Patti L. Cowger of PLC Interiors
What led you to PLC Interiors and when did you start PLC Interiors?
I established my first interior design company in 1989 when I was a computer programmer in San Francisco. I was in desperate need of a creative hobby so I met with a few fabric mills and started making table linens. I called my company Tavola Bella (“beautiful table” in Italian). The following year, I took a trip to Italy to visit my grandparents’ native home. I was so taken with its artistic and historic beauty that when I came back to the States, I left my programming career and pursued a degree in Architectural Interior Design. I changed my company’s name and have been PLC Interiors ever since.
What is your favorite aspect of being an interior designer?
Installation or photo-shoot day. It’s when everything I had envisioned, drawn, sourced, and implemented is realized and when clients are the most excited.
What have you learned the most from being an interior designer?
After 28 years, I’ve learned how to efficiently manage the design process. I’ve put systems in place that help clients to be more involved (if they choose to be) and I’ve learned a lot about being a business owner. I’ve also learned to trust my instincts and to be more bold in my designs – and that has always paid off. Lastly, I’ve learned to be sensitive to clients’ preferences, values, and goals. I am fortunate and flattered that many of my clients have come back to me over and over through the years. I’ve been blessed with great relationships, new and old.
What tips and ideas do you have for other’s who would like to study interior design and create a career out of their passion for interior design?
This will apply to just those who want to own their own interior design business – as opposed to working for an established firm. The passion part of interior design is a must. However, without knowing how to run a business, passion won’t matter. It’s important to understand who you are, what your brand is, and how you want to conduct your business. Keep a stellar reputation and treat clients the way you’d like to be treated. Get outside help if you can afford it, especially a bookkeeper. Try to figure out if it makes sense to outsource tasks such as CAD drawings.
What is your favorite project style to work on?
I love to work with fabric and tile so things like custom bedding and window treatments or bathroom remodels make me really happy.
What is at the heart of your work that you want your clients to take home?
I strongly believe that our environment greatly affects our daily lives. So I strive to create functional spaces that make people’s lives easier (organized, less cluttered, and comfortable). When I can make these spaces beautiful and timeless, as well as a reflection of my clients’ personal styles, then I’ve served them well.
Patti and her interior design company, PLC Interiors, can be followed on the following social platforms:
Photos courtesy of Patti L. Cowger of PLC Interiors