I had an interesting situation come up recently that had me thinking about how people view interior designers. I was reminded of a few things about the relationship between the interior designer and the client or potential client. The first is that an interior designer cannot be pushed on a person. There are some people that feel that they have absolutely no need for an interior designer. These people most of the time are really just afraid that the designer is going to do what they want and ignore the client. And I wish that this was a completely empty fear. I will say that if it is good interior design the fear is empty, however there are people in my profession just like in every profession who are not the best example of the business. Now there are also many times in which even this client that thinks they know everything really doesn’t know what they want. They probably have a great deal of pictures, and may have seen a bunch of different products that they like but they really don’t know what is tying the theme together. I have found many times that a client will bring me a photo and tell me that this is what they want, but when we go through the photo they don’t like the architectural accents, they hate the paint color and would prefer different furnishings. Now I know what you are thinking then how could they possibly cut out a picture and love the picture but not like the element in the design? Simple – they like the feeling that is created and the way that the photo was shot but not the actual design. This happens more than you would believe. And the number one culprit of this is the person who thinks that they don’t need a designer. And in the end will they be happy with the job – they may. Would they have been happier if they worked with a designer that got down to the bottom of why they wanted certain things and made sure that everything that went into the job was perfect for them – absolutely! But again this person cannot have a designer pushed on them. In fact the more that they are told they need a designer the more they resist and think of reasons as to why the know more than any designer would.
The relationship between the client and the designer is extremely important. The client needs to repect and value the designers opinion and the design must do the same in return. It cannot be a one sided relationship. And although you would think that having complete free rein on a job is the interior designers joy in many ways it isn’t. If the client does not provide feedback it can be a big red flag. Because there needs to be that meeting of the minds in which the designer knows that they have hit the right combinations for the client. And the client needs to be excited to see the project completed. There are times when the trust gets pushed, when the designer will suggest something outside of the clients comfort zone. These can be scary times for the client and if the trust is not there then the project could fall apart. But if the trust is there these outside of the comfort zones moments are going to be the ones that create the biggest joy for the client later when the project is complete. And interior designer is not hired to do what the lady down the street could do by going to their local home improvement store. An interior designer is hired to create an amazing space that is everything the client had in mind and so much more because they never could have dreamed of all the things that actually are created.