Over the next few days, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned over many years of working as an interior designer that might change your approach to solving your interior design indecision, magnolia mediocrity or never-get-started-itis!
Back in 2012 when I was a budding interior designer, I had a ton of clients and they all had the same problem – they all expected me to read their minds.
My client’s minds are often a jumbled mess of contradictory information – they’ll say “I want this… no wait, I want that… oh no, wait I actually want something else.”
As an interior designer (and for the client too), it can become quite painful because I spend a lot of time trying to read their mind and figure out what they’re thinking.
I have had to hone my intuition and to help people get what they want but I’ve noticed the same thing over and over again with my with clients, and also with friends that are looking to do projects at home who pick my brains – they don’t really know what they want.
The problem for me as a designer was that a project that could have taken a few weeks might turn into a number of months because I was going to and fro all the time, and we could just get lost in the tag of going back and forward until the client finally said “Ah yes, now you’ve really got me”. Then the difficulty was that my deadline had already been and gone.
(And it’s been the same for us in the past when we’re doing our own home – we would have so many ideas but we didn’t know how to prioritise them or choose the ones that worked well together. It left us in a frustrated state and we risked ending up with a room where the final look was a jumbled mess, until I put my interior designer hat on and tackled it properly!)
A designer calls this respecting their own time and value. You don’t want to punish a client by charging them more, but you can feel like crying when you’ve finished because on the job that you’ve been charging out at £40 per hour, in reality you ended up being on less than minimum wage. You’ve spent so much time to-ing and fro-ing that it’s sent the timesheets flying out the window – and the client was frustrated because it had taken much longer than it needed to.
When I looked at those times and all the emails that were going backwards and forwards, what I noticed was - there’s a pattern here. I realised I couldn’t keep letting this happen because I couldn’t keep working 70 or 80 hour weeks to deliver on a project that I was going to end up being on less than minimum wage for.
What if my clients could find exactly what they wanted every single time, in a matter of weeks instead of months? They could get projects done quickly, they could have a better experience of the process and they’d be much happier if they could get exactly what they wanted.
Having assessed what it is that clients are trying to achieve, I decided to stop trying to read their minds and going crazy in the process (!) and help them figure out what they want before they even come to me.
And having created that for my clients, I’m now bringing that exact same process to you as an individual who wants to do their own interior design; so that you’ve got the blueprint of how to get to the decision of exactly what it is you’re looking for, as quickly as possible.
People can take weeks or even months to get where they want to be – or end up compromising so much that they never get there at all.
What I’ve figured out is that there’s a certain set of questions people have to ask and a certain process that people have to go through. And I’ve refined it to such a fine art with my paying clients that I’m now bringing this to you as a budding interior designer. Would you like to figure that out, would you like to be able to save yourself those weeks and months of time and get to your perfect room as quickly as possible?