Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

By Tiffany Edison

It matters not if you are building your dream home, renovating your existing one, or downsizing in an effort to simplify your daily life: planning is the key to guaranteeing a successful outcome. My dad always said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” When I was younger quips like this used to annoy me; I found them simplistic and hollow. It was not until maturity set in that I began to comprehend my father’s wisdom. These days, I find myself repeating things of this nature to my children, and laughing in spite of myself.

As an interior designer, I know that clients are placing great faith in my ability to deliver a beautiful project — a beautiful home for everyday living and memory-making. At times, this can seem daunting. But I take comfort in my ability to maintain the overarching goal and keep anxiety, for all parties involved, at bay. I’m able to achieve this by breaking down the necessary tasks for the project. In other words, I create manageable “bite-sized” pieces. It’s like the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This rings true in project management.

The choices we make in our daily lives regarding how we want to live, and (of equal importance) where we want to live, oftentimes happens on a subconscious level. Think about that for a minute. These hugely important decisions that drastically impact our ability to experience joy, measure success, find love, or shape our family and future generations within our communities, are often made without our full awareness. With this in mind, I challenge you to move forward — not next month or next year, but today — by setting a goal for yourself and actively planning the multiple steps necessary to achieve it. Simply put, our choices reflect our values. Remember another adage: “The devil is in the details” (sorry, I couldn’t resist!).  

In my twenties, I had the pleasure of befriending a very interesting woman who made the decision to live her life in a way that many would call “extravagant” — or as the kids say these days, “extra.” She had considerable means, and was fortunate enough to have the ability to build the proverbial dream home she so desired. It was stunning! Her daughter happened to be a successful interior designer and took extra care in creating the environment her mother, whom she knew so well, craved. I could go on and on about custom window treatments, bespoke wall-covering, and family heirlooms (as well as the one-of-a kind treasures acquired along the way), but that is not the point.  

The point is that while I was touring her amazing home, I walked into the gorgeous custom kitchen and found her emptying her dishwasher. My eyes practically popped out of my head when I noticed what was most assuredly real silver being unloaded piece by piece onto creamy limestone countertops. “What are you doing?” I shrieked. Nonchalantly, she informed me that during the planning stage of her dream kitchen, she had made it very clear that she needed a dishwasher that was safe for silver and china alike, as she planned to use it daily. My mouth fell open. Preposterous, I thought! That was so unnecessary!  For some unknown reason, I was the budding-designer who was there that day, and I was wielding my judgement all over her fine home. My curiosity got the best of me. In shear naiveté, I brazenly asked her why she used fine china every day, and she simply stated: “I grew tired of waiting for a special occasion to use the good stuff, when every day is a special occasion.” I left her home that day with a new perspective on life. Yes, not only an altered perspective on design, but life. 

Fast forward twenty-five years. How uncanny that I now see through that same lens. She had a dream, which became a vision, and then set about making that dream a reality, step by step. I now work with my clients using this same filter. My process is simple: instead of saying “Why,” I say “Why not!”


Tiffany Edison has been an interior designer since 2002 and specializes in both
residential and commercial projects.  She holds a Master of Social Work degree
(ACSW) and utilizes interpersonal relationship skills on a daily basis with her client
base, largely comprised of Ann Arbor, and Metro Detroit residents.  She has a
wonderfully large blended family residing in the city and enjoys the comforts of home.
When she’s not fully immersed in client projects, you can find her active on the golf
course, a favorite pastime.

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