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HOW TO HIRE AN ASSISTANT STYLIST

So you’re ready to hire an assistant stylist and delegate a few tasks but have no idea where to even start! The decision to hire an assistant plays on many factors, all of which you must consider before making a decision on whether or not to hire someone. If your business is growing at a steady pace and your to-do list is getting longer, it may be wise to consider saving your valuable time for the important things. Here are a few tips to help you take the leap with confidence:

Step One | There will never be a perfect time

If you’re waiting until you’ve set up a budget or think you can still handle it all on your own, then stop. The reality is, you will never feel truly ready (financially at least), to hire someone. The timing will never be “just right”.  There’s a point at which you have to face an issue and accept that an additional set of hands will help you on your journey. Keeping the long-term goals of your business in mind is also a motivator to get tasks done efficiently, which will make you want to focus on the important stuff,  hence the need for an assistant.

Step Two |  Visualise what needs to be done

Spend a week noting down in bullet points what you do each day. At the end of the week,  draw up two columns:

  • Column one: What YOU have to do that can’t be outsourced.
  • Column two: What someone else could do if you gave them the right tools and training.

Writing it down on paper and visualising what kind of resources you actually need will help you get really clear on what areas you intend on delegating to someone else. Plus, it’ll help you write up a proper job description too.

Step Three | Do your research

Do a little math beforehand to help you avoid any financial and unwanted surprises down the track. Here are three main points to consider:

  • Work out what you need to earn each week to cover your potential assistant’s wage or fees, this will make the value of hiring someone feel more tangible and doable.  
  • Work out if you need to hire them as an employee or freelancer.  Being cost-effective and having an idea of how many hours you will need them for will help you with the research on covering wages. It maybe be easier, in the long run, to hire on a task-by-task basis. If you’re unsure of the difference between employee and freelance wages, you can get a little more info
  • Work out how they’ll report to you. Do you need them to keep a time tracker or spreadsheet of their completed jobs? Or maybe you’re big on verbal communication and daily updates. Being clear on your expectations will help make it easier for both of you to work smoothly and coherently.

Step Four | Make it official

Making your assistant an official part of your business will help you feel on track and professional. Do they need their own email address?  Any new email addresses for my business are automatically sent to me so I can give a quick glance and flick a rough reply to my assistant if she’s unsure how to answer.  She then writes it up into something more presentable for the client. This saves me time but also trains my assistant on informal emails and communication with clients. It also makes for a more professional perception of your business.


GUESS WHAT?! I’m beyond excited to be launching my Mentor Program this Thursday, 6th September and only have very few spaces left. If you’ve been thinking about working with a mentor to guide you through the next stage of growing your business and to get laser-focused on your direction, goals and how to actually achieve them, then this program is for YOU!

I will be jumping into the driver seat of your business and sharing game-changing business advice with you over 4 weeks. The best part is that I work in the decorating industry every day and have grown a successful business from the exact information I’m sharing in this program. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and do this together!  

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5 THINGS TO OUTSOURCE IN YOUR BUSINESS NOW

Owning your own business comes with the added bonus of having to wear many hats. One minute you’re the creative director, the next, you’re the accountant, HR department, graphic designer and marketing expert, all in the same day.

As your responsibilities grow along with your business, saving your valuable time and energy for the important decisions will prove to be a vital asset to the growth of your company and this is where outsourcing comes in. Outsourcing for certain areas is not only efficient time-wise, but the expertise and knowledge you are getting will also benefit you in the long term.

While you may not have the budget to outsource all of these options from the start, here are a few to consider:

#1 FINANCES

If you’re running your own business, chances are you’ve become aware of all the financial upkeep it entails. Accounting is one of those things you’ve either been blessed with or it’s something that you find yourself freaking out every EOFY over. Save yourself the unwanted stress and deer-in-the-headlights look by getting yourself an accountant. You will gain clarity on aspects of your finances you didn’t even know existed, and it may save you a bucket load of cash down the track.

