Why I Stopped Taking Design Clients

Why I Stopped Doing Conventional Design by sheholdsdearly.com

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The number one question I get from people is “Can you come over to my house and help me decorate?”

They hear I am a trained interior designer and their wheels start turning. I get it.

And I used to always say, “Yes!” But, over time, I have changed my tune and today my canned answer is that I no longer take design clients.

Interior design has been a passion of my mine since I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of redecorating every square inch of my room.

When I couldn’t find the right color of quilt at age twelve, I very matter a factly declared that I would need to custom MAKE said quilt and proceeded to learn to sew!

Why I Stopped Taking Design Clients by sheholdsdearly.com

I loved doing art all through school and competed in several art shows in high school and college.

I got accepted into the international student program at the London Guildhall University and completed my interior design degree.

Then, my husband and I started a commercial/ residential painting company and, of course, I start taking design clients. There were all kinds of budgets and styles and people to work with.

But, my favorites were the ones where we re-made what the client had and brought out of the story of the person’s life. Vintage farmhouse styles always made my heart sing.

In school you are taught that to be a good interior designer you need to be able to please any kind of client and rock any kind of style.

But, while I learned a lot of valuable information and formulas and I’m sure, gained a lot of confidence, in some ways the artistic side of me was getting lost.

Design Consultations by sheholdsdearly.com

Have you noticed? Some of the best decorators I know do not have a design degree. Joanna Gaines, anyone? Marian Parsons, Liz Marie Galvan (Correction- Liz does have a design degree, but has never taken clients) ??

What they do have is a focus and an fine tuned ability to hear their own heart when they design. This is what I began to see was missing for me.

What I really wanted to do was specialize.   I wanted to get really good with one look and be known for it. And I wanted to help the women who would probably never hire me, but love interior design and wanted to be more confident in their own homes.

Watch this video to learn more!

You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel here.

This is where the blog comes in. I didn’t know it at the time, but this platform would become the perfect way for me to reach the woman who loves her home, but feels like a lack of confidence in decorating. This is where I hope to take her hand and walk her through what I have learned.



  1. Linda
    February 21, 2019 / 12:14 PM

    Interesting post. I could have sworn Liz Marie said she had a degree in design. Hmmmm.

    • February 23, 2019 / 11:32 AM

      Hi, Linda.
      I thought your comment was interesting so I checked her out.
      Her blog actually says “Hi! I am Liz Marie AKA Liz Marie Blog. I’m a twenty something year old living with my veteran husband on our farm in west Michigan. After spending almost a decade living in North Carolina as Jose served his country & I studied interior design, we are happy to be back in the mitten state working on our fixer upper farmhouse & beginning our journey of farm life.”
      She states that she studied interior design but doesn’t say for how long and if she actually obtained a degree.

      • Linda
        February 25, 2019 / 3:01 AM

        Hmmm. Your need to copy and paste her profile was why exactly? I am well aware of what it says, I am her biggest fan and check her blog daily. She does not broadcast that she has a degree, so Sarah just assumed she doesn’t? Very poor taste in my opinion.

        • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
          February 25, 2019 / 6:18 PM

          Hi Linda, it looks to me that Barbara was trying help. I spoke with Liz Marie this morning and she said she does have a design degree from a community college. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I will make the corrections.

  2. Pam
    January 25, 2020 / 3:28 PM

    Hi Sarah, I totally could relate to what you said about following your heart. I found that in Graphic Art Design, you have to be willing to do what everyone else wants. It was hard for me to put what was in my heart because I was told that is not what clients will like. Long story short my work was not good enough, so after graduation I was total burnout did not even want to do any type of craft, I don’t want to go in the Graphic art field at all, as I don’t feel my work is good enough, that is what happened in school. I did learn that I am smart, that is my greatest takeaway from school. 🙂

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      January 27, 2020 / 7:03 PM

      I hope you are still enjoying design and not letting that experience take the joy out your current endeavors. xoxo Thanks for sharing your heart here.

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