Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Client Relationships: The Getting to Know You Tango

Our chat this week is inspired by Vicente Wolf's views on the importance of home-turf advantage when holding client meetings and the value of the professional office. If you're a designer - where is your office and where do you meet with your clients? We'd love to know your thoughts!!

via Theiss Interior Design

33 comments:

Terry said...

Mr. Wolf is also talking about working commercial spaces where the level of professionalism (and budget) is high: owners, investors, tenants, architects... I presume his private clients have serious budgets as well.

Whether you end up as "close personal friends" or not, It's so personal. If you get along and have good results, it's probably a long term relationship.

I do think men would generally approach this differently. Men have a different set of relationship tools. The "panted round table" would need some different methods.

Ann said...

Megan,
While you know I can't quit my day job - I did interview a number of A plus designers when I was working for a publishing company. Similar to your subject matter - one designer who worked from his home said his first meeting was always at his house and for a residential client he always required the husband to be present. He said - this way they saw his house (which by the way was gorgeous and he has a very affluent clientele), he established the budget, because he felt nine times out of ten that the man had a different budget than the women, and he had a minimum budget. While I found him a bit snobby -- I respected his business model because it works. It separated who was serious from who wasn't and you could decide than if it was worth your time. We all know when building a business sometimes you don't have that luxury until you are at a point that you have established a clientele. I believe there is a fine line but he did teach me a valuable lesson which I already new in corporate america - just never applied it to myself in everyday life. You have a value, your time has a value, and at some point you need to separate who is serious from who is not - and sometimes you have to walk away and sometimes you need to ensure they know you are a serious professional as well and your time is equally as valuable. Finding that happy medium. I cannot wait to download all your posts.

Cyndia said...

Excellent topic this week! I enjoyed Vicente Wolf's talk with y'all last week as well, and have learned so much from all of you! It is always so helpful to learn how other designers and decorators work and I always come away with something very useful in my own practice. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Great talk this week.

Do you think regionalism plays a part in client relationships? I myself prefer the more formal style, but then again, I am from the north. I couldn't function with the typical southern friendliness. (In fact, my parents moved south, and I still can't get over that neighbors wave to each other!)

Also, Vincent Wolf has a definite style, as does Joni. So I could see meeting with them at their house, because I would be hiring them for their style.

Here is my question. I have a ginormous electronic file of things I like, all of which I have made notes on identifying the elements I like. Would this, and a detailed google sketch-up model of whatever rooms I wanted a designer for be helpful, and at what stage?

Thanks so much! -EM

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this SR, because I am in the process of interviewing designers for a home that my husband and I are beginning to design with an architect. I have a good enough budget that the designers I call will be interested in talking to me, especially now that very few people seem to be doing entire house projects right now. I also recognize the importance of bringing a designer on board early, and am finding that a designer who has the range of skills I am looking for - someone who can both work on a new build and all of the accompanying detail work - as well as the 'decoration' part - the furniture, fabrics, rugs, etc - is a unique skill set, and may even be two different skill sets, two different people. Ideally I would like to find one designer to take me through the whole process.

I have a good grasp of my style, and thanks to design blogs, have been exposed to a huge variety of rooms, styles, furnishings, and lighting over the past few years. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for what a good designer brings to the table, and thanks to your SR discussions, have an appreciation about how a project is a two way street - the designer needs to feel that they can work with the client just as much as the client needs to feel that they can work with the designer.

I know of some local designers who do not have web sites (or blogs), and that is a serious issue for me as I need to get a feel for their work before deciding whether to pursue talks with them. I consider a lack of web site to be very 'old school' - one designer that I am friends with feels that she does not need one, as most of her work is through word of mouth, but in a day and age where there is so much more transparency about design and 'to the trade' practices and products, designers not having a website is like realtors who did not believe that it was important to put listings on the internet 10 years ago.

One other interesting thing to note, it has been discussed somewhat on the blogs recently with the New York Times article about interior design in the recession - I am very curious about what is going on with rates and such around the country. I have barely started the interview process for finding a designer (I plan to interview 3 or 4), but I have heard and am finding that everything is negotiable, and there is a fair amount of wheeling and dealing going on - not just clients trying to get a 'deal', but designers who are lowering their usual fees and rates in order to get the business.

Linda Merrill said...

