My Top 4 Lessons From 2013

Cravotta Interiors 2013

This week as 2013 comes to a close, I began thinking about the important lessons I’ve learned – both in my career as an interior designer, and in my personal life.  I’ve narrowed them down to the top 4 ‘take-aways’ for the year that was.

DSC00759 Inside the Reichstag   Berlin, Germany


Travel Expands the Heart, Mind, and Soul.

As wonderful as the internet and television are at bringing the world to our living rooms, there’s simply no substitute for travel.  This year I had the good fortune to travel to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Berlin.  Each trip opened my eyes to new wonders, and broadened my perspective on not only the outer world, but my inner world as well.  I find travel the single most important activity to expand myself as a designer.  My next major trip will take me to Buenos Aires, Argentina in the spring for the Leaders of Design Council Summit, and I’m very excited!



Social Media Drives Me Crazy.

Let’s face it, technology is exciting, and social media platforms provide us with an ever-expanding frontier of mediums to explore the ways to connect with people we may not have otherwise encountered.

But with new platforms being introduced each year, and changes continually coming to existing ones, it can be a black hole for your time and attention.  Taking time each week to step away from the screens has become a welcome way for me to restore some balance in my life, and lets me enjoy the time I spend in that world.



Sabbaticals Bare Fruit.

If your life is anything like mine, an average day will have every time slot filled.  I’m often working from 6am until 11pm (with time out for meals, exercise and family.)  It’s easy to get locked into a day-after-day scene with no end in sight.  But this year I took 3 mini-sabbaticals, 1-3 days each, where I left my computer at home.  I learned that breaking the normal routine makes room for new thinking; each time I gained at least one significant idea or insight that altered the trajectory of my life.



Exercise Is My Religion.

Although I’ve never really been a major couch potato, I have regularly slipped into prolonged periods of low-activity.  This year has marked a big change.  With few exceptions, I have exercised 3 times a week at high intensity in the gym, incorporating speed and strength work as well as yoga.  I’ve felt better in both mind and body than I have in years, and I believe I’ve formed a habit that could last a lifetime.


Well that’s my wrap-up of the year in a nutshell.  My staff and I hope that you have a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2014!