long-standing client relationships. 

Crispin embraces a life full of ingenuity and imagination, fueled by raw ambition and a desire to leave her mark on the world. Her impeccable design style, expertise, and a rock-solid business acumen is the foundation which allows Urban Theory Interior Design to provide full scale services with authenticity, innovation, and ample amounts of personality.

Featured in Style At Home Magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and The National Post – www.urbantheoryinteriordesign.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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