Goals

Getting Things Done - a PSA

Every week when I think about a potential blog post there are so many ideas that come to mind sometimes it's hard to choose. One of those recurring thoughts is to share a very valuable "life resource" with you. I follow many blogs & podcasts and a few months ago through the "Beyond the To Do List" podcast I learned about a little book called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.  Actually, I kept hearing the reference "GTD" and the "GTD system" that finally I just HAD to look it up.

This book isan extremely valuable resource not just for getting things done, but for streamlining your work process and get things off your mind. I figured getting back to work after having our first baby would be the perfect time for me to learn more about it. So I went to the library and devoured it within a few weeks. (I only had to renew it once - c'mon I had a 4 month old at the time!) I kept laughing at the irony of me reading about "getting things done" instead of actually just getting things done... but I knew this would transform my habits and so I wanted to learn about it before getting back into the swing of things. 

The tips & methods he details for processing information have been insanely helpful. One of the things I often felt when things got busy was that there were so many "moving parts" it was hard to keep track of the loose ends. His tips for "closing the loops" in our minds have been so valuable I've really felt inspired to adopt this system for both my design projects and my personal life. So now I feel that I should return the favor and tell everyone about it! How did I not know about this sooner?!?

So here is a link to the book and website, and below are a few of my favorite parts of the GTD system. 
gettingthingsdone.com 

 

1- Email processing

(source)

I love his tips for creating @Action, @WaitingFor, Read/Review and Reference folders. They really help keep things organized and make sure I am not forgetting anything. I am still working towards an empty inbox but I've enjoyed processing my emails with his tips. And since I use Gmail for work, it's easy for me to tag emails directly from my sent mail so I don't forget to follow up with people I've contacted! 

 

2- Master Project List

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Here's where my "too many moving parts" problem was solved. I don't know if working from home made this worse but I had this perpetual thought pattern every time I walked through the house of all the things we needed to get done. Then I'd look at my emails, open design projects and always try to assess what needed to get done next. It was becoming a perpetual mess! By having a master project list I am able to keep an inventory of every single aspect of my life, both work and personal so I can assess the use of my time holistically. If we're planning an event at home, it takes actual time from my life and I need to take actionable steps to achieve it just like a would I client project. Which leads me to the next favorite...

 

3- Action Items

(source) 

Splitting up a task or job by actionable items might sound like a no brainer, or maybe even a waste of time for those smaller tasks, but his idea of breaking things up by Action (emails, calls, errands, agendas, etc) has been a really helpful way for me to manage my to-do's. I'm still slowly adapting to this because I used to always organize my lists by job and it feels weird to separate them. But ultimately I do agree this makes a lot of sense and will be beneficial to view all my to-do's holistically. 

 

So what do you think?

Have you already heard about GTD? Have you been using the system, or like me wish you had discovered it sooner? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I hope you found this post helpful. 

 

Cheers, 

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New Resolutions

Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone already, where does the time go?! I always like to take the new year to reflect on where I've been, how my business has grown, and what I plan to do going forward.

Last year was a productive year for me. I feel I really learned a lot and stretched beyond my comfort level while learning to handle the "business" side of my business. Being that I went to school for design I always like to joke that I have a scrappy MBA, meaning that I learn the "business" as I go along! Good thing for lots of helpful people and educational resources!

This year I plan to continue last year's momentum with 3 overarching goals and 1 specific business goal. Here we go!

 

BECOME NKBA CERTIFIED

The NKBA is a kitchen & bath association and I'm going to work towards my certification! I've really enjoyed helping clients select their finishes such as matching their countertop/ backsplash/ cabinets/ fixtures, and paint colors. I've worked on a few simple layouts and I've enjoyed using the 20/20 CAD software. So now I'm going to take this to the next level so I can take on even bigger projects! I am so excited! I think this will really be a good fit for my skill set of mixing creative design with technical specs.

