For those who say that all I do is white walls, here’s a library in Long Island with a teal-colored strié walls to prove you wrong. Besides the beautiful walls, what really catches the eye is the incredible art that the client has – above the sofa there’s a beautiful Miró and on the side of the room there’s a bright Lichtenstein that really pops against the wall color.
The funny thing is that the room wasn’t done around the artwork. Both these pieces were in a different part of the house, but when the room was finished, they just worked in here.
Not bad art, hey?
It was painfully pleasant to read all the responses to my ‘Frustration’ post and it again brings to the forefront of my mind what is really important to you about what I have to share on this blog. I think that sometimes one thinks that people want to hear the fluff, but it’s good to hear the pain and the problems too. In our industry, as I said when I wrote that post, I think we’re so misunderstood in terms of what our values are and what it takes to be a professional, to handle suppliers and create, estimate and produce a job.
Most of you wrote about HGTV and the added pitfalls that it has brought to our industry, but they only produce the shows that people want to see. And people want to see how one can be creative in 30 seconds because their understanding of what creativity is is very far from the truth. It’s like telling a blind person to see something. If you can’t see it, you just can’t see it.
I try to share this experience with you all because I know that designers out there are going through this all the time and only when we stand for what we believe in, and when we stand up for our worth, will things start to change. We may not get those clients, but water seeks its own levels and if we keep going down to that level by cutting ourselves short, we will keep getting the same type of clients. And it is something that one never comes out the winner – 99.9% of the time we never come out the winner when we sell ourselves short because it erodes the respect that we deserve.
Thank you for all your comments – I truly appreciate the time and effort you take in not only reading this blog, but also sharing your own pains and frustrations with me. When we hurt, we all feel it the same way.
Even after doing this for 35 years and meeting all types of people who come in for consultations, I’m still surprised at the lack of understanding of what it takes to create an environment. I had a meeting earlier this week with four people who wanted to engage us to work on a Condo. Their expectations and a request to just ‘come up with two or three designs so we can present it to other people in the building and then’, to boot, ‘there are four other designers who are doing the same’ to see which one they like, really upset me – maybe it’s wrong of me, but I feel that if you throw it together, you’re not going to do your best job.
When I asked one of them what they did for a living he said he was a software programmer and I asked him if I was considering hiring him, would he come up with three different programs for me so I could decide whether I wanted to work with him. He said ‘Absolutely not – it takes a lot of time and energy to do that, you’d have to pay me by the hour, I wouldn’t do it for nothing.’ In the same breath that’s exactly what they expected of me. It shows an absolute lack of respect for the work that we do – the energy that we put into creating an environment that is not just ho hum and a space that will make me feel that what I’m doing is the best that I can offer.
In this industry somehow we’ve never gotten to put across to the general public the importance of what we do and the delicacy of what we create. If you have encountered similar situations, why don’t you share it. Any ideas on how to deal with this?
PS Besides wanting us to design three different ideas, they had no idea of budget so they wanted us to design at three different price ranges. Figure that one out…