I’ve shared this before, but design started as a hobby for me. I’ve taken a few online courses and taught myself a lot through blogs and experimenting with my own home, but have never been formally trained. For me, I’m quickly finding that experience is the best teacher. The more I do this, the more my process evolves and the more I learn what I can do better the next time.
From this particular house and situation, I learned a lot about what NOT to do when discovering a client’s style. She had told me she wanted yellow and green, and also light and bright. I looked all over her home, saw the rooms she loved, and left it at that. I saw her adorable boys’ rooms and playroom which she had decorated. I saw the bright colors and clean lines she used and I just KNEW what her style was. I never took the time to really ask her what she wanted for her living room. I plowed ahead with my own vision, and came up with this:
I still think this look is pretty great. I love the pillow fabrics. I die over that coral, tropical one. Its bright, its fun, its light and bright. But, it is NOT how she wanted her living room to feel. It was TOO bright, too much color. Not her at all. I needed to listen, to hear, that she needed more of a sanctuary. More calm for the family areas. I adjusted a few things. The rug went to gray. The floor lamp went more modern like she had asked.
I still hadn’t heard it all though. And I didn’t want to let go of those pillows. But it was my vision. It is hard, because when a client calls a decorator, it is usually because that client does not know exactly what she wants either. Not everyone is able to articulate exactly what they want. If they could, they wouldn’t necessarily be hiring a decorator. I am learning it is my job to creatively and intuitively research and discover that client’s dreams for their home. We emailed pillow fabrics and table options back and forth for a few days. I kept hoping to find something she liked but I just wasn’t sure. Then she hit the nail on the head with these lovely pillows. Once she found these, it was like it had all come together! And I wasn’t even the one to find them! But maybe through the process of searching and emailing with me I helped her to articulate her thoughts and really figure out what it was she wanted.
Fortunately this client is a friend of mine and she was very sweet throughout the whole process. I hopefully have learned from my impatient blunders and am still learning how to glean style and colors and thoughts from clients. I am so glad that we finally together came up with a room she was happy with and let me just tell you that today it looks amazing. Can’t wait to show you the after pictures!