 

 

STAY ON TOP OF THINGS

When things get busy priorities change and it becomes hard to stay on top of the little things like emails, mail, magazines, trade publications etc. It's easy to get swept up in the whirlwind but this year I'd really like to make it a point to go through this information as I get it. I hate piles of paperwork and sometimes you can miss out on some good opportunities or announcements! This goal certainly applies to both my personal and business life. Staying on top will help reduce clutter and keep me organized!

(source via Apartment Therapy)

 

ALWAYS BE ON TIME

First I am so happy to say I've rarely been late to a client appointment! But in my personal life... that's another story, I feel I'm late to everything! As I get busier I try to jam more into a day than is actually possible and so I run late. Lately I find that the stress of being late is really negatively affecting me. The good news is that it's all self inflicted! I can control my expectations for the day and manage my time by planning more realistically. It's always a work in progress but in essence this boils down to setting more realistic goals every day!

 

 

 

DON'T NEGLECT HOME

All the little details make a difference and again, one of the first things to get dropped off the priority list is my own home! When I'm busy helping clients, networking, and running my business I put our home goals on the back burner. Well this year is going to change! It got to the point where putting these things off really bummed us out and became frustrating. So I've been working on plans for our home and will make sure to fit them into the agenda as well! Again this comes down to managing time and expectations. Putting limits on work and life so they each get a fair share!

 

 

 

 

AND HERE'S A LOOKBACK AT 2014

some of my biggest accomplishments and continuing goals

Getting Homes Resale-Ready

I haven't talked much about this part of my business on here yet, but this week the IRN has been doing a national launch to spread awareness about our Resale-ReadyTM service and so I wanted to share it with you. I use the same design principals as my One Day Room Refinements to help correct the most common decorating mistakes people make in their home. This results in a quick and affordable transformation that appeals to a wide selection of potential home buyers. Also like our One Day Room Refinements this is a flat fee based on the size of the home. 

Here are just some of the benefits of Resale-ReadyTM

 

1- Affordable Solutions: We find in most cases that instead of spending money on rentals & inventory we are able maximize what homeowners already have to stage their homes beautifully.

2- Flat Fee: Resale-ReadyTM is a flat fee based on the size of the home, no matter how long it takes. 

3- Saves Money: Once a home has been listed, an average price reduction is at least $1,000. So why take the chance? Resale-ReadyTM costs less than an average price reduction.  

4- Quick: Transformation of a home or condo can happen in just a few hours. Small tweaks of furniture placement and accessories makes a huge difference. And you can list quicker since you won't have to wait for inventory to arrive.

5- Create A Vision: Many potential home buyers are looking for move in ready. If they don't see a room's potential they aren't going to be excited, and that could mean a missed sale. Or even walking away if problems arise during a closing because they weren't emotionally invested. That's why it's important to create a vision and define the function of each room, especially for key rooms such as living room, family room, dining room, and master bedroom)

Are you excited about this space?

How about now? It's got potential right? (images courtesy of redesign4more)

Inspired by the things we Love

Valentines' day is almost upon us and love (and lots more snow) are in the air. Love drives us in many ways in both our personal and professional lives. For me design has always been something I've enjoyed, and it seems the more I learn about it the more I find to love. Materials and products are always changing with trends and technology so it keeps the industry fresh with lots to learn - it seems almost infinite! (just search the term "ICFF" in my blog sidebar!)

As a member of the Interior Redecorators Network I strive to learn and grow each year so I can provide my clients with the best service I can. Within the IRN there are different levels of membership based on credits you can earn from things like participation, education, and community involvement. And I am proud to say that I recently earned a Gold Member status! You can see my new shiny pin above :)

 

I am also getting a head start on maintaining my Gold Membership by attending more classes. I was at a CEU yesterday called "Area Rug Construction & Terminology" held at J&S Designer Flooring. First of all their showroom is amazing, has a wide selection of products, and the associates are so lovely and helpful. Then the presentation by Delos was so extremely informative and helpful, they explained how rugs are made and passed around beautiful samples to demonstrate. Rugs are something we all live with and might even take for granted, but once you start learning about them it's easy to see how it's a world in its own right! I am so excited to share some of what I learned so I hope to do a post about it next week.

