Did you think this is about how a Designer decides what color fringe to use for a throw pillow? Sorry! It’s about the nuts and bolts of putting together a design project.
Over my years as an Interior Designer, I’ve been asked what I do many, many times. Most people assume that being a Designer is fun. Hey--it often is! I can be creative and thoughtful and sensitive to the needs and desires of my Clients. If the budget and timetable work, it’s usually not too terribly complicated. I put together a concept, show design ideas to the client, put the products and services together and Wham! It’s a successful project.
But … it’s not always that easy. That’s why it really it’s a”project”. It could take much time and conversation to explain what a reasonable budget might be and what a Client will get for the investment they’ve contemplated. Do most Clients have a realistic budget? Yes and No – not when they want (as they say) a Cadillac for the price of a Chevy. We can divide up the budget realistically or we can plan for Part 1 and Part 2, etc., over time, or I can advise on how to most efficiently spread out the budget at hand, but something must be modified.
Redesigning or decorating can be fun. But the Client has to learn and the Designer should (notice I said “should”) be adaptable. For the Client, patience is a dire necessity. Being in a hurry is, truly, worthless. Most design projects are for spaces we want to live with for a long time. I might develop a bunch of detractors over this statement, but the fair answer to “hurry up” is to start with the most urgent elements, just do that part and understand that the entire process might take months. I have put together projects in an afternoon, but that’s unusual. It’s a ton of fun for me, but everything has to fall into place almost magically for that to happen… and there the Client has to be very flexible.
The past week has been rewarding in a bit of a strange way. To coin a phrase, I have been “putting out fires” more than anything else. In my business, that means that I have juggled around the painters for a long-time Client. In the years since they last put together a project, prices have increase a ****load. We’re working with another painting company and eked out a good budget and starting dates for the work to get done.
Then it means that another Clients’ window shades turned out “eh”. Photos of the project have been sent to the manufacturer along with some ideas I have concocted to remake them. How can an answer be: “This material doesn’t work very well”? What? Then why do they sell it? Sheesh.
I learned the other day that electricians tossed out decorative elements for a Client’s recessed can lights. Huh? The boss man took care of it for me, but I think they had to buy replacements – the other ones had been tossed.
And… today, I worked on selecting siding and roof colors for an addition on the back of another Client’s home. It seemed so logical to me. But thank goodness I was there to stop them for adding too many colors to the back of the house. WHEW. The house is on pretty, quiet street. I wonder if the house on the opposite end of the block had any help professional when they chose a pink roof for their house.
It’s not just picking pretty things, but when the glitches no one thinks about are put behind me, it’s as rewarding as the happy elements of my job!
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