#2 MARKETING

Marketing is a full-time job within itself and if you keep leaving your marketing at the bottom of your to-do list then it may be time to hire an expert. Planning out your marketing strategy, social media content, pitching to media, writing newsletters and all the other tasks that connect you with your target market can take up a huge amount of time. This is time you could instead be spending on expanding your business, bringing in new clients or networking with industry experts to help your business grow. Assess what areas of marketing convert the highest amount of sales and start by outsourcing these first. If you’re unsure then my Mentor Program will help you gain clarity and confidence around marketing your business, so that you can make the right decision.

#3 BRANDING

If it doesn’t look right, it won’t feel right. The aesthetic of your brand appeals to your target market and is the first impression a potential customer gets of your business. Having the right logo and a clean, clear website that is easy to navigate is one of those make or break components that will deter or entice someone from choosing you, over the competition. Something like this takes skill and patience, and if you weren’t born a graphic design wiz then hiring someone who can make this all happen will save you many tears of frustration.

#4 ASSISTANT FOR DESIGN WORK

Your customers are your number one priority, and tending to their needs and inquiries is the backbone of your business. It takes a particular set of skills and a rather large amount of patience and understanding when something goes wrong or a client is unhappy. This is a perfect example of where two heads can be better than one. If you’re an interior decorator then having a design assistant who is on the ball managing your customer service, general stock and delivery intake will allow your business to thrive while you invest your time into the tasks that only you can do.

#5 PHOTOGRAPHY

Hiring a photographer to come along with you for your stylist once over is essential if you’re an interior decorator. This will ensure you have professional photographs for your portfolio and will provide some beautiful examples of your work to showcase on your website and across social media. Having professional imagery done will set a standard for your work and will allow you to broaden your network of clients and industry professionals. It’s also important to have high-quality profile images of yourself to send to media, post on social media or include on your website. 


I only have a few spots left for my Mentor Program starting on Monday, 3rd September (next week). So if you’re ready to up-level your business, get clear on the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and gain access to mentoring with me over 4 weeks then enrol now before time runs out!

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HIRING AN INTERIOR DECORATOR ON A BUDGET IS POSSIBLE

The exact reason I started my business was to make interior decorating more accessible to everyday homeowners and renters, just like you! My approach is a little different to what you see in Hollywood movies and rather than swanning in with a team of people, it’s just you and me having a chat about all things decorating. My tailored approach means that you get advice specific to your home and budget, so that you can feel confident and excited about the entire decorating process.

Now raise your hand if you’ve ever thought hiring an interior decorator was WAY out of your budget?

Yep, I hear you and that’s why I’m dedicating this blog post to proving that myth wrong and showing you how it’s totally possible to hire an interior decorator no matter what your budget is.

WHERE DOES THE DECORATING PROCESS START?

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The process will begin with an initial consultation where you will get to know your decorator and decide on your style. The decorator will walk through each room in your home that you need help with and gain a clear idea on what you do and don’t like about each room. For an initial consult you will need to budget anywhere between $200 – $300 (my initial consults are $275 ).

DESIGN CONCEPTS

After your initial consultation you will receive a scope of work from your decorator outlining in detail how many hours are required to complete the design concepts. To make the process easy to understand I always quote up front with an hourly rate, so that my clients never receive any nasty surprises along the decorating journey and to ensure we’re both on the same page. If you’re worried about how many hours your project is going to take, then simply ask your decorator for a rough price outline. You will need to budget between $100 – $200 per hour for this stage in the process.

The design concepts should include a mood board, a floor plan layout and a design action plan to show you how the whole process is going to be executed. You’re paying for the decorators time to create these magical documents for you which are essential to bring the end result to life.

WHAT’S NEXT?

PURCHASING AND DELIVERING

Once you’ve decided on the design concepts you’re happy with, you and your decorator will being the process of purchasing and delivering products. I will always pass on a trade discount on products where I can to all of my clients, so you can expect to pay about 30% less than recommended retail price for products. This means that your decorator’s fees are negated if you’re saving huge chunks of money on products.