A few thoughts:

Anon at 6:32 - While I always counsel designers to get a website just for the reasons you state, don't forget that before websites designers had portfolios of their work. Websites are merely virtual portfolios. So, if there were a well established designer in your area who has a good reputation and whose work you admire or have heard good things about, then don't immediately discount them because of no website. They will likely have a portfolio to show you of their photos, etc. If they don't have that, then obviously, they are at a disadvantage, unless you can go visit a house they've done.

Smart to bring in a designer early on to work with the architect and you should try to find someone who can do it space planning to window treatment. But, if they don't do the fine detail decorating stuff, they might likely have a colleague who handles that.

Regarding fees and discounts - it's best not to assume that everyone is willing to discount even in slow times. Remember, design is a creative endeavor and what designers are selling is their creativity, knowledge and experience - the intangibles. Asking a designer to discount how they are compensated for these intangibles is like asking us to sell ourselves short. That said, if you are offering a large project, it is likely that there will be economies of scale that will net out in savings. Or, you can say that you're looking to make the smartest financial decisions you can and you would hope the designer is willing to work with you to achieve that. Also, as a client, you can do your part by being responsive and decisive, not asking for millions of revisions or "show me more". All these things increase time and fees. Good questions, and good luck with your project!

EM (Anon at 3:27) - clip files and a sketch are great jumping off points, but they should be offered right at the beginning to help the designer understand your likes and dislikes. However, ultimately, the designer will take over the project and do their own plans and pull their own ideas. You don't want to hamper your designers creativity by putting them into a very rigid box where you've already done most of the planning for yourself. Unless, of course, you do want to do that for yourself and you just want to bring in someone for a few hours to help you fine tune your own plans. That's always a possibility.

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

Ladies: I believe this is a very subjective topic. Certainly each designer (young, old, seasoned, learning) will need to look in the mirror to ask some questions like:

1. Do I want a big design firm?
2. Do I want a staff?
3. Am I a people person? (I know this seems like a silly question because you design for people - but not all designers actually like to be with people - some want to have many new friends, others will want to create alone and move on)
4. What lifestyle do I want? Do I want to be able to take long leisurely lunches with girlfriends or head to the lakehouse whenever I want? - or do I want structured office/studio hours?
5. Is my goal $1000 contracts or mult-million dollar contracts?

There are so many more questions to ask oneself.

As with anything, it's all so personal and will come with trade-offs.

Love this radio show!

Here is a Canadian designer's work space. A dedicated office in Toronto. (hey, she'd be a good guest for you!)

http://www.sarahrichardsondesign.com/sarah/snapshot

Style Redux 2 said...

I think Mr. Wolf, from listening to your interview and reading his blog, has the highest of goals and intentions. That is, raising the professionalism of interior design which is good for the client and the designer. I have a law degree and my husband is an attorney, and a lawyer would never think of not having an office in which to meet with clients. Obviously an interior designer needs to go to a client's home, but I think his point was that in the initial meetings, being at the designer's office sets the tone that the designer is a professional, his time is valuable, he is not your servant, and not your girlfriend. He wants to move the profession away from the perception of many people of dizzy housewives operating out of the back of their Chevy Suburbans. That being said, not every designer wants to work full time, has the money for an outside office, or wants a more professional arm's length relationship. BUT, I think his points are very well taken if you want to achieve anywhere near his level of success.

Jennifer, Inside Out Colour and Design said...

This has been a fabulous discussion. I also work from home and go to my clients' homes. I believe that works best for the reasons you have discussed - you can see for yourself their style and their lifestyle. I have a collection of scrapbooks (one for each room) that I have made from images in magazines. I get my clients to flick through these so I can pick up on their preferences. They do that while I'm there which is good because they usually make comments like, "love the look but the colours are not me". It is also important to see the colours or items in their space not yours. I would love to work with the type of clients Mr Wolf does, but the reality is that my clients want to be a part of the journey and I love that. I love injecting their personality into the job. They have to live in the house not me so they have to absolutely LOVE what goes in. Well done ladies. What's on next?

Virginia from Texas said...

And Joni, we love you in whatever format you meet us....especially when some are rude enough to stalk you...with a surprise attack at your front door.

Linda/"Mom" said...

* I certainly enjoyed the SR just now, & as a layman, would love to write a book "from the other side"... the client's side. Alas, it would NOT be a "best seller", but I WOULD like to make a few comments & ask a question or two, if I may...

* While acknowledging that Mr. Wolf is indeed a high-end designer, I PERSONALLY believe (& I don't know how I can say this w/o sounding "ugly", which is truly N-O-T "intentional", believe me!) that he has obviously read, & taken to heart, his own press for too long. Period. Enough said...

