I suppose if I had had a lot of failure in knowing what works for people I would be OUT of the busniness. But somehow with each new client comes a clear message, even though they didn't know exactly how to get to the end result ...when we are finished it is a pleasing out- of -the box design.
There is part of me that is a gambler not in the sense that I like to play loto but in the realm of "I like a challenge" the harder it is the more fun for me. I guess it goes back to my long distant cycling days training for century rides. Out on my bike just me, riding for miles and miles and miles up hills and down trying to beat my time each ride I took. Then on race day giving it all I had.
I wasn't a cyclist when I started working towards long distance racing...I just thought I could do it (like Nike says) I instinctively knew I had what it took to be a cyclist. I started small and worked my way up to more and more miles. Then I worked on speed. And then I put the two together with good nutrition and saw lots of gains.
I suppose that is a parallel for my design career. One of my previous jobs was as a fashion stylist and display artist in Nordstrom windows downtown. I learned what worked. And I instinctively knew what were good design principals. In the 80's we could create our own designs and have them built. The sky was the limit. So I got my start on room vignettes setting the scene for the mannequins to mingle in. I then went into photo styling for commercial photographers, creating rooms for Jeld Wen Windows, Nike, Speedo, Bowflex and more. I loved creating interiors. I was asked to teach Visual Merchandising and Display. So then I needed to put into words what I did and how I did it. (This was great training to later talk to my clients about my designs.) Then an opportunity came up....my mother's friend was building a house on a golf course and she said "Kim I want you to design our home, I know you can do it." So I was all in and that was 18 years ago.
I have developed questions that lead me to my clients wishes. The discovery interview coupled with their style file help me to create the environment that speaks to them. I'm often asked "What is your favorite style?" I don't have one...I love to create something new each time I start a project. Just like my Nordstorm windows no two are alike.
There is a thrill to creating and especially when you don't repeat yourself. I love what I do and I adore my clients ...they have been a true gift to me. I have had the nicest most create clients one could hope for!
I'm very grateful to be an interior designer and I still feel the thrill of creating.