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Storytelling in Design With Lucy Smith

Megan Hill
A black and white picture of Lucy smiling in front of floral pattern wallpaper. She has long blonde hair and wears a white buttoned shirt
Lucy Smith, Lucy Madeleine Design

Lucy Smith offers a range of interior design packages and sources unusual antiques through her business Lucy Madeleine Design.

It starts with a DM

Lucy's Instagram feed functions as an antique auction of sorts—a place to showcase and sell her vintage homeware finds. It is not unusual for a client to find her page on Instagram and subsequently slide into her DMs to find out more!

Following this initial contact, Lucy prefers to work face-to-face when possible. However, Lucy also offers e-design services, which of course are conducted remotely—all Lucy needs are images of the space and rough room measurements.

Answer the question

Lucy starts a consultation with a general chat and, ideally, a viewing of the space.

But prior to their first meeting, Lucy will send her client a questionnaire. The questionnaire functions as a way to get to know a little bit more about logistics: budget, the scope of work etc. and, crucially, what they want to achieve from the space.

Challenges can arise when a client's style doesn't correlate with what Lucy typically offers and so it's best that everyone has realistic expectations from the outset.

No risk, no reward

"With design, sometimes you have to push the boundaries a little. Just take a risk and hope your client loves it!"

For Lucy, the best part of the job is controlling the element of surprise—presenting something (a wall colour or a furniture layout etc.) to a client that they hadn't previously considered.

Image shows half a bed and bedside table. Pink and green pastel colour palette with a shabby chic aesthetic
A shabby chic bedside design by Lucy Smith

How does Lucy tailor her questionnaires to get the right information to start her project? We challenged Lucy to uncover the intricacies of a client's story—if she only had 5 questions to work with...

Who... do you admire for their taste or style?

This could be anyone. An interior designer, influencer, actor, artist, or even a friend who has a particular taste that you like or are intrigued by.

What... are your main goals for the design of your space?

Do you want to see updated furnishings and better lighting? Do you need better functionality and more storage? Maybe you just want your space to feel more cohesive?

Where... would you usually shop?

Be it for fashion or homeware, do you shop certain brands specifically for their styling or home décor?

When... looking at your space, what type of aesthetic look would you like to find?

Is the space used for work, entertaining, family gatherings, displaying artwork/collections, or simply relaxing?

Why... do you want my help in particular?

A lounge area with yellow walls, blue-grey sofa and yellow and blue pillows
A sunny lounge area—designed by Lucy Smith

Got a question for Lucy? Check out her website. Find more of Lucy's work on Instagram.