Live the Life You Imagined (Not One an Interior Designer Dreamt Up)
How does it feel to walk into a stranger's home and advise them on what their living space should look and function like? No idea. Yes, I am a designer. Yes, I design interiors for people. No, I never tell anyone those things.
They tell me.
In the age of Instagram, Houzz, blogs (I'm smiling here), and the thousands of social media platforms for interior design, most people feel they have a pretty good handle on the type of space they envision themselves living in. I've had clients who have spent years putting together files of images and picture boards of rooms, items, and environments that they like. They will often tell me, 'see, this is what I want for my home." And, I listen to them.
It's just that their words and pictures don't often express their true desires.
Of course, being told someone wants a work of art by a specific artist is exactly as it sounds (I'll leave that for another entry). But, showing me a picture of a room with tones of cream, beige and white, while three, under the age of eight children, and one giant Lab zig-zag under foot, doesn't. What that client is saying is that they want a calm space amidst the chaos. They want less visual clutter (and as a practical person, if I do place any cream, beige or white fabric, it's going to be either machine washable, or commercial grade tough).
My job as a designer is to decipher things a client might not be able to truly articulate and show them the various ways their ideas can be manifested in their home. Want contemporary but have inherited and use all of sweet Grandma's china and then some? Interesting storage designs. Want to be able to entertain, but don't have the room for sit down dinner parties? Multi-purpose furniture. Like color, but don't want to feel overwhelmed by it? Small things, big punch.
Designing someone's home (or office, or any personal space) is a collaboration, and can be a truly satisfying and exciting experience. It just takes some good listening.