Interior Design may look Easy – it’s Not

I found it! The article I wanted to show you when I wrote my “How to Decorate with Throw Pillows, 3 Rules to Follow” post. I got a copy of it when I did Kimberley Seldon’s 2 day course on ‘What they don’t teach you in design school’ a couple years ago.

Interior Design by Kimberley Seldon

Kimberley Seldon is also the Decorating Editor for Style at Home Magazine and this article appeared there as well. You can read the entire article here, on her website, this is just the second half of it that I had wanted to insert at the end of my ‘pillow’ post last week but couldn’t find it.

Interior design may look easy – it’s not. 

Ever waited in vain for the air conditioner repairman to arrive or had difficulty reaching a live customer service rep when your automated blinds got stuck in the down position? Then you understand the kinds of stress a design professional deals with daily. We often walk a tight-rope between our clients’ needs and the limitations of ordinary people (AKA trades and suppliers). The steps leading to a humble pillow illustrate my point:

STEP 1
Select fabric(s) – chenille, velvet, cotton, patterned, plain, red, blue?
STEP 2
Select trim(s) – self-pipe, rope, braid, bullion, tassel, rosette?

Trims I emailed to a client when working on her toss cushions

STEP 3
Determine size – 18” square, 24” x 18” rectangle, 16” bolster?
STEP 4
Choose filling – 100% down, polyester, poly cotton blend, density?
STEP 5
Choose edge detail – knife, box, Turkish, tasseled, beribboned?

This was a runner for her table, which one?

STEP 6
Create purchase orders for fabrics, trims, forms and pillow maker
STEP 7
Order CFA’s (cutting for approval) to ensure ordered fabric looks like the sample. 90% of the time, it’s accurate, however in approximately 10% of cases it’s the wrong fabric or the wrong colour. Why? Because the fabric company had the wrong number written on the sample, or the firm discontinued the fabric, or someone simply entered the wrong number into a computer.
STEP 8
Receive fabrics, trims and forms; determine all are accurate.

How about this one?

STEP 9
Send all items and detailed instructions to pillow maker
STEP 10
Review finished pillows to ensure they are made to specifications.
STEP 11
Ship pillows to client’s home.
STEP 12
Receive pillows on location and present to client for approval.

This was the living room where I was hired to choose new cushions, area rug, and drapery.

Multiply these organizational tasks exponentially for more complex items such as…let’s face it; everything is more complicated than a pillow!

Keep your perspective – and your sense of humour

Early in my career clients asked me to squat on the floor, peer through a magnifying glass and explain why the grout lines in the marble floor were not “perfect”. I explained that stone is a natural product with subtle differences apparent on each tile and the process of hand laying stones would result in subtle variances along the grout line. When I suggested that most of our clients enjoy a marble floor from a standing position, the clients burst into laughter and I knew we were back on track. Written by Kimberley Seldon

Kimberley Seldon

I had to include her last tip from the story because it was so funny, she is a fabulous, engaging speaker and a great designer!

Related posts:
Beige-on-Beige-on-Beige [which one is right?]
What Everyone should know about Beige
Pssst. . . it’s a Secret, for Colour Lovers Only

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  1. Of course a decorator is going to blow their own horn! It’s being portrayed as being more difficult than it actually is.