Well, here it is, my first blog. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Now I’m finally taking a few moments to put my thoughts online. I am often amazed at the interest the public has in the working lives of interior designers. People are curious about the ‘glamour’ of the designer/client relationship, and all that it entails.
I’m hoping to dispel some myths in this blog and reinforce others. For instance, not all designers are snooty socialites who lord over their clients houses as if they were benevolent dictators. Many of us are more collaborative and allow the client to have extensive artistic leeway. I see my job as being a help-mate in the process of design. Not as someone bossily forcing clients to implement my own personal desires. After all, the client has to sleep in that bed, once it’s made and lie on that lovely sofa, when recovering from a busy day!
I have many years of practical experience, which I use to guide my clients in directions that avoid decorating land-mines. I’ll advise the client if a fabric is unsuitable for a certain application, or if that certain type of flooring cannot be used in their basement application. Many times I assert myself as a ‘Design Doctor’, diagnosing the decorating ailment and giving appropriate ways to heal the problem.
I also have scads of unique resources at my disposal: lines of fabrics, trims, carpets, hardwoods, finishes, furniture, and more that would be otherwise unavailable to the average person. I have amazing sub-contractors that I frequently work with, who perform their work in a manner worthy of my continued referrals. They are prompt in the quoting process and produce results that meet or exceed both mine and my clients expectations. My consultations save my client so much in time (and often money), by my familiarity with the products I select for their homes. It would take the client months to find just the right products, visiting stores and vendors all over town. I can present them with samples in just hours or a matter of days. One new client I visited for the first time just under two weeks ago to focus on her basement renovation. Monday I will present her with quotes from 4 different sub-contractors, along with the materials I suggest to complete the job. It’s amazing to think we could take her project from a concrete floor with unfinished drywall and exposed basement ceiling, to a glorious finished living and entertaining space, complete with wood floors, soft carpets, attractive ceiling, appropriate lighting, custom built-ins and comfy furniture in just 2-3 months! She will most likely be able to use this area before Christmas. Now you must admit: that has value.
I truly feel I provide a valuable service to my clients. I am able to quickly sort through the products available and present the best possible options according to the needs the client has shared with me. My initial consultations are interviews of a sort. These are meetings where my clients are looking at me to present some clever ideas or unique observations. At the same time, I am asking pertinent questions to glean information that will be valuable to the future design project. What colors are they partial to, what style? Do they need clutter control? Are they neat freaks? Do they travel and seek a global look? Are they more contemporary? I uncover the information while looking into both public and private rooms in the home, visualizing the spaces in a new light. Analyzing the potential of each space and diagnosing the problems at hand in the current decor.
The curious are often surprised to learn that most of my clients are ‘normal’ people. They are not millionaires, or famous people (although I enjoy working with those types of individuals!). My clients are frequently people who have been burned. They’ve made mistakes in their decorating decisions, and have come to realize that hiring a designer will actually save them money by helping them avoid costly errors. The end result is a beautiful, comfortable and livable home to enjoy sharing with family and friends.
It’s extremely gratifying to work with my lovely clients and it’s rare when I am confronted with someone who doesn’t fully appreciate the new frontiers a good designer/decorator can show you. When presented with a sceptical person (often a spouse of the intelligent person that hired me), it doesn’t take long to prove myself as a valuable asset in the process of making their home a true showplace and representation of their success, while creating a comfortable haven from their often hectic lives.
Now that you know the low-down on my business and who my clients are, I will try in the future to impart helpful tidbits, as well as interesting dilemmas which I encounter in my job as an interior designer. I am hoping to post at least monthly, often providing you with example photographs. You’ll be amazed at what goes on in the life of someone with this fascinating career!