I’ve heard so many Interior Designers (none of ours!) bemoan the customization process. Whether it’s custom designing a piece of furniture, window treatments or trims, or an entire space, there is a sense that what the client wants ultimately compromises the designer’s vision. I couldn’t disagree more, and not just from a customer relationship standpoint (it’s probably not a good idea to think of your client as an opposing force). The client’s personality, needs, use of the space, and desired use of the piece contribute to the inspiration behind the design. As interior designers we’re typically working with several different elements, and it’s our job to bring them together harmoniously, so sometimes flexibility feels like an additional challenge, but if you’re a good designer your client’s input will strengthen the vision of your design. Someone might want a formal dining space but will need it to be highly functional because they use it often and have children. Someone might want to use an extra room as an office, but it will need to do double duty as a storage room for bikes. All of our lives are different and demand creative design solutions. We need to be facilitators of the design process, not inflexible dictators.
Below I’ve outlined a few tips to making the collaborative customization process go as smoothly as possible: