DESIGN, devotions for the decorator



In the interior design world you often hear the expression “the devil is in the details” when referring to how thoughtful design elements work together to create a beautifully well-executed project. You know, the WOW factor. Recently I learned this phrase actually derived from “God is in the detail” meaning attention paid to small things yields a big reward. In other words, details are important.

Naturally, the latter phrase is the one I’m drawn to the most.

Growing up I was taught that whatever is done should be done with excellence. I remember this lesson most vividly as a teenager. My nightly responsibility was to clean the kitchen after dinner. I wanted nothing more to get that task done so I could move on to other things like a phone conversation or catching my weekly TV show. However, I just as vividly remember being awaken in the wee hours of the morning by my grandmother who’d later returned to the kitchen to see I had done, in my words, a half-assed job. Doing it right couldn’t wait until morning. It required attention now. It didn’t take too many times of busting suds in the middle of night to learn this important lesson. Had I done things right the first time, then it wouldn’t have taken twice the time to complete the same task.

Doing things in excellence is not exactly a common trait nowadays. People are most interested in doing good enough.  Because interior design is a luxury service, expectations are high just as they should be. When you deliver good enough to the client your work looks half-assed.

We’re also taught to not sweat the small stuff, however that has to be used in the proper context. Design and decoration is all about the small stuff and the big reveal is nothing more than a collection of small, important details.

[Tweet “Design and decoration is all about the small stuff”]

I used to feel like my hard work and details went overlooked by clients until I would get an email or text messages telling me they noticed how beautifully the patterns match on a pair of chairs, for example. I also have to remind myself that God sees our efforts and in turn rewards us with even better opportunities when we prove faithful with little.

Doing it right the first time doesn’t always mean it will take more time, though sometimes it does. But the pain of regret is a more expensive and much harder pill to swallow than the pain of discipline in doing it right the first time.

This week remember to attempt to do things right the first time. A second time is much too costly. 

[Tweet “Do things right the first time, a second time is much too costly.”]
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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Linda Jordan
    July 4, 2016 11:41 am

    Great story! I needed to hear that. You put in words my thoughts and feelings about my work. I am a faux finisher and painter. Yes, most people just want some color on their walls. But, when you sand and dust, tape off , use good quality paint, etc. A detailed paint job becomes a beautiful part of the project as any expensive piece of furniture. I feel so much better when I do it right the first time.

  • Great article…this blessed me. I have recently considered attending design school, and I want to make sure that I don’t just love design for myself, but to help others love their homes. I am looking forward to reading more #devotionsforthedecorator…Thank you!

  • Beautifully written! And you are right on the money!

  • Erika this is so true every single time. I chuckled at half-assed. It was a term my parents would use when they knew we could do way better than what we were doing. They were always right. =) It’s a lesson that has also stuck with me to this very day. One I have passed on to my kids too – but I say half-tailed! LOL!!!

  • There is a huge difference between being done and being mastered. And the real professionals create masterpieces 🙂

  • […] decor caught my eye. These purple accent colors are rockin’! Oh my, the colors of this bedroom are serene and […]


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