BRINGING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

Once your products have started arriving and your home is already looking a lot happier, you can hire your decorator to come back and do a stylist once over. When I do this I come in with my photographer and get to work pulling furniture around the room, hanging art and arranging the bits and pieces to finalise the look. I also use this as an opportunity to take photos of the project for my portfolio and I always leave your home looking absolutely spotless! The stylist once over should cost you around $75 – $100 per hour and should only take 2 – 3 hours depending on the size of your house. Oh and I ALWAYS bring fresh flowers to add that beautiful finishing touch!

5 QUICK REASONS WHY YOU NEED A DECORATOR

  1. You’ll save time and money by outsourcing to someone who already knows exactly where to shop. This means you don’t have to spend countless weekends at the shops trying to figure out what lamp shade will work best.
  2. Save your marriage/relationship by having a professional guide you with your decorating choices so that you don’t have to fight with your partner about kitchen tiles, sofa fabric, paint colours or how many cushions should be allowed on the bed!
  3. Gain access to quality trades with your decorators black book of trades they recommend and trust for projects. This will save you a lot of time researching the perfect person for the job and give your peace of mind.
  4. Gain access to quality products with your decorators long list of furniture wholesalers who won’t deal with the general public.
  5. Achieve a finished product you absolutely love by putting your home in the hands of a decorator who’s job is to create a beautiful, real and functional home for you and your family.

If you’d like to chat about my decorating services shoot me an email with your decorating problems and let’s get started!

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5 MARKETING MISTAKES YOU COULD BE MAKING

So you’ve done the hard yards and have invested ample time in marketing and advertising for your interior design business. But, despite feeling pretty chuffed that you’ve got this Instagram thing down pat and know how to whip up a Facebook ad or two, the results have been dire.

As in… no client leads.

Or only a few at that.

Could you be marketing your business all wrong?

Read on to find out the top 5 mistakes you could be making:

MISTAKE #1: Not having a niche

The number one mistake is trying to market to absolutely everyone, often getting lost in a sea of competition.

Start with the basics: what is your niche? What is your genius zone? What is your area of expertise?

If you are the interior designer who designs glamorous home offices for creatives, then be known for that. If you want to be known as the interior designer who conjures up covetable nurseries for new parents, then be known for that. Pick something that you want to focus on and get known for that, so you can stand out from the crowd.

Once you know your niche, market it obsessively (but not desperately) and ensure you are specifically communicating this niche across all of your business touch points so you can more effectively reach your desired customer avatar.

#TIP: Research people in your industry that have nailed their marketing dialogue – whether it be through flyers, ads, social media content, blogs and the gamut. See how they are communicating to their target consumer and take note.

MISTAKE #2: Not being consistent on social media

While social media can seem far too time-consuming and competitive, having a poor excuse for a social presence (or no social media presence at all!) can be losing you money every single day.

Why?

Social media marketing helps to validate your brand. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and open for business.

But so many interior designers are scared to promote themselves or fear they’ll be advertising to crickets. The secret here is to show up consistently, even if it means you might not get a client lead right away.

Choose the platforms that work for you and get active! Post pictures of your work. Get on Facebook. Share testimonials. Jump into an Instagram live. Do whatever it takes, for your future client to discover you, get to know your brand and get excited about using your services.

#TIP: Schedule posts in advance to reduce the overwhelm of running social media accounts and use an effective hashtag strategy to reach a broader audience.

MISTAKE #3: Not having an email opt-in (or an email list!)

Not investing any time in growing an email list? Ba-bow. Wrong move.

Building an email list is crucial because it’s the best way to build a relationship with potential customers. The more people you have on your mailing list, the more potential buyers see your services.

If you’ve got a pre-existing email list but it’s not really growing, try offering an email opt-in by way of a free downloadable (for example – 10 things you need to know before hiring your next interior designer).

