Q & A

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QAlogo

I get a lot of e-mails from you guys and I do my best to respond, but a lot of times my best intentions are trumped by piles of work and other aspects of my rather busy days.  So I figured I’d aswer your most frequently asked questions at once here in hopes that you get the answers you seek (clearly, I have morphed into Yoda this morning)

Q: I am considering changing my career to interiors design and am wondering if it’s worth it to go to design school?

A: So, this is a tough one because as I’ve said before, I did not go to design school.  I got my B.A. in art (painting/collage/photography) so I did major in something slightly related to design.  While I was working for another designer I did take some classes at the Boston Architectural Center in basic interior design as well as a class in AutoCad. Now, if you asked me to do a floor plan on AutoCad I would look at you like a deer in headlights. I did not retain most of what I learned besides my fancy little certificate claiming otherwise. I still draw by hand for the most part and for parts of projects I need technical assistance on I outsource to licensed architects.

I did get into a Masters in Interior Design program thinking that was what I HAD to do, but then realized that four years of full time school was not for me. I was more interested in the decorating aspect of interiors, not the technical stuff.  That said, if your goal is to work as an interior designer at a larger firm, you need this degree. They won’t consider you for a junior designer position without it, most likely. But if your goal is residential decorating and you feel like you have the eye for it, I would advise in taking some classes to get a good foundation in interiors (sketching, crafting boards, history of interiors,etc) but mostly the internet can provide you with such an amazing amount of information and inspiration that you can teach yourself quite a bit.  Also, see if you can get an internship with a decorator to really learn hands on. This is the most valuable thing you can possibly do. I learned so much from my dad’s firm and my internship, mostly that this business is about 20% creativity and 80% book keeping and business. It’s not all fabric swatches and rainbows, it’s working with other people’s hard earned money, ordering, tracking, finance, dimensions, marketing and SERIOUS organization!

Q:  I want to start writing a blog. Do you have any advice on how to start? How did you get traffic?

A: Blogging is SO fabulous and I advise anyone interested to start a blog! It’s the best thing I ever did.  That said, it is A LOT of work and requires lots of dedication in order to make it successful. This spring will be my four year anniversary and I think I’ve maybe missed two or three days in that time of posting.  So my first piece of advice is that it is so important to post every day.  If you post sporadically people will not come back as often and may even forget about your blog.  You want to make sure that every day they wonder what you have written about. Secondly, read other blogs to see what other people are writing about and comment on their posts with a link back to your blog. Also, reach out to other bloggers to ask them if you can guest post or do a feature on them and link to their blog.  Making blog friends is so easy and I find the blogging community to be so supportive and wonderful! Third, is patience. It takes a long time to built decent traffic- it took me at least a year and a half or two before my traffic was something of note.  But keep at it!!!! Lastly, if you have a Facebook page use Networked Blogs to link your posts to your profile. It’s an easy way to notify your friends about your new venture! Also, Twitter is crazy valuable- I was late to the Twitter party and I am by no means a black belt in tweeting, but it does help you built a community of friends, references and content!

Having used both Blogger and WordPress, I personally like WordPress better but have heard awesome things about Squarespace too! As far as design goes, you can create a very cool basic page yourself with a little work.  Simple is good! My summer intern Rachael created my fab new look and if you are interested in having her look at your blog for a re-design you can e-mail her at raclark05@gmail.com!

Q: Are you hiring?

A: I am not hiring right now, I have a total rock star assistant who I adore.  But when I am looking for additional help I will reach out to those of you who have sent me your resumes! I am flattered you want to hang out with me though. :)

Q: Can you give me advice on a paint color/bedspread/look at pictures of my living room?

A: While I would LOVE to help all of you, I can’t give out free advice considering I have many clients who pay me for my opinion. I have to maintain the value of my advice and work and so while I feel like a jerk saying it, I can’t help you unless you want to hire us, which we’d be delighted by.  We do remote e-design work all the time, from simple color schemes to total design plans. E-mail mya ssistant Lindsey at lindsey@element-interiors.com for more info!

Q: How long is your wait list?

A: Right now we are operating on a wait list with spaces opening up early spring 2011. We’re worth the wait though, I promise. :)

Hope that helps- if you have other questions leave a comment and I will try to answer them!

xoxo,
Erin

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