My Biggest Interior Design Fail

My biggest interior design fail

I’ve been in the interior design industry for 16 years, and admittedly, I’ve made a few mistakes. (Okay, I’ve made MANY mistakes.) From hiring terrible contractors to saying yes to projects that weren’t a good fit to forgetting to follow up on purchase orders, I’ve done it all and learned a lot along the way! But there’s one interior design fail that I’ve done more than once, and have been learning my lesson over and over again. Here’s what I did wrong – and how I’m fixing it.

My biggest interior design fail?

My biggest interior design fail is not trusting my gut.

When it comes to making design decisions, I know what I like! Playfully polished interiors are what I’m all about, and I’ve honed my skills and my style over the years to be able to quickly determine what works for a project. I get a gut feeling about something, and it’s thrilling to feel a design scheme come together.

But…then I start to rationalize decisions, I start to think through all the reasons why this idea doesn’t work or why my client will think I’m crazy. You would THINK with 16 years of experience that design would come easy to me! And it does…which is part of the challenge. Everything I create feels like such a part of me, and showing my design ideas to a client is like wearing my heart on my sleeve. It’s like presenting my insides to someone and saying, “What do you think of ME?” I have a hard time separating my identity from my designs.

I recently had a concept design presentation for a client, where we present an initial furniture plan along with a few materials and some key pieces for the project. I had chosen a fun wallpaper for the main bathroom with cats all over it! It was so funny and charming and playful and silly – I fell in love with it immediately. And as I pulled together the design scheme, I found other materials like beautiful countertops and backsplash tile that made a lot of sense with the wallpaper. And although I loved how the design was coming together, the night before the meeting…

…I chickened out. I was worried my client would think it was too juvenile or silly, and therefore think that I was too juvenile or silly.

Moodboard with cat wallpaper and blue hex tile

Life is too short to settle for “safe”.

I revised the design and presented a perfectly fine, “safe” scheme. But right at the end of the meeting, I felt a nudge to pull out the cat wallpaper that I had tucked deep in my bag.

“I had another idea for the bathroom that I think you might like, but it’s a little…different,” I started.

And when I pulled the wallpaper out to show her the sample…

…her face LIT UP. Like a child seeing a balloon or bubbles (or cat!). “I LOVE IT!” she exclaimed.

What a lesson I learned in trusting my gut, and in trusting that the clients that work with me want my heart. Want my gut feelings. Want the playful, fun, offbeat elements that make Lesley Myrick Interior Design what it is.

If you’ve been feeling doubt about what you’re putting into your home – especially if it feels too bold, silly, or rebellious – here’s your encouragement to GO FOR IT. Love that cat wallpaper? It belongs in your home. Saw a hot-pink Aztek rug that stopped you in your tracks? It belongs in your home. If you’ve found something you adore but aren’t sure how to make it, work, I’d love to help. Book a complimentary consultation call so we can get to know each other, answer your questions, and see if we’re a great fit together.

Interior designer Lesley Myrick's biggest interior design fail