Why Your Online Addiction Means You Need A Designer More Than Ever

Setting yourself up for online addiction and unhappiness

Before the days of Houzz and Pinterest, prospective clients would buy tons of Home Décor magazines and rip out pictures of their favorite rooms and put them in an idea file. This was helpful in allowing me to see what the client liked and get a general direction for the project. Even if the client didn’t know exactly what they liked about a room, I could detect patterns in their selections and discern design elements that they were attracted to.

Inspiration Photos Collection | KitchAnn Style

While some people still like to browse through glossy magazine pages, most of my clients these days have electronic scrap books dedicated to the minutia of their project. I find that if they are planning a kitchen remodel, they have a board dedicated to the space but also several other boards for items like table legs, sinks, lights, countertops and so forth.

You might be reading this and think this sounds helpful. The problem is that even as the project gets underway, items are still being collected and saved. This is where the trouble begins.

Research show that when we are confronted with infinite possibilities our brains get befuddled.  We’re overwhelmed by choices. We over-think, over-analyze and become paralyzed.  We do nothing.

Confused about design | By harnessing, not hoarding, inspiration data, designers can reduce stress for their clients.

Analysis Paralysis

Analysis paralysis happens when you spend too much time analyzing that information and second-guessing all those possibilities… when you literally can’t make a decision because that excess of information actually prevents you from moving forward.

When you become obsessed with finding the best solutions and the best bargains you inevitably become afraid of wasting your money on a product that doesn’t do the job. You can also be afraid of disapproval from others in your social circle. Worse, is your fear of purchasing a product, only to discover a new product option after making the purchase.

Addiction to Houzz and Pinterest leads people to using the wrong decision-making criteria; more choices lead to greater dissatisfaction because expectations are raised.

Misinformation is also to blame. I often high-end photos with a back link to inferior products.

Most designers work very hard to meet their clients’ needs. But, we can’t make the impossible happen. I can’t make a standard refrigerator behave or look like an integrated refrigerator. Custom or Bespoke cabinetry will never cost the same as a stock line and less expensive materials will never have the performance or fit and finish of its top-of-the-line counterpart.

Every option has its pros and cons. It’s my job as a designer to steer you towards design solutions and products that are a best fit for your project, your lifestyle and your budget.

As your designer, I take the time to:

  • Establish your needs
  • Establish your wants (nice-to-haves but not necessary)
  • Evaluate your budget
  • Build a plan around your personal style
  • Curate suitable design options (eliminate the items that don’t fit the bill)

If you have a limited budget, I’m not going to show onyx tile. If your project completion date is shorter than most, I will avoid materials with a long lead time.

In knowing which items to avoid, I am better able to keep the design process running smoothly. There are times when it is necessary to source that unique item that will be a design focal point; but, now it seems I spend a lot of time researching items that aren’t readily available –  such as a picture of a pendant light from Ikea that was never available in North America.

Have trust in your designer. We’re here to guide you and help you complete your vision. We enjoy the creative process much more than copying the work of someone else. Wouldn’t you rather live in a home that is a reflection of you rather than a home that is a copy of someone you don’t know?

Online addiction | Steps to take

Steps to Take

If you find yourself behaving like a digital hoarder; pinning or saving images into all hours of the night, take these steps to help your project say on track.

  • Ask yourself:

How important is this decision?
Will the outcome of this decision make a difference a year from now?
What would be the most difficult/painful decision to change down the road?
What could realistically go wrong?

  • Give a decision only the time and effort that it deserves, based on its importance. Set a deadline for making your decision.
  • Make a decision and don’t look back. This may seem reckless but it isn’t. Your short list only has good items, you already eliminated the bad ones.
  • Seek the opinion from one trusted person and go with it. If you are deciding between to items it can make sense to seek a second opinion. If they confirm your feelings then go with it; if you disagree then pick the one you want.

When you invest extra time and energy to identify the “best of the best” option, not only do you waste time and energy, you will still feel bad in the end because your mindset is one that’s focused on identifying “gaps” and “issues.”

Even if you pick the best option, you’ll still harp on the pros that could have come out of options that you forego.

Consequently you may ignore less perfect ideas rather than improve upon them. In the end, you get an average outcome since you’re too busy feeling regret as opposed to making the best out of your choice.

If you are they type of person that tends to over analyze or you have FOMO – Fear of Missing Out, then do your research in selecting your designer. Decide to trust that person to harness, not hoard your inspiration data, so you can have an enjoyable design experience




DXV from American Standard

Screen Shot DXV | Kitchen Studio of Naples

DXV logo| KitchAnn StyleOne of the paradoxes of a recession is that luxury markets are booming… …and the people who buy those products are doing better than ever before. So, while it may not be politically correct to speak of luxury during times of recovery, the reality is that the industry is of strategic importance to American competitiveness, driving the revival of artisanal craftsmanship and saving jobs. In order to keep luxury goods as a ‘dream investment’, one needs to offer unique experiences and build an emotional connection with emerging consumers. American Standard has introduced DXV (which stands for Decade XV as American Standard is now in it’s 15th decade of operations) to help re-launch the 140 year-plus old brand into the luxury arena. American Standard is successful in encouraging consumers to reimagine the brand by seeing everything that’s old as new again with their DXV portfolio organized around the four most influential design movements since their founding: CLASSIC, 1890–1920; GOLDEN ERA, 1920–1950; MODERN, 1950–1990 and CONTEMPORARY, 1990–Today. DXV Wyatt | Kitchann Style

“DXV fixtures and fittings do not merely reproduce styles from each era;  rather they are inspired by historically significant designs, re-interpreting  them in light of today’s aesthetic and performance demands.”

To help communicate this theme, American Standard tapped into the creative power of the design community and commissioned six outstanding designer/bloggers to develop vignettes that tell a story and offer distinct creative interpretations of the design movements. The six designers selected for the project include: Corey Klassen CKD, Marilyn Russell, Allied ASID, Mary Douglas Drysdale, Susan Serra CKD, Cheryl Kees Clendenon and Meredith Heron.

 Lofty visions bath DXV panel | KitchAnn Style Luxury appears to have come full circle, as consumers have become more demanding on the provenance and manufacture of products – authenticity is particularly important to younger consumers, who are more conscientious and certainly more vocal through social media. Here, DXV may have an advantage, given the brand’s vision to create an online and print community for designers, architects, and creative individuals to discuss their experience with the products in the real world. Screen Shot DXV | Kitchen Studio of Naples

“We want to democratize luxury by making it part of a conversation and engaging the community with this space,”  Jay Gould, DXV CEO

I’d like to revisit the DXV showroom in the Flatiron District. Our first BlogTour event was a cocktail party hosted by  Hearst Publishing and Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful. The event was fabulous – and crowded – and I spent the evening mostly talking to designers in attendance. The DXV showroom is gorgeous so I suggest if you are in the area to check it out. The space is not staffed and is accessible by appointment only (send requests to dxvappt@dxv.com). DXV Hearst Cocktail Party via Marilyn Russell DXV has been a great sponsor of BlogTour NYC and has put together a  little competition between the bloggers. We’ve been tasked to create Pinterest boards showing NY’s architecture, design and icon culture. The prize is an iPad mini which I really need because so many apps for designers are only available on iOS. Please help a blogger out and like or repin a few of your favorites. The contest ends May 30th. Thanks!