I’m often asked what makes an ideal client. I love that question and at Spectrum Design Group, it’s one we’ve given a lot of thought to. In fact, our team developed several profiles that reflect the characteristics of our ideal client. While obvious things like adequate budget or compatibility play a role, the root attribute of our ideal client is that they see the value of what we do.
The response to my answer is usually, “OK, I can see that. So, what exactly do you do?” Everyone knows what a lawyer, accountant, doctor, or gardener does, but in the interior design field, the answers can be broad and varied. So, as it relates to our firm, let’s talk about what we do and how it adds tremendous value to your investment.
What Does an Interior Design Firm Do?
At its core, a full-service interior design firm solves problems using process, communication, and the art of design. I list these items in that order because without process and communication, the “art” goes nowhere. Let’s take a minute to talk about what each of these components are.
Process: A structured and systematic approach is essential for any interior design project. This involves understanding your needs, setting clear objectives, creating a timeline, establishing a budget, conducting research, developing concepts, and executing the design plan. Process ensures that each step is carefully planned and executed, leading to a successful outcome.
Communication: Effective communication is key to the success of any project. It involves listening to your ideas, needs, and concerns, clarifying expectations, providing regular updates on progress, addressing any issues or changes promptly, and fostering collaboration among team members. Good communication ensures that everyone involved is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Art of Design: This refers to the creative aspect of interior design, where aesthetic principles, spatial awareness, color theory, material selection, and attention to detail come into play. The art of design is what transforms a space into a visually appealing and functional environment that meets your needs and reflects your style and personality.
I emphasize the importance of process and communication as foundational elements that support the creative aspect of design. Without a clear process and effective communication, even the most artistic and innovative design ideas may fail to materialize or meet your expectations. Therefore, process and communication lay the groundwork for the successful application of the art of design in solving interior design problems.
The Value of Good Interior Design
Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” While he was talking about the iPod at the time, the sentiment crosses over to the interior design world. The value of hiring a full-service interior designer is just that – they ensure a space is beautiful for sure, but they also ensure it works well. Living in a pretty space, but not being able to function well is like putting lipstick on a pig. You want to spend your time in a home that not only looks beautiful, but also works for the way you live.
Make your space Function
This is the most felt and least seen part of design. Through good listening and collaboration, an interior designer will plan your space to function effortlessly and be dialed into your personal needs. This is the starting point for everything and typically takes the most time to complete.
Make your space Beautiful
The material and fixture choices available are overwhelming. Unfortunately, when left to your own devices, that can lead to some absurd choices. Interior designers will curate options that work together to create a cohesive look that reflects your style. There is a quantum effect that happens when you have the right materials, finishes, and details working together.
Make your space Happen
While it’s great to have a beautiful plan and materials selected, how does it go from on paper to done? First, it must be affordable. What good is a plan if it’s out of reach of your budget? Interior designers will discuss the budget throughout the process to be sure they are good stewards of your dollars. Good design extends the value of your investment.
Next, your interior designer can create the necessary drawings and documentation necessary for the plan to be executed. This can also include contract administration.
Finally, your interior designer is your advocate during the construction process. This is critical to be sure the design intent is not lost, address any quality issues, and help solve problems that may come up during construction.
Bring it Together
The process of moving from design concept to the actual construction can be highly emotional. It doesn’t matter if it is a new kitchen or new office space, these are spaces where a lot of life will happen so the stakes are high. Your interior designer understands that and is there to listen and communicate to all the stakeholders. Think of them as a communication hub between the client(you), tradespeople, and vendors. In short, they should make you feel heard.
Ultimately, our interior design firm uses process, communication, and the art of design to create an experience. This experience is unique as it also leads to a tangible finished product that will have a lasting impact for years to come All three components work together, are appreciated by our “ideal” client, and create the value of what we do.