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4 Tips for Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Client Gifts

'Tis the season for giving — and that means buying gifts for your clients, too. 

As interior designers, we provide a very personalized service and your client gifts should reflect that as well as the size of the project. That means a client who spent a lot more money with me will get a much larger gift than one who spent half or a quarter of that amount. 

Here are my guidelines for client gifts:

Everyone gets a Christmas card

First off, don’t be a Grinch. 

Everyone one of your clients should get a Christmas card. I order mine in advance and you can use anything from Moo to Minted to Vistaprint — whichever you like best. 

Also, try to add your logo somewhere. It shouldn’t be prominent, and the back of the card is a great option. When you sign it, make sure they know who it’s from. The return label should be your business name, too. One thing not to do: Don’t include your business card. That’s just tacky. 


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How to use Instagram stories for your interior design business

marketing social media Nov 12, 2019

Shhhhh … can you keep a secret? Wait, you can’t? Well, OK, I’m still going to share because I’m nice like that. 

A couple weeks ago we talked about that ‘gram life and how to create a gorgeous interior design Instagram grid. Now it’s time to discuss the less-curated side of the social media platform — Instagram stories.

When it comes to Instagram Stories, consistency is once again key — you should always have something up on your stories — but the most important thing is being raw. You can do away with most of the polished professional shots and highly edited video. Instagram stories should feel much more real.

And don’t try to sound like anything other than your badass natural self. People want to work with people they like, and what they see on your stories should be a reflection of YOU — because that’s who they’re going to call and who they’re going to expect to show up for their...

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How to create a gorgeous instagram grid as an interior designer

marketing social media Oct 29, 2019

It’s also the best place to showcase your amazing interior design skills and help you connect with new clients. And Instagram grids are a great way to accomplish that. 

I’ll have to admit straight off the bat that I don’t use a grid — it’s on my long list of things to do. But I’m still here to share all the tricks of the trade I’ve learned about the ‘gram.

Grid or no grid

Look, if you don’t end up creating an Instagram grid, it is not the end of the world (clearly, since I don’t have one and my world — and business — has not ended). And for solo-preneurs, spending a lot of time focusing on the appearance of your feed may just be too overtaxing with all the other things you have going on.

But that doesn’t mean you can get away with putting no effort into this social media platform. Make sure you are posting every single day and use professional or well-curated photos whenever possible. You can use your...

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Stand out with creative interior design business cards

marketing Oct 15, 2019

Stand out with creative interior design business cards

You’re working in the field of interior design, which means you’re a creative person, right? So then explain to me why you’re still handing out dull, boring business cards?

It’s past time for an upgrade if you’re still using standard cards that lack a little something something. You’ve got to stand out, especially for those times when you’re at a networking event where everyone is handing out cards like candy on Halloween.

Thankfully, Pinterest is chock full of ideas, so let’s dive into some great business cards ideas I found hot off the presses.

Modern and elegant

You can have a classy look but still make it edgy. Just take these three business cards: They’re all eye-catching for different reasons.

Color blocking is often used in interior design, so why not spice up your business card with the same style. I love the colors this template uses: Black, gray, white and pink. The...

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Why you should avoid hourly interior design fees (and how to price your services instead)

pricing services Sep 23, 2019

HGTV is the best — and worst — thing to happen to the interior design industry. 

It provides inspiration not only for our clients and potential clients, but for us designers as well, and it showcases some really amazing home transformations. But it magically glosses over the cost and time it takes to complete these projects. 

Every show wraps up in an hour what actually takes weeks, if not months to complete. Sure, it highlights the inevitable hiccups along the way — a rotten ceiling beam that needs replacing, a faulty electrical system and mold, there’s always mold, so. much. mold. 

The end result is always beautiful, the reveal makes the clients cry — and sometimes me too if we’re being honest — but viewers don’t get a sense of what went into coming up with and completing the design, and all it’s associated fees.

That makes it more difficult for us as designers to figure out how to price our services —...

