At face value, interior design seems like a superficial solution. It can easily be perceived as shopping therapy when you really need to look inward. However, if you had my journey as an interior designer, you would know without a doubt that people’s lives transform when their spaces align with their personalities and desires.
Sometimes amazing things have happened after finishing an interior design project. A couple that had a hard time conceiving, got the surprising news of pregnancy after we completed their romantic, inviting master suite. (Something I was told after the baby was on the way.) I have helped a sick child with cancer have a positive, colorful, happy place to rest when he was sick from his radiation and chemo therapy. I have seen empty nesters feel more empowered in the new phase of their life after we improve their surroundings. I have worked with families that feel unsettled in their home after years of living there, rekindle a romance with both their home and each other after our work was done.
Interior design isn’t rocket science, or a vaccine to cure the world, but there is something magical about building, remodeling and designing the interior of a home. Outlooks get brighter. Spaces feel more open. Families feel more compelled to welcome guests and entertain. Less visual clutter and unfinished projects allow people to relax. Families want to stay at home more because the space is pleasing to their spirit. All of these things improve the lives of the inhabitants of the home.
Five years ago I took a chance on a lifelong dream. This month, Angela Todd Designs celebrates our fifth anniversary. When I began this journey I thought the exciting part would be creating beautiful interiors. But what I have found is that is just part of what I love about my work. I have grown as a business owner, interior designer, and woman in ways that have far exceeded my early expectations.
In addition to wholeheartedly adoring the clients I serve, I work with some of the most amazing artisans, contractors and vendors. I guess what makes them amazing and fun to work with, is they too are happy doing what they love. We work hard to put forth our very best work for the clients we serve. We collaborate, we laugh, and we appreciate one another. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to work in such a positive working environment.
A year and a half ago, after I asked her at least a dozen times, my dear colleague and friend of 15 years came to work with me. Laura Rowe, my business manager, has mad skills in organizational management, and has streamlined our ordering and design processes. It has helped increase client satisfaction, profitability, and the quality of our interior design projects. Her work has helped me focus on what I do best, and significantly transformed our interior design suite of services. Most of all, she is a trusted, loyal friend. I get the chance everyday to work with one of my dearest friends.
I feel like for five years I have been on a fabulous expense paid vacation. I love what I do, and somehow that translates to feeling like this can’t be a JOB. After all, we inspire lives by transforming spaces.
Angela Todd is the principal for Angela Todd Designs, a full service interior design firm based in Portland Oregon.