Portfolios


One of the biggest tools an interior designer has in attracting new clients is his or her porfolio.  From Day 1, I've made it my goal to flush mine out as best I can.  My very first portfolio started out with photos of only one project and I had glossy 8x10s printed out at a photo store and put them in a pretty ring folder.  It wasn't much to look at it but it did help me get some new clients.  Each time I had a new project to add, I'd comb through the portfolio, removing older projects and inserting new ones. 

 Nowadays, there are so many great tools & programs available for creating cool photo books & portfolios that I decided to break out of the printed 8x10s.  When submitting for the DC Design House, I was required to produce a portfolio of my work and so I made a new one on blurb.com  (photo above of my portfolio.)  I put my logo on the front cover and filled it with photos of recent projects:


I was really happy with how it came out.  The one thing I did notice was that there was a little bit of a strange yellow tinge to some of the photos and it made some of my greens a bit off.  Also, I didn't upload high-res images (which I should have) and many of them came out a little blurry, so, next time I'll be sure to do high-res images. 

I included a "press" section and also a section at the end showing some of my current in-progress projects with notes. 


For my family photo books I use snapfish.com, but it doesn't have the flexibility blurb.com has.  I loved being able to make a pretty dust jacket for the book too.

Most of the time, it's my online portfolio that attracts new non-referral clients.  Having a web presence has been my company's biggest asset.  If you don't have a website, there are even sites out there that you can use to showcase your work.  I recently went to a talk by Michael Boodro, Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decor- about Elle Decor's new online Designer Registry.  which can do just that.  It's a listing of designer portfolios that prospective clients can browse through by location to find a designer whose work they like.  I've done a designer registry with them but desperately need to update it. 

I know many of you have successful design businesses & I'd love to hear how you do your portfolio!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

40 comments:

Acquired Objects said...

Fabulous idea so I'm going to check out Blurb.com today. Love you also included your own home since I think it's fabulous! Thanks for the info!

sarah @ realestatestyle said...

i love it! could also be a coffee table book! love your logo too!

pve design said...

As an artist, a portfolio is one of those ever changing representations of one's work. Over the years, mine has certainly evolved. The internet has certainly propelled more design at our fingertips.
I am very much a "paper" person and drawn to pretty pictures and words.
Love your portfolio.
pve

Wives said...

so beautiful!

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

I hadn't heard of blurb...I must go check it out! My portfolio is in serious need of revamping!

eclecticrevisited said...

Hi Lauren,
very nice of you to share your resources with your readers...
bloggers are some of the most helpful and resourceful people...
maureen

Ellen said...

I love Blurb! and I love the fact that you have managed to do so much without spending a fortune....congrats! smiles...

Barbara Jordan Dettweiler said...

As someone who is just getting started on the process of interior design blogging, etc. this was so insightful! Thanks so much for your openness!
Barbara@HausDesign
http://bjdhausdesign.blogspot.com/

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

I absolutely love this- you've created your very own gorgeous coffee table book, along with makign a beautiful portfolio for your business. Thanks for sharing your sources- this was fabulous to read/see.

Maria said...

fabulous idea! lovely greetings

http://design-elements-blog.com/

Single Stone Studios said...

Lauren, you do some of the BEST informational posts about running a design/art business. I love this idea for a portfolio. Fantastic!

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- Your portfolio looks simply stunning. Wow! Helen Norman's photographs look gorgeous on those full pages! The dust cover is simple and classic in black and white.

You are such a source of information. Thanks for the introduction to blurb.com! I getting ready to bring some jewelry to an appointment to a new gallery next week, and I'm thinking I should make a little portfolio book for my appointments and shows. I am daydreaming it could have studio and process photos as well as the standard press hits and product shots. So many possibilities!

Will you be printing a new portfolio every year? I can imagine it would be a wonderful documentation of your career.

Loretta

Claudine said...

Lauren,

It looks like you just created your first design book=;) Can followers and fans buy a copy?

Claudine
DC Metro Mommy
www.DCMetroMommy.com

white wave design said...

what a wonderful idea!! it looks great.
thanks for sharing!

Jenny Castle Design said...

Just another fabulous idea by you Lauren, thanks for passing along!!!

Laurie Jones said...

Another great post Lauren. I would be so interested in other designers sharing their portfolios. Perhaps an idea for a future post?! As an interior design student getting ready to finish their degree, its one of those things they don't cover enough in school! Your portfolio is beautiful!

whereORwhat said...

I just can say : WOW!