Inspired by the things (or pets) we love....

Then there is the "occupational hazard" aspect of going to a fantastic showroom.... of course I always look for client projects but this was the first sample I brought home as a stair runner contender for our house! I am noticing a certain "colorway" that I'm drawn too... it has to do with one certain fuzzy animal that I love. Isn't it funny how I'm drawn to the subtle color variations of tans, cremes, with golden bronze hightlights? Let's take a look closer here... 

Just look at that edging along his ear... 

And that fuzzy butt, the tip of tail has that same coloring. 

He's a happy pup - isn't he so fuzzy?! And so white with bronze accents? We love him to pieces, and apparently I am taking color cues for my home from him ;) 

Now take a look around your home - what has been inspiring you lately? Any particular product, pet, or person? Anything that you pass in your daily journey you've been thinking about? I would love to know - we are all victims of love whether we realize it or not ;) 

Happy Valentines Day
with love, 

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Yearly Resolve

Well - another year has passed already! Where does the time go?! I hope everyone enjoyed a happy holiday season with their friends and family and that your new year is off to a good start. Just like many people I like to set intentions for the new year, and I make a few specific business goals to work towards as well. 


(source)

Here is 2013 In Review:

I am happy to say that I checked off most from my list last year (I kept it pretty simple). You can read more about them here:

  1. Watch Star Wars: And I liked it!
  2. Read: Not as much as I would have liked, but that Business of Design was great!
  3. Socialize: social media is challenging, but I'm off to a good start!
  4. Get smart phone: CHECK! Thank you Santa :) 
  5. Content Create: Still always a goal
  6. Blog once a week: I only missed one or two weeks!

Now onto resolutions for 2014.

I have high hopes for this year, and there are lots of fun plans in the works. I'm on my first business trip of the year for a product brainstorm session, and if you're in the NJ area you might have heard some of the buzz about the Mansions In May designer showhouse which will be fun to see! Below are some specific goals to help grow my business this year.

Start a Monthly Newsletter! 

I'm excited to start this and if you haven't signed up already you can from the link below! On the 15th of each month I will send out a newsletter that will recap the past month's events and talk about upcoming ones. It will also include links to each week's blog posts, pins of the month, and other news from facebook, twitter, and in the design world in general. In addition it will mention any promotions that will run throughout the year. If you haven't signed up yet you can do so here! 
{Click here for the Newsletter link}


Resale Ready
I am interested in growing my business to include more Resale Ready this year. This service takes the same principles as a redesign and uses what you have to stage your home. It's cheaper than rentals and faster since it's completed in one day. To read more about those services read from my menu by clicking here: http://www.innovatemyplace.com/resale-ready/

Happy Thanksgiving!


Chalkboard Tablecloth via 
Social Manor via Pinterest

Happy Thanksgiving To You!!!

There is a lot for me to be thankful for this year, including you! Thank you for taking the time to read through my blog and website. I enjoy posting here and hope you find inspiration and good advice. 

  • I also am thankful for my clients, who have been such a joy to work with. I have been lucky to get the best clients ;) 
  • I am thankful for a strong network of designers that have been extremely generous with their time and advice.
  • I am thankful for the continuing support of my family and friends, whose consistent encouragement and optimism is so meaningful. 

  • I am thankful for my husband, who is my loving companion and my steady rock. Oh, and he lets me try out my decorating ideas on our own home ;) 

THANK YOU!

I hope each of you has a safe Thanksgiving holiday, and enjoy time well spent with your loved ones. 

