There's so much info out there saying how to decorate, what colours to use in which rooms etc but I thought I'd write a post about how to listen to the client. This is the single most important part of being an interior designer - listening.
To be a good designer you need to ask the right questions, get to know your client, extract the most detailed brief for you to work from. Most people don't know what they want hence why you're there in the first place. I've had many clients ask me what would I do in the space and truth is that's a hard thing to answer. Here's why....the designer doesn't know the house, how the client lives there and what the clients lives are like.
It's not about what the designer would do in the space per se, but it's getting to understand how the client uses the space, how they want it to function, why isn't it working, what do they like and don't like about the space? What do they do for hobbies, what interests them? How do they want to feel in that space? There's so much to understand before you can make your suggestions. It's not as simple as saying paint this wall this colour and put a chair here....it may look nice but does it fit the purpose of the room, the client?
If a client says they want to use pink in the room....then the designers job is to show how best to use pink, what tone to use, where to use it, how much of it to use...
A designers task is to extract the information, get a brief from the client but then make it work where it's cohesive, colours work together in the light, furniture serves the right function rather than just aesthetically pleasing.
A really good designer will steer a client away from something that simply won't work and offer an alternative that will but doesn't shy away from what the client wants to achieve. It's definitely a relationship of trust but fundamentally the designer has to get that detailed spec to be able to deliver and exceed expectations. They must listen.
And the best result? When the client says you nailed the brief and they didn't even know what they wanted in the first place!