Simply and perferct.Nice job =)

Grettings from Spain
http://whereorwhat.blogspot.com/

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

When I read your mention of blurb.com before and checked it out, I saw they also do books where you can print out your blog -- love that idea, too! I'm sure yours is stunning and the cover is fantastic. Are you putting it for sale in their store?

Windlost said...

Beautiful Lauren. Thanks for the referral to Blurb, which I have heard about before. I've been thinking about making family albums on my Mac but wonder if Blurb is better or worse.

Your portfolio looks great! The internet is so empowering (and also overwhelming with choice and information)!

Wish I lived closer to see progress with your showhome plans and help you carry in furniture. Just think - I could be an engineer by day and Lauren-helper by night! :)

xo Terri

Kasey McKay said...

your portfolio looks great! i hadn't heard of blurb so i will for sure check it out. i just discovered your blog not too long ago and it is now one of my faves!

Lisa @ simple-e-design said...

Lauren,
Your portfolio is stunning. Thanks for sharing it and the tip on blurb.com. I'll definitely check them out. Another inspiring idea from you! Many thanks!
xo, Lisa in Denver

A.S. said...

Wow--great post and gorgeous porfolio! Good for you, and lucky us!

casey at loft and cottage said...

Oh my goodness, Lauren, what a gorgeous book! I am so inspired and will add this to the list of things I need to do for my business. Of course, the online portfolio is so easy to change and for clients to access but the book is truly impressive. Thanks so much for sharing!

Lisas Creative Home said...

Thankyou for this info! I just finished school and got my certification last week. I am proud to be able to put C.I.D after my name. I will be working on putting together my portfolio now (which will consist of pictures of my own home projects to begin with). I love how your portfolio came out on blurb.com. I am going to check them out right now!

Karen said...

Lauren,
What a beautiful logo and the book looks amazing. I'd hire you! Good luck with your business...you are so talented. I loved seeing your dream house images.
Karen at Garden, Home and Party

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Love the idea! If it wasn't midnight I'd check it out right now. I think I'll put it on the list and head to bed. Thanks for sharing. As always great advice.

Marielle said...
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Marielle said...
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Party Resources said...

I use Blurb all the time for coffee table books of family photos as gifts. Yours looks fantastic!

Classic...with a twist said...

You are so sweet to share this... many new bloggers are inspired by you! I will check out Blurb as I have been venturing into online presentation boards by exploring www.polyvore.com and www.olioboard.com. The list continues!

Linda Merrill said...

I'll have to check out Blurb. I've used MyPublisher.com and used the soft cover flip book selection. The photography does reproduce beautifully (and yes, always upload hi-res!) and the colors were very true. But the hard cover with dust jacket seems very enticing too!

Vivian De Winter said...

Congratulations on your acceptance! Your book looks wonderful - worthy of any coffee table. It clearly shows you are prepared, professional and talented.

Thank you for sharing all of your hard-earned expertise.

My sister and I went through a Home Staging and Redesign course a couple of years ago. She's a real estate fanatic and I'm a creatively chaotic type of girl. I had quit my full-time job to start up our own company, right before the economy became challenged. We weren't able to get enough business to keep it going, so I'm living my dream through you. You go girl!

Danielle said...

Is that the robot deer I see ;)? Looks fabulous! Also, I am so so so so happy for you that you got a spot in the Design Center...that is incredible and you so so so so so deserve it! Sorry, haven't had a chance to comment...I was stuck in Florida for a few days! I am sure you feel horrible for me ;)! Hope all else is well...you are doing awesome!!

red ticking said...

i feel so out of the loop.. thanks for the tips sweetie...
have a wonderful weekend... xoxo

Sherman said...

Nice idea! Your book looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing you portfolio.
Sherman Unkefer

Simple Dwellings said...

I also love blurb.com. I was so amazed with the way the albums come out! I wanted to let you know that I am passing the stylish blogger award to you! Please see my latest post for all the details. :)

Jessica Wrasman said...

Thanks for sharing this. It looks great!

Carla@DesignintheWoods said...

Great idea. My photographer was sharing this idea with me also. I have a big binder with plastic sleeves and photos. It's very cumbersome. This is much sleeker and presents well. I'll check out it. Thanks for the info.

tdclassicist said...

What a great improvement over the typical! Many thanks for your recommendations.

Sidney Wagner said...

I have been looking into this as well...yours is stunning! Thanks for taking the time to share the info with us!

Sidney
Eclectic Interior Design Group