Because you’re building your email list, you want to make sure that your opt-in goodie fixes a problem your dream client has and relates to your design service so always aim to be relevant and specific.

If you don’t have an email list yet, get it set up quicksmart, create your opt-in and market this on social media and beyond.

#TIP: Try to offer a service at the end of the opt-in. As an example, if your freebie is about picking the perfect grey paint colour, try offering a paint colour consult service to sell to your clients and step up your sales funnel.

MISTAKE #4: Not following up client leads

An all too common mistake is when designers let warm leads fall by the wayside as they forget to follow up or are afraid they’ll sound too eager. But this can be a serious biz killer.

Pick up the phone or send an email to any client leads that haven’t gotten back to you so you can potentially turn them into qualified prospects.

You might also want to turn cold leads into warm leads by creating bonus offers. For example, if they sign up with you that month, they’ll get a complimentary consult (normally worth $XXX).

Case in point: chase up client leads at all times for optimum results.

#TIP: Studies show that 44 per cent of sales people give up after one follow up, but 80 per cent of sales are made after five follow-ups. Seems excessive, but I say go for whatever amount of follow-ups feels comfortable to you, and don’t give up.

MISTAKE #5: Not promoting your services with public relations

Being heard among the proliferated and competitive interior design crowd can be challenging. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take strides to ensure your business is reaching a wider audience so more people can find you.

However, a common mistake interior designers make is assuming that PR is only for those that have massive budgets or love the limelight.

Wrong.

You can do your own public relations in a budget-friendly way to get your name out there simply by reaching out to publications and offering a value exchange.

Submit projects or guest blog posts to be featured. Email an interior design podcast and ask to be a guest. Research websites that post media story callouts and respond accordingly.

The options are endless! And the end reward can be priceless.

#TIP: Create a database of as many media outlets, blogs and social media channels you’d like to appear on, and aim to reach out to several each week to become the must-know expert in your industry. If you do have a budget, employ the help of a public relations agency that specialises in interior design to speed up the process and gain quality results.


Feeling inspired and pumped to up-level your business even more? I’d love to have you part of my 4-week Mentor Program for creatives just like you! We’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of running a successful business and I’ll hold your hand every step of the way, while unlocking the areas of your business which have been holding you back, to leave you feeling in control and confident.

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WHERE TO EVEN START WITH YOUR DECORATING PROJECT

The one question I get asked all the time is “where do I even start with my decorating project”? It can be an overwhelming task to decide on everything from the look you want to achieve to the colour palette and even what budget you’re able to work with. To simplify the process, I’ve made a handy list of everything you need to get your decorating project started and have you one step closer to designing your dream home.

1 | ASSESS YOUR SPACE

Have a think about who is using your space and for what purpose. In my book HOME: The Elements of Look, this is the first step in the decorating process and it’s called “Assessing The Needs & Wants”. You’ll need to make a list of the people using the space and what needs and wants they each have. For example, do you and your husband use the living room for TV watching in the evenings but during the day it’s a playground for the kids? Therefore, the room has different uses and functions so needs to be flexible with the furniture and floor plan.

2 | THINK ABOUT THE SIZES AND SHAPES

Get an understanding of the sizes and shapes you need to add to your space. For example, if you have a lot of linear lines in the room, such as windows, doors and entertainment units, you may want to introduce some rounded edges to soften the straight lines.

3 | ADD COLOUR AND PATTERN

Introduce colours and patterns to your room through soft furnishings and smaller decorative objects. The key to achieving the right balance is to stick to a 3-5 colour rule. This could be varying tones of the same colour or 3-5 colours which work well together.

4 | WORK OUT YOUR PROPORTIONS

Think about how big or small you can go with your furniture purchases. A quick hint – you’ll never regret a large rug as they are excellent for zoning a room.

5 | DON’T FORGET LIGHTING

Have a look at the room and think about if you could add lamps, wall sconces, pendants or even candlelight. Also, don’t forget warm white globes over cool white globes, as this will help you create more atmospheric lighting.

