A while back, I was nearing the completion of a design project for two clients, Barb and husband Bill… both pretty awesome people. Both with very definitive ideas on how their home was to be re-designed.
Near the end of the project, Barb began to lament about the end of the work and the working relationship we had developed over the last few months. I, too, would miss the scheduled calls with “Bubbly Barb” as I once called her and the weekly job-site meetings with the contractor, an individual who was invaluable in interpreting my designs while at the same time hovering over the client’s budget as though it was his own.
Like a well-oiled team, both of the clients, the contractor and the designer managed their small-scale remodel of a historic home despite a number of unforeseen and totally unexpected challenges. (Things happen when taking an old structure apart and carefully putting it back together.) Yet persistence, in this case, prevailed permitting the completion of a pretty remarkable home.
In one of our last meetings together as a team, a day when the sun shown thru freshly washed windows that bounced off polished wood floors and the last of the furnishings and cabinets were being installed, Barb sat at her new glass topped table, stretched out her hands and gave out one long sigh.
As I sat down opposite her, she paused for a long moment, looked toward me and said how much she and her husband appreciated my contributions and creative efforts and just how nice it was that I would take on such a small little job.
I said, “Well,.... we all know that size doesn’t matter.” Barb and I both broke into laughter at that remark.
“The reality is,” I told Barb, “that smaller projects are often the most fun, ever so challenging and frequently the most energetic. Time and budgets are often limited so the designer needs to be ultra creative.”
I went on to say I believe that everyone should have access to good design. Most designers I know strive to have every client feel that they are receiving the best possible service and value during our time together. It’s a pretty simple concept and I go to great lengths to make sure that the designs we create on the client’s behalf are imaginative and resourceful, the service exceptional, and the process from start to finish rewarding and enjoyable.
But Barb quickly remarked, “But wasn’t this one extra special?”
“This project was indeed quite special because you and Bob were special from the onset. I like to work with clients who realize the difference good design can make, who so appreciate the design process by providing me with an opportunity to bring new ideas to the table, and to let me elevate the project to places the client may not have anticipated. That's what its all about, Bubbly Barb.”
For me, as an interior designer, that is the biggest perk of all.
I told her as our meeting concluded that afternoon that this wasn’t the end of a project but the continuation of a great professional friendship.
Sometimes my work just doesn’t get any better.
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.