Episode #0013-Freelance Decorator for Busy Interior Design Professionals

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews freelance interior design consultant Joanne Dolan. Joanne works directly with homeowners and fellow designers on custom cabinetry, storage solutions, fabric selections, soft furnishings, and custom window treatments.

 Since 2018 when Joanne Dolan Design began, she has focused part of her work on being a freelance interior designer to help other designers with their work, especially on large projects. Joanne will go through the importance of what she does, how she helps others, and how to manage your current work ethic to see if you need more help.   

So join Crystal and Joanne as they discover different areas where more help is needed, how to keep track of how much your work you are putting into a project, and know your worth in your field. 

Do something today that your future self will thank you for and call Joanne to get help with all of your interior design needs. 

Joanne Dolan Contact

Website – joannedolandesign.com

Facebook – JoanneDolanDesign

Instagram – @joanne.dolan.design

Recommended Podcasts


stuff-you-should-know podcast

wingnutsocial podcast

Resilient by Design Podcast – Rebecca Hay

Ep.#11 Part 1 – Why you need SOP’s in your Interior Design business.

Featured in this week’s episode on The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson talks about the importance of Standard Operating Procedures, what they are, why they are necessary, and how to create them for your interior design business. This episode is perfect if you are wanting to learn how to delegate tasks to others. If you are ready to bring on help, or if you are wanting to keep a set order of tasks.

 Standard Operating Procedures, are a series of lists made to help keep consistency throughout your work even if you are not the one doing the task. It gives continuity to your work and helps reduce errors. Also, these step by step procedures allows the business owner to outsource more work. Aiding in the onboarding of employees or consultants. 

SOPs can be developed for meeting with clients, drawing packages, ordering processes, sourcing, contract preparations, and more. Crystal will give you examples, tips, and tricks to take your business to the next level.

 So join Crystal and learn how SOPs can work for you. Learn how to take full advantage of SOPs in your business. And do something today that your future self will thank you for. Head on to the second part of the simulcast where I interview Cynthia Soda the host of The Fizz Podcast.

Here is the link to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for your interior design business.

Title of the episode is Why you need Standard operating procedures in your interior design business

Ep.#011 Part 2-Simulcast with Cynthia Soda of The Fizz Podcast

Join Crystal on part 2 of the simulcast where she interviews Cynthia Soda the host of The Fizz Podcast. To listen to Part 1 where Cynthia interviews Crystal about Standards Operating Procedures for your interior design business, pop on over to The Fizz podcast. 

A business owner and busy mom of 4, Cynthia is the Owner and Principal Interior Designer of Soda Pop Design Inc. and Host of The Fizz Podcast.  

Crystal and Cynthia talk about how she got started in the interior design business, why she started a podcast, and how she manages her business as a busy Mom of 4.



Episode #010 Living In Place with Linda Kafka

Featured in this week’s episode on Productive Design, Crystal interviews Director of Trade Relations at Caplan’s, Linda Kafka. Linda is a specialist and industry resource on inclusive design and wellness in the residential trade sector. She also has an in-depth knowledge of living in place long before the current coronavirus pandemic began. 

The living in place idea is to think about designing in ways that could make life easier in the home whether it be easier for expecting mothers to move around the house, designing a room to increase sleep quality, or creating designated spaces in the home for visitors and deliveries. The idea is that life should be adaptable and Linda gives us different ideas of how to do that.

So join Linda and Crystal as they explore different ideas to bring your home designing to the next level in comfort, care, and ease. 

If you would like to know more about Linda or get in touch with her, you can reach her at livablecanada.com or on Instagram at lipnetwork.



Episode #009 Perfectionism and Productive Procrastination

Do you find yourself looking back at the end of the day asking yourself “what did I actually get done today”? Despite being busy all day-most likely you were “busy”, you just did not really do anything that moved the needle on your business. We can all fall into this trap easily, and I am not talking about getting caught in the rabbit hole of social media either. I am talking about doing “busy work”, doing tasks that keep you occupied but distract you from what you really should be doing-you are “Productively Procrastinating”. Furthermore, I will point out the types of perfectionist tendencies, and what the downside of those behaviour are.

Key Takeaways

-Productive procrastination is the act of being busy while still procrastinating on your most valuable tasks.

