HOW MANY FRIENDS ARE NEEDED TO DECORATE A ROOM?
A minimum of two persons can make a designHop. We find a group of five or six is ideal for brainstorming and moving heavy items. We havenāt had to set a limit for our original group. If we have more hands than jobs, we take turns watching and providing feedback, or we look for something else to work on in another room. Most hosts donāt have any trouble coming up with more problems to solve.
WHAT IF A HOST REALLY NEEDS HER PANTRY OR OFFICE ORGANIZED? CAN THE DESIGNHOP ORGANIZE INSTEAD OF DECORATE?
A well-organized space lends itself to decorating, and getting things organized is often the first step in any design process. So yes, organize the space, if that is what is needed, and artfully decorate as you place things in order. Remember that ājob oneā is what the host needs done in order to launch her decorating project forward.
WHAT IF OUR IDEAS ARE BIGGER THAN OUR RESOURCES?
It is important to match the tasks with the abilities of the group members. So say you want to paint a mural, but no muralist is found in the group? Itās not happening. Your group could, however, conceptualize the mural, and the host can hire a muralist at a later time. If your host canāt afford a muralist, the group can strategize another option. Maybe it is looking on etsy.com for wall decals. Maybe it is scaling back the big mural for something simple like an accent wall. Could a large piece of artwork do the trick?
SHOULD WE SET A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO INVITE?
That is entirely up to your group. The most important thing to do is to make sure everyone feels they have a task and are contributing. My designHop group does not have a guest limit, and we encourage people to bring their friends.
If I know the home is small and might not accommodate many, Iāll ask for RSVPs and plan a rotation of jobs, or encourage some people to attend a mini-hop (request our complete how-to guidelines to learn more about the mini-hop) at a later date.
CAN THE GROUP GO SHOPPING?
While we encourage using found materials and keeping it low budget, we have done some shopping. Sometimes it is a spontaneous run to a hardware store for supplies. Once we met at a framing store to help Bonnie select mats and frames for her paintings. We scheduled a very knowledgeable sales person and experienced an informative tutorial. Everyone walked away knowing more about framing, and a hand full of coupons too!
A shopping trip is a great idea for a mini-hop (request our complete how-to guidelines to learn more about the mini-hop) since it might be hard to bring a large group into a shopping experience. The host should decide a shopping trip, and the budget.
WILL DANA COME HELP LEAD OUR DESIGNHOP GROUP?
Though not a prerequisite, you can benefit by coaching from someone who has experienced a designHop. You may find someone in your area to help (see if anyone has registered a designHop group in your area). If you live in the St. Louis, Missouri area, Iād be delighted to facilitate your first meeting. If you live elsewhere, it would be fun for me to attend by Skype! Please contact us by email and we can explore how to best help launch your group.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BELONG TO A DESIGNHOP GROUP?
Nothing. Nada. Such a beautiful thing! I do hope you will register your group because youāll gain valuable insights and encouragement from the designHop community. And weāll give away prizes too!
DO MEMBERS IN THE GROUP NEED TO KNOW EACH OTHER?
No, absolutely not. In our original designHop, members meet new people at every meeting. Through the designHop experience, weāve made friends we might not have met otherwise. designHop is a party, and the favors you take home are new friends, skills and ideas.
WON’T THE GROUP BENEFIT MORE BY HAVING A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER LEAD IT?
You donāt need professionals when you have three key elements: leadership, a variety of skill sets and the will to experiment. Jordan, who participated in a designHop as part of a television morning show segment, paid me the best complement when interviewed, she said: āDana doesnāt do anything!ā Thanks Jordan, not! Oh she knows I work, but just like every member of the group. Further, when Iāve been unavailable to attend a meeting, they carry on without me and do a fantastic job.
I donāt want to do for the group what they can do themselves, which, when they put their heads together, is quite a lot! When I lead the group, I am there to facilitate their decision-making, and that is a job for a leader, not a designer.
WHY WOULD A PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR DESIGNER FACILITATE A DESIGNHOP MEETING? AREN’T YOU SHOOTING YOUR PROFESSION IN THE FOOT?
I help the group uncover their best ideas. Iāll share my ideas, but only after others have shared first. I help people who would not normally hire me and enjoy decorating themselves or who have more time and clever ideas ā or friends with clever ideas — than money.
Truth be told, Iāve learned some great ideas from the group to use in my professional design work. These gals are up on all the latest trends and tips, they read the design and mommy blogs!
The designHop group helps me develop an unstudied, organic approach that translates to livable and layered interiors for my clients. And because the designHop members know how to stretch a buck, they give me inside tips on the best deals around town. The value of participation for me is not in beefing up my client base, but in becoming a better designer. We all learn, and that is the point.
So my trade secret: every professional interior designer should consider leading a designHop group. It is a way we can give back that has tangible benefits for our profession.