probably selected a firm with similar tastes and checked their references, but have you thought about what issues you bring to the partnership? Knowing who you are as a client will help you save time and money.
Here are seven client types. You be the judge of
which one(s) describes you.
Fast & Furious- This client wants everything done yesterday because they have already frustrated themselves with the entire process of design. It's no longer fun.
Advice: enjoy the process now that you have hired the right professional for the job. Discuss deadlines and the importance of meeting those deadlines. Trust in the
professional interior designer unless they give you a reason otherwise.
The Pleaser- This clients wants an opinion from everyone around them. They often flip and flop based upon the last person they spoke with about the topic at hand.
Advice: limit your exposure to those opinions. Decide who has a stake in the project and consult with them only. Plus, at the end of the day, it's your home not your neighbor's, relative's or co-worker's. Pleasing everyone is NOT an option.
The Disbeliever- This client thinks people are out to take and not give. They question pricing and will shop for better deals every step of the way. There is nothing wrong with negotiating a better price, but make it clear in the contract that you prefer to purchase your own items.
Advice: hire a designer for an overall concept, but do your own purchasing.
Mr. Dragging My Feet- This client is usually one half of a partnership that does not want to hire a designer. They don't understand the value of a professional or this project was not their idea!
Advice: let this person focus on a specific space that has value to them in the home. Put them in charge of that
area. Include them on major decision making, but avoid reporting every detail, especially a hiccup.
Ms. Hands Off- This client wants a designer to come in and take charge because they are swamped with work, travel, children, etc. Life is very busy and the designer is helping to create organization and limit stress.
Advice: You have already delegated the work so sit back and watch. You made the best choice.
The Learner- This client wants to be part of
the process at every level. It's a great thing until the hourly bill statement arrives and many hours were spent educating the client. This time quickly adds up!
Advice: Limit yourself to two areas that interest you the most. For example, textiles and flooring. Now you may ask for details, help in the selection process, and conduct research on your own. This will save you lots of time and money!
Hyper Focused OR No Focus- This client slows down the process because they can't move forward from being overly
focused on a singular item (like a discontinued table) or from losing focus and jumping around. Designing is a process that is orderly and it unfolds in steps.
Advice: Allow the Design Team Leader to guide you. If you pull them from space to space, it's difficult to stay focused on completing a specific job.
Many couples may show a combination of these traits, but it's important to understand how you fit into the equation of a successfully completed design. Help yourself by being honest about the traits that you bring to the project. In fact, you may want to share with your designer what you have learned!
- Anita Bhattacharya Oates
Otrada L.L.C. www.otradadesign.com