2017 was a year of exciting change for Lorain & May. We learned many important lessons, we added valuable new team members and we transformed many homes and offices into spaces of beauty and stylish efficiency.
10 Things We Learned In 2017
1. It takes a village. Some of us are born with the “I can do it all myself” gene, so I hereby recognize that it is a wonderful lesson to learn it’s okay to pay someone to lighten your load. Whether it’s hiring additional staff to run our business more smoothly (which we did, keep reading) or hiring an interior designer, no one can do absolutely everything herself.
2. When you have something valuable to offer, it’s a pleasure to share it. Tina Hendricks - our first hire of 2017 – taught us this lesson. Tina came to us with decades of design experience, but also a talent for explaining the value of professional design services to potential clients.
3. If you need help with the latest computer program for your business, hire a recent UCD graduate. Okay, we learned this a few years back, but hiring Melyssa Lee proved it again when she joined us this June and in about 1 hour was drawing up floor plans and perspective drawings in our computer drafting program like she had been doing it since Kindergarden.
4. Always keep learning. We’ve always attended trade shows and taken continuing education courses to keep up with new materials and codes, but this year we discovered the value of webinars. Quick and convenient, webinars have helped us keep up to date with market trends and expand our knowledge about social media marketing.
5. Everyone wants a new Kitchen. Although not an entirely new idea in 2017, we designed more Kitchen remodels this year than in any other year before. Housing values have continued to rise and most local homeowners looking at dated oak cabinets and tile countertops are ready to update their Kitchens to a cleaner more sleek-looking style than the typical kitchens of the early 90’s and before.
6. Designing for aging in place is a smart choice. It is a fact we are not getting any younger, so for many of our clients who are remodeling the home they intend to live in long-term, we will likely propose room plans and design solutions that will remain easy to use as we age.
7. Plan offices to allow for flexibility. Businesses will grow and change and expand and contract as needed to survive in today’s competitive business climate. Planning an office with furnishings than can be rearranged and repurposed is the most affordable way to allow our client’s businesses to evolve with reduced costs for modifications.
8. Don’t get paralyzed by indecision. Whether it’s deciding on a new software program to run your business (our current dilemma) or picking out flooring and kitchen cabinetry, don’t get frozen by fear and lack of knowledge. Get a professional opinion, educate yourself and move forward with confidence and you won’t regret it.
9. We have great industry partners. The design of a space has tremendous value, but it cannot become a reality without great furnishings resources and talented contractors to bring the design to life. We’ve added some great industry partners this year that have helped us bring our clients the very best furniture lines, cabinetry, flooring and window covering options on the market.
10. Our clients are our most valuable asset. Thank you to all of you who have allowed us to work with you on your design projects in recent years. We would not be here today without you. We are particularly appreciative to those who were kind enough to write us some lovely reviews that let us be awarded a “Best of Houzz.com Service” honor for 2017.