6 | HIRE AN INTERIOR DECORATOR

Your time is valuable, therefore, if you decide that you’re putting too much energy into decorating your space and you’re still not achieving your desired look, then it may be time to hire an interior decorator. I offer a range of clients all over Australia one-on-one specialised advice specific to their home. The benefits of hiring an interior decorator are that they will be able to stick within your budget (no matter how big or small), connect you with their black book of furniture suppliers and apply their expert know-how to create a beautiful space you’re proud of. If this sounds like the helping hand you need then take a look at my rates and design process here.


GRAB YOUR COPY OF HOME: THE ELEMENTS OF DECORATING ONLINE NOW

THE BESPOKE CORNER MELBOURNE STORE REVEAL

I’ve been working on an exciting project with to design their new store in Melbourne and I’m delighted to share with you a look behind the scenes of the before and after. What a transformation it was for such a short turn around!

The Bespoke Corner has been noted as “The best personalised tailoring service in Australia” by GQ magazine. So when they came to me with the project of transforming their Melbourne store into a luxurious and exclusive destination for made to measure suiting, I knew we were going to have to create something pretty special. Let’s take a look inside the store before we began the transformation…

BEFORE

Just like a tailored suit, each decorating project is completely unique and requires a specialised approach to create a seamless end result.

We were working to a really tight deadline so we didn’t have the usual time to work through the design process. Luckily I had worked with the boys on their Sydney store so I knew their design style very well which could speed things up a little faster.

The first task to undertake was drawing up the designs for the custom cabinetry that needed to be made specifically to fit the custom suits, shirts and ties. After a few rounds of revisions, we finalised the cabinetry and they went into production. From there we needed to sign off on the flooring. As it was uneven concrete our options were quite limited and we ended up going with a black epoxy resin with white flakes through it and it came up an absolute treat!!

We added only two walls to the final design to house a small office and storage area which meant the change room was next to this and needed a bit of a wow factor. We hung a large black satin curtain across the front of the change room and had a custom mirror made up for the centre of the change room. We then added in a rug, armchair and of course, a bar cart!

The store isn’t your typical retail store so the vibe needed to be more of a showroom and entertainment type of feel, so we added two grey sofas and a coffee table as a meeting area to discuss suit designs with clients.

The final touches were to wallpaper the back wall in a complimentary design so I opted for a black wallpaper with gold crisscrosses to tie in with the other gold elements in the space.

The finished result was a super slick fit out with lots of shiny fixtures and finishes to create the ultimate tailoring experience. Take a look at their brand new store and don’t be surprised if you suddenly want to visit for your own made to measure suit.

AFTER


Look your home or a brand new store can be an overwhelming task. That’s where I come in! I take the pressure out of designing the perfect space and hold your hand throughout the process. You receive one-on-one specialised advice specific to your project, gain access to professional know-how and tap into my huge furniture supplier base that work specifically with interior decorators and designers.

If you’ve got a decorating project you’ve been putting off for a while, then take a peek at my portfolio and feel free to get in touch as I would love to hear all about it and help you create something truly remarkable to call your own.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY INTERIOR DECORATING SERVICES

GUIDE TO MASTERING THE TRADE SHOWS

Guess what?! It’s trade show season again and as the design industry is gearing up for a few weeks of networking, inspiration and craziness I thought I’d put together my guide to mastering the upcoming trade shows.

Whether you’re a newcomer or trade show pro these helpful tips will make for a productive day as you discover the latest trends and put your networking hat on!

Time

Allow plenty of it! You will need at the very least half a day to explore the entire fair and that doesn’t account for time spent chatting and networking along the way. If you only have 2 hours to get in and out you will miss a fair chunk of it so allow plenty of time. If you have time, research the exhibitor’s list on the trade fair’s website prior to arriving at the fair so you know where you’re preferred suppliers are on the map and who you’ll need to spend the most time visiting. It would also be wise to make a little list either on your phone or notebook so you know where they are in the exhibition hall.