* Again, as a "prospective client", I would ASSUME & PREFER that W*E, TOGETHER, are "discussing the possibility of a working relationship" ~~~ Maybe it's NOT "the norm", but I believe MOST of one's clients (at least the women!) MUST feel "comfy" w/ their Decorator/Designer & NOT intimidated, for sure!!! I would think a long-lasting friendship/working relationship is a BONUS out of it all, but I can't see NOT ADMIRING & LIKING someone w/ whom I would be "working with"/paying to hopefully provide the surroundings we hope to enjoy. I believe their PEOPLE SKILLS to be ALMOST as important as their D/D skills... at least for me!

IF I were a D/D, I SUSPECT I would initially think about meeting on "neutral grounds"~~~ an elegant or just wonderful place for coffee. (Yes, & picking up the tab of course). You're BOTH on an even keel there, you CAN get a "feel" for the other person just by the way they present themselves (as naturally as possible, hopefully), how they are dressed and even their table manners... no "interview", per se, would be needed on either part I think... The ADDED BONUS would be, I THINK, that EITHER ONE is "FREE TO ESCAPE" if it's simply & obviously not going to "work" between the two of you... May I ask how you all feel about that???

It's so interesting to listen to the pros, & I sincerely THANK YOU for sharing all you do on SR and on your blogs... it's always a terriffic learning experience & I'm grateful to hear all you have to share! Please know it's very much APPRECIATED that you put so much TIME & EFFORT & THOUGHT into this...

Warmest hugs n' thanks to you all,
Linda in AZ *

Linda/"Mom" said...

***** OOPS! I almost forgot!!! This is IMPORTANT to me, and MAYBE others...

* I relate more to gals who are "design oriented", because I love the SUBJECT, and find it always fun AND fascinating, to see AND learn more about!!!

I am rather PARANOID about "CROSSING THE LINE" w/ a D/D whose taste & style I admire & am maybe friends with, or who is a neighbor. Fear that I will "take advantage" of their expertise is paramount with me... I've tried to figure out if/when asking a simple question is, or is not, "ok"... Any guidance you'd like to share on that?

Thanks again! Linda *

Anonymous said...

I am curious. What about those of us who have an opinion about what we like, and really want to be a part of the process?

There are some things that I want a designer to choose for me. For instance, I want to use sea grass, but need someone to tell me how to measure for it for rooms with unusual angles. I have beautiful linen curtain panels, but have no idea what kind of rods to use.

But, I have a basic idea what I want, just need someone to help me put it all together. I need a plan. May not be able to complete what's in the plan for several years... but, a little at a time.

It seems Mr. Wolf does beautiful work and is an extremely talented designer, however if I had the money (which I don't) to hire that kind of help, simply put, I wouldn't. Just as I wouldn't wear a specific dress just because a stylist said it was the "one." That's just not me.

I don't think I would feel comfortable getting a bill for time a designer spent looking for fabric for me, nor would I ever be comfortable knowing "joni" spent hours looking for fabric for me and not compensate her for that. Couldn't I be there to look, too, and reimburse you for that time?

Would I be a client you would dread?

Just trying to understand the process better.

Love listening to you guys!

Linda Merrill said...

Hi Anon 10:53 - well, all designers bring their clients into the process,including Mr. Wolf. As you'll recall, he has them fill out an extensive questionnaire right the start so the clients views are foremost. But, one hires a designer to design, not just install. The things you mentioned - picking a curtain rod or how to cut a seagrass carpet are not the work of designers but sales people at a curtain store or rug store. Which is totally fine. None of our conversations or interviewees are suggesting that everyone should hire a designer. It's not for everyone. But one should have the right goals in mind. One should hire a designer not as a "helper" but as a leader, the person who will take your project beyond what you can do yourself, through their experience, education and creativity.

Regarding your comfort level with paying someone to find fabrics for you - it's part of the job and you should be willing to pay your designer for the time they are working on your project. I can tell you through experience that it's quicker for me to look at fabrics for a client and bring them a selection that I've culled down than it is going through books and samples with a client. But, if a client wishes to go with me to the design center to look through hundreds of fabrics, they are welcome. But, I do expect to be paid for that time either way. Whether a designer is with you or not, there is work being done that deserves compensation.

Cote de Texas said...

