Publish October 27, 2023
I Wish I Knew Sooner – Hindsight Perspectives
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The Power of Leapfrogging in Interior Design: What I Wish I Knew Sooner

There’s an old saying that goes, “Experience is the best teacher.” While this holds true, what if I told you that you don’t necessarily have to gain that experience first hand to reap the benefits? After three decades in the interior design industry, I’ve come to realize the immense value of learning from others’ experiences – a concept I fondly call “leapfrogging.”

What is Leapfrogging?

In the realm of interior design, leapfrogging is the act of acquiring knowledge and insights through the experiences of others. Why is this so groundbreaking, you ask? Because it can fast-track your progress by light years! It’s akin to skipping multiple steps on a staircase, landing further ahead without the exertion of climbing every single step.

The Value of Mingling with Experienced Designers

If you’re a budding designer, here’s my golden nugget for you: surround yourself with seasoned designers. These individuals are treasure troves of wisdom, gained over years of triumphs and failures. By simply listening to their stories, seeking advice, and observing their methods, you can avoid countless pitfalls and rookie mistakes. Why learn the hard way when someone else has already paved a smoother path for you?

A Lesson in Efficiency: The One-Touch Rule

One of the most transformative lessons I learned came from working with a prolific designer. Her business was worth millions, yet she ran a lean operation. The efficiency she displayed was nothing short of mesmerizing. The biggest takeaway? She touched a piece of paper once, maybe twice at most.

In contrast, I often found myself caught in an endless loop of indecision, always second-guessing myself. I would put tasks on hold, hoping that with a little more time or information, I’d make the ‘perfect’ choice. But watching her work, I understood that this constant vacillation was a hindrance.

Taking a leaf out of her book, I began to make decisions swiftly and confidently. Instead of overthinking, I started to trust the information at hand, making the best decisions in the given moment. This small shift not only accelerated my workflow but also made the design process infinitely more enjoyable.

From Years and Tears to Efficiency and Mastery

The process of designing, like any other craft, has its learning curve. But remember, every time you decide to start a task and then stop midway, you’re not just wasting time, but also diminishing your momentum and confidence. Drawing from the wisdom of others, especially those who have been there and done that, can help you streamline your process and eliminate unnecessary detours.

Done Over Perfect

Perfection is an illusion. Chasing it can sometimes mean never completing a task or project. Instead, aim for completion. A finished project, even with minor flaws, is far better than an eternal work in progress. So the next time you find yourself stuck in the quagmire of indecision, remember: Done is better than Perfect!

The interior design journey is filled with discoveries, challenges, and growth. While it’s essential to carve out your unique path, don’t shy away from leapfrogging. Embrace the wisdom of those who walked before you, and you’ll find that success, efficiency, and fulfillment come much easier.


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