Wear the right attire

You will have walked a few kilometres by the end of the day so ditch the heels and go for the comfiest shoes in your wardrobe. Then the next thing to bring is a cross body bag, which may seem like a weird one but you’ll thank me later when you realise how much easier it is to keep your hands free when you’re taking catalogues and picking up products all day long. You get a big bag at the start of the show to put catalogues in so you don’t need to worry about juggling two big bags at once.

Take business cards along

Hand these out like lollies, I do a tonne of networking at trade fairs and often hand out business cards to not only suppliers but also to other designers and industry peeps who often go on to become great sources of client referrals. It’s not just about seeing new trends and products for me, I get just as much networking out of trade fairs as I do trend and product sourcing.

Stop and hydrate often

Don’t go into the trade fair hungry or you’ll be hangry in no time, stop for regular breaks so you don’t faint from starvation and maybe bring a few snacks to keep you going.

Take a notebook

You’ll see tonnes of new products in one hit, it’s a lot to take in so take a notebook and write down notes of items you love and can refer back to when you’re back at your desk sourcing items for clients.

Take catalogues and flyers

I often refer to these months later when the right project comes up that will suit a product or range I’ve seen previously at a trade fair. Which makes it essential to grab all the catalogues and flyers you can from brands you like to keep them top of mind.

Buy The Next Day

If you’re there to purchase products for your store or on behalf of clients, sometimes it helps to spend two days at the fair. The first day spent researching products, taking catalogues and chatting to suppliers then that evening flicking through the material and making a short list of purchases so you can go back the next day and place your orders without getting too carried away and overspending your allocated budget.

Shop From The Stands

If you have a way of getting the items home or to your office/store, a lot of the suppliers sell off the stands on the final day (usually cash sales) so that they don’t have to pack up as many products. You often get about 20% off the wholesale price and can nab some great bargains!


Do you run a creative business of your own? I’d love to introduce you to my exclusive launching soon for business owners just like you! It’s an intensive 4-week program designed to up-level your business skills and have you taking action towards achieving your dreams in no time!

or EMAIL ME to set up a time for an obligation free chat!

THE 4 BEST INVESTMENTS I’VE MADE INTO MY BUSINESS

When starting a business it can be hard to figure out where to invest your money to get the best results. Let alone getting a handle on your marketing, finances and branding just to name a few of the tasks that come with running your own show!

With this in mind, I’ve jotted down the four best investments I’ve made into my business over the years. To help guide you along the crazy journey of growing your own successful creative business. Let’s dive in!

Outsourcing

You’ll never feel truly ready to start paying other people to help you with things that you’ve got comfortable managing yourself, until you simply bite the bullet! Once you get some help a few hours a week, you will soon realise how much more productive you can be when you don’t have to do the mundane tasks you no longer enjoy (or aren’t great at). These things are usually financial (accountant), marketing (social media strategy planning), assistant for design work (helps check stock levels with suppliers, handles delivery details or general customer service with clients).

Instagram

is not so much a financial investment but more of a time investment that does pay off because it’s the ‘social proof’ to your website. So many of my clients find my website first then jump onto Instagram to get more of an idea of the work I do and how I work. When investing time into your Instagram it’s important to think about your unique tone of voice, brand aesthetic and who your target market is. This will help you plan out your images and write engaging captions which will grab your potential new clients attention.

Writing

Taking time to write blog posts, articles for other blogs and answering journalists questions – not to mention writing two books has been an invaluable investment for my business and has helped spread the word about me and my skill set. Now writing a book may not quite be on your to-do list just yet but a great place to start is by writing a few blog post for your website which will aim to educate, inspire and connect with new clients or keep your previous clients engaged with your business so that you’re top of mind next time they need your services.

Photographing My Work

Investing in a professional photographer is some of the best money you can spend in your business. Your completed work is what is going to bring in new work so it’s imperative you photograph it professionally to show it off! Once you’ve got your beautiful new images, put them on your website and social media to show everyone why you’re so great at what you do! Take a look at my portfolio to see some of my recent projects. 


