The Ugly Truth About Design

the ugly truth about design


I have been a designer for several years now and whenever someone learns I’m an interior designer their first response is, “Wow, what a fun job!” The misconception is that creative fields are not work, it’s all fancy fluff, and hardly worth taking seriously. Today, I’m going to talk about the ugly truth of design.


Most of the time In response to the “Wow how fun” remark, I smile idiotically and take a swig of my cocktail and agree, “Yeah, so fun”. At the same time, I’m rehearsing the conversation I will have with my client about the electrician going AWOL, the fabric we designed the room around and ordered five weeks ago being on back order for two more months, and the light fixture arriving with a missing part… are we having fun yet?!


Although there are many aspects of the design process I love and it may be fun, make no mistake about it – interior design is a legitimate profession that involves real life issues, safety standards, and real hard earned money.


Trust me – many designers (including myself!) never talk about the unglamorous side of design – like measuring a building in 90+ heat with no air conditioning, schlepping back-breaking boxes of tile samples around, or the exhaustion after a day of installation all to provide that big reveal moment to our clients.


So when it comes to the so-called glamorous side of design, we’ve earned every sexy second of that fleeting experience because our day to day lives don’t remotely look glamorous.


If the design world looks fun from the outside, it’s because any designer worth their pearls will never let onto the ugly truth about design (unless they absolutely have to). Mums the word when it comes to the near-misses, sleepless nights, and endless amounts of cookie-dough consumed just to make everything perfect for the client.


As designers, we do so much more than create a pretty room and fluff pillows. To execute a project to completion, we step into many different roles such as mediator, motivator, negotiator, forensic accountant, counselor, and ninja problem solver because of the many different personality types we expertly juggle on any given day.


The same way Michael Jordan dominated basketball and made a slam dunk look so easy, we design professionals are so good we make the whole process seem easy – almost like we waved a magic wand to bring the vision from your head into existence!


And that’s how we know we have done our job well – when we can give you the best home experience possible within your budget, we make it all look easy and dare I say…fun.

Want to stay up with all the behind-the-scenes action of interior design? Follow me HERE.


Easily turn your guest room into a hotel retreat


When you’ve got company coming, does it feel more like, “Hooray, I’m all set!”, or is it more like, “Oh NO – we have so much work to do!”?

If it’s the latter, I completely understand. Right now, your guest room is probably feeling a lot less like a retreat and more like a wreck. You started off with good intentions, but it has become the graveyard for various misfit household items.
Fear not – here’s a checklist to turn your guest room into a hotel quality retreat.

Clear the Clutter

First things first, get rid of miscellaneous odds and ends and PS? The forgotten work out equipment lurking in the corner does not make your guest room a hotel retreat. It’s time to say goodbye to the exercise bike and hello to a spacious room.

Sleep On a Cloud

Do you recall your last hotel stay? The bed was the bees’ knees. It felt like you were sleeping on a cloud, right? To recreate that hotel retreat feeling in your guest room, start with a quilted mattress protecter and add a foam topper or fiber bed. Next crisp white, high quality sheets – at least 400 thread count. Nothing ruins a good nights sleep like cheap, itchy sheets.
Top it all off with fluffy down pillows and duvet cover with a lofty insert.
Keep extra blankets and pillows on hand for good measure.
The bed is the epicenter for turning your guest room into a hotel retreat after several hours of travel so it’s worth the extra attention. For additional specifics on achieving the perfect hotel bed at home check out this post here.

Nightstand and Lamp

Keep the nightstand in arm’s reach to hold personal items, an alarm clock, and a few of your favorite books and local magazines for your guests to enjoy.

Internet Essentials

Type up your household’s wi-fi password and print it out and place it into a simple photo frame that matches your decor. Easy access for your guest.


Be sure to have blinds or drapes at the windows for your guests’ privacy and to allow them to sleep in at their leisure without the morning sunlight awakening them.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Provide a full length mirror to allow guest to be confident in their appearance. If space is limited there are versions that hang on the back of doors to save space.


If space allows, a chair, chaise or ottoman is a nice perch to allow your guests to change in or out of their shoes.

Luggage Rack

Luggage racks are not only relegated specifically to hotels. Lots of retailers sell them. This small change easily ups your hosting game and helps turn your guest room into a hotel retreat. Besides, you don’t want dirty luggage hoisted up onto your beautiful bedding, right?

A Pretty Tray

Outfit a mirrored or wicker tray with a couple of bottles of water and cosmetic pouches stocked with toiletries of mini shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrushes, a sleep mask, mouth wash and dental floss. These mini luxuries are the finishing touches to turn your guest room into a hotel retreat.
Hopefully this checklist will ease the stress of preparing for overnight guest throughout the year and the upcoming Holiday season. Below I created a convenient graphic for you to save to Pinterest to refer to later when you really need it.


Please Pin!

turn your guest room into a hotel retreat

11 Ways to cozy up your home for fall

11 ways to cozy up your home for fall


11 ways to cozy up your home for fall

It’s still sweltering hot in most of the country, but with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in full swing and pre-season football games on the roster, it will be fall before you can say, ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’. So here are 11 ways to cozy up p your home for fall.


As the evenings begin to get a chill in the air, chunky knit throw blankets are a perfect way to cozy up your home for fall.

cozy up your home for fall

With Day Light Savings time making the days shorter, the house gets darker earlier. To banish dark and eerie corners, invest in additional table or floor lamps for the fall season to brighten those corners.


During the summer months, outdoor activities keep us busy so to make your home autumn-cozy, keep a stack of your to-be-read books in your favorite reading corner.


Tiki drinks and craft cocktails ruled and reigned your bar cart, but to get ready for a snuggle-worthy fall, set up a hot cocoa or tea station on your beverage cart complete with cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, and sugar cubes ready to warm you up the next time you’re chilled to the bone.

ways to cozy up your home for fall

Put your linen, ikat, and botanical throw pillows away and replace them for fall with textured throw pillows in jewel tones, cozy velvet, or faux fur, which are sure to add a cozy fall vibe to your home.


Baskets full of the fall harvest come to mind in the autumn season. Add baskets to get that perfectly cozy fall storage. Fill them with extra throw blankets, board games, or leave them empty for added texture. how to cozy up your home for fall





Forego summer flowers for natural elements like branches, pinecones, acorns, or feathers which add just the right amount of texture and earthiness to cozy up your home for fall. ways to cozy up your home for fall






For summer flat weave and natural seagrass rugs have tickled your toes, layer a plush wool rug on top to add coziness for your feet, too.


Paint or wallpaper a room in a dark moody color like Hale Navy or Emerald Green, or use a bold wallpaper with a dark background and overcalled pattern to instill a cozy fall atmosphere in your home.

ways to cozy up your home

image via IKEA Fall 2017/18


Change out your homes signature scent to candles scented with teak, jasmine and clover, or sandalwood to help transition to a warm and cozy home for fall. ways to cozy your home for fall


Add metallic items like bowls, trays, and vases to your home which will help to bounce the scant evening light around.


Fall is the time for slipping out of summer prints and patterns and snuggling up with cozy textures. A mix of natural elements and sophisticated metals create an understated elegance gets your home decorated for fall.


Still working on adding the perfect fall elements for your decor? Contact me HERE – I can help you get your home cozy for fall!