What Do Designers Want to Tell Perspective Clients?
As a professional interior designer in Bergen County, NJ I often wonder what is not being said by designers and potential clients. To that end I interviewed a bunch of people to see what they think but do not say.
Here are some of the topics that were mentioned:
#1. Clients usually don’t tell their designers what they want out loud.
They hint at it. They suggest it. They talk around it. But it is often up to the designer to figure it out what the client really wants and needs. It is impossible to read their minds!
Sometimes it is really difficult for the client to express themselves. They hired the designer because they DON’T know what they want! If they did, they could tell the designer!
My suggestion for that is to ask the clients to show the designer spaces they like! This usually results in some form of a common thread the designer can point out. Let’s say all the images they picked showed white cabinets with grey paint on the wall. That’s a pretty strong clue that these people like that color scheme! But that is really easy. Suppose all the images show round shapes. That is a clue for the designer! What does “round” signify? It could mean that the client really likes a room to feel soft and curvy-sensuous.
This is a good way to open lines of communication so what the client really wants and likes can be put into the final vision for their home.
(We are not getting into therapy counseling between partners who have different points of view here!)
#2. Clients are often afraid to tell the designer how much they have to spend.
When a designer asks a client for the budget, the clients typically say “I don’t know.” And they may not.
This situation sometimes comes from a fear from the client that the designer will spend all their money and they will lose control. That is a common fear. But it is a misconception.
The client really needs to think about their budget. How else will the designer know if it is realistic and how to design for that number?
When Interior designers know the range of the budget they will know where to save and where to splurge. They will stay true to the numbers and make the best decisions for that amount.
Clients want reassurance that their investment in the design will be worth it. They may need to get some practical information about what things usually cost today, since they may not have purchased in a while. Information is helpful to guide the designer so they can find the appropriate solution for the client. It is important that the client trust that the designer is looking out for them.
Here’s a good question: Ask yourself, “How much is a good quality 3 seater sofa?” The answer will be a huge help to your designer.
#3. Clients want to feel part of the creative process.
It’s hard to wait. But from the time the designer takes measurements of the room and comes back to you with a design for it, there is much happening behind the scenes that the client doesn’t see. Creativity takes time. That’s why you hired the designer in the first place…for their expertise.
Those who watch HGTV understand that editing is what gets you from start to finish in a half -hour show! The real process takes much more than 30 minutes!
You can help your designer by getting to the heart of what you want your room to feel like. What colors don’t you like? Do you want fabrics that are soft and cuddly? Glamourous or simple? What features are you lacking that would make your space really work for you better?
Here’s another great question, “If money was no object, what would you like to have in your space?” You’d be surprised what a talented designer can accomplish for you!