We recently spoke with Allison Campbell, badass constructor and interior designer who founded Allison Campbell Design. In addition to maintaining her business, Allison manages a personal and professional blog where she offers design tips, answers common questions, and provides anecdotes regarding her professional journey.
What led you to pursue interior design?
Innately, I have the need to create. I love to solve problems, think outside of the box, and push the limits of myself and basic ideas, all while helping someone discover the calmness that the home brings.
How can someone inexperienced get started in interior design work?
I think that you need to have a natural ability or an education in design. Personally, I had the natural ability that I took and worked with in order to develop my skills and knowledge. I have ladies on my team that have both the education and desire to learn. They do a lot of the computer drawing that I haven’t had the time to master, so everyone has a place on my team, always improving Allison Campbell Design.
What have you learned from working with a team?
Teamwork makes the dream work. I couldn’t do all that I do and be all that I want to be without my family team and my work team. Fortunately, I have been able to surround myself with amazing women that support one another personally and professionally. Additionally, I am constantly around amazing builders, subcontractors, and vendors with whom I get to rub shoulders. I am the luckiest person alive!
How do you manage a situation where you and a client clash?
Managing client expectations is the best way to avoid conflict. I tell my clients early on that I am designing THEIR home, not my portfolio. In doing so, I always give both sides of the coin, explaining the dos and don’ts and pros and cons. Then I help them come to the best decision for their space and needs. I’ve really only had one experience when a homeowner’s opinion and mine didn’t align. It was regarding the size of a pendant above their island, and I knew they were going too small. Calmly, I explained that they had hired me for my expertise and that they could choose to follow my guidance or their thoughts.
I explained that considering the size of the island and its proportions, the pendant should be a certain size, but he was adamant that it would be too large. In the end, he went with the size he thought was best – I stayed quiet. On installation day I got a call from the builder, stating that the homeowners needed to order larger pendants because the ones that they had ordered were too small. Interesting…
What do you do when the creative juices aren’t flowing?
If I am stumped on a design, I take a step back. I look outside of the issue and start daydreaming. I call this noodling; I’ll “noodle” the design for anywhere from an hour to a couple of days, and it usually comes out fabulously! Typically, when I step back, I am able to solve my problems and in turn improve my designs.
What has been your favorite home decor/design project thus far?
I have been so blessed to work on many fun projects, but I think my favorite took place this summer. We have an event called the Parade of Homes that takes place every June in Utah Valley. This last year I had the opportunity to work on three homes that would be showcased. When March hit and COVID reared its ugly head, there was fear of the parade being canceled. I was so bummed, as that would be a year of work unnoticed (except by the homeowner of course). In the end, the parade, although postponed by 6 weeks, still took place. Many homeowners ended up pulling their homes out of the parade at that point because they didn’t want to delay their move-ins. Luckily, all three of my homeowners left their homes in the parade, which was incredible.
One of the homes that I had worked on was a real labor of love. The homeowner had fully given me the reins, really trusting my ability and ideas. She believed I would make her home beautiful on the basis of both my knowledge of her personality and my desire to build her dream home. We ended up having a record breaking number of people come through the homes, especially this one, a creation into which I had poured my heart and soul. Awards were given the following month, and this fantastic home swept six of the eight awards! On top of that, I won the award for Best Interior Design. So, that has been my favorite project to date. Talk about a pay day!
The House That She Built: PWB
Another project that I am currently working on is an ALL WOMEN BUILT HOME! It’s called The House That She Built. Everyone should follow along on social media with this amazing process as women from around the nation come out to support one another. It will be featured in the 2021 Utah Valley Parade of Homes. This is a chapter of the PWB…Professional Women in Building.
Featured image courtesy of Allison Campbell.
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