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Recently, a business consultant told me that I was spending entirely too much time producing the small details for my clients. He strongly advised me just to deliver what was promised, set it up, invoice for it, and then call it a day. He assured me that I would be much more profitable with his method since I wouldn’t be “wasting” all my creative energy returning to a project over and over to complete the tiniest of details. I listened and did what I always do when I don’t agree with someone, which is to smile politely (After all, I was raised in the South! “Miss Southern Elegance”, right?), nod, and then do exactly what I know is right.  

You see, to me design is all about the details. This is what separates the professionals from the non-professionals. I think all jobs, no matter how large or how small, deserve the little (what some, like my former business consultant, would consider insignificant) details that truly make a house a home.  

Elegant Dining Room

Look carefully at the bottom right of this photo, and you will see the carefully disguised vent cover mentioned in the blog.

 Here’s an example. Once I painstakingly drove around with an air handler cover to 3 different carpenters, trying to find one who would make something more decorative – just to achieve the right look! The cover was going to be right smack dab in the middle of a dining room wall which had been faux painted with 9 layers of finishes to achieve a beautiful strie’ wood effect. There was no way I was going to have any of my client’s dinner guests looking directly at this typical ugly metal eyesore. All of the carpenters and subcontractors on the job told me I was nuts and that it was a waste of time, but again, I smiled, nodded, and continued driving around, looking for someone who would listen to me.  

I attended a party at this house over the Christmas holidays and I actually winked and smiled at my beautiful hand carved cover as I enjoyed my holiday fare. Now imagine if I had failed to carry out this attention to detail and how crazy I would have looked standing the entire evening trying to shield the air handler cover with my body! 

Hand-painted window treatments

One very special little girl, the daughter of a wonderful client, has bedroom window treatments that are made from miles, not yards, of hand-painted silk that are personalized with memories of her life. Some examples include her favorite books, gifts tags from her best friends, playbills, and her favorite song lyrics.

French Laundry Door

For another of my clients, a "normal" door simply would not do. Rather, a French Laundry door adds to the charm of the space.

 So when you are thinking about your home, this consultant says, don’t skimp on the details no matter what your profit margin! This is the single most important aspect to incorporate into your design. Again, DON’T SKIMP on the details and if anyone criticizes you, just smile sweetly, nod, and do exactly what you know in your heart will make your house a home you’ll love!          

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