Apr 10, 2008

The designHop

Women of the St. Louis, Missouri based, Design Hop, meeting last month, from left to right: Colleen, Emily, Sarah, Stephanie (in back behind Gina), Gina and Dana. (Missing: Marianne -- taking the photo -- Christie, Marie, and other friends.)

Do you feel overwhelmed with home decorating?

Many people do.

Do you lack confidence to tackle the do-it-yourself home decorating project?

You are not alone.

Or maybe you actually are alone and that is the problem!

Could you use a little help?

In truth, we all could. Even professional interior designers look to others for feedback or help.

Collaboration is key to success in almost any endeavor and the design of our homes is no exception. Yet many homeowners feel alone.

I have had clients tell me they watch HGTV, they are inspired and learn much, but when it comes to internalizing what they have learned they feel overwhelmed or lack confidence to try it in their own home.

One client said, "I wish Vern Yip (HGTV design guru) would pop through my TV screen and show me how to design my own home!"

Learning the principles of design is easier than applying them to our own spaces.

It may be that we lack experience and so we lack confidence. Or our spouses and family members have different opinions that we don't know how to mediate. And perhaps, too, it is because decorating our home is a big investment and we are afraid to blow it.

Whatever the reason for the hesitation or anxiety, decorating is, for most people, a very emotional experience.

At the root of most design anxiety is "fear".

Don't we all wish a "design star" would jump through the TV screen to support us? That won't happen, but I have discovered something even better.

The designHop.

It is a creation of a group of women at my church that has grown to include neighbors and friends.

We "hop" from home to home, a different one each month, and as a group we tackle a design dilemma in the home. Last month we helped Stephanie rearrange her bedroom furniture to become a more functional living space.

Gina and I, the group's design leaders, take some time at each designHop teaching basic principles of design. Then we let the group loose to tackle a particular design dilemma the host of the hop has given us. During the hands-on activity, Gina and I mostly sit back and watch.

The most satisfying result is not the ultimate design of the room -- though that is amazing -- but is the increased confidence the women gain through the process. They become "design stars" in their own right.

We have no rules for the group, but we encourage them to try their ideas.

We tell them there is NO such thing as "bad ideas", only ideas that work better than others. And ultimately the right design solution is what works for the homeowner. With that in mind, the ladies feel free to experiment.

We meet once a month. Tonight we will meet at Emily's home to accessorize her fireplace mantel, and then we'll "hop" on over to her neighbor's home, Bridget, to rearrange the furniture in her dining room.

If you live in the St. Louis area and would like to join us for a Design Hop, or would like help to create your own Design Hop, whether here in St. Louis or another area, then leave me a comment. I am glad to help.

This is so exciting... We create "Design Stars" one hop at a time!

A related link, is Dare to Dream, where women are encouraged to practice "systergy" to support each other in their dreams. I will share more about the collaborative systergy of the Design Hop in future posts...stay tuned.


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Dana, what a great idea! I love that concept and how neat to help out women who need some inspiration to figure it all out. I really love it!


PAT said...

This is another wonderful idea, Dana! Wish I lived closer in for things like this! Sounds great.


becky said...

Can ya'll hop on down to the south? Sounds like all kinds of fun!

becky said...

Love this idea...can you and your group do a little hopping to the South?