Saturday, March 5, 2011

What does an interior designer really do?

Below are the comments from my client's upon completion of the home pictured.

"We never imagined that our 50's home could ever become our dream home. We contemplated selling it, but then decided to stay just awhile longer. After years of children and pets, everything needed an update. We were overwhelmed with choices and unable to find furnishings that "felt" right to both of us. Then came Kim!!! What transpired was truly beyond our greatest expectations. She not only identified a style that blended both our tastes, she did so in a fashion that complimented our home's original architecture. She was efficient in her shopping, attentive to our budget and a superior communicator. She was always available, confident when we wavered and in the end brought forth a home we love and are proud of. There are not really words of appreciation that are adequate. We never believed that this home could become such an accurate reflection of who we are stylistically and artistically. It is serene, yet bold and playful, with an elegance we love. We are extremely grateful to Kim and would whole heartedly recommend her! She is indeed a gifted interior designer. She couples those gifts with great listening skills and incredible buying savvy!! The end result is an extraordinary home and very happy owners!"

I think it takes a lot of courage to hire an interior designer. When you think about it the client is handing over large sums of money to a stranger to tell them how to live! That scenario is fraught with fears and anxiety! And I fully understand those emotions coming from new clients. Trust must be established that the designer is listening to what the goals are for the project...and even more important and I think a designer must be intuitive. The designer must know how to read what the client is telling them. I loved the following input about Designers from Kravet and wanted to share it with you. One of my favorite lines is the last one " The process is stable in the hands of a professional."

What Do Designers Do?

Good results come from good processes: think delicious food and great recipes. Anyone can buy ingredients, but only good cooks make great meals. The same is true with interior design. With deep respect for their clients’ time and money, they put together so many parts and pieces in such logical ways that often their clients say, “I never would have thought of that. It’s so us!” Like so many new experiences, there are myths about what it will be like. But those myths are often dispelled when the realities emerge. Some people worry that interior design will be too expensive, or that they will lose control of the process and that the result won’t be their style. But actually they become thrilled that "We met our budget" “We worked as a team” “We love the results” “It’s so us!” Interior designers help us accomplish more than we might imagine. They can help you get inside your vision by asking good questions first, they listen and observe, and only then when you both have a clear idea of where you are going, do you take the next steps. That’s what designers do, they listen first, design next and then execute only after you both agree, so you get more for your money in less time.

Why Do I Need A Designer?

All of us are good at many things but some of us know our limits. Most of us seek trusted advisers to help us achieve the results we are really after. Professional interior designers help solve tricky problems and imaginatively make your home uniquely you. That can be a happy, satisfying and rewarding relationship between designer and you, the client. That relationship is what yields what we all want in the first place: intimate and shared places that they can present proudly to family and friends; design that reflects our personal style and values; a simpler way to overcome the complexities of decorating; and reassurance that expensive mistakes can be avoided. Among other reasons, trust worthy judgment: that’s why a designer?

How Will The Relationship Work?

Interior Designers work side by side with you to achieve what’s right for you. As your advocate, they discover with you certain things about how you want to live, so they can design a solution that is predictable, sequential, reliable and uniquely you. The process is multi-faceted, coordinating creative, technical and financial solutions to achieve the right result. These solutions are often functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the residents and are aesthetically attractive. It begins with discovery to determine what is and what could be right for you. Interior design is a business, so the process works best when client and designer both win. Mutual benefits ensure mutual success which should be described in a thorough agreement between you and your designer, including what is to be done, schedules, the responsibilities of each party and financial terms and conditions that satisfy both of you. Once your goals are defined and agreed to, design concepts and drawings document the functional, aesthetic, material and finish selections that will, with your consent, determine how your design will be realized. These guide the selection and specification of furniture, fixtures, and finishes that conform to mutually-agreed budgets, schedules and technical compliance. It may also be necessary for the interior designer, while always acting as your agent, to coordinate and collaborate with others like architects and various contractors to execute the design all the way until you are safely and happily home. The process is stable in the hands of a professional.

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