Ok, so maybe we can design without these things, but our lives would be a lot harder! Here are the top 10 things that we use on a daily basis that keep us (and our clients) happy.
1. Our Laptops
This is number 1 for a reason. While our job can be very active at times – going to job sites and picking out finishes – we spend a lot of our time on our computers drafting, creating furniture layouts and elevations, ordering furniture, communicating with our sales reps, and creating design boards. So much of what keeps a project moving happens on our computers! It helps us stay in touch with clients and vendors and keep track of our calendars. Plus, by using laptops, we have the freedom to work from anywhere. For example, if we’re out in Granite Bay (about 30 minutes from the office) for a meeting, and we have another meeting scheduled shortly afterward just down the road, all we need is a nearby Starbucks and we’re set to keep working till the next meeting! On a related note…
We use AutoCAD every day on the design grind. It allows us to quickly and efficiently draw up furniture plans, kitchen layouts and elevations. Before these programs existed, everything was drawn by hand (which is something we learned how to do in design school) and boy is it a lot of work! Now that we’ve mastered these programs, we’re able to create more accurate drawings more easily, and in less time. Yes please!
3. Graph Paper Notepad
If you’ve worked with us, you’ve probably seen the graph paper note pads we ALWAYS have with us at meetings. They’re obviously great for jotting down notes while in a meeting, but they’re also perfect for when we have to make a little sketch to illustrate an idea. We also use them to draw up a client’s house when we take measurements, and believe us when we say that when you’re measuring an entire house, graph lines really do help to keep you as neat as possible!
This may seem a little silly but we’re being completely serious; the RWD team loves coffee! In our opinion, it’s the perfect way to start the day, or hit reset in the middle of a long day. It helps to get our creative juices flowing in those early morning moments – I’m sure you can relate! Thankfully, with a Keurig in the office and a Starbucks across the street, we are good to go.
5. Reliable Vendors
Much of our job requires us to work with other companies that sell furniture, window treatments, fabrics, tiles… the list goes on and on. Having a good team of people we trust and who care about what we’re doing and how they can help is crucial! Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we’ve found the absolute perfect light fixture, but wait… the manufacturer doesn’t make a long enough wire for the 10-foot entry! Because of the amazing sales reps who are here to help us, we don’t panic, we just send them an email.
6. An Organized Office
Last year we moved into our new office and man, it makes a huge difference to have all of our samples fully organized! Now, every fabric, tile, rug, window covering, and flooring sample has its place. The samples are even further organized by company, material, and use, making it easy peasy to find anything we’re looking for!
Oh, the glorious Pinterest. Pinterest is not only a great place to find inspiration and a helpful way for clients to express what they like, but it’s also how we internally keep track of projects. The RWD team creates a secret Pinterest board for each project on our list. Then when one of us finds a sofa or light fixture we like for a project, we pin it to the project board. This is an easy and effective way to make sure that we all have access to “that-one-sofa-we-saw-and-liked-that-one-time.”
Another tool that’s been a major life saver for us! Asana is a website that allows us to keep track of everything that’s going on in our crazy, busy work lives. In Asana, we can create tasks for ourselves and for each other, assign each task a due date, and associate it with a specific project. For example, Leah can make a task for Lilly to “Source Dining Room Furniture”, mark that it’s for Mrs. Smith’s project and that it needs to be done by Friday. Lilly gets a notification for the task, and can get to work on it! This helps us to organize everything we have to do. Plus it integrates with the program we use to track our time, which means we can easily see how long we spend on each task. Truly amazing! If this sounds super cool to you, you can use it for personal tasks too (which some RWD team members do).
9. A Laser Distance Measure
In case you don’t know, a laser distance measure is basically a fancy tape measure. All you have to do is place it on a wall, aim the laser at the opposite wall, and BAM! you have the length of the room. No need to fiddle with a tape measure, making sure it stays straight, or realizing it’s not long enough to reach the other side of a large room. This little tool makes our field measuring days much more pleasant and efficient!
10. A Smile
We honestly love our jobs! Designing makes us happy. We get to create beautiful spaces and help people fall in love with their homes. What’s not to like? Because of this, we always design with a smile – even our letter board in the office says so!