Winter 2021 | Issue 18

The home economy is booming, but that doesn’t mean all growth is good for your firm. Welcome to the first installment of BOH’s Business Accelerator series, our yearlong guide to building a better design business and the pursuit of meaningful, manageable growth. In this issue, we start with getting the job—the right job—by unpacking everything from digital tools that attract the best clients to that all-important first consultation (and whether or not to charge for it). 

In the first installment of our four-part guide to building a better design business, we’re going deep on what it takes to attract a new client and seal the deal. The secret? Before you start looking around, look within.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Where should you focus your time and money in the pursuit of new clients? We asked six designers for their top tips.
BY Haley Chouinard
What does your website say about your firm? A lot more than you might think. For advice on captivating the client from the first click, we asked pros who specialize in perfecting the digital footprints of interior designers.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
After she netted a client who had repinned several photos of her work, designer Liz Caan decided to give Pinterest a second look.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Do social media followers actually lead to new work? These designers say yes.
BY Haley Chouinard
PR pro Laura Bindloss advises clients to think about more than just posting pretty pictures. Here are her secrets to success.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
How do you shepherd a client from initial contact to signed contract? We asked seven designers about the journey to the dotted line—including the age-old debate of whether to charge for the first consultation.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Once you have a roster of happy clients singing your praises, it’s relatively easy to get more. But how do you get from zero to one? We asked four designers to share their stories.
BY Fred Nicolaus
Designer Noz Nozawa makes a convincing case for dispensing with the mystery surrounding industry pricing—and with the notion that design is a zero-sum game.
BY Marina Felix
Design Dispatch
A “waste not, want not” philosophy has given Dutch textile designer Simone Post an innovative approach to design—and led to a collaboration with Adidas that explores reuse in surprising ways.
While there’s an undeniable thrill in finding something new, there is much to be said for having a few versatile resources in your arsenal that do the trick in almost any situation. Corey Damen Jenkins, Beth Dotolo and Stewart Manger pay tribute to their perennial favorites.
50 states project
In 2020, BOH interviewed designers across America for our inaugural 50 States Project series. Now, we’re checking in to find out how they’ve adjusted in times of social distance.
book review
After founding her firm, designer Rasheeda Gray tapped into the growth strategies for entrepreneurs outlined by small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber in his book, The E-Myth Revisited. Now, she’s got three questions for Gerber.
on the beat
The season’s standout textiles, ceramics and soft goods have a creative secret in common: They were all designed screen-to-screen rather than side-by-side.
designers debate
When designer Kevin Isbell posted an Instagram Reel to announce that accent walls “need to go” earlier this year, not everyone agreed—designer Jessica McCarthy among them. In the latest Designers Debate column, the two California designers face off on whose vision makes for a more stylish statement.
The Handbook
Interested in building passive income into your business? Here’s a guide to earning this way—and a reality check to help you decide which, if any, of these paths is right for you. (Hint: It’s not as passive as it sounds.)

Thank you to our Advertisers

The Shade Store
Currey & Co.
The Container Store
High Point Market

Thank you to our Advertisers