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Designing Under a Deadline

Recently I guest posted over at Denise McGaha’s blog on tips for “Designing on a Deadline.” Denise is from Dallas,Texas and is one of my Tobi Fairley Mastermind peers. We connected online several months ago, but didn’t actually meet in person til May at blogfest 2012 in New York in .  Make sure to go over and see the talent that abounds at Denise McGaha Interiors. 
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I actually met Denise because I had read about her process for “designing on a deadline” online and contacted her, to see if I could learn something that would improve the service, I was offering in my own design practice.  Of course I wasn’t surprised when Denise returned my email, within the hour! She is “The Design On A Deadline” Diva, right?    We exchanged emails, became fast friends and the rest is history!  When Denise ask me to share my tricks on her blog, I remembered our initial conversation, where we both agreed that even though each designer has a unique approach to the process, there are some key elements that have to occur for a success:
1) Be realistic about what can be accomplished
2) Make a plan and stick to it
3) Everyone on the job has to be committed to the deadline
4) Communication is Key
5) Always have a back up plan

Once these elements are in place, you are good to go.  However, every well laid plan, will have glitches. That’s when you put plan B into action.  Designers know how important it is to any project to plan for surprises.  The designer knows when and how to execute the backup plan which can save the client money over the course of the project.  Experienced designers know how to devise a back up plan and when to execute it.  Designers learn early on, to embrace the glitches.  Why?  There isn’t a dark thing you can do once they happen, but keep calm and carry on!  Often the glitches, can be that little serendipitous twist, that makes the project unique.

 Ok, so enough of the banter of what has to happen.  I know you tuned in here, because you want secrets, right? Here are a couple of my tricks for designing on a deadline that are totally free!!! 
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Room made on Olioboard




1) Olioboard!  Are you familiar with it?  If not, click over and sign up.  You don’t have to be a designer, to do it.  Best of all, it is free unless you want the pro version which has a monthly fee of $8.99.  I call it the modern day way to building “Barbies Dream House”!  Did you spend hours, making sure Barbie had the perfect setup!  Olioboard is the same thing, only


there are no messes to clean up and everything is at your fingertips.   Olioboard is fast and efficient.   I don’t have to spend hours on detailed drawings, that could end up getting scotched in the long run.  This can save the client a lot of money.  I can quickly put together a room, using the  specified items for the room and email to the client in a few minutes.  The client can then see the concept in 2D or 3D.  
It’s amazing!
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Pinterest Logo

2) Pinterest!  I invite you to pop over and check out my boards! Everybody is pinning these days, so it a concept most people understand.   When I am working with a client, I create a board for them on my wall, so I can quickly pin things, I want to share them.  That way, we both can refer back to the board anytime to see the items that have chosen.  It’s like having a virtual pin up board straight from your office, yet the client can see it in their home.  It saves money by eliminating unnecessary meetings.  Time = Money folks, so if we cut out unnecessary meetings,  the client is saving money.  If the client doesn’t  have a pinterest account I have them set one up and start an inspiration board for their project.
Gone are the days of buying magazines to clip inspiration pictures to take to your designer!   Pinterest not only saves your inspirations, but has them where they are readily available without time consuming searches or damaged when your hubby decides to use your favorite picture for a coaster.
Also, if a client can’t visualize a room layout or a paint color, nine times out of ten, it can be found on Pinterest!  How cool is that?  Have you tried typing a certain paint color in the search bar to see what pops up?  If not, go do it, you will be amazed!  

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3)  I also use “Chip It” By Sherwin Williams.
Have you used this tool to help pick paint
colors?  If not, you should.  Chip It  made it so easy even my five year old niece can do it!  All you have to do to start “chipping” is drag and drop “chip it” bookmarklet to your tool bar. Once “chip it” is activated, it turns blue and you are ready to go. Next, choose a picture, hover over it  and click”chip it”.  It will then give you a palette of  suggest Sherwin Williams colors that closest match those in the picture. It’s really that simple! If you want to read more about it I wrote this post on it back in February,

4) The last tip I am going to share is to work
with a professional.  That way you have everything picked out, before you start your project.  The planning is really important and the key to getting it done right. Don’t go willy nilly to the furniture store and buy a sofa just because it is on sale.  Work with a professional, let them help you pull the entire design together.  Once you hire a designer, you must trust the process.  Allow the designer to work their magic! If you try to control the project, you will not get the best results.  An experienced designer will not only save you time and money, but lots of headaches along the way!

Ok, so there you have a few of my easy, time
saving tricks to help get the job done a little faster!
I hope you enjoyed learning about these online
resources if you didn’t already know about them.

I was going to have the drawing for the Giveaway
today but have decided to wait until tomorrow! 
Come back tomorrow to see if you won!

P.S. Thank You for voting for me.  I am going
to be the 9th Style Spotter!  I appreciate 
your loyal support! Thanks also to Ron Bristow,
who nominated me!  Ron is the 
showroom manager and representative
 for Capel Rugs!  

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