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Ever considered just picking up the telephone and calling in an interior designer to design, supply and fit the whole package? Scary thought, no wonder!
While doing extensive research for this column, which quite truthfully was, slobbed out in front of the T.V. with a rotten dose of the cold, I was conscious of the volume of makeover “interior design” programmes available for us all to watch.. Yes, I do realise that this is not a new concept on our T.V. screens, but not being a huge television addict, working long hours, and though I adore my work, the last programme I would tend to watch, while relaxing would be, how to decorate your home!
Having said all that, they were utterly fascinating! Some better than others, some ideas brilliant, some absolutely appalling! and NO, before anyone asks, I will mention no names, the coward that I am.
I cannot deny that in some ways these programmes have assisted the interior design industry as a whole, creating awareness, sowing the seeds that it is possible for everyone to have a beautifully decorated, colour co-ordinated home. In other ways they are an appalling representation of interior designers. It is no wonder that there is a huge volume of home owners, terrified of letting an interior designer anywhere near there home. The dreadful display of client/designer relationship can only portray negative thoughts to any prospective client of what they may have to face while dealing with an interior designer. One particular programme the site was a disaster zone from start to finish and I was amazed to see items being installed, no protection being put on top of them and work being carried out on top of it.
What I found most incredible was how they treated there clients. If I ever spoke to clients in that way, I would be except to be kicked off site, and I know for certain that if any of my suppliers spoke in such a condescending way, I too would be putting them off the site.
I have to bear in the back of my mind that this is T.V. drama made for a purpose but there is no true refection of how an interior design project is run. The brief is made clear at the start, but with obvious flexibility throughout the project to deal with issues that may arise such a change of mind or a better solution arising. The agreed goods are ordered on time having agreed the final costs, and delivery timescales are advised. On installation of these goods, if required, protection is fitted to prevent accidental damage.
If a client instructed an architect to design and build a contemporary detached home, they then arrived on site to see a purple clad townhouse? Unlikely! Why would an interior designer do the same then?
Interior design is about the clients living space, how it fits in with their lifestyle, how it looks and feels, not forgetting the comfort factor, and most importantly a true reflection of the clients taste It is not a miss match of colour texture just to experiment to see how it looks or in the majority of cases the “shock statement”
These programmes are only a vehicle for the presenter’s success, not a true reflection of an interior designer.
I now feel much better having relieved myself of the frustration that this has caused me. For anyone thinking of using an interior designer please be assured that we do everything that is physically and mentally possible to ensure that you do get the home you have always dreamed of having, on time and on budget.