January 22, 2024

How to be a Great Client

When working with an architect, interior designer, contractor, landscape designer, or craftsperson.

I am writing this because after years of being in the position of being a client myself, and now being the interior designer, I realize there are things that might be helpful to a client to get everyone off on the right foot and also have everyone get their desired outcome from the relationship. (I know that was a long, long sentence!)

The goal is to create long, long relationships! Here is the thing – There may be more people not so afraid of embarking on this kind of wonderful creative process. If they had a few guidelines.

All of these points should have a “Try to” in front of them… but here goes:

  • Communicate your expectations and desires – as clearly as possible at the time..
  • Do some homework. Know what you like and don’t like.
  • Take some notes; be willing to listen. You’ve hired an expert and they might be able to point out some things you haven’t thought of. Be flexible.
  • The Designer works with many aspects of a project. When ordering things there is also the possibility of error. Mistakes can happen. Having a sense of humor and believing that your designer will make it work is important.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be talked into things that you don’t like or want.
  • Don’t change your mind constantly. It can be costly.
  • Your Designer is only an advisor. You write the checks. You have the final decision.
  • This creative process needs your commitment and involvement.
  • Keep a positive watch over your project. Always understand that your designer wants to make you happy. PATIENCE!
  • Pay on time. If you have a budget, or if your budget changes during the project, let the designer know.
  • Try not to rush out and buy things on your own without first talking to your designer. Be responsible.
  • Try not to rush on major decisions. It is best to live with paint colors, fabrics, furniture for a bit before making the ultimate decision. Take your time.
  • If you’re not happy with the designer’s plans or decisions, make a smooth exit, only after thinking things through. Try to keep the parting harmonious.
  • The ultimate goal is to create beautiful spaces that work. A joint effort usually produces the best result.

The best design always happens when there is collaboration between client and designer. When each person allows the other to do their best work, the best work happens.

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