Friday, September 13, 2013
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER
As I continue to learn the business of Interior Design, I get a better feel for what processes work best for clients (this is a never-ending learning process, btw) and what doesn't work great. Every client has different needs, communicates in a certain way, and has preferences on how they would like to work with a designer. However, I believe most clients fall in to two categories. In order to better explain it I am going to use the analogy of picking what restaurant to eat at.
TYPE A: They are the type of person who believes they are easy-going, but usually they have a definite preference, it's just hard for them to identify right away. They like things that are familiar and/or is their idea (which is great).
Their friend comes to pick them up for lunch and their friend says, "Where do you want to eat?"
and they say "I don't care - I'm good with whatever."
So their friend says, "Great! Let's go to that new Mexican restaurant - I hear it's amazing."
and they say, "Oh, actually I am not feeling like Mexican, how about somewhere else?"
and their friend says, "Okay, how about the sandwich shop - we always like that."
And they say, "Well, yeah, but I think I'm feeling like more of a salad. Let's go to the usual spot."
And their friend says, "Okay, but there is a new salad place I tried that I really liked - do you want to go there?"
And they think about it for a minute or two, it's a hard question to answer but ultimately they say, "No. Let's just go to the usual spot."
then there is type B.
TYPE B: They are they type of person who sometimes has a definite preference or is easy going, can be both - but for the most part they know what they want.
They climb in the car and their friend says, "Where do you want to eat?"
And they say, "I had a big breakfast, so how about something more light for lunch? Maybe that salad place we like to go to."
And their friend says, "Yes, I love that place, but there is also a new salad place that just opened up and it's really good, do you want to try it?"
And the friend says, "Sure! I love that idea."
We all fall in to one of these categories, or sometimes can be both type A & B. I actually think I'm a little bit of both, but I definitely lean towards type B.
So why am I going into all of this detail about what type of person you are and how does this relate to Interior Design? I will tell you! Depending on what type of client you are, you should go about the process of designing your home in a different way.
If you are more TYPE A - It would be best for you to do a lot of research BEFORE you go ahead with having your designer put together a furniture plan/source materials for your home. You tend to make decisions by knowing what you don't want, more than having an idea of what you want to begin with. You also tend to me more visual and impulsive on your purchasing with your home, because decision-making is hard for you and you don't want to drag on the process, so having a clear idea from the beginning is best for you.
Look at hundreds of photos of things you like/don't like. Really narrow down your style and preferences. Doing more work at this stage will save you so much money and you will be happier with the result. You will pay more money at the front end of the process with your designer, but you will save at the back-end because once you have an idea, you are great with moving forward quickly, and are good at making decisions.
If you are more TYPE B - You have a pretty good idea of what you want - at least what style. You still need to do some research and look at a lot of photos to narrow down what you want for your home, but what you really need is to have someone create what you have in your head or make a few suggestions and you can pick easily from there.
The front end process isn't too difficult. You know what materials/furniture plans you are interested in, it's just choosing between a few good options. The middle/back-end of the design process is where you are going to spend more time and money. For example, you will know you want gray tile, it's just picking what size and style of gray tile. The best way for you to work with a designer is to really focus on the details of why you like certain things when you see them. OR, because you are a lot more comfortable with trusting the "expert", once you have your direction, let the designer make most of the decisions and you will be thrilled with the result (if you chose the right designer to begin with :).
Understand how you work, as a client, or understanding how your clients work, as a designer, is going to make for a smoother and happier process. It also saves time and money.
If you have any insight into having a smooth and seamless process, as a designer or a client, please share!