Interior Designer Intimidation: How To Crush It During Your Whole Home Luxury Interior Design Project
If you’ve ever worked with an interior designer and felt like you were cast into an episode of Fear Factor, let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone. Intimidation is a very common occurrence — especially with larger whole home luxury interior design projects.
You can be anyone — the butcher, baker, the candlestick maker, a leader in your own industry — and you can still feel intimidated by interior designers.
But, as an interior designer, let me also be the one to tell you that there is absolutely zero need to feel this way. Let’s peek behind the curtain and see what is really going on here so we can turn off those alarm bells.
In my experience, there are three things that contribute to the interior designer intimidation factor.
1. Fear of being judged for your vision.
2. Fear of being judged for what you don’t know
3. Fear of being judged for your budget
Let’s talk through each of these, because judgment has no place in any of these three categories.
Fear of being judged for your vision.
A designer’s job is to help you realize your vision — not to judge you for it. If you are experiencing judgment for your design preferences or being pressured to shift your hopes and dreams for your space, that may be a sign that there’s a misalignment in the client-designer partnership.
For example, if a homeowner is pining after a Rustic Mountain Lodge look and the designer they’re working with specializes in Madison Avenue Glam, there may not be vision alignment — and that’s okay! An ethical designer will realize this in the discovery process and kindly bow out of the project or redirect the homeowner to someone who aligns more with their desired style.
Fear of being judged for what you don’t know
Here’s the thing I want you to remember: You aren’t supposed to know what your designer knows! It’s as plain and simple as that. As expert designers, we are hired for a reason and you aren’t expected to know anything at all about what we know. After all, I very rarely know anything about most of my clients’ industries.
At our luxury interior design firm, we are here to create impeccable whole home design that combines form and function and evokes the feeling you want to have in every room. That’s our job, not yours. So don’t worry about it!
Fear of being judged for your budget
An interesting thing I’ve noticed about the B word — Budget — is that it can be $20,000 or $250,000 or $2 million and it doesn’t change how clients feel and talk about it. No matter how many zeroes their budget has, people generally apologize for it — which is to say they feel concerned and self-conscious about it.
But, if I may interject here, an ethical designer is never going to judge you for your budget. In fact, being 100% clear about your budget parameters from the very beginning of the discovery process is going to smooth the road monumentally and create the right foundation from the start.
As designers, we need a realistic view of what the total investment can and will be, so we don’t recommend an unattainable plan or source things that are over (or under!) your comfort zone.
So, here’s what I want you to do. Remember these three common fears and their rebuttals. I promise you that, once you’ve established some early rapport with your interior designer over the course of the first several weeks, any niggling intimidation should fall to the wayside.
The job of any excellent designer is to listen deeply, understand profoundly, and advise knowingly while ensuring that the budget, scope, and aesthetic of a project makes sense collaboratively. Judgment just doesn’t ever even enter the chat.
So, let’s forget about the intimidation factor and kick the fear of judgment to the curb. It’s time to create a home you can’t wait to come home to. Contact us to get started.