Everyone Needs A Mentor

A common misconception about decorating is that the designer is all-knowing and can see the finished product the moment they walk in a room. The truth is most designers do some preliminary work before they can "see" anything.

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I have the luxury of working with someone who shares the same design aesthetic as I do, and is brutally honest with me. As most of you know, my partner is my sister and best friend. Talena and I have the advantage of that constant sounding board with each other. We put ideas through the mill before we ever implement them.

The icing on the cake for me is having a wonderful friend and mentor in Tom Chandler of Chandler and Associates in Little Rock. I've taken Tom's interior design class twice and have worked with him for years on our own homes before doing anything professionally myself. Tom is an absolute master at placement. He can walk in to ANY room and make it better without replacing a thing. He has an "eye" that is extremely rare.

Maria Killam's

Colour Me Happy

blog is always a good read. I particularly liked her take on advice in the

business of design on March 7

.

Another very important source of inspiration and learning for me has been the many blogs I enjoy reading daily.

Velvet and Linen

,

Cote de Texas

,

Belgian Pearls

,

Colour Me Happy

,

Vincent Wolfe

,

Splendid Willow

,

Things That Inspire

,

Pure Style Home

, and

House of Turquoise

just to mention a few. I want to shout out a big THANK-YOU to all of you for sharing your hearts, your talent and creativity with so many of us. Though the task is often daunting, the reward for your many followers is great.

As I have been thinking about and preparing this post I have also been busily trying to finish things up and get my house ready for tomorrow evening. Tom's design class of around 75 students will be touring our new home. I don't focus as well as I used to, so it seems I keep hopping back and forth between the house and the garden. I've worked really hard because I want to make Tom very proud. I'll let you know how it goes!

So what's your opinion? Do you work with a designer on projects around your house or do you go it alone? Do you have a mentor or someone that helps you through the process? If you are a designer, do you have a mentor? Please comment. We would love to hear from you.