Anon- thanks for worrying about paying me for looking for fabrics, but I do make money when you buy them!!!! Cost plus. Trust me, I make enough from my clients to compensate me for my time. It all works out in the end.
Joni

Anonymous said...

A questionnaire to solve aesthetic dilemmas? It seems dubious.

So a client rejects a bunch of blue things, and Wolf says: "Aha, but we have your questionnaire right here, and you said you like blue!" What does THAT accomplish? Bullying the client into shutting up and pretending he likes something he really doesn't? The client likes what he likes.

As for insisting the client come to his office first: I'd love to know what Wolf would say if the client asks why. Does Wolf admit: "It's a power maneuver on my part, to make you more submissive"? "It's my way of making sure you'll obey me more, and question me less?" Because logistically, he can't justify it. It's purely a bit of psychological gamesmanship.

(Joni, you should start writing the responses on this blog. You're good at it. Linda, sorry, but you tend to sound prissy.)

Michelle said...

Working at a firm, or at home, surface space is never sufficient...the floor is typically overflow! I envy those all white studios...and designers who can work like that!

My family is always interupting me...so I'm looking for space outside of my home. I think if you are forced to get dressed, and GO to work, you get more done...for me anyway.

I found Vincente's comments intriging, and provoked much thought.

Thanks again,
Michelle

Anonymous said...

I think there are changes in the wind. I don't think these changes will be in designers' favor in most cases, maybe not the way the design industry is set up right now, or the way designers charge right now. There is a lot more awareness of costs now, on behalf of the non-design community. There is not nearly as much smoke and mirrors when it comes to the 'to the trade' items. Many of these items can now be purchased online without a designer. Many of the formerly 'to the trade' companies are rethinking their strategies and trying to figure out ways to sell to as many people as possible. As I have read repeatedly throughout the blogs and the papers, good design is becoming much more accessible to so many more people.

But - I am not discounting the skill and creativity of a great designer. I think a room done by a great designer can be like a work of art.

I take offense to the stereotype of the 'dizzy housewife' decorator. There are a lot of superbly talented individuals out there - men and women - who might not be formally trained, but have an uncanny feel for scale, proportion, and know how to put together a room in a way that a 'formally' trained colleague could never even dream of.

I think there is a lot of posturing right now - designers desperately trying to hold on to the way things were, trying to build up an industry that is changing under their feet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda and Joni, ANON 10:53,

I certainly did not mean to imply that a designer should not be compensated for their time -- not at all. In fact, I said I would not be comfortable knowing that hours and hours were spent (think you all said it takes you hours...) looking for fabrics, etc., without being compensated. Thank you, Joni, for clarifying how you are compensated for that time.

Also... of course I would need someone for more than just picking curtain rods, etc. I was trying to say that I think I have decent taste (not educated in design in any way), but I don't know how to put it all together. That's why I would want a professional to help me do that. So maybe I would be more comfortable paying someone by the hour and not for the job. And maybe that's not how you work?

I love interior design and I think the profession, for me, is enviable. That said, I would want to be respected as well. My time is valuable, too. I'm afraid that doing things Mr. Wolf's way would be way too intimidating and leave me feeling powerless, when it's my home and my hard earned money paying to design it.

I didn't mean to offend any of you in any way. Think you're great.

Linda Merrill said...

Hi Anon at 7:31 - btw, can't all you Anon's at least give yourselves nom de blogs so we're not talking to seemingly thin air? Anyway, no offense was taken at all and I'm sorry if I sounded that way. The whole point we are all trying to make is that every designer and client relationship is different and the goal is for everyone to be respected. Every client has different needs and Mr. Wolf's style - both design-wise and personality - isn't for everyone. It's just important that everyone be very clear about what they want. Vicente is very clear about how he works and that is clearly working for him. And you too are clear about what you want - respect for your views and working participation in the process (as opposed to just approvals). That's all you need to tell designers you are interviewing. It's ultimately not a matter of right or wrong, it's compatibility between partners in a process. There are decorators who relish a real give and take, and others who prefer to offer their complete ideas first and then fine tune with the client's input. Your job is to find the designer who's process meshes best with yours - then you'll both be happy!

beachbungalow8 said...

anon 11:11 - it's not about bullying, it's about keeping everyone accountable for what they've said and to save everyone time and money. Sometimes a client will say something that's not accurate and when they see it written down, they realize and correct it.

Jeeves said...

