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Maggie G.



As an interior designer, are the projects that people come to you for more free range or are there more guidelines?

Asked Salem, Massachusetts

I am going into my junior year as an interior design major. So far our projects have had minor guidelines, but I can pick and design the space how I want. In a real life situation are there more guidelines? Are people more picky, or do they trust your design? #jobs #design #interior-design #interior #interior-architecture #interior-designer #commercial #residential-homes

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5 answers

Generally projects we are given in our studies are unrealistic. In reality we have to work within the guidelines of budget, client tastes and preferences, the size of the space we're required to work within, client needs and wants to name a few. Based on these criteria our job is to present the best and most creative ideas/options that meet their needs. It is rare that we have a client that not only gives us carte-blanch but also has the budget or resources to do so. Compromise and trust are important. Being able to work within guidelines and restrictions and produce a quality, creative environment that improves the life of our client and reflects their personality is the goal. Good luck!

Last updated May 19 '16 at 08:00 PM

Hello! I graduated college about a year and a half ago with a bachelors in Interior Design. In school the project peramiters were similar, we got very few limitations on size, budget and things like that. I started doing residential interior design and found people will have very strong opinions on things. Their space will always be defined as well as their budget. It will be rare you get a client that will give you free reign to do whatever you want as they do in school. Being able to sell your ideas/designs is very important. Compromise and understanding is important as well. I would say most of the time if you are able to sell your idea, and educate your client along the way on why something should be a certain way, they will trust your judgment. Hope this helps & good luck!

Last updated May 19 '16 at 03:40 PM

Well like most things in life, you will always make life easier when you have a plan ! Since most people look at Interior Design as a luxury, they generally assume it is going to be costly. Your job is to show them that the first goal of design is to make their lives function more efficiently and beautifully. You want to tailor the work to the client, because they are the ones who will live it. Along the way, like any job you want to pick the best ( Tool) chair,lamp,rug, that will serve a multitude of purposes, with the fun added benifit of esthetic value, if you do all of this within a budget, on a reasonable timeline and no Diva behavior, they will ask you back repeatedly and reward you with referrals. Because the jobs usually come in increments, it is rare to do a whole home at once with no constraints.

Last updated May 19 '16 at 08:09 PM

I believe they are training you to be an attentive listener. You must know how to take (sometimes ambiguous) directions from a client and prompt them into a direction your instincts, education and experience tell you is right for them. They may be confidently and totally off track, or know exactly what they want. Either way, your ability to 'hear' them can save the day more often than not.

This usually takes a few conversations, moving incrementally in the right direction. Be patient, the payoff is a new client who will refer you. All my work is referral. ALL! I have never advertised (or finished my degree) nor do I have the time to seek out new clients. I am so busy I keep 3 employees full time now and am in need of one or two more.

Good luck, always give your all and best and you will succeed.

Last updated May 24 '16 at 01:13 AM

So i do alot of design work in my spare time and people in the real world are picky , it is their money after all :-) You need to know how to listen and pick up on the needs and wants of the client. Understand the timescale and limitations they are asking for, and the boundaries that you have to work in. It will take a few meetings and be sure that you have all the meeting documented, so that you can lock scope and expectations. The payoff will be a project delivered on time and within scope and a hopefully a happy customer.

Last updated May 26 '16 at 09:20 AM
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