September 28, 2022

What an interior designer and organizer does in a working day


Welcome to The Work Day, a series that chronicles a single day in the professional lives of diverse women – from gallerists to stay-at-home parents to CEOs. In this episode, we hear from Valérie Brot, interior designer and organizer who recorded a day’s work in June.

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Job title: Owner, useful space

Previous jobs: My past work experience is primarily in the technology industry with roles in quality assurance, project management, and compliance.

Which led me to my current position: I enjoy helping people who struggle with clutter in their lives by streamlining their possessions and interiors. We work together to create a peaceful and inviting environment that best suits their lifestyle.

The transition to starting my own business in organization and design was a natural one.

I love the organizing process, I have a natural eye and love all disciplines of design. I had been organizing and designing spaces informally for some time before formalizing my work by launching Purposeful Space.

I had the chance to work with excellent local clients. I find the work very fulfilling, because I see the living space of my clients transform and their pleasure evolve.

How I spend most of my day: Part of my day is spent researching solutions and elements to apply to a client’s space. Some of this time can be spent onsite working side-by-side with a client.

It can also be office work to prepare and design the flow of a space and acquire related organizational and design elements as well as on-site work: collaborative work with clients.

6:30 a.m.: First order of the day: Coffee. Lots of coffee! Then I do a mat exercise routine for 30 minutes.

Last fall I started sculling twice a week in the morning and I love it, but I couldn’t adapt this morning. I live near San Francisco Bay, which I enjoy as much as possible.

7:30 a.m.: Over the past two years, I’ve streamlined my morning routine. I use minimal makeup and opt for a more natural look. It’s liberating. We’ve been enjoying the beautiful weather in San Francisco lately, so I decided to wear a flowy dress for the day.

Today, I get calls from my home office in the morning, I’m working onsite with a client for work in progress, and later tonight I plan to eat out with a friend.

8:30 a.m.: I catch up with client correspondence via email and Trello and set the agenda for the first part of the morning. Calling, ordering, researching and sourcing various items such as furniture, organization pieces, fixtures and art.

10:30 a.m.: I have a call with my web designer about my next website and social media marketing.

After years away from social media, I’m about to take the leap to grow the business.

Agenda of the day: Select images to use on online platforms.

11:30 a.m.: I have my weekly recurring volunteer call for Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly SF.

I speak with Diana, with whom I have been in contact for two years through LBFE. This is partly a call for tech support and partly to catch up. Today we solve a messaging problem and discuss today’s “Wordle”.

12 p.m.: Lunch usually consists of a large mixed salad, either at home or on the go. I also use this time for personal calls and emails.

2 p.m.: I have a client meeting on site. We have a few organizational elements, including the installation of sliding drawers.

Establishment of a list of elements for the management of the building: change of bulbs in warm light, installation of smart dimmers and light switches.

These details are important, they improve the fluidity of the space, and therefore the harmony of the home.

We also review various design options for the apartment and select and order sconces and floor lamps for the living room. We take a look at the color palette of the main living space and talk about the artistic options – what we like and what we don’t. We haven’t been able to decide on any new pieces yet.

7:30 p.m.: Dinner with a friend in town. I enjoy socializing, whether it’s seeing an art exhibit or trying out a new restaurant. Tonight we have a bite to eat across the street at a nearby Mexican restaurant.

9 p.m.: Time to relax. Generally, I spend the evening listening to podcasts, reading a few pages of a book or magazines, or watching shows.

Tonight I read “How to buy a new mattress without a Ph.D. in chemistry” in the New Yorker. Impossible to abandon work completely!