May 3, 2011

The Learning Curve

Experience is one of those extremely valuable intangibles in life.  People are like sponges soaking up everything they’re going through,  learning from it & becoming better.  This of course applies to interior designers & the knowledge required for each project is incredible.  I learn something with every new project I take on, with every client I meet and with almost every book or article or blogpost I read and every picture I study.  We constantly educate ourselves.  We could read a book a day for the rest of our lives and still not know everything.


{image via Delight by Design}

And I think this is what keeps things exciting.  When I realized that my husband was someone I could keep getting to know for the rest of my life – that he had so much depth & I find him so interesting and feel like there’s always more to know- I knew he was the one for me.  And that’s also how design is.  {He will so hate me comparing him to interior design- sorry now Dav if you’re reading this!!}


{Kitchen by Victoira Hagan via Things That Inspire}

But I think we’re excited by what’s to come:  What we are in the process of learning or understanding or creating.  When I’m in the midst of a project, I’m crazy about it.  Once it’s finished, it’s like a present you’re giving to someone else & then they get to enjoy it.  But my enjoyment comes from picking out that perfect gift & giving it to them…  Once it’s been given & they like it, I pretty much stop thinking about it.  (We don’t sit around for weeks, years, or months to come thinking about how much a friend must be enjoying our gift;  we move on and think about the next birthday, the next gift.)


{image via Cote de Texas}

I was rereading The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman yesterday and I really love what she says about being in a career you love.  The sooner, you make steps toward that career, the happier you will be.  The younger you are, the better.  But I also think being new in any career means you lack experience.  The more experience you gain, the more full you are.  There are pros and cons.  New people in a field often look at it with fresh eyes.  They may be less jaded and possibly more excited.  The best are those in the field who have both experience & excitement.


{House Beautiful via decor pad}

And I think that what keeps experienced people excited & impassioned, is the learning curve.  Even those who’ve been in the field for 50 years are still learning and most will readily admit it.

There’s so much to know that it can be mind boggling sometimes, but once you go after what you want to know, it’s yours if you care to keep it.  For the past few years I’ve been really being blown away by all there is to know and I’ve found myself writing lists of the people I want to learn about & research in design- both in the past & present…  Lists of artists to look up {trips to the museum send me home with so more reasearch & homework than I can handle!}  Business practices, books, magazines & blogs to read,  and photos of rooms to analyze…  and then there’s the stuff that I know I should know & have forgotten or stopped attempting to finds about about.  {Ie the NEWS.  I’m horrible with current events and it’s actually really pathetic how little I pay attention.  I can’t even give you examples because it’s so embarrassing.  I’ve vowed to start listening to NPR in the mornings.}  Computers, technology, etc.  There are times when I just wish I could press a button and know something.  (Like photoshop!)


And then there’s all of the information you can only gain through experience.  No one can “tell” it to you.   You have to learn it on your own.  And you sometimes have to make mistakes to gain the most valuable bits.

There are times when I feel so new in this business – I’m going on three and a half years now- and I really feel llike I’m just now finally laying down the foundations for my business.  I know I have so much more to learn and I take away something (actually somethings!!) from every project- be it exposing myself to a new point of view, changing a business practice based on what clients need, or learning to appreciate a design style I’d never worked with.  And that’s what keeps this career interesting & fulfilling.

Anyway, hope you had a wonderful weekend!!  I’m loving all of the green that’s popped out everywhere.  The little strip of woods behind our house seemed to fill in this weekend & we have total privacy again, which is so nice.  We moved into our home two years ago yesterday and looking out my windows right now, I remember why we fell in love with it.


{2 years ago when we first moved in… my little sister & my son}
{now, photo by Helen Norman}
Happy Anniversary, House!

xoxo, Lauren

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

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