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The Secret To Getting Clients To Happily, Quickly Sign Your Contract

processes Sep 03, 2019

So you’ve met with a prospective client, outlined your project and they’re ready to sign on: Congrats!

But before you simply send off the contract to them via email and pop the champagne, there’s one more step you need to take: Walking through the contract face to face.

Back in the day, I used to put contracts together and then email them off to the client, saying give us a call if you have questions, or just sign it and send it back. 

And then …. nothing. Crickets. 

The silence would drive me crazy as I sat there thinking about the money the project would bring in and the amazing design I wanted to create. 

The silence happened for any number of reasons — the client didn’t get around to it or didn’t think it was that important, or he or she needed to make sure their spouse looked it over … or they fell over in their chair because they didn’t realize the design fee was going to be so high and thought they could...

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6 Things You Need In Your Interior Design Client Contracts

processes Aug 26, 2019

Many interior designers operate without a contract, or just use a simple one-pager.

To put it bluntly: That is just a huge, massive mistake.

With the amount of money we spend, the amount of time we’re in clients’ homes and the amount of things that can go wrong during a design or renovation, you need to cover your … let’s just say, assets.

A contract not only protects you, it also protects the client: A good one clearly spells out the responsibilities on both sides, boiling down the specifics of what the client is getting, how much it will cost and when everything will be finished.

And if you make a whoopsies and forget to deliver something that is in the contract, the client can easily refer back to it and say, hey, you forgot this, allowing you to make it up to them by either providing that detail ASAP or even writing them back a check for the applicable portion of the design fee.

6 things to include in an interior design client contract:

Scope of Work...

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The 5 Questions You Must Ask A Potential Client

processes Jul 26, 2019
Our interior design process begins in studio with a free Meet & Greet. This is an opportunity to visit with the prospective client, understand their wants and needs, and share with them how we operate. There are many questions to ask, but 5 most important ones must happen in this first conversation.

This visit is the opportunity for both parties to be sure the personalities align and also watch for any red flags. Interior design is such a personal service, it is imperative to ensure everybody involved has a mutual respect and trust. We encourage our prospective clients to ask questions, and we also pepper the conversation with our own. Amongst the many, there are 5 questions you must ask a potential client to ensure expectations are set and met.

Question 1: How did you find me?

Or where did you hear about me? I always want to know if it is a referral, so I can thank the person who pointed them in my direction. If not a direct referral, I want to know what marketing efforts are...

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What Is the Interior Design Procurement Process? Behind the Scenes Series

processes Apr 08, 2019
As we continue through the Behind The Scene series, let’s address the What the Procurement Phase of an interior design project actually is. It is a complicated step, but as with any professional, it appears seamless to anybody outside looking in.

I wrote a blog about what the actual Interior Design Fee includes HERE, and walked through the  design process, but left off when we got to the Procurement Process as it relates to interior design.


The actual procurement (purchasing) of the items happens after the custom design is created, presented and approved by the client. This is a very time intensive step in the process – often filled with many obstacles.

Here is a summary of what the interior design procurement process entails:
Detailed price requests to the supplier.
    • Each detail of the item must be specified and priced. For example a simple throw pillow will include:
      • The pillow insert (from one vendor) – what size and what fill (down,...
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What Does An Interior Design Fee Include? Behind the Scenes Series

pricing processes Mar 26, 2019
Have you ever wanted to hire an interior designer or decorator to come over and “just take care of everything”? But did you ever think about what the “everything” really is? And what that interior design fee really includes? In our Behind the Scenes Series (so far HERE and HERE, you can rest assured I will spill all the beans and share the details with you. Read on, my friend:

A home should tell a love story….

So many people think that an interior designer’s job is to just “make things pretty”. And while the end result IS very pretty, there is so much that goes into the overall project. The interior design fee includes not just the time it takes, but the intellectual property and design genius a good design firm brings to the table.

But our job goes way beyond that. A good interior designer learns all about their client’s wants, needs, and how they live. The designer has the vision for the space, tailors it to the...

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