I love my work. In fact, I adore every element of it.
I love my vendors, I love my contractors, I adore my showrooms, and am 100% devoted and committed to my clients. I feel their triumphs and their pain.
Their joy makes me happy and their frustrations make me sad. In fact, I am emotionally connected to my work, and to all the people who make my designs come to life.
Just like every mom is only as happy as her unhappiest kid, so too is every decorator only as happy as her most difficult job. Let me give you an example.
Close your eyes (well, three-quarters shut, because you have to carry on reading), as I paint a picture of what your job means to me.
It’s Saturday evening and I’m out with my husband, enjoying quality time together at a local restaurant, laughing, talking, and having fun.
It’s a text message. Like Pavlov’s dog, I automatically glance at my phone. Mistake. Big mistake.
It’s a client. In a panic. We placed orders that we literally looked over 100 times, but she feels concerned, worried, scared, and crazed – with PPD (post purchase dementedness).
My husband says “You have that look“, and he knows, our evening is ruined! My problem is two-fold.
- I want to console my client, tell her, yes, I know you are worried, but we have been over this 1.0.0. times. We saw the fabrics, 3D layouts, and we even snuggled up on a sofa together (one of the perks of working with me, sometimes we get cosy on sofas together to see how comfy they are).
- I have extreme “decorator’s empathy”. I want to immediately respond and give her my whole night. But, back on Atlantic Avenue, my darling husband is sitting there, for the rare occasion of having a night with just the two of us, and I am pretty sure, somewhere in marriage vows it says “Thou shalt give your spouse a few hours of undivided attention”. So somehow, I have to flick a switch and get back to him.
So, as fun as doing up your home is, and as much as we laugh and talk and chill together, it’s also stressful. It’s outrageous to think it wouldn’t be.
And this ‘stress’ can pop up in many shapes and forms. Randomly, anticipated, or sometimes crazed-face-jack-in-the-box-kind-of-mad-and-demented-unexpected. But that’s the extreme.
Sometimes the stress is simply that people don’t like change. Sometimes delays are caused by backorders, or it’s the bizarre wait for permits. Sometimes budget constrains our ‘caviar taste’. Sometime the stress is clients overthinking things, making decisions so complicated that they spin in circles.
But here’s the secret. And you can open your eyes now.
If you let me do my job, and accept that “stress” and “panic” are natural and organic bi-products of “change” – and not always in a negative way, we should do just great.
And it is all of this energy that we harness to create something breath-takingly beautiful, together.
So when we walk into your exquisite home at the end of the job, and all your worries and concerns wash away, I look forward to a different kind of text on a Saturday night.
I smile as I see a picture of you and your friends sitting around your living room, in front of a fireplace, on a 100 degree Florida night!