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  • Writer's pictureDann Foley

Going with the Flow...

Updated: May 28

One of the biggest secrets of great design isn’t planning, planning and more planning.  I tell all of my clients they need to “Go with the flow.”  It is not that any decision should be made with disregard but, it is just sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.  Everything happens for a reason, even in design. 


If there is one thing I know for certain, it’s that there will always be obstacles; delays, cancellations and damages to everything we order for every room, in every house.  A creative process is fluid.  I warn clients against being set in what they think they want.  A narrow vision does not leave room for inspiration or discovery.  My most successful projects are where I, as the designer, am entrusted with the space to explore and experiment within my client’s parameters.  That does not mean that the client is not presented with a clear vision.  But it takes into consideration the great big world of products and styles.  I have been quoted many times offering this advice, “A design plan is not carved in stone.  The creative process is one where we feel our way through the myriad of opportunities presented to us, from beginning to end.”


Take it easy on yourself.  The idea that you have to have that exact chair, or sofa or ashtray is the attitude that zaps all joy out of creating your perfect environment.  Each item is meant to bring you, the homeowner some form of joy.  Each piece in each room is a moment.  The total of those pieces creates a mosaic or puzzle. Each piece is a part of the total and the finished picture is a story of who you are.  Shouldn’t something as important, even monumental as that be given the opportunity to evolve and form organically?


Well, this may all sound a bit new-age to you but, truth be told, this is the way that successful designs and successful designer/client relationships come about.  It is my job to ensure that you have the completed home of your wishes.  What I bring to the table is the added piece of giving you exactly what you wanted but, in a way you never dreamed possible.  It is my job to hear what you have to say and then remove the blinders of a narrow vision to show you just how big your world and your style can be!


So, how can I help you to see your vision of the perfect home become reality?  Let me offer some sage advice from more than 30 years of experience as an interior designer…


·      Don’t ever get to the point where you feel like you are banging your head against a wall in aggravation for what you are NOT getting.  Be open, see what is in front of you. Allow yourself to think outside the box.


·      Remember that everything happens for a reason.  In my experience this is one of the certainties in design and life. Your second option is most often greater than your first choice.


·      Your home does not have to be finished overnight.  In this age of Covid, where supply chains and delivery of items are sketchy at best, we are all learning to be patient.  I can assure you it will be worth the wait.


·      A finished room is never really finished. It is important that your space(s) change and evolve with you.  Your life is not stagnant; don’t allow your style to become so either.


·      Change is good. It is the hardest thing to accept, but inside you know it to be true. Even with age comes wisdom.  With time, a design takes on a personality and patina that tells those lucky enough to inhabit your life just who you are.  Change can also be applied to the idea that creativity is fluid.  Give yourself permission to change your mind about what you want and what you love.


Each month I offer you advice, tips, tricks and inspiration to view your home in a different light.  My hope is that I have helped you to clarify who you are and what you want in the context of how you live.  Living well is not a mystery.  I am aware than many out there want you to think that there are hard and fast rules and that one thing or one style is better than another.  There are those who think that when they are invited into your home that it means they have the right to judge your choices and offer their own advice. 


Design and lifestyle are totally personal choices.  They are meant to be seen from your perspective and yours alone.  Don’t allow anyone to dictate to you.  Make choices based on your life.  They do not have to be what others choose. They only have to be right for you. 


Design should be inspirational, invigorating and satisfying.  Your home is your oasis, your stage, your pride and joy.  It should also be the place you are most comfortable.  Be purposeful in your choices. Let me leave you with a wonderful quote by Jane Austen: “There is nothing like staying HOME for real comfort.”  You go Jane!  Now you get going too. Find YOUR home within.


As always, Live Well!


Designer Dann

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