Cheers!

ps - there are more beautiful Thanksgiving table ideas at {this link here}

 

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It's Movember!!

Have you all heard of Movember? Perhaps you are reading this and thinking that not only have you heard of it, but you are participating too? If so, please send a picture because who doesn't love a good moustache? If you haven't heard of it, Movember was created to bring awareness to men's health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. Men are encouraged to join the movement by growing their own stashe for the full 30 days of November! There are other ways to bring awareness and opportunities fundraise for charity by registering on Movember.com. You can read more about it here!

Thank you Ron Swanson, er I mean Nick Offerman for setting such a good example!
(source)

And here is a MUST WATCH video about the effort (more where that came from!)

 

Ok, now that you are aware of Movember you are beginning to wonder if this is still a decorating website where where you can find exciting home decor and related ideas? Well, yes it is! So let me begin the round up then shall I? Some of the most furry, hairy, "movember-ish" pieces of furniture I could find! Beginning with this one I saw at the ICFF this past May! It was quite eye-catching and I've been saving this one until now :)

Designed by Sentient, Brooklyn NY 

Look at the back of that! It even looks like a stash :)

Not only is this piece of furniture appropriate for Movember, it is also right on trend. There have been lots of write ups of using animal prints, hides, and especially hair on hide like this. The furrier the better. If you are in the market I recommend you start looking for vintage sources, which is obviously better for the animal. There are also plenty of faux options coming out that you can start with there.  For other great products on the market here are some examples. 

A Year In Review

Today marks the one year anniversary since launching my decorating business! It's been a great year and I'm learning and growing every single day. I want to thank you all for your support and for checking in and reading my blog posts! I enjoy sharing my decorating tips with you and I appreciate you reading them. And a heartfelt thanks for those who have also become a client. Every job has been so much fun and I enjoy working together!

This anniversary also coincides with the annual IRN design conference. So it's been a busy few days talking with fellow decorators and learning how to grow my business. I'm also getting some great resources and design tips that I hope to share in future blog posts!

We'll talk again soon. Thanks for making this a great year!

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Meet My New Assistant!!

I knew this day was coming for awhile, I was getting the usual warning signs of an ending working relationship. You know the usuals such as unwilling to complete the requested work, lagging response time, very needy and inflexible, and generally uncooperative. We worked together for over 7 years and while they were a very valuable resource they just quit working one day. Seven years is a really long time so I shouldn't complain, but the hardest part of it all was trying to get a new assistant quickly. Good help is hard to find!! 

I made a list of requirements I desired in my new assistant such as: the ability and willingness to travel, good memory, fast, efficient, social, well connected, and the ability to crank out 3D CAD models as well as floor-plans. I wanted all this for a competitive price of course. And so the hunt began - all the while trying to do all the work myself! I spent a frustrating few weeks not finding the right match. Finally I narrowed down a few contenders but they couldn't meet the last important criteria: I needed instant availability!! After weeks of researching and reviewing candidates I couldn't wait any longer and needed to make a decision! I had to compromise a bit on the price but I will say I am extremely satisfied with my choice and so today I would like to introduce to you my partner in crime and extension of my business-self...

Belated Resolutions 2013

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and 2013 is off to a good start! I wanted to write a thoughtful post and clarify my resolutions and goals for the new year, but I have to admit that this year has been off to a hectic start and things have been changing on a daily basis. The highlights so far have been: trying to find a new product design job, our kitchen faucet cracking and spraying water all over, the pot rack slowly falling off our wall, and my family's cat passed away. And it's only 2 weeks into the new year! I hope to get all this crazy out of the way early so the rest of the year will be a bit smoother... 

So considering my big picture resolutions aren't off to a good start and it's already mid-January I don't have high expectations for the rest of the year. With that being said though... I still thought it would be fun to send out my resolutions.  I figured if I can't keep up with all the resolutions I will make a few fun ones so I can still feel accomplished about something throughout the year! So here goes...