Maybe I Shouldn't Share This Story But...

Pillow courtesy of Thomas Baker

How To Keep Problems From Spiraling Out Of Control - The Easy Way

Round and round the discussion went. Should my client change the location of the chandelier in the Dining Room? Or, should she do without the chandelier and forget about the goal to have the chandelier centered over the table?

Would a smaller table help? Can you use two chandeliers instead of one? Obviously this was one of those problems where we needed to not be 'narrow minded' but instead, use one of my favorite concepts - narrow framing.

Narrow framing is a term I was reminded about as I read my newest favorite book, "Decisive" by Chip and Dan Heath.  In their book they talk about situations where you may look at a problem as a "Yes" or "No" scenario.

But the truth is as a designer, I often work on problems of this type. I actually enjoy situations like this because it challenges my love of "expanding opportunities". I take a step back from the problem then delve into alternate solutions, rather than limiting choices to 'this or that' decision making.

So, the answer to the problem was to move a large china cabinet to another room, so the table could be centered in the room where it looked best. Another plus was that the china cabinet enjoys a more focal point view in its new location than it ever had in the dining room.

For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:
Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at
M. A. Smith, Ltd., Interior Design
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