4 Things Interior Designers Expect From Their Clients
Do your part for a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship
Homeowners should have a clear idea of how much they want to spend even if they aren’t sure about what they want to achieve. Exploratory meetings between client and designer can narrow the design intent and style but without the parameters of a budget, the designer is groping in the dark.
Be upfront about the budget even if you have an inkling that what you desire exceeds the amount you have to spend. “We prepare the costing after the first meeting and the client’s wish list might cost $80,000 while they have $30,000 to spend. We can then walk through the items to edit to fit the budget,” explains Eric Tan, director of Space Factor.
IDs know what things cost and can help minimise costs and maximise the benefits of your unique design plans.
While some contractors will offer free design services, their skills and knowledge, code of conduct and business interests differ greatly from an ID’s. IDs have formal training in design and have in-depth knowledge of how spaces function, as well as how to maximise the usability of a space. The subtleties of selecting the right dimensions, colour, texture, pattern, as well as being familiar with building regulations may not be within a contractor’s field of knowledge.
“Contractors purporting to be interior designers but aren’t and offering free design, and clients expecting interior designers to also provide free design to match the contractor’s offer is a lose-lose situation,” he says.
“Not engaging an interior designer means there is no representative acting in the best interests of the client and checking if the contractor is building to the interior designer’s design and specifications. For the contractor, not having any design drawing from the interior designer is good for them since they don’t have any documentation to confirm the design or quality of specifications which give them freedom to build, charge and change during the construction process.”
Respecting the profession also extends to trusting the ID. For example, some clients push for design features against their ID’s advice. “We know what works and what features don’t look good and will advise clients for a maximum of three times. At this point if the client still insists, we carry out the client’s wishes,” says Tan.
Clients changing their mind over colours or laminates are easy fixes, says Tan, whose company will even absorb the cost of more expensive laminates if it is not a large amount. “Clients need to be aware that making structural changes like opening a new doorway reverses the workflow and drags the timeline on,” he adds.
Clients should put time into thinking about ergonomics, lighting and even maintenance of materials and not just the big picture. “Most homeowners don’t like to spend too much time thinking about power points,” observes Chally Chee of Couple Abode. “They only realise after moving in that the power points are located in inconvenient places. It is quite a hassle to add power points after a reno.”
Caring for hardwood flooring
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