Welcome, Friends, to our new INTERIOR DESIGN PRODUCTIVITY TOOLBOX series.

For the next few posts, we’ll be highlighting a new THEME; a theme that will guide and stimulate conversations, inspire growth, and ignite focus, production, positivity, movement, and JOY for everyone. We’ll be sharing our thoughts, tips, practices and insights on these themes and we’ll share HOW we integrate these tools to nourish our core values that build and maintain our business. From managing business chaos, to the practice of good design; from lifestyle and family to just plain FUN, it’s these core themes and values that help build strong foundations for the “crazy” that an entrepreneurial life brings! And I think we all probably know a thing or two about “crazy”.

First up, some thoughts our theme: ORGANIZATION  ||  The Foundation for just about EVERYTHING

To create an effective organizational structure and productive team culture (especially in an extremely time sensitive business like design-build as well as in a family), one must first START.


I know, I know, it’s a little ironic that it’s almost the end of the year and we are talking about organization, as the rest of the world seems to think that the only magic date to start anything NEW is January 1st, and if you didn’t have your planners and vision boards ready by December, you’ve failed (not); and seeing as we’re already in the last quarter of the year and we are just getting started on something we target planned to put out in the beginning of the new year…I think it’s important to talk about the concept of STARTING.

Perfection is overrated.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard (and said to myself), “as soon as I…”, (well, you know the rest).  Jeez. Perfection is an overrated objective and a start-crusher (and this is coming from a certified overachieving perfectionist with plenty of experience). STARTING is key. So, just START; pen to paper, post-it notes, planners, vision boards…JUST START.  Who knows, you may even hit that “magic” start date, when all the planning is done. Just know that ANYTIME, is a a good time to start!

No. 01  |  INTENTION

Let your intentions guide you  ||  The Fuel to your START…A friendly reminder

Here’s the thing, if you DO miss your START date…or you start, but then get off track…DON’T GIVE UP.  Own it. Acknowledge it; but keep moving. Don’t “live” in the mistake too long. MOVE forward. If your intention is bold and clear it will lead and guide you. Trust in it. Believe in it. Hold on. Begin again.

Each time you start, your intention will get stronger, clearer, and bolder.  Sometimes things just need to percolate and simmer even during the process of starting, and starting again; and I know for me, it was conquering the beast of ill-managed (and at times self-imposed) unrealistic expectations (more on this later) that was my key strength in staying organized. There are countless emotional fluffy buzz words that I could use right now…like, forgiveness and perseverance (I could go on), but really, just start, and keep going.

Now don’t get me wrong…OF COURSE, hitting deadlines and being consistent in business is EVERYTHING when developing and maintaining a strong reliable business practice, but let’s back up a minute.  Yes, setting realistic goals, and determining realistic timelines and expectations are vital to the over all success of your intentions, AND mindful consistent prioritizing of tasks (and sometimes when juggling 10-15 projects at a time, we look at our lists several times a day) is imperative, but it doesn’t matter where or when you begin as long as you DO; and every day is a NEW day.

So, back to the plot.

Any strategic organizational plan is fueled by clear intention and objectives. Once your intention, vision, and objectives (from the easy simple ones to the layered complex ones) are determined and CLEAR, it will be much easier to create and execute the task list to complete, especially when it comes to creating your organization plan.

No. 02  |  RITUAL 


Create a ritual for yourself, and for your team (or family), which sets the tone for consistency and accountability.

Rituals and structure are the backbone of our creative freedom. For us, every first new day of the week (typically, Monday) we conduct a team meeting.  This scheduled and mandatory meeting creates a predictable, positive, personal, and culturally unified environment which helps us to connect, encourage, set objectives, determine areas of difficulty and inspires discussion to determine solutions.  Utilizing INTENTION to streamline meetings enables the team to focus, prioritize, strategize, and target tasks.  It’s an amazing feeling to wrap up a Monday team meeting feeling positive, accountable, supported, connected, focused and ready to hit the ground running.

Rituals provide that predictable framework where ideas and intentions become reality.  INTENTIONS can keep meetings productive and under an hour.

4PT RITUAL TIP:  Start your weekly team meeting with > GOOD NEWS: Each team member takes a turn sharing a their great news; most of the time this is a great weekend story or personal accomplishment. This creates positivity. Then > OBJECTIVES: Sharing your objectives creates a unified front within the team, it gets everyone looking in the same direction and most importantly, sets up positive accountability and structure.  And last >WHAT DO YOU NEED:  This forces each team member into critical thinking about their own work flow and timeline, personal management and outreach.  We call it the red flag warning system.  This promotes unity and allows everyone to come together to find team solutions; it gets the team working “together” and serving each other. Collaboration for the WIN!


Next is the all-important and vital concept of ACCOUNTABILITY.  Great leadership inherently identifies creative and clear ways to hold the team, and ones-self, accountable.  Accountability must go hand-in-hand with the objectives in order to achieve the maximum results.  Natural consequences will occur and should be managed in business and in life; as leaders, we can control this. In a world where everything can seem out of control…this is a good thing to get under your control.

Creating and executing incentive is also a plus in the accountability category. We can’t over-stress the concept of praise enough. Celebrate milestones and declare your gratitude as often as possible.  Set enough time each week to reach out; develop a network of relationships that will hold you accountable. Facebook and social networking groups of like-minded people within your industry are a great way to reach out.  You can even develop your own network of local professionals from various like-professions that would benefit from the resources and accountability!

4PT ACCOUNTABILITY TIP:  We love our Champagne Fridays! On the last Friday of each month, we celebrate our WINS and LESSONS!  Remember…EVERY lesson is a WIN!

When you set clear intentions to get yourself more organized, but don’t have the focus or dedication to go with it, it can prevent you from meeting deadlines and keeping an efficient schedule.  Focusing on KEY ELEMENTS will move your intention and objectives forward in stalled situations. Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed with minor details that can be solved quickly, strong intentions will help you manage your time and energy effectively.

4PT FOCUS TIP:  It’s much better break down big obstacles into smaller, bite-sized tasks which will allow your schedule to run smoother, letting yourself enjoy the process.  Striving to maintain the delicate balance between moving at a peaceful comfortable pace, but also efficient and effective enough to make a profit, build your business, get your tasks completed in a timely manner, and have more time for FUN, is key!


Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur working from home, a mom running a busy family, an emerging professional or student, or a seasoned designer growing your business, we hope you’ll continue to join our conversation and share with us here.  It’s all about coming together and supporting each other.

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  1. Leslie Carothers on

    This is another incredibly well written and useful post, Laura. Just reading it made me feel more intentional!

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom so generously, as you always do. I especially enjoyed the tip about not forgetting to give praise. So much goes wrong in any one day or week, that it’s nice to hear when things go right!

    • Laura Muller on

      Oh Leslie, thank you! I’m so happy that I can inspire such a powerhouse as yourself; and I totally agree… Never hold back giving praise when due! It makes all the difference in the world and brings such a lovely balance to the day-to-day work flow.


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