Are you a creative business looking for more clarity, focus and direction when it comes to your marketing, branding and pricing? I’d love for you to join my which is designed to help you take action towards running your decorating business with intention. We’ll cover all these topics and more to get you feeling confident and in control of your business.

LOU’S PLACE MAKEOVER REVEAL

I recently had the chance to install a VERY special makeover project with Afsoon Kisirwani, from for , which is the only daytime women’s refuge in Sydney. The project began in March when we met with Nicole, the Director of Lou’s Place to discuss the makeover of the shelter. We put our heads together a came up with a fresh new decor plan for the common room and healing room that was looking very tired and cluttered, as you can see in the images below.

Nicole and her team put in hour upon hour to clear out the clutter and make way for the amazing new furniture that was being donated by our generous suppliers to breathe new life into the space. When everything arrived we rolled up our sleeves and got to work decorating each of the rooms to transform them into a space which felt inviting and nurturing. Everyone was thrilled with the finished results and I’m so excited to finally be able to share them with you!

Lou’s Place is an amazing daytime refuge in Sydney for women in crisis, suffering homelessness, fleeing domestic violence or in need of support. The terrace house is a private charity which receives no government funding and relies on the generous support of the general public, partners and volunteers. We want to say a BIG thank you to our wonderful suppliers who helped make this project happen and if you would like to help you can visit the Lou’s Place website .

THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPLIERS FOR THEIR GENEROUS DONATIONS

for the rugs

Wall Mural by Stuart Sale

for the artwork

Photographer by  

for the floors

for the wall stickers

for the sofa, chairs, coffee table and lamp

for the cushions, dining table and chairs

The TV, DVD player, coffee machine, toaster, kettle and Bluetooth speakers

were donated by a major electronics retailer who wish to remain anonymous

MY SECRETS TO RUNNING MY BUSINESS WHILE I’M AWAY

Over the last few weeks, I’ve hosted a workshop in Melbourne with , then to Brisbane for some meetings, then to the Gold Coast for more business meetings with . After that, I jetted up to Noosa for my Grandma’s 97th birthday and arrived back home in Sydney to work on a very special charity project with . All while looking after my interior design clients AND finalising the manuscript for my second book!

Managing a business while being away can be tough going but there are a few secrets I use to keep the wheels in motion:

Boomerang for Gmail is a lifesaver

This nifty plugin for Gmail makes life SO much easier, as you can ‘boomerang’ an email to come back into your inbox at another time rather than clogging your inbox while you’re trying to filter through everything and manage being out of the office. Which leaves you to focus on only the important emails.

Set an out of office

Even if you’re still going to be responding to emails while you’re away it’s important to set an out of office with plenty of information. I added that I won’t have email access during the day but I will respond in the evenings or when I can. Often clients would get the auto-reply and reply back saying they’d sorted out their problem and didn’t need me to respond.

Book a car in advance

Booking a car makes things so much easier when you’re travelling around a city over a period of 3 or more days. Ubers and taxis really add up otherwise. Then you can explore all your favourite places with ease and enjoy yourself without the stress of booking a car and waiting. We used in Melbourne and it was super simple and easy to organise.

Lounge Access

If you’re a frequent flyer then having access to the lounge is a life saver! Wifi, charging stations and endless food makes travelling a lot easier, especially if your flight is delayed like mine was from Melbourne to Brisbane. If you aren’t a frequent flyer you can pay an annual fee to access the Qantas lounge.

Travel with someone who understands

This is one of my most important tips and one which will make managing your business while being away fun!  I was travelling with a friend who also ran her own business so we knew that our evenings would be spent emailing or we’d have to take various phone calls throughout the trip. It’s just part of life, you can’t completely switch off or hope that clients will work out their own issues if you decide not to check emails for a week.

Thank you to for the lovely stay.

