Make the most of ex­pert help

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Front Page - Pe­dro Ar­rais Can­west News Ser­vice

The big­gest chal­lenge for in­te­rior de­sign­ers is not how to make a home look spec­tac­u­lar, but deal­ing with clients. A good in­te­rior de­signer knows how to trans­form a client’s idea and turn it into re­al­ity. De­sign­ers spend con­sid­er­able time with a client to come up with a de­sign that takes into ac­count his taste, needs, wants, life­style and bud­get.

But con­flicts can arise due to per­son­al­ity clashes and poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Here are some com­mon is­sues that de­sign­ers re­port:

As strange as it sounds, some peo­ple will hire an in­te­rior de­signer to give ad­vice on a build­ing or ren­o­va­tion and ig­nore the rec­om­men­da­tions. “It’s al­most as if they want you just to give ap­proval to their own ideas,” says Wendy Sala­mon, a de­signer at Ny­gaard In­te­rior De­sign. “If you are go­ing to hire a de­signer, let (her) do (her) job.” Home­own­ers seek out de­sign­ers be­cause they feel a pro­fes­sional can help them with their in­te­rior de­signs. But if they have any doubts, the projects can end up be­ing fu­tile ex­er­cises.

“Peo­ple have to be to­tally open to give,” says Dim­itri Maekawa, prin­ci­pal of Axis De­signs. “But they should also be to­tally open to re­ceive.”

To avoid dis­ap­point­ment, Maekawa, who has more than 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture, sug­gests clients ini­tially work to­gether with a de­signer on a small seg­ment of the project in or­der to fos­ter the nec­es­sary trust in the re­la­tion­ship.

“Cana­di­ans are afraid of colour,” says JC Scott, se­nior de­sign part­ner of JC Scott De­sign As­so­ciates. “They fre­quently judge - and re­ject - a colour based on a paint chip or a small test patch on a wall. I en­cour­age clients to re­serve their judg­ment un­til af­ter the room is fin­ished and art is hung.” Scott some­times uses feng shui to ar­rive at an ap­pro­pri­ate colour for a room.

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