Recently I sent a floor plan for a new home to a client. We had met several times, discussed what they wanted and developed a program of spaces and room sizes. But this was the first time the client saw a floor plan and our vision of the design. They hated it. The client told me the plan “misses several things we discussed, and I think the layout is unworkable”. Luckily, we have thick skins, and recognize that criticism can be more useful than compliments.
Our job is to interpret what you want, but also, to show you things you haven’t thought of yet. This means more than copying an image from Houzz or Pinterest you show us and calling it ours. Robert Kennedy once said, “Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.” Part of what we do is present ideas you haven’t thought of yet to see if you like them. This is one of the reasons you hired us, but it also means that sometimes you won’t like our first draft. It turns out that we learn more about our client every time we discuss a look, or feature of your design. Even if we blow up the first scheme, we still know whether you want separate closets, or need room for a grand piano. The building blocks we develop can be rearranged in many ways, resulting in many different schemes.
Don’t be afraid of telling us if you don’t like something. If you work with a designer who tells you what they designed is the “only” way it can be done, get up and walk away. I call these people Design Nazis because they remind me of the “Soup Nazi” in a Seinfeld episode. There is always another way of solving a problem! We may not be smart enough to figure out it out right away, but I know there is an alternate solution.
So, bear with us. We wouldn’t show you a design unless we loved it, and I am disappointed when you don’t love it too. But in the end, we will have a design we both love, and it will be worth the effort.