My Interior Design business kept me busy and the work was really enjoyable. I started by including my services as a Decorator, later changed this to working as a Consultant. I did not want to be the Designer who swept into clients houses and say “We must change all of this darlings”.
Whether my clients had an Old Rectory, an average house or offices and shops. My first introduction to the clients was to tell them that I assume that they have a very limited budget, I believe that spending money does not necessarily give you the best ideas and designs. I could redesign a house if they had limited funds or access to a large budget. If was for them to tell me what they wanted to spend.
I would spend a whole day with the Clients, walk around the property and look at how they were living, listen to how they spend their time in the house, what their hobbies were, what the childrens needs were. I would also ask them what they wished for and what they no longer wanted. A week later I would return with a large book of designs. Three pages for every room. The first if they could only make a few changes, the second page if they could spend more money and the third page if they could buy exactly what they wanted without worrying about the cost.
After ten years, work slowed down. It seemed that every other show on television focused on Interior Design and decorating and everyone became an expert. To be honest I was also looking for a change.
It was at this time my husband, who worked for a Blue chip company was constantly having his working hours increased,this intruded into our weekends and our lovely life. We started to question what was the point of earning a good salary if you never had a chance to spend it.
It took us a year of working out our finances, thinking and rethinking our options and then as luck would have it, the company offered Golden Handshakes, we were so prepared for a change that we grabbed this opportunity and stepped off the world, as we knew it. I also made the decision to stop work. If we budgeted carefully, we could pay the bills and survive without having to work for about 18 months, and that also allowed us to invest some of the monies as well.
18 months of absolute freedom. What an opportunity and what an adventure. We could and would take control of our own lives. We had no idea what was going to happen and it was exciting. We were two grown ups about to start a Gap Year.