Understanding what designers do/can do…

I am a professional interior designer (or at least I like to think I am). According to The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics,

“Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful for almost every type of building: offices, homes, airport terminals, shopping malls, and restaurants. They select and specify colors, finishes, fabrics, furniture, flooring and wall coverings, lighting, and other materials to create useful and stylish interiors for buildings.”

In other words, I create fabulousness…


I love what I do.  I mean, who wouldn’t? I get paid to look at beautiful things all day, spend other people’s money AND make money doing it. I know, right?

However, there are some things that even the most TALENTED interior designer cannot do. It makes clients sad but here are the realities of interior design –

The BEST, most talented designer cannot alter the laws of space or physics.  We are not magicians or dimensional wizards able to “bend space.” The fact is, no matter how much you want it, your 4′ x 6′ walk-in closet will NEVER hold a chaise. We will not be able to “…make this work” for you…


The same goes for your bathroom – no matter HOW much money or desire you have, this tub will never fit in your 1950’s ranch bathroom…


I’m sorry. I hate to disappoint you as a client but tubs like this have rooms built around them; they are never “added later.” Same goes for awesome lighting. Sure, an easy way to update a space is to add new lighting but, unless you have a circular dining room twenty feet in diameter – with fifteen foot ceilings! – you may not have this…


Again, it’s not that I don’t WANT you to have what you want but the reality is that the chandelier you saw at The Aria in Las Vegas is probably gonna’ look pretty ridiculous in your dining room.

Also, in interior design (as with every other discipline), you “…get what you pay for.” What that means in my field breaks down to this: That fabric you saw in that shelter magazine, the one on that chair in the ambassador’s private residence in Vienna? Odds are it is not going to be $15/yard. Not gonna’ happen. NOT.EVEN.CLOSE. And, before you ask, the answer is no. I cannot find you anything that “…looks like it for $15/yard.”

It’s not that I don’t want to – it’s just that it doesn’t exist.

This is what I tell all my potential design clients when we interview – interior designers get up close and personal; we get in your private space. We ask who sleeps where, we look in your closets and drawers, we look at your clothes. We are not nosy – well, most of us aren’t – we just need to get to know YOU to deliver the best possible solution to your design needs. I often use the example that you would never go to a doctor and not tell them what was wrong. You need to be completely honest with them to achieve the best results.

Same with me – you need to be completely honest with me about your desires, any deal-breakers and – most importantly – your budget. In turn, I will be honest about what is possible and not possible. Deal?

As I said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do. Nothing is more satisfying for me than seeing a client’s face break into a BIG smile when I deliver a completed project. So, let’s make each other a promise: we will both work together, accepting the laws of nature, to achieve the most awesome result possible for your project.  For me and you, I want nothing less than –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s