While not a real fan of the show in the past, I have enjoyed this season of HGTV’s Design Star. The designers are actually very talented for the most part and it is fun to see what they come up with. As a designer I often wish I had a carpenter, painter and all the items I need right at my fingertips! Oh the rooms I could produce!!
But, in watching the show I have come to realize that the stress of the final segment where one designer gets eliminated each week is part of the every day life of most designers. Isn’t that basically what happens when we meet a prospective client for the first time? We are hoping that we are not “eliminated” and, instead, given the opportunity to bring their ideas to fruition and create a beautiful space that exceeds their expectations.
This idea really hit home this past week when I had a very difficult “interview” with a prospective client. I knew I shared her vision and understood the direction she wanted to take but, because my portfolio did not have the exact room she was looking for she did not feel that I did, in fact, share that vision and have the ability to create the home she envisioned. Guess what? I was “eliminated”. And I was very sad about this because she was really floundering and needed help and I so wanted to give her that help and create the perfect home for her. For many reasons, not the least of which was that she did not really know what she wanted, I was not able to convince her that she would not be disappointed and to let me take a stab at the design.
Many homeowners get hung up on a designer’s portfolio and are not aware that a good designer should be able to create any style room; not just a signature style. In fact, I pride myself on creating rooms that reflect the tastes and desires of my clients, not my tastes. I, personally, would choose a designer with a varied portfolio instead of one who specializes in one particular style. Oh well….what I probably need are a few lessons in how to close the deal and I certainly hope this prospective client finds what she is looking for without wasting more money while searching for the right designer. And we designers will just have to live with the stress of “elimination” without a show of our own waiting at the end of the road. If only……(a girl can dream can’t she?)