How your design process affects your pricing

Through my work as a podcaster and window dressing specialist, I have met designers from all over the world, each with different origin stories, different niches, different visions and different dreams. But one thing brings us all together: we are creatives in our essence.

Most creatives, especially designers, don’t pursue careers just because they want to make money. You choose to be a designer because of your creative spirit and your desire for expression. The design provides the output. (Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make money doing it too!)

Campbell House designer Darrell Long recently joined me on my podcast. As part of his role, Long is the mentor of young designers at the company. One of his goals, he says, is to teach them that real creativity comes from within, not from Pinterest, Google or Instagram.

True innovative design is possible, Long says, when you put away your research tools and channel your inner creativity. It can mean visiting a museum, spending time looking at paintings, and thinking about the inner workings of art and expression. It could mean finding a muse or letting some other form of creativity, like music, guide you to some truly original designs.

The response to Long’s episode was overwhelming. What he said resonated with designers of all ages and experience levels. This answer told me something: many of you want to do more. You want to create. You want to innovate. You want to bring more value to your customers.

It also told me that many designers don’t feel like they bring this high level value to their projects.


It is important to understand how this perception can impact your career. The value you think you bring is directly related to the type of customers you attract.

If you’re tired of customers who don’t understand that interior design isn’t all about looking for a white sofa on Pinterest, then you need to bring that extra value and you need to be able to express that value. to potential customers.

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Your talent as a designer is more than an eye for color or producing a standard aesthetic. It’s in the details: noticing the curvature of a stair railing, for example, and finding a coffee table with legs that echo it. It’s looking at everything and understanding how it helps tell the story of your client’s life, passions, and feelings.

You can and will be confident in your own worth as a designer when you know you’ve got the job done. When you know you’ve factored in the architecture, style, period, history, vision, aesthetics – all of the wonderfully creative ways to bring a space to life – it’s much easier to charge for this. that you are worth. You won’t have to question yourself or your own rates. You will know, through the true creativity you brought, that you are worth it. And then, you will not accept any less.

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Billie M. Secrist

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