It was such a fun day at teaching students how to make the most of their Instagram while setting up their businesses.


Want to WIN a 1:1 Business Teaching session with me?

Podcast Coming Soon

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Tell me dear reader… What would you like to listen to?

I’ve been saying for almost a year that I want to launch a Podcast so I’m telling the world that it’s happening (that way I have someone to keep me accountable and then I will actually do it!!).

What’s the Podcast about?

Great question! It’s going to be called The Business of Look. Kinda broad I know but I didn’t want to skip out on any cool people that fit into the decorating industry because I’ve met so many cool people over the years, each with their own ‘zone of genius’. So I’ve lined up a dream list of people in the decorating industry – some are from other industries but offer great insights that can help interior designers, creatives and homeowners. Now I’m handing it over to you guys, what do you want to hear about?

Are you struggling with a certain issue in business? Is there a room in your house you’re totally stumped on and would like some professional tips? Are you interested in the world of Feng Shui? Or do you want to know where to best spend your cash when starting a reno?

Add a comment below or email me ([email protected]) and let me know what your burning decorating questions are and I’ll do some recon to find appropriate experts to interview!!

Emma x

The Privilege of Being A Decorator

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This is not your typical blog post title that’s for sure…The other day whilst driving to a client meeting to discuss a new project I had the realisation that as a decorator I get to know my clients on a much deeper level than most trades or service providers would. It’s a funny thing being that involved in a strangers lives and seeing inside their most personal and sacred spaces. It’s not something I take lightly and am always careful to respect their space and their items when discussing existing pieces they own or making any changes to the home. You can very easily offend someone by making a casual remark about an item in their home that may actually mean a lot to them.

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years, some I never meet in person (as we work via my Decor service), others I see almost weekly to check in on progress. It’s not always the case that I get so involved in their lives but the bigger jobs or the more intense jobs on tight deadlines often mean we have to dig deep into what their homes really mean to them faster and what events are taking place in their lives that will impact the job.

When first meeting a new client we do a walk around their home and chat about the decorating project. Then once I get a feel for the space we sit down and have a good chat about their current living arrangements, what needs changing, what bothers them about the space and any planned changes. I’ve often sat down with clients for this section of the consult and been told they are expecting a baby but not yet announced it to family and friends or shared that their child has a disability and therefore the home needs to work in a way that supports their child’s needs. Other times they’ll tell me that they have a sick parent who will be coming to live with them in their dying days and a special space needs to be designed for them.

I’ll never forget the family I had been working with for nearly a year. They emailed me excitedly one day to ask me to start work on a nursery as they’d just found out they were expecting. I made a start on the nursery design, excited for them at the prospect of a new family member only to be ed a week or so later to say they had unfortunately lost the baby. I was absolutely devastated for them and was even sadder knowing they hadn’t had the chance to announce the pregnancy to friends and family and were suffering in silence yet still had to remember to email me and tell me to stop working on the nursery. Happily, they have gone on to have a healthy baby who has a beautiful nursery of his own.

There are other stories like the couple who had been trying for years to fall pregnant so the spare room was ignored during the decorating process in the hopes that one day soon I’ll be back to plan the nursery but they didn’t want to get their hopes up in the mean time. Or the husband who’s wife had just moved into higher care because living at home with her illness was no longer an option but he needed to make some changes to the house to make her visits home a little easier.

Sometimes I get really overwhelmed at the stories my clients share with me. Often it’s the first time we’ve met but they’re important details that help me craft and create a beautiful space for them. It amazes me that they are so trusting in telling a virtual stranger who’s just stepped into their home all of these personal details but ultimately their honesty and bravery in telling me the first time we meet their stories helps me make their homes that much better for them. And maybe I even contribute to them feeling a little bit happier or cosier in their newly decorated space.

Emma x

Hi, I’m Emma

Stylist, decorator and author. That’s a lot of hats to wear, but I’ve been interior design obsessed pretty much my whole life so it’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I’m this immersed in the design world.

Renovation and Home Design
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