A Designer’s Passion: from Wallpaper to Running a Full-Service Interior Design Firm With Selena Lewis

Interior Design Podcast, Interior Design Career, Interior Design School, Interior Design Business, Interior Design Mentor, Interior Designer

Did you know that wallpaper is still way in? Are you open to using wallpaper in your design projects?

In today’s episode, I have a fascinating conversation with Selena Lewis, a professional interior designer known for her eclectic style. We dive into her journey in the design world, how she started her business, her unique design style, and her expertise in incorporating playful wallpapers, rich textures, and bold patterns into her projects.

She reveals how she found her niche in wallpaper, a design element often overlooked or underutilized, and discusses the importance of educating clients about the transformative power of wallpaper in creating truly exceptional spaces.

We also discuss an important pain point that many designers face: how to get paid for your calling. So, don’t miss out on this inspiring episode as Selena Lewis brings her expertise and passion for wallpaper to the forefront, encouraging aspiring and established designers alike to embrace their own unique design paths.

Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
  • Discover 5 ways to differentiate yourself as an interior designer in a competitive market
  • Learn the importance of visualization and hands-on interaction with clients
  • Use the 10 tips on getting started in Interior Design without returning to school
    About the Guest:

    Selena Lewis is a professional Interior Designer based in Atlanta, Georgia, who prides herself on her thriving business that is built on client testimonials. Her outstanding work has recently been recognized in Atlanta’s My Home Improvement Magazine as a Top 10 Rising Star In The Home Improvement Industry.

    Her design style is eclectic, with a penchant for incorporating playful wallpapers, rich textures, and bold patterns to elevate spaces. She is skilled in blending different styles to create unique and personalized interiors for her clients.

    Connect with Selena Lewis:
    Website: Selena Lewis Designs
    IG: @selenalewisdesigns

      Check out these episode highlights

      02:49 – How she got started in the wallpaper niche, focusing on color and pattern

      05:43 – The 2 reasons why she was glad she started with helping people pick and install wallpaper

      1. It helps her understand the process.
      2. It was a good stepping stone into the interior design world.

      06:16 – 5 ways on how you can differentiate yourself as an interior designer in a competitive market

      1. Remember your objective: To complete the space and make it what your client wants it to be without having an agenda.
      2. Make yourself stand out by doing something you’re good at.
      3. Take your clients through your process.
      4. Make it easy for them to access the books and samples.
      5. Do your research and order samples.

      11:04 – Key differences between Paint and Wallpaper and the stigma around wallpaper being a cheap endeavor

      • Paint is flat.
      • Wallpaper is dimensional even without designs.

      13:45 – How she got into full-service interior design and why her business is recession-proof even during COVID

      18:20 – Why she prefers to visit the Market in Atlanta in the Winter instead of the Summer

      20:50 – The importance of taking inspiration from others and appreciating each person in the industry

      24:02 – Why you should have an assistant who acts as your right hand and a team to collab with regularly

      27:50 – Her recent accomplishments and long-term goals

      30:41 – Why learning what you don’t like helps you discover what matters most to you

      33:41 – Why running her own business has been the most challenging thing she’s ever done in her life and how she manages to find that balance between work and her personal life

      35:04 – 10 tips on how to get started in Interior Design without going back to school

      1. Seek Advice from Professionals: Contact designer friends or mentors with a schooling background to gather insights and guidance.
      2. Believe in Yourself: Have faith in your abilities and trust that you already possess the skills and talents required to succeed.
      3. Seize Opportunities: Embrace opportunities that come your way, even if they seem daunting or unexpected. Your first client could be a stepping stone.
      4. Embrace Authenticity: Be true to yourself and your unique style. Authenticity can set you apart in the design world.
      5. Start Small, but Dream Big: Understand that success doesn’t happen overnight. Be prepared for hard work and gradual progress.
      6. Client Satisfaction is Key: Find reward in making clients happy and witnessing the transformation of your designs into finished products.
      7. Stay Driven: Use your achievements and positive experiences as fuel to stay motivated and continue pursuing your design career.
      8. Overcome Fear: Acknowledge that venturing into a new field can be scary, but don’t let fear hold you back. Push through the uncertainty.
      9. Constant Learning: While you may not be attending formal school, continue to learn and grow through self-study, workshops, and practical experiences.
      10. Passion and Persistence: Cultivate a passion for design and maintain a drive to improve and create, even when faced with challenges.
        Next Steps

        Grab your freebie:

        Join the Design Mentor to kickstart a successful career in interior design!

        Check out the best books every interior designer should have here.

        Enroll in Business of Design with Kimberly Seldon or DesignYou with Tobi Fairley today to scale your interior design business!

        Email me at [email protected] if you have suggested topics

        DM me on Instagram at @rwarddesign if you have a burning question

        Leave me a rating and review! Click here.

        Thanks for listening! I hope this helps you discover if interior design is the career for you. See you next week…