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A CEO’s Approach To Interior Design


Is this you? At work, you’re always the first to volunteer to head up a new project. Or maybe you organized the entire PTO fundraiser and rocked it. While no one would call you a DIYer (hello, TaskRabbit), when it comes to getting things done, you’re the one people call… 

…and you love it. Jumping in, getting your hands dirty (metaphorically, mostly), and orchestrating a project like the badass boss you are — that’s your idea of a good time.

If you’re thinking, “Sorry, Melanie, project management is my nemesis.” No judgment. You can stop right here, go here instead, and save yourself some time. But if all of this does sound like you, you’re the perfect person to run your home redesign like a CEO. 

What does that mean? Come find out… 

1. CEOs Craft the Vision

A CEO is responsible for the vision of their company. Although they often collaborate with the people around them (team members, stakeholders, etc.), the CEO is responsible for pointing the direction. 

The same is true of you and your renovation—you have to know what you want from your home. Yes, you may get an interior designer’s advice + assistance, but we can’t come up with incredible, life-changing ideas for you unless we know the goals for the home and your family’s lifestyle. That’s up to you.

P.S. If you choose our Online Interior Design Service, we will help you identify your vision, come up with ideas you may never have considered, and establish an action plan for reverse-engineering the results you want. You’re still the CEO of your interior design, and we’re your trusted advisors.


From our San Francisco Victorian project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

2. CEOs Act Decisively

CEOs are faced with important decisions (pretty much daily) that can drastically affect the company they are leading. It’s a huge responsibility, and being well-informed allows them to make timely and smart decisions.

When remodeling a home, a CEO’s approach to interior design is to make decisions quickly and efficiently—and if you’ve ever renovated before, you know that a single decision alone can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. For example, if you need to choose between readily available or back-ordered materials, you have to make that choice quickly, or your project could be delayed. Making that call isn’t always fun, but time is money.

Again, this is where having a trusted advisor comes into play. With our Online Interior Design Service, you get access to our decades of experience in interior design, renovating, and construction management. 

For example, a question that might take you ages to investigate (like which countertop material should I choose?) is one we can share in less than a minute—and give you an answer specific to your situation and goals. Google can’t do that yet. With us, you’re still running the show, but you have the peace of mind that your toughest choices will be the right ones. 


From our San Francisco Victorian project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

3. CEOs Delegate to Handpicked Experts

As the ship’s captain (USS Renovation), your job is to oversee your project’s progress from the crow’s nest. It’s all about the big picture, anticipating what’s coming, and assembling a well-matched crew you trust to dock that ship spectacularly.

As I said, you’re not a DIYer and not about those day-to-day details. Managing lights you on fire, but micromanaging? Cringe. A CEO loves to hire a range of highly skilled experts and let them do what they do best, with minimal oversight. 

In a renovation, these roles could be filled by your interior designer, general contractor, electrician, painters, cabinet makers, etc. Find the best people, and you’ll get the best results. 

With our Online Interior Design Service, our role in this process can include any or all of the following: help with project budgeting, discovering your design aesthetic, creating floor plans, selecting materials and finishes, selecting or designing furnishings (like case goods, window treatments, and rugs), designs for cabinets and built-ins, elevations and other construction documents, unlimited virtual access to us throughout your project, and more.

Our right-hand assistance ensures that you get a design you love, advice you can trust, and documents you can hand over to your other trades for seamless implementation. And did I mention that we do all of this virtually nationwide?? Hell yes.


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

4. CEOs Manage Time & Money

Some CEOs also have CFOs or Financial Advisors, and we highly recommend the same when leading your renovation. The amount of time and money you spend on a project can significantly increase if you don’t manage them well. As I said before, even a seemingly simple decision, like which sofa to pick, can cost thousands of dollars if you pick wrong. Worse, if it’s something that’s permanently installed, like tile, cabinets, or flooring.

Keeping a renovation on time and on budget means making smart decisions on materials and furnishings. It means scheduling trades at the right time, and ordering materials early enough for it to arrive when trades are ready to install it. In addition, the pandemic has changed the way we renovate, so being informed and highly aware of the timeline will make you a successful CEO of your home redesign.

Again, we can help. Given your overall desired investment, we will advise you on where to save vs. splurge on materials and furnishings (and pick them for you!), help you prioritize your action items, and offer project-long advice for any hurdle that pops up.


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

5. CEOs Set Realistic Expectations

Reality TV has given us unrealistic expectations when it comes to home renovations. Some of the major faux pas are the quoted “2-week” transformations (in what world?), the misquoted budgets (at minimum, double or triple it), and the fact that they demo before they create a design plan (please never, never do that). Not going to mention names, but certain channels are off-limits in my house.

One of the biggest strengths of a successful CEO is having realistic expectations. I think we’ve all met the boss or manager who underestimated the time, investment, or labor commitment, only to put the whole team (and him/herself) into a state of stress. Not ideal if you want great results.

What can you do? Go into your renovation with realistic expectations. True, delays are inevitable, and it’s impossible to predict every outcome, but having the right expectations is half the battle. That way, when the delays or setbacks do crop up, you can set aside wild panic and navigate them with cool efficiency.

Again, this is where we come in. Not only will we help you with expectations, but if something comes up—a poorly installed built-in, backordered product, difficult tradesperson—we’ll be your first call, advising you on your best course of action for pushing the project forward. Hello, peace of mind.

P.S. Download our complimentary investment guide for some realistic budgeting numbers.


From our San Francisco Victorian project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

The way I see it, a renovation is basically one BIG project. It’s full of details to coordinate, important decisions to make, and tasks to outsource to handpicked experts you love. If this sounds like fun to you, consider taking the CEO approach to interior design.

And when you do, we’ll be right here in your back pocket with our hourly Online Interior Design Services to get to your goals efficiently and beautifully, wherever you are in the U.S.

Reach out our lead interior design. She’ll be happy to speak with you.




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