trade tales | May 19, 2023 |
5 designers on the habits they’re trying to break

Habits, by nature, reinforce themselves. And while there’s room for improvement in any business, identifying areas that need undoing requires a slightly different mindset. We asked five designers—Josh Minter, Brittney Ferguson, Williams Martinez, Sabra Ballon and Tineke Triggs—to talk about the habits they’re trying to break at their firms.

5 designers on the habits they’re trying to break
Josh MinterMatt Harrington

Active Discovery

“More often than not, we have tended to rely on a standard set of resources when selecting products to present to clients. While this approach provided us with a familiar list of options, we realized that it may have limited the scope of our offerings, which could have hindered our ability to showcase unique and exciting products. Lately, we have taken a more proactive approach to sourcing new products, making a conscious effort to explore new vendors and visit more showrooms in person. It’s proved to be a game changer. The wealth of options we have discovered through these efforts has been truly inspiring. Whether it’s uncovering an emerging maker or manufacturer with a fresh perspective, or discovering a different material, our renewed focus on exploration and discovery has been a catalyst for creativity as well as growth and success in our business.” —Josh Minter, Josh Minter Design, New York

5 designers on the habits they’re trying to break
Brittney FergusonCourtesy of Brittney Ferguson Interiors

Protect Your Peace

“A habit we are trying to break in our firm is being available 24/7 to our clients and contractors. We understand that our clients may not be free to review our emails until 5 or 6 p.m., but we have to learn to shut down our computers and recharge every day. Same goes for being accessible on the weekends. An urgent situation or an emergency is one thing, but answering a casual email on a weekend that can otherwise wait until Monday is something I’ve been focused on cutting back on. Having a work-life balance is important so we don’t burn out!” —Brittney Ferguson, Brittney Ferguson Interiors, Beaumont, Texas

5 designers on the habits they’re trying to break
Williams MartinezVenjhamin Reyes Photography

Return to Vendor

“I think all designers are guilty of having a messy library from time to time. This is normal when you are busy and getting projects ready for presentations. I would like to break the habit of not putting things back where they belong when we are done, and make sure to return the materials and samples we are not actively using to our vendors. That would help keep our library organized and would make it easier for others in the firm to find what they need.” —Williams Martinez, Casa Martinez, New York and Florida

5 designers on the habits they’re trying to break
Sabra BallonCourtesy of BallonStudio

Worth the Squeeze

“[I want to break the habit of] taking on very small projects. While we love to partner with clients in as many ways as we can to help build their dream homes and spaces, the amount of work that goes into a one-room renovation versus a whole-home renovation can feel surprisingly similar. As a small but growing firm, we have to be smart about how we are leveraging our resources on a day-to-day basis. That means, where possible, we really try to partner with clients on larger projects instead of single-room one-off jobs.” —Sabra Ballon, BallonStudio, San Francisco

5 designers on the habits they’re trying to break
Tineke TriggsKimberly M. Wang

Time Mind

“We are working to break two habits, actually. First, we are trying not to rush. When we rush to finish things, that’s when problems arise. The most effective way for our firm is to slow down, take time to think and double-check our work. We are also trying to move away from email-only communication. Email is great for meeting notes, checklists and quote requests, but not for fast communication. It is better to call and speak to a client or a vendor for quick questions, using email to follow up.” —Tineke Triggs, Tineke Triggs Interiors, San Francisco

Homepage image: A monochromatic palette lends sophistication to this California kitchen by Sabra Ballon | Aubrie Pick

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