Thursday, July 31, 2008

You are only as Good a Designer as Your Client Brief!

For those of you who have completed the interior decorating ecourse, you will know how I stress about the importance of "extracting"a good client brief.

It has hit home again this week!

We have been working on a project through a project manager, who took the client brief and gave it to us to work on. It was focused on existing fitouts that the client had done that worked and didn't want to change too much as the formula worked and once when it had been changed, it was a disaster. The budget was also a major part of the design brief, and was an achievable figure but no way over the top! So we set to work on this project, keeping things similar but adding fresher new ideas, not too far from the existing fitouts as requested.

We though we had done a great job, as it is always difficult to design to a tight budget and create something with originality and flair that is not much different from the existing.

We experienced a first for us and it threw us into turmoil! They hated it......every little detail was not what they wanted!

How could we get it so wrong?

We went over the brief and were sure we had done everything that was requested!

So we felt bamboozled!

But guess what?

We have now met with the client, and he has walked through everything he wants in the project and it is totally the opposite to everything in the original client brief!

So what a relief for us, the designers who hate to get it wrong, especially when we preach so much about finding out what the clients expectations are. We felt a little silly!

He wanted something, new, vibrant, with design flair, budget wasn't important, the design and originality was critical, minimalism with features of texture and color.

So now that we have got inside the clients head, let him show us what he likes and the feel of the space that he wants to achieve, I am sure that by this time next week we will be presenting something that fits perfectly to the new client brief!

So I want to stress again the importance of this as a designer or decorator, it will save you time and heartache in the long run.
To refresh your memories visit Successful Interior Design

The Design Process

Free Downloadable Client Brief Form

....and remember that you are only as good a designer as your client brief!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Please Help Me with Curtain Design!

Help me!

I am currently writing a brand new ecourse for you.....Curtain Design!

I was over half way through when I had a brain wave! Why not ask you, my future curtain design ecourse reader, what you want to learn.

So before I set my ecourse in concrete and send you out all the details, I want to make sure that you will be 100% satisfied with what you will learn.

I know I complain often about the amount of emails I get (they are great, keep them coming, it's just I can't always guarantee a reply!), so this time I am asking you to make comments after this article and then I will have all the information in one spot!

I have also set up 2 polls on the right hand column of this blog so that you can simply click on the answer to a couple of questions.

You can visit the curtains.interiordezine.com website to see what you think is missing and let me know! Or if you have any questions about curtains, list them up below and I will work them into the ecourse.

I realise that many of you are as busy as me so this request is obviously not compulsory, but if some of you could spare a few minutes, even a few seconds to click on my poll, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for your help in advance, and I will be back to you really soon with a release date for the ecourse!

Enjoy your weekend!



PS added 21.8.08
Ecourse ready.....look below!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A room in it's underwear is not the finished product!

A room in it's underwear is not the finished product!

One of the hardest things to deal with when an interior design or decorating project is underway is the client making comments and wanting to make changes because they aren't sure that what they see is what they had expected!

This can be draining on time and your energy.

What I suggest you do is tell them at the beginning to have faith in your expertise. Then during the project remind them that you know what you are doing and when the job is finished, you will then love the end result! Don't back down and make changes willy nilly! This will compromise your design, but if you believe they have a valid point or some of the items specified are not available and you have to make subtle changes, then go ahead, but in general, stick to your scheme.

Remember if it looks good on paper, then it should look good in real life!

What I mean here is that you have already been through your design process, taken your client brief so you know what your client needs, and gathered up all your options and weeded out the things that don't work and kept what does. You have collated it and made your color board and it looks great. This process takes time and by the end you have created a well considered interior design or decorating scheme and it looks good. So stick to it and follow your design instincts.

I know from years of experience that it pays off. When I was younger I just wanted to please everyone and would often end up making ridiculous compromises and then at the end everyone was disappointed, the jobs didn't have the design flair that they should have.

I am now stronger and more forthright with my clients and ask them to trust me! Believe me it makes life easier! After all you have done your homework!

One way of remembering this is to think of when you get dressed to go out at night. You start by putting on your underwear, then you add pants, skirt, dress, shirt ie another layer, then you add a belt, tights, socks, shoes, boots, scarves, jumpers, jackets, gloves, vests, jewelery, hats, .....now if your partner walks in when you only have your underwear on and says, oh, I don't like that outfit! What would you say? I'm not going out in this, I am not finished dressing yet! Wait to see the end result!

See what I mean, a room in it's "underwear" is not the finished product!

Read more about the design process here

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