Our clients come in all shapes and sizes with interesting histories and stories to tell. They come from all regions of the country with varied backgrounds and different budgets and goals. The ideal and most common residential client for Kandrac & Kole is a married couple, highly educated and traveled with corporate jobs and no time to make their home beautiful.
We are lucky that our screening process is such that 90% of the time we end up with wonderful clients. We could tell you a story or two about some nightmare clients (many of whom we had to fire) but that’s juicy gossip or an upcoming show!
So we thought we’d share with our listeners how to be a dream client because these qualities can apply to not only interior design but to all contract work.
3. BE ON THE SAME PAGE WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER BEFORE WE ARRIVE AT YOUR HOME
a. Do not put us in the middle of a fight – be respectful of one another
b. What are your priorities
c. What’s your budget
4. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU LIVE – FUNCTIONALITY IS KEY
a. The number one question we press our clients to think about is “How do you live?” – is your current space plan working for you? Do you have enough storage? Are your quests comfortable? Can we rework a space or knock down a wall?
b. Walk thru your home with fresh eyes prior to our arrival and think hard about how you want your home to flow, function, operate for work, play and quiet time.
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH – THINGS COST MORE THAN YOU THINK THEY DO
a. 90% of the time we ask our clients how much they’d like to invest in their project, they say they aren’t sure.
b. Have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with yourself (or your financial planner) about what you are willing and/or able to spend on your wish list. This will help us make responsible selections for you or to guide you on how best to focus your funds.
c. Look online, in magazines, talk to friends – HGTV is not real – you need to have an idea of what things cost.
6. FINDING THE RIGHT DESIGNER FOR YOU
a. Ask a friend with similar taste, personality and budget for a referral
b. Find a qualified designer for you thru ASID, local boutique or design center
c. Troll the internet and STALK designers
a. Call and ask questions – you will feel when it’s right
b. Be ready for all different practices and operations – there are no set rules in our industry which makes it very confusing – go with your gut
c. Flat fee vs. hourly
d. Full service vs. collaborative “decorating”
8. COMMUNICATE TO YOUR DESIGNER LIKE YOU WOULD YOUR THERAPIST OR DOCTOR
a. Put together a Houzz ideabook, Pinterest board, a file of magazine cut outs – help your designer do the best job for you they possibly can.
b. Be honest about your lifestyle, what makes you happy, what makes you uncomfortable, your favorite things – colors, books, art, sports, travel locations, collections
9. LET YOUR DESIGNER DO THEIR JOB
a. Once you have shared your research, your budget, your deepest desires, STEP BACK and let you designer WORK. TRUST and give them the FREEDOM to do what you have hired them to do.
b. Do not micro manage.
c. Be flexible to think outside the box. If your designer is a good listener and you were a good communicator, it will all be ok.
d. Have realistic expectations regarding timelines. It’s only design.
e. Shit happens. It will be ok.
f. DO NOT go behind a designers back and troll for prices on the internet. This breeds mistrust and will zap the good juju out of the relationship immediately.
10. ENJOY YOUR INVESTMENT AND YOUR HOME – IT IS YOUR SANCTUARY.