5 Qualities of a Joyful Designer-Client Relationship

There is a rumor going around about designers and decorators — that we’re all bossy people who roll in to your own lives, whip together a design program, slap on a hefty fee and then steamroll through your house executing our vision, client be damned. Truth be told, the majority of us have strong opinions — it comes with the territory — but believe it or not, the majority of us have gotten a great deal of valuable tips, design ideas and fashion information from our own very customers.

Many have mastered the art of listening closely to their customers’ needs with award-winning outcomes. Some will admit that although they loathed a customer’s choice of paint or countertop, the end result was pretty darn fabulous. I actually learned about from a client — and it’s forever changed my design company. Here we will talk about the qualities that can result in a great client-designer experience.

Gigi Magness Design

Trust. A number of the best design jobs happen when designers and customers expect you another. Designer Gigi Magness struggled with a paint color to bring a modern touch to her customer’s historical home. Her client admittedly balked when Magness first suggested gray but fell in love once the sample went up on the wall.

The confidence paid off. The job, shown here, took first place in the 2013 Emerald Design Contest by Sherwin-Williams.

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Shoshana Gosselin

Flexibility. Be flexible with your design choices when working with a designer or all on your own. You’ll save yourself plenty of heartache and maybe an ulcer or two. Whenever you have your heart set on something, it is difficult not to blow a gasket when it’s been discontinued or is otherwise not accessible. Nevertheless, when it comes down to it, it is just a piece of furniture, and there’s almost always a similar thing that your designer can source that’s equally as fabulous.

Budget can cause similar difficulties. If a luxurious item like wallpaper is not within your budget, being flexible is key. There are many means to attain the same result, and a fantastic designer-client relationship will give you room to explore those options.

This stenciled look is very similar to wallpaper, and it is a fraction of the cost. If you are a homeowner or a tenant comfortable doing a DIY job similar to this, your designer can use the funds saved to make other important purchases though you stencil away.

The best way to utilize an abysmal wall stencil

Pamela DeCuir Interior Designs

Diplomacy. New Jersey designer Pamela DeCuir admits she didn’t enjoy a customer’s countertop choice — initially. “When she showed me a picture of this sample online, I thought it was awful,” she says. However, when DeCuir found it in person, she was sold. “It was to be the most amazing choice for her kitchen.”

There are going to be a lot of things you and your designer disagree on. I suggest handling these problems “The United Nations Way,” as I call it. When someone colorfully expresses their hatred for a product without a plan B, then nothing has solved. I’ve seen plenty of jobs stalled over extreme differences — or worse, the designer and client part ways with just bitter tales to share at happy hour.

Tip: Don’t rely just on online pictures to produce an opinion on substances — it is worth it to purchase a sample and get a feel or sense of the real thing. A lot of businesses will send free samples to the transaction and customers.

Burnham Design

Collaboration. A willingness to share ideas and take risks can make a huge impact in a designer-client relationship. For example: I really like color and frequently suggest utilizing bold choices in endeavors. However, not every client is thrilled with this thought initially; some need some advice before jumping in. Collaborating on ideabooks to observe how a color works in a place, picking paint and cloth samples with each other to consider other options, and taking a couple of calculated risks in the total design can help both designer and client think outside the box.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Creativity. When this homeowner picked and purchased her own tiles for a bathroom project, she hit a wall using the design, says Rhoda Fry of Bill Fry Construction, hired to take care of the building phase of the project. The Frys recommended a designer who was ready to assist, even at the final stage of the plan process.

The homeowner had arranged too many tiles and was facing a hefty restocking fee with the tile store. The designer suggested utilizing the tiles to create an outdoor shower — something the owner had previously planned, but without tiles. The end result was magnificent and luxurious compared to shower the homeowner had imagined.

Tip: It is rarely too late to seek design advice. Even a fast consultation can save a client a great deal of heartache and money.

Inform us : What are some of the best homeowner or client tales or tips?

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