On my first year of Architecture School a teacher said once we graduated we would be the "elite of the servant class". It took me more than a decade of work experience to fully understand what he meant and I also know that this is true at all levels of the profession. I am certain that the same relationship applies to Interior Designers and their clients. I also understand why professionals like Vincent choose to take measures in order to level the field and stand eye to eye with their clients.

Francine Gardner said...

I agree with Vincente. i always hold first and all clients meeting at our office which is in our showroom. i introduce the clients to the showroom, the staff.I always recommend clients to interview other designers as well as we need to insure that we have a good client/designer relationship.On our side, we also interview potential clients to ensure that there is a meeting of the mind.After a first introductory meeting, we visit the space, then have a long exhaustive meeting with the client about their life style, their objectives and preferences, we prepare a floor plan with complete full presentation.
We are not hands on with clients for instances, we do not take our clients shopping, we propose the choices and our clients trust us with our design process and choices.I have developed long standing relationships with most of our clients as a result of a very upfront relationship and great communication

sandy said...

As a designer, I found this discussion and the comments supportive as well as enlightening. I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that a good client relationship is one where good communication is established and my creative effort and time is acknowledged.

My new challenge is learning the right way to say "no" to the inappropriate jobs. It would be so helpful to hear how you politely refuse jobs.

Cote de Texas said...

hey - ANON, Linda prissy???? nah. A flautist (sp?) music teacher prissy? from MA? hahah - She is actually very classy. Very classy! And the best moderator in the world I think. AND she has a great radio voice as opposed to my whiny nasally one, did I say whiny?

ok = I do have to agree with what you said. So a client said he doesn't like something - but he did like it on the questionnaire - so does the ID believe the questionnaire opinion or the vocalized opinion? It really does seem silly - I couldn't agree more - I don't understand the questionnaire - wouldn't you just discuss everything with the client out loud? Well, I'd like to see it, maybe it IS useful. Who knows? As for the first office visit - to me it's a wasted appt because in the end - you have to go to the space and see it, so yeah - it's a power trip for sure. But like I said, hiring VW is on a whole other level. It does get a little serious when you are spending a millions, you know? He has to be very serious, very professional, a well oiled machine otherwise no one would trust him with that much money. Thank God I don't have such issues!!!

Joni

VictoriaArt said...

I see how this subject hits the high note and some are cringing...
It all about integrity, the decorators, designers and clients. Knowing what to expect and truthfully guide, trust on both sides and an appreciation for the work involved.
Am I formally educated? No! Has it so far made a difference to my clients? No!
Do I have an office outside my desk at home? No! It's possible and a question of management.

I am honest, professional and say NO to a job, when I feel it's not possibel for me to manage.
There a many reasons, some lay within me, some with potential clients.

The problems usually come after the contract is signed, and how we handle this makes all the difference.

Great discussions! Thank you Ladies of the Roundtable!

beachbungalow8 said...

V~that's so true. You really need to trust in the relationship. Without it, the client would second guess the Designer, and in turn the Designer, wouldn't feel comfortable with the intentions of the client. As with any realitionship, trust is key. And building it is so important.

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Hmm... reading all the comments left on this post was almost as interesting as the discussion! Another great one girls.

My business is a bit different from yours in that I am not a traditional interior decorator/designer, but rather take clients antique shopping with most of those clients bringing pictures of their home for me to see as we shop. I have 2 sets of clients - those who are tourists coming to Europe and want to pick up the mega-souvenir to mark their journey, and 2) expats or locals living abroad who want help buying items for their home.

For this later group, I ALWAYS take locally based clients into my home to show them how to live with antiques. My bathroom mirror is a Venetian vintage mirror; I have a garden statue & antique Hungarian marble Rococo stand next to my bath tub to set my glass of wine while bathing... Showing clients how I live gives them ideas on how to incorporate more antiques into their own home. The number one thing people tell me is "I'd like to start investing in antiques, but where do I put them". First off - replace the Ikea! Seriously though, my answer is to USE antiques as part of their everyday living! Clients who I show "antiques in motion" inevitably buy more! For me, taking clients into my home is about generating ideas.

Lastly, I also lead workshops in my home. My office, which opens to my living room with double French doors has a conference table, but also antique couch, tables & chairs... It's a very livable space (and admittedly an eclectic mix of precious and ikea practical) and I've found more and more clients wanting to create home offices like mine since I've started doing more workshops at home.

Great discussion as always. By the way, as I listen today I'm preparing dinner for Ronda @AlltheBestBlog - I'll have to tell her you were my inspiration as I stuffed Escargots à la Bourguignonne!

