We welcome Lauren Brown of A Designers Touch by Lauren as one of our new retail trade partners and want to share her profile and helpful interior design advice while we are learning to stay at home.
1) Lauren shares the following in her words with her Bio highlights and her inspirations for becoming an interior designer and starting her A Designers Touch by Lauren business:
My Passion and God Given Talent began at an early age. I have always had an “eye” for color and design since I can remember. I always wondered how I could walk into a room and actually visualize it differently with paint, furniture placement or re design without formal training. I remember how excited I was for my Mother to play golf on Saturdays and my “chore” was to clean up the living room. I not only cleaned the living room, but I re arranged the furniture and accessories so it would “flow” and was “balanced”. I didn’t know at 12 years old that those were the design terminologies for what I was doing… I just instinctively knew that it would be so much more beautiful after I re-designed our living room! My mother would get so upset that I changed everything… in later years, she actually appreciated my “gift” and welcomed my design skills while she played golf.
My love of “service” and “bringing joy to others” is not only my personal mantra but my professional one as well.
My design philosophy is all about how your home makes you feel, as well as creating a stunning and inviting design to compliment your tastes. I have been afforded the opportunity to have designed homes at North Carolina discounted prices for my clients for more than 30 years — throughout the United States and Internationally.
2) In this time that we are staying at home to stop the spread of Covid-19, can you please advise on some strategic and simple solutions to make home-work spaces more productive. This would include, best colors, room arrangements, lighting, storage, etc.
Best Practice to set up your work office during the “stay in place” is to recreate your office space from your office as much as possible. If your files are on the right side of your desk, put them there in your home office. If you had a clock on your desk, put a clock on your desk. You want to bring familiarity to your new work space. I encourage you to place a mirror reflecting the outdoors nearby if possibly. If you can set up your desk under a window, I would recommend doing this.
I would recommend putting a live plant on your desk, and play soothing sounds of nature or water* from spotify or Youtube to help create a calm to our new norm that is anything but calm. The best colors to use in and round your work area/home office will be colors that are the most soothing to you. Mine is white and robins egg blue. I’m using our home office area that is set up more in the colors my husband likes, but I have incorporated my make shift file cabinet/bins from Walmart that are robins egg blue… Anything we can do to make it “feel” good to us as we navigate these uncharted times will be beneficial to our well being and help take some of the stress away.
* [Macauly Library is Cornell University’s Sound Archive of animals dating back to 1929. You can search by animal, taxonomy and many birds.]
* [Cities and Memory is phenomenal. Listen to people walking in a Warsaw square with bells ringing. It might all be a forgotten memory if it weren’t recorded.]
3) What is your advice for what can be done in smaller spaces?
I would have plenty of light wherever you set up your office space if possible. If you can place your office space near a window, if you can not, use a mirror if possible to reflect the outdoors in. This will also help to bring a sense of calm as we navigate this new norm. [Here is my before and after closet converted into my Designers Touch makeshift office as an example.]
I would recommend taking 30 minutes a day to sit outside without a phone… and just listen to the trees and the birds and get a little vitamin D to help rejuvenate our spirits. I would set aside the same time daily if possible, so it becomes a routine.
I have used make shift file cabinets with the bins from Walmart and they are working fine for now. As I mentioned I wanted to “brighten” my work area so I have them in robins egg blue.
4) How has your business routine changed and how has your business model adapted?
I am participating in zoom webinars and meeting daily with clients/ our local Chamber/ and listening to podcasts that pertain to my field.
I am doing more e-design services.
I am keeping my marketing strategies in place as much as possible.
I have stayed in communication with our local Chambers for updated information.
5) As a small business owner, what other measures have you taken or will be taking to cope with effects of current and possible new CDC guidelines and advice for going forward, and in light of CARES (Rescue Stimulus act) to be passed?
I just learned from a Design Podcast The Wingnut Social and their Tax Expert who will be featured…about a Grant Economic Injury Loan through the SBA…I applied for this grant today and there are other grants/loans I learned about [via this podcast].
[Here is the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Forms for applying, which is a forgivable loan, as long as you keep your employees hired.]
[Thoughts on how applying for the SBA Covid-19 Relief Loan goes from Accounting Today.]
6) Anything else you’d like to share?
I encourage everyone to stay positive, have the tribe you follow be of a supportive nature, not negative and doom and gloom. I encourage everyone to take it one day at a time and no longer than a 30 day plan. Its a great idea to have a 30 day plan in place and implement it now.
I encourage everyone to find others in their field that are speaking on webinars to educate and inform us and to lift us up. I’m very fortunate to belong to two Chambers of Commerce and they are amazing with the constant “stay in touch” and keeping us informed from other guests who are businesses in our local area sharing what they are doing with their company and colleagues to not only get through this, but come out on the other side stronger.
The theme I hear among the other business owners in our community is to do whatever it takes, help others and live each day in gratitude.
I hope this has helped encourage and assist. If I can be of any support to anyone else, I’d be honored to do so.
If you’d like to consult with Lauren for interior design services, here’s her A Designers Touch by Lauren website and feel free to follow her on her social media links below:
Many thanks, Lauren! We are happy to feature you, your business, A Designers Touch by Lauren and your advice! We know it will help others in this time of need. We are also very thrilled to partner with you as one of our retailers through your design studio.