How to Stop Yourself Going Insane When You are an Interior Designer

How to Stop Yourself Going Insane Being When You are an Interior Designer

How long have you been working in the design industry? Are you a beginner and full of enthusiasm and passion, or a long term burnt our professional who doesn't want to pick up the phone when they think it will be a certain annoying client!

I don't want to sound negative here and pour water on any one's passion and enthusiasm for design, as obviously, that is what I encourage in our students everyday as it realizes fabulous creativity, but sometimes you get one client who just burns you out!

I suppose what I want to express is how to prevent this happening in your life. I will give you my experience here and tell you how I should have handled it, instead of nearly going insane and not answering the phone!

I had a long term commercial client who wanted to build a new house. Chris designed the house, and I was helping his wife with the interior design. Unfortunately, I took her with me and gave her options, she just couldn't decide on anything even with my recommendations. I would get something finalized, then meet again the next week and she had spoken to a friend who said that what we had chosen wouldn't work because "blah, blah, blah!" Well who was the designer in the equation?

This is where I went wrong. I should have been tough and said. "I am the designer, you have employed me to help you create a home for you. I respect you and your family and want to do the best job I can for you but we have to work together and if your friend wants to move in with you, then by all means she can have her say. If this is not the case, then I will recommend what I think works for you and your family." 

I didn't say this, and we went round and round in circles until I quit!  Yes, I have never quit a job in my life as I have never had any reason to but this time I just couldn't achieve anything, I was going insane, week after week we would readdress the same thing that I though we had already confirmed. I think the major problem was there was too much choice and too many outside influences clouding her decision making.

When I do a commercial project, I don't provide choices, I present what I believe will work for the project and we sometimes have to change the odd thing, but it always goes smoothly. In a residential case like this, I would normally provide one perhaps two options, but I normally have a good feeling for what they will like as I have built a good relationship. In this case, I think I just couldn't get it right, and perhaps I wasn't forceful enough, or perhaps, we just didn't click as client and designer, I don't know, but I do know, quitting was the only option before I went insane.

So what I want you to learn from my horrible experience is what I always stress in my client brief lessons,  is  that it is so important to build a good relationship with your client, so you can talk freely and understand what they really want, and don't feel bad if you don't "click" it happens sometimes, part amicably and move on, everyone will be happier in the end.

I have some articles about How to Choose a Designer that may be of interest.
They are on our new Find a Designer website. Go and take a look.

What Service to Expect from Interior Design Consultants
How do you know you are getting the correct service from your interior design consultant if you haven't used one before and have nothing to compare them to? Get a basic explanation of what basic service to expect.
Pro's and Con's of Hiring a Designer What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a designer. Work through the list of ideas and decide for yourself.
Questions to Ask a Designer Before Hiring Them Nervous about hiring a designer to do a design project for you? Then read this article and be prepared with questions to ask a potential designer before you sign a contract.

How Much Does a Designer Cost? A guide to how much a designer will cost you. Decide for yourself if they are worth the money!


Cartel Design said…
reading this is soooo nice to hear....i have allowed alot of bullying and frequently have offered too many choices and have basically turned my self into this burn-out version of designer you are talking about...after reading this i realize a few ways to maybe stop the insanity and find my fire and passion again...the part about defining your services is soooo well as expectations and CONTRACTS!!!!
Thank you so much for this


Learn interior decorating for free at Hundreds of thousands have already benefited from the experience - you can too!

Learn Interior Design

Decorating Tips


I'm on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Willow College

    Subscribe Now