After closing out an interior design project I often send a questionnaire to my clients to get better insight into a non-designers thought process. In a more recent set of responses
I asked: “were you hesitant about hiring a professional interior designer? If so, why?”
The client responded: “I think we both felt like we had good ideas, and were worried the designer would sway us away from our ‘wish’ list.”
I was so surprised by this response! I teach a Color Design for Interiors course at Moore College of Art and Design and almost every quarter at least one students asks, “what happens when you get a client that has a completely different style than you—that you don’t particularly like?”
My answer is, I work with them as I would with any other client. What I like from an aesthetic standpoint doesn’t matter—because I don’t need to live with it, but they do.
I truly believe that it’s not a designers job to push their style on someone else. I believe that an interior designers job is to design and make selections based on functionality and what best compliments their clients’ lifestyle and design aesthetic.
The only time I ever push back strongly on a clients’ design decision is if it’s a safety issue. For example, I had a client that wanted to add a backsplash to their kitchen that still felt a bit unfinished. The client asked if the above counter outlets could be removed and I quickly said, “no, because that doesn’t meet the fire codes. You need to have an outlet every 24 inches.” However, since I already knew the codes I had already addressed this in the design—I designed a pattern in which the larger accent tiles were not cut into by the outlets above the counter.
One of the things I love about design is that no project is the same. When I work with a client that has the same aesthetic style as myself it’s exciting, but if I all my projects had the same style my job would get monotonous pretty quickly. I prefer to tell my clients’ unique story in their interiors.