The Learning Curve

Experience is one of those extremely valuable intangibles in life.  People are like sponges soaking up everything they're going through,  learning from it & becoming better.  This of course applies to interior designers & the knowledge required for each project is incredible.  I learn something with every new project I take on, with every client I meet and with almost every book or article or blogpost I read and every picture I study.  We constantly educate ourselves.  We could read a book a day for the rest of our lives and still not know everything.

{image via Delight by Design}

And I think this is what keeps things exciting.  When I realized that my husband was someone I could keep getting to know for the rest of my life - that he had so much depth & I find him so interesting and feel like there's always more to know- I knew he was the one for me.  And that's also how design is.  {He will so hate me comparing him to interior design- sorry now Dav if you're reading this!!}

{Kitchen by Victoira Hagan via Things That Inspire}

But I think we're excited by what's to come:  What we are in the process of learning or understanding or creating.  When I'm in the midst of a project, I'm crazy about it.  Once it's finished, it's like a present you're giving to someone else & then they get to enjoy it.  But my enjoyment comes from picking out that perfect gift & giving it to them...  Once it's been given & they like it, I pretty much stop thinking about it.  (We don't sit around for weeks, years, or months to come thinking about how much a friend must be enjoying our gift;  we move on and think about the next birthday, the next gift.)

{image via Cote de Texas}

I was rereading The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman yesterday and I really love what she says about being in a career you love.  The sooner, you make steps toward that career, the happier you will be.  The younger you are, the better.  But I also think being new in any career means you lack experience.  The more experience you gain, the more full you are.  There are pros and cons.  New people in a field often look at it with fresh eyes.  They may be less jaded and possibly more excited.  The best are those in the field who have both experience & excitement. 

{House Beautiful via decor pad}

And I think that what keeps experienced people excited & impassioned, is the learning curve.  Even those who've been in the field for 50 years are still learning and most will readily admit it. 

There's so much to know that it can be mind boggling sometimes, but once you go after what you want to know, it's yours if you care to keep it.  For the past few years I've been really being blown away by all there is to know and I've found myself writing lists of the people I want to learn about & research in design- both in the past & present...  Lists of artists to look up {trips to the museum send me home with so more reasearch & homework than I can handle!}  Business practices, books, magazines & blogs to read,  and photos of rooms to analyze...  and then there's the stuff that I know I should know & have forgotten or stopped attempting to finds about about.  {Ie the NEWS.  I'm horrible with current events and it's actually really pathetic how little I pay attention.  I can't even give you examples because it's so embarrassing.  I've vowed to start listening to NPR in the mornings.}  Computers, technology, etc.  There are times when I just wish I could press a button and know something.  (Like photoshop!)

And then there's all of the information you can only gain through experience.  No one can "tell" it to you.   You have to learn it on your own.  And you sometimes have to make mistakes to gain the most valuable bits. 

There are times when I feel so new in this business - I'm going on three and a half years now- and I really feel llike I'm just now finally laying down the foundations for my business.  I know I have so much more to learn and I take away something (actually somethings!!) from every project- be it exposing myself to a new point of view, changing a business practice based on what clients need, or learning to appreciate a design style I'd never worked with.  And that's what keeps this career interesting & fulfilling. 

Anyway, hope you had a wonderful weekend!!  I'm loving all of the green that's popped out everywhere.  The little strip of woods behind our house seemed to fill in this weekend & we have total privacy again, which is so nice.  We moved into our home two years ago yesterday and looking out my windows right now, I remember why we fell in love with it. 

{2 years ago when we first moved in... my little sister & my son}

{now, photo by Helen Norman}

Happy Anniversary, House!

xoxo, Lauren

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


Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

You've transformed your home, and in just two years...beautiful job! Enjoy! Janell

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

This was a gorgeous post- thanks for your thoughts and the stunning images- your house is so lovely!!

alison@MyLittleHappyPlace said...

I think it's all rather incredible - to think that in only three+ years, you've establishe a business, and even have your own line of (beautiful!) fabrics! It's more than some accomplish in an entire career!
I think your success is partly due to the fact that you ARE so willing to learn, push yourself, and always be fresh of mind.
Kudos to all you've accomplished!

alison g.