Ciao,
Toma

Lauren said...

During my first meeting with a potential client, I do try to make it a chance for us to get to know each other, ask questions & see if we really do want to work together... I don't take any photos or measurements because at this point they haven't decided to hire me. (Unless maybe we've spoken over phone or via email & they are definitely already hiring me... I wish it were always this case!!!)

I have really been debating having clients come to my office.. we just redid it & it's a nice dedicated space... In the strangest way I love having people come over because it's my excuse to clean up the mess of my house!!! haha My big worry is that I don't live in a big house or an expensive neighborhood, etc... I do like what Vicente said about evening out the playing field...

Anyway, once a client has given me a deposit, I do a 2nd meeting where I may bring inspiration files for them to go through, interview them informally, and I do measurements & take pics (the inspiration files are great for keeping them occupied while I do measurements.) From there I let them know how much time I'll need to create a design plan (about 1-3 weeks depending upon usually how anxious they are/ busy I am) and then I create each & every detail of the plan. I come back to them with all of the fabrics chosen & every piece of furniture, floorplan, budget, etc written down & pictured. They know exactly what everything will cost and are able to say "yes" or "no" to items right then. (For some items I may bring pics/ samples of a couple of options at different price points or because there were 2 that I thought they might like... I find people like having to make only a couple of choices instead of getting lots of options... One time I emailed an entire design plan and the person didn' like it... I wasted 10 hours on this one because I wasn't being paid hourly-- eeeeeek... But I am more comfortable presenting in person because I've never gotten a "no" in person... I think it's easier to explain it to them & to help them visualize when you're there with them.)

Anyway, people usually tell me to go ahead with the ordering on the day of the presentation & that's when the project gets set in motion.

Loved hearing how you all do it... great discussion & again, sorry for writing a book in response!!! :)

Lauren said...

Oh and I do believe you are able to set better boundaries & demand more of your clients when you are well-established. I mean THE VICENTE WOLF- you know??? My goal would be to have people respect me/ my aesthetic enough before meeting me to have already established some credibility with them rather than having to build it all in that first make-or-break meeting. (I was just recently interviewed by a husband and wife who were meeting with 7 DESIGNERS!!!! didn't get that one! )

Velvet and Linen said...

I'm sorry if you have already answered this one, but any chance that we can get a glimpse of the Vicente Wolf questionnaire? I think it's a fantastic idea.
Steve and I don't have a set place to meet clients, although we do tend to meet clients at their home first. I find it important to have a more personal connection with clients. I think you can still maintain a level of professionalism while having a close relationship.

xo
Brooke

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Another interesting post. I will let you know that your profession is not the only one that lead people to believe that your time is not valuable. My husband is an attorney, and I (unfortunately) work in his office. People call our home to ask him questions, and when I answer the phone and suggest that they call the office tomorrow, they actually say "oh no, I don't want to have to pay for it"! Since we live in a rather small community, we cannot go out to eat locally, because we are constantly interrupted with legal questions! The fact that we worked hard to put him through law school does not suggest to them that his knowledge is worth anything. After all, all he has to do is answer a question for them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure it matters whether your office is in your home or elsewhere (our office is not in our home). People think that giving advice shouldn't cost a penny, and if you work for yourself, your time is not valuable. You'd be amazed at the number of people who call our office (not knowing that his wife is his secty) and tell me that they are a good friend of his (always using his first name) and advising me that he would want to just answer a little legal question for them! I have never heard of these people, and most of the time, neither has he!
As if this comment wasn't already long enough, I have to tell you that in my home, I don't have a dedicated office for my laptop. Therefore, I am very slow listening to SRT. I have to find a time when nobody else is around and the t.v. sound is not being interrupted by SRT, and that is not always easy.
I did listen to the interview with V.W., and I know he would NOT want me for a client (maybe no interior designer would). I guess there are people out there who have no desire to have input in the choices for their homes, and who also have the money to hire someone to take over that job. I am not one of those people, and I would be very offended by a designer who did not want me to have input. I have always understood that there is no right or wrong way to design - it is all a matter of personal preference. I would not want a designer who thinks that their way is the RIGHT way, and mine is the WRONG way! Sorry for writing a book. Your discussions seem to inspire that in me! laurie

Anonymous said...

I love these types of conversations! As a designer, it's fun to hear how similar our processes are. I also think this helps clients understand our profession.