You must be the change you want to see in the world. –Mahatma Gandhi
I don’t usually post on Tuesdays, but I wanted to share an open letter to Janet who wrote the following in response to my post on March 8th “Breaking News“:
“Does a blog make you a good designer or guru? I don’t think so… How does this change interior design?”
Janet, thanks so much for your thought-provoking questions.
I do not think that having a blog makes me a good designer or a guru. Having several years of interior design education (and the resultant certification on the wall), as well as many years of experience in the interior design industry makes me a good interior designer. Listening to clients and helping them design their homes to be a reflection of who they are and how they live, that makes me a good interior designer. But writing a blog, not so much.
Fact is I did not call myself an interior design guru. The fine folks at builddirect.com did. Guru is such a strange-sounding word, is it not? Just after it came out, I tweeted with several others on builddirect.com’s list and we all shared one common thought – we all felt a little funny about being called interior design gurus. Here’s why. We just love talking about interior design, sharing what we know and helping other people. Follow any of us on Twitter and you won’t find a more down to earth, real and passionate group. It’s my privilege to know them.
A blog is just another vehicle to share that love of interior design with other people. I was an English major in college and I love to write. So why not write about what I see? And if I didn’t write, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet someone like you who asks me the difficult questions. You have made me think. Isn’t that great?
Here’s Rob’s reason for listing me as one of builddirect.com’s interior designers. I think he says it all far better than I.
“Catherine! Thanks so much for the link to/re-printing my article. Thanks for your work, not only as a designer, but as a proponent of social media, too. It’s one of the reasons you made our list.
I hope this is the start of a cooperative relationship on Twitter and here on our blogs, too. The more voices we have singing from the same hymn book the better. This is the kind of cooperative effort in promoting the Good Guys so as to make online experiences so much better for peers, and for customers/clients, too.
In answer to your second question, I think that social media is changing the way we communicate about interior design.
First we had the mystery – what do interior designers do anyway? Oooooh…no one will say. And how do they charge for their services? Or I could never afford a fancy interior designer, could you?
Then we had the myth – but they can do a room on HGTV for $100 in one day! Hey, interior designer, why can’t you do that for me? You have got to be kidding me. Talk about a way to confuse our interior design clients. And thus we have had to enter the education process. The real one – myths and mystery debunked. What better way to explain it all than through social media?
So here it is – the metamorphosis of interior design. Who are we? What do we do? Bring on transparent pricing. Let’s face it. Today’s consumer is savvy. Think they don’t know how to go online and find out what that Louis XVI chair really costs? Think again.
So why not help consumers through all of the myth and the mystery? Why not use social media as a tool to help people understand the real value interior designers provide? I have never forgotten Charlotte Moss’ comment about people’s assumption that interior designers just run around all day in their Manolo Blahniks. It’s just not true. Thank you Charlotte for a good, though a bit painful, laugh early on in my interior design career…
We’re all just trying to make interior design a little more understandable and a lot more accessible. Why not be the change we want to see in the world? Think about it.
I love to hear from you. What do you dream of changing in the world? Where would you start? Maybe, you already have…and how great is that! Let me know.