Between the Pretty and the Real

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{Natalia Zaratiegui}

One of the drawbacks of being an interior designer, is living with the perception that people have about your home, and by extention, the perception of what a designer is. That a designer’s home must be Perfect and immaculately decorated. And I’m sure 80% of my fellow colleagues out there create those fresh and amazing spaces wherever they live. However, if you know me, you also know that I have rarely found myself to be in the 80% of any group!

Yup, it’s true. My own house is not decorated, it’s not magazine quality and it never has been. I’m also pretty sure that it will never be. My home contains things that go beyond what is beautiful, my home has objects that are loved by little people and other non-designer adults.  I cannot tell them what they can and cannot display. Why shouldn’t their things be as proudly displayed as my collection of bones, feathers and mexican papier-maché animals (I have a problem, I know).  I can’t sensor them, trust me, I’ve tried many times!
I also fight with the notion of replacing an object, just based on the fact that it doesn’t look pretty (my fridge and stove are examples of that). I just can’t rationalize it financially, professionally or sustainably.

So I’m torn. Between the pretty and the real.

There is this idea that floats in the abyss of my mind (I like to call it my filing cabinet) that if my clients see that my own house is not “done”, they will assume that a) I am not a good designer and b) I am an impostor trying to steal money from them. Again, let’s remember that this is the DEEP DARK drawers of the filing cabinet. If I can’t make rooms happen in my own home,  why should someone pay me to make it happen for them? Those are valid questions and I would probably think the same if I were hiring a professional to help me with problem x.

My issue is not on accepting this fact of my life. Rather, it’s moving beyond the insecurity. Since I haven’t prioritized “doing” my own rooms, surely I AM the impostor!! The rational side of me knows this to be untrue- and that being a designer and having a decorated house are two COMPLETELY different things.

And let’s be honest, people have a misconception of what a designer truly is. 

A designer guides a vision along, makes function meet form and brings creative problem solving to the custom designed table. A designer is  a spokesperson to the trades, keeps on budget,  voices concerns when everyone is scared and puts things into perspective when situations seem unmanageable. A designer can help you make a 10 year renovation plan, according to your needs and your finances.

Now having said that, I still feel like I could take myself more seriously if I had professional photography done, if I had a fancier car, if I had a flashy blog with thousands of followers. Those are the shiny pennies that I am trying hard to catch, but I know that once I have them, there will be more shinier pennies out there for me to pine for.

Where does that leave me?

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Still between the pretty and the real.

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