Hooper Patterson said...

Oh so true:)
hooper patterson

Tawna said...

This is why I love you and your work! And really, like other comments, I can't believe you've accomplished so much in so few years! I love this business so much, but it's hard out here because people are just worrying about putting food on their tables. I'm not giving up on doing it though, and I know I have so much to learn!

LiveLikeYou said...

Great post Lauren!! I'm dedicated to always challenging myself, learning, and doing things that give me a small dose of fear to do!!! That way I know I'm doing my best. BTW did you see my site LiveLikeYou? It's finally up a year after schedule!! Every day I have to learn new things,problem solve in an area I can't seem to learn enough about!! xx Jill

Ruthie's Renewed Treasures said...

I'm learning right along with you Lauren. Your house is beautiful!

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Lauren, Love this post and I have really enjoyed watching the progression of your career in the year and a half I've been following your blog. Your home is beautiful and your designs just get better and better. I know what you mean about the learning curve....I feel like I am learning more and more each day! It's crazy. said...

Hi Lauren, i've been at this crazy business for 13 years and I love that there is always something to learn, things to keep me growing. I am about to join a fanyastic design firm and this new leap is full of possibilities and learning. I think the passion for learning and adapting is just as key as the passion we have for beautiful surroundings! What a great, honest post.

Jerico Jien said...

this is amazing.... awesome!

Rachael said...

I can't believe it's only been two years since you moved in - that you have found time and energy to transform your house while having your own business and being a wife and mother - it's incredible. I'm envious and inspired. Thanks for another lovely post!

Acquired Objects said...

This was a wonderful and enlightening post, thank you! No matter how long you’ve been in a career, I’ve had my business for 24 years, you can’t possibly know it all but that’s half the fun learning something new everyday. This is what keeps me excited about my business, that and I’m doing something that I love and I can’t get enough of it. Trust me do what you love and the rest will follow! Have a fabulous week Lauren!

XX Debra,

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Loved your post, Lauren. I feel the same way. I wish every day for just a couple more hours to pack it all in. I enjoy the learning almost as much as the doing. It keeps things so exciting. I feel for those who feel they have arrived and can't possibly learn from others.

Brooke said...

Love this post. As a new blogger who is just starting out in the design world, I often feel like I should have learned it all - yesterday! Thanks for the thoughtful reminder to enjoy the journey.

JP's Books said...

So true, experience counts but also loving what one does is equally as important. It is fun to learn, to experience new and old and to create gifts of work.
My work is the same, each one is like a "happy gift!"
Love your writing - and how nice to see your home - transformed and growing.

under spanish moss said...

This post resonates so much with the both of us. We love learning new things and expanding our knowledge daily. We dedided to make adjustments in our careers and start doing what we love. This was such an inspiration for us!!!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

...You know...sometimes I think you are 55. You have a wisdom about you that transcends age.

Continue to move. Forward!

traci zeller designs said...

You are so right - the combination of experience and excitement is perfect! Oh, and if you find the button to press to learn PhotoShop (or anything else for that matter), will you let me know?! xo!!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

great how you decorated your living room too.

A Perfect Gray said...

lauren, I used a shot of your recent showhouse room in my post today. I am crazy about your ikat curtains. donna

lisaroyhandbags said...

Your home is gorgeous and you've accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. Life is a learning experience everyday and I think when you stop learning, you stop living! :)

Girly Notes said...

congratulations on being mentioned in matchbook mag :))

Conspicuous Style Design Blog said...

Love your blog, love your house, love your style, would o ANYTHING for your chartreuse sofa!!!

Kathysue said...

Lauren I say that all the time, about being on a constant learning curve when it come to design. I have been at it for over 30yrs and I still get excited when I see something new or old that inspires me and makes me think of life and its surroundings differently. I think when we get out or off of the learning curve, we aren't living anymore we are merely existing. I love life and I am still passionate about design!! Keep going the way you are going sweetie, you are doing wondefully, Kathysue

peny113 said...

Oh, Who will not fall in love with your house, eh? Anyway, as for learning, though people get older, learning is a must, for if we stop to learn we are also stopping ourselves to live.:)

Peny@cheap digitizing