-By distracting yourself with keeping busy, but at the end of the day you really have not moved the needle very far

-Aim to get the harder tasks done earlier in the day when your energy is high

-“Eat the frog”

-Typically these low value tasks are “easier” to do

-Perfectionism can stop you before you even start

-Perfectionist need to aim to product B+ work



Ep#008 Your lighting supplier making your days brighter.

Today Crystal Collinson speaks with Julia Fraser, owner of Watts Current “brick and mortar” lighting store located in Mississauga, Ontario Canada.

She will talk about some of the pitfalls Interior Designers can run into when specifying lighting. Working with a knowledgeable lighting supplier is liking having a “free employee”. They are an extension of your design team, everyone can save time, the Designer, the Client, and the Electrician.


  • Make sure you establish and share your lighting budget,. Be honest and realistic about your timelines. This will give the necessary requirements that your supplier needs to be made aware of. To provide you with the best lighting solutions for your projects.
  • Electricians are not allowed to install light fixtures that are not CSA or ETL approved, very important if you order lighting online
  • Warranties, by working with a trusted supplier they will be able to rectify any issues on your behalf.
Julia Fraser in TPD episode Your lighting supplier making your days brighter.

Mentioned in this episode:

Quote from Mark Twain, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything” 



Podcasts Julia Recommends:

front-burner, current-affairs-information and canadiantruecrime.ca

Want to get in touch with Julia and her store Watts Current 

Instagram : wattscurrentinc I Facebook : wattscurrentinc

Website : wattscurrent.com/

Episode #007 Working effectively with your luxury appliance A&D Representative

In this episode, host Crystal Collinson chats with Kitchen Design & Product Expert Margaret Macdonald. Margaret is the Ontario Architect and Design Sales Manager for Sub Zero, Wolf, and Cove. Where she ‘s focusing on the education and specification of luxury residential appliances.

We learn why your A&D representatives can serve as a member of our team when it comes to specifying. Your A&D rep comes equipped with the tools, experience, and knowledge to take you and your client through the entire process of designing, specifying, installation, and the end-user experience of luxury appliances. 

MargaretMacdonald_Episode#7_Working Effectively with luxury appliances A&D representative

How to reach Margaret:

Email: mmacdonald0415@gmail.com

Instagram : margaret_macdonald and subzeroandwolf

Episode #006 Recommended Home Modifications for Aging and Living in Place.

With 30 years of experience in architectural design, project management, and general construction Foti Hatzidemetriou brings knowledge and experience to every collaboration he works on. 

Foti is a General Contractor, accessibility expert and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). He gets his biggest satisfaction from helping clients discover practical ways to modify their home or work. So they can enjoy it for as longs as they want. Additionally, he is an advocate of The Home Modification Council working on public awareness and government change. 

Guest Foti Hatzidemetriou with episode title Recommended Home Modifications for Aging and Living in Place

Join Crystal and Foti as they discuss ideas how to improve and accommodate your client’s specific needs to have a safer and more liveable environment. Through the use of home automation, design, and materials just to name a few.  

Episode #005 Is there an Imposter in your head?

Today in The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with Interior Design Professional Ingrid Porter from Cleveland Ohio. We talk about imposter that mean girl voice in our heads! You know the voice that likes to remind us that somehow we have managed to “trick” everyone into thinking we know what we are doing. And, we will soon be exposed for the “fraud” we really are. This is commonly known as “Imposter Syndrome”. I am sure each and every one of us has battled it at some time in our lives and careers. As Entrepreneurs we are typically “high achievers”. Some may say “A Types” who are typically not happy with the status quo. We tend to stretch ourselves outside our comfort zone, and that is often when the voice starts to get loud.

So listen in to learn how Ingrid deals with Imposter Syndrome, what books, podcasts, and mindset tools she likes to turn to when the “inner mean girl” rears her ugly head!

Ingrid PorterEpisode#6 titled Is there an Imposter in your head?

Episode #004 Tools I Use

Episode titled Tools I use in my interior design business

I don’t know about you, but I love hearing what tools others use in their business, work life or daily life to be more productive or just make life easier for them. In this solo episode I talk about the tools and software I am currently using in my interior design business. I discuss what is working for me now, and some of the software or apps I have previously used and why I switched. 

Below are the links to the apps or software mentioned in this episode.

 Here are two additional apps I use but forgot to mention in this episode. I will definitely talk more about time tracking & planning in future episodes.