Welcome back to another Anatomy of a Design post! I took some time off from writing blogs for the last couple of weeks as I powered through onboarding interns, presenting three (!!!) design proposals to clients and trying to manage some semblance of a personal life (IYKYK). The small-business-owner life isn't easy, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!
This post has me particularly excited to publish because this image has me SO excited about design again! Not that I'm not always inspired, but sometimes when you're in the weeds of the day-to-day, it can be hard to get into a creative groove. This design by Amy Meier Designs has me all kinds of jazzed - it's perfect in all the right ways!
Design: Amy Meier
Although I could go on for days about the amazingness here, I chose this image in today's post because it's a great example of the kind of result you get from trusting your designer. When working with clients, I oftentimes find that people can get hung up on one particular item. For this study, I want to go through some of the more controversial decisions in this room, how I'm sure they were hard for the client to get on board with and, ultimately, why they work. Let's get started!
Zellige tile goes all the way up - The design feature that's hardest to miss here is the fully-tiled wall. Amy chose a zellige tile that went all the goes up to the ceilings, and these are not low ceilings! If you pay particularly close attention, you'll even notice the vertical placement of the tiles that create a border around the doors and windows (brilliant). Choices like these are so impactful but, let's be honest, this is not a budget friendly choice. Designers have the burden of making these decisions within the constraints of the project's budget, which oftentimes means that sacrifices are made elsewhere. It's also possible that a client would see the cost of a design decision like this and not be on board, even if the design proposal came in under budget. This can be a challenge for designers who understand how a particular design feature impacts the space as whole, and is an argument for trusting your designer to work within the monetary constraints you've outlined without obsessing over every line item.
No rug under the dining table - This might not seem like a big deal to you, especially since you're viewing the final result of this space. But not putting a rug under the dining table is one of those traditional things that some clients are going to expect, and some might even insist on. I'm so glad that Amy's clients here listened to her and trusted her direction with the space. The lack of a rug not only lets the beautiful floors shine, but adding one may have overwhelmed the space. It's a design choice that's doing a lot more work than the naked eye might not understand, but Amy most certainly did.
Structural dining chairs - Of all of the design choices in this room that I image being a hard-sell to a client, these chairs would be at the top of my list. Even the most bold and design-forward of clients would look at something like this and have concerns with understandable objections along the lines of comfort and trendiness. It makes total sense that someone would want comfortable dining chairs in their home, but it's not always fair to write off comfortability just because of how something looks! And although we all want the items we put in our homes to outlast trends, the harsh reality is that nothing truly lasts forever in the design world. Interior design is an artistic field that evolves just like any other creative endeavor, and that's what keeps us interested! The important thing, in my opinion, is not having every item in your home be an item that's designed to last. The bones and structure of this space are what we would call timeless, so why not take a risk or two with some items that are easier to replace? This is a great example of what can happen when you trust your designer's vision.
Antique pendants - Whether these are actual antiques or replicas, these pendant lights really steal the show of this space. The vintage vibe is really balancing out the modern elements of the space, and the mix of styles might have jumped off the page as a concern to a well-meaning client. Designers who can expertly mix eras and styles know that it really creates the most stunning results. This design is no exception!
It goes without saying that I have no idea what Amy's experience with her clients was while working on this project. These notes are just situations and objections I can imagine based on my experience. Designers ALWAYS work to design spaces that their clients love, it's one of the most important functions of our job and we love doing it! However, this is a great example of a client who let a designer shine through her creativity and expertise and the results are stunning. If you're thinking of embarking on a relationship with an interior designer, try to remember going into the project that you may have concerns about the designer's decisions along the way. If you're working with someone you trust, just try to go with the flow and I promise the end results will be amazing!
Do you like this design by Amy Meier designs? Have you ever trusted an interior designer when you were concerned only to be glad you did? Let me know in the comments!
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Hackett House Studio is a boutique interior design firm located in Columbus, Ohio offering full-service and virtual design services, as well as concierge styling and interior photography. Please visit the services page of our website to learn more about us, and to inquire about working with us.
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