I admit, I do it too. I pour over pictures of interiors in magazines and online and quickly judge the Designer’s choices. “That’s tacky!”… “Too many pillows on the sofa!”… “No window treatments?!”… “What’s with all the cow paintings?!
What is missing from those beautifully staged pictures is an insight into a critical piece of the design process. Any good Designer listens to the client, learns about how they live and designs accordingly. The picture only tells us part of the story – what we don’t know is WHY the Designer made the choices and the details of the client’s life that led them to that design, including details that are important to them but may seem odd to the uninformed eye (like a cherished collection of cow paintings, for instance).
I was recently contacted by a family friend who was looking to hire a local designer to advise her as she built a new house. She had combed through Houzz and local Designers’ websites but told me that she hadn’t yet found a room that she would want to replicate in her house. She was surprised when I told her, “That will NEVER happen!” What I ultimately told my friend was that she should look for a designer who was interested in her desires and needs for the space and would design for HER and her family, not their own portfolio.