Client Meeting & Creating Connections

By  Celina Cruz celine.cmvinteriordesigns@gmail.com

As an Interior Design student, design problems and client profiles are usually given by the professors. Design layouts are then made and approved by them; and then we create the plans and other documents needed for the space. For the past years, it has always been a cycle of that.

Being an intern for CMV Interior Designs gave me the opportunity to meet one of their clients and have an actual experience first-hand. Having an actual client who expresses their wants and needs for their space is more helpful than having a fictional client like the ones we used to get for our school projects. Meeting with a client makes the task of designing seem like a joint project with you, the designer, and with the client for both of your inputs make up the space. You, as the designer, translates the needs and wants of your client through your design.

Through this experience, I was able to take note of some important things ones must remember during a meeting with their client.

5 things every designer must ask:

  1. What is the space for and who will be using this space?
  2. What will they be doing on the space?
  3. Does the user have any special needs or allergies that should be accommodated?
  4. What do they like to have on their space? What do they not like to have on the space?
  5. What is their budget and when do they want the space finished?

3 details you need to remember during a client meeting:

  1. Be well-prepared and observant. Outline your meeting and prepare the questions you’ll be asking your client. Familiarize yourself with your client. Get to know your client more as a person – ask them about their interests, their lifestyle, and try to create a connection with them to create a positive synergy with each other. If you can, compile possible designs you can present to give your client an idea or some inspiration.
  2. Be professional. Always remember that you are catering to the needs and wants of your client. That means being able to design a space that will ensure a better lifestyle for them while fitting their preferences. If there is something they want that might not fit the space, suggest possible alternatives that they might also like. Settle with a design where everything is well-balanced.
  3. Documentation is very important. Always take down notes and document everything in every meeting. Being able to keep every single detail in mind can also show how professional you are to your client and how much you value their input to the design. Compiled documents can be a huge help to recap previous meetings that can be used in future meetings. Provide a copy of your documentations to your client which can also keep them updated with the project.

These are a few things I picked up from my very first client meeting which can be of help to others too!

Work it, Make it, Do it, Makes us Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!

-Blog title from “Stronger” lyrics by Kanye West

Most of the people I know would say that I am not a bookworm/ library geek/ book lover and I definitely agree with them. I’m a visual type of a person and ideas are clicking right in front of me every time I see new design techniques through photos, travels and now social media like Instagram. Honestly, I would sometimes skip the captions and browse pages from books and magazines and focus on the art/ illustrations or advertising campaign that excites me.

Every morning, I start my day by browsing my design books, magazines or newsletters from my favorite designer brands and furniture shops around the world. This habit of mine started 6 years ago and for me, it’s like working out, going to the gym and keeping my design skills fit. I also encourage my design team to browse on latest trends and style through newsletters, social media and visit local art and design events.

Here’s The Top 3 Habits I would like to share to keep my design skills fit

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  1. Regular visit at local bookstores.

Never underestimate your spare time at the mall. While waiting for my appointment, I always head to the nearest bookstore and browse for design magazines and latest books on the rack.

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  1. Subscribe or sign up for newsletter and blog of your favorite brand.

Start your day by opening those newsletters or design blog feeds. It will help your visual presentation techniques and will update you on the latest trends.

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  1. Travel and visit museum/ art exhibits.

I know, sometimes it can be boring but paying a visit to your nearby museum really helps. It will help you get design inspiration and enhance your design skills.

My Favorite Book This Month

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I’m a big fan of art workshop books and I will definitely learn a lot of art skills and techniques from this book.

Design Team’s Favorite Book

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Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman

If your are a crafty person, you can try to read this book. It’s packed with different decorating/ styling tips and lots of do-it-yourself ideas that you will enjoy

-Rose Resoles, design supervisor

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Design Mom by Gabrielle Stanley

As a mom, it’s difficult for me to keep things organized. This book will help moms like me in getting great ideas and guides on how to design a perfect home and living with an organized room with kids.

-Jelyn Soriano, design consultant

 

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