Being into a creative industry can be as beautiful as it can be challenging. Juggling between the clients needs and aspirations to your vision and delivering the final project. It’s not to be understood as an easy task. It is quintessential for the designers to maintain their balance of mind, while dealing with situations and also the clients to have faith on their consultants.
This is for all the creative people and artists, who are redefining lives, making a big change and setting benchmarks in the Interior Design industry.
If you’re an Interior Designer or an Architect, and you wish to excel what you do, here are some tips to help you on your way.
Understanding the Client: Every client is unique, as they have different needs, tastes, preferences, culture and different approach to design. You should pay attention to what the client wants, after all, it is them who spend their money, and would wish to be heard. Also, since it is the client who has to live in the space, the designers should understand what exactly they need. Prepare a questionnaire, if it helps, for them to answer all your queries, which you may have.
Understanding the Space: Once you understand what the client wants, it is time to have a good and thorough look at the available space. Is it a residence, an office, a factory/ industrial space or a cafe? What are the services available in that space (Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Fire Fighting etc). What kind of a facility is it located in? Is it a standalone unit or is it in a residential/ commercial complex? What is the location? How are the surroundings?
There are a lot of things that are required to be noted, before committing to the client what you would be able to deliver to them.
Awareness of Trends and Technology: Being a designer is NOT an easy task. The profession is so demanding that you lose track of time and probably yourself in your work if you really love it. It is also a great responsibility for you to deliver the right thing to your client. You should always be up to date with the past, present and the future, in terms of the design trends and the prevailing technology of the time. You should also be able to speculate, what may or may not be in fashion a couple of years down the line, as Interior Design involves a lot of money and time to be invested. Certainly, it should be a practice to future-proof the client for the next couple of years, unless there’s a different requirement at that time.
Budget: Every client, Every design, every decision is based on what is the estimated budget of the work that’s supposed to be done. What you may have in mind, might not fit the client’s expectation, so how do you deliver what you wish to? Look for alternate options that give you a similar visual output. For example, a certain wall finish can be done in many different ways, such as paint, wall paper, fabric cladding, laminated ply cladding, veneer or a hardwood. It can also be a tile, a marble or something totally different.
It all depends on the designer as to how he can deliver something which is affordable yet, looks outstanding.
Deadlines: Time is crucial. The more time spent on a site, or production, the more expense. It is suggested that a very meticulous plan should be drafted mentioning in detail every aspect of the work and how the timelines can be reduced to a bare minimum, so the project gets completed on time. Squeeze in as much time as possible in the initial days to develop all design documentation, and to place orders for items with a high lead time. The more time is saved, the better for both the parties.
Quality: We believe that it is important to have a NO COMPROMISE policy for poor quality of material or workmanship. The client who is paying for the work being done, deserves to get a good quality of work. It is also the duty of the designers or architects to educate the clients, that sub-standard or sub-grade materials if demanded by the clients, would have negative long term effect on them as well as the person who is getting the work done. There may be instances of safety hazards or greater possibilities of wear and tear and may cause harm to the clients. It would definitely hurt the goodwill of the designers. So a strict NO to anything which isn’t up to the mark of the industry standards.
Post Project Relationship: Any project, be it a small bedroom or a mansion, comes with its own share of ups and downs. There are always bitter-sweet memories between the clients and their consultants. It is advisable to the designers, to keep a healthy and a happy relationship even after completion of your project, as that is your goodwill that you earn. It is how well you try to keep that relationship intact, that would determine how far you would go. It’s each other’s respect and trust that matters in the end.
With over a decade into this industry, these are just a couple of tips we wish to share with our readers, especially reaching out to all the designers, who are making a mark in the industry. As it is rightly said “Knowledge grows with sharing”, we hope to be an ever-giving entity for the society and this planet.