• Major Key: Trust and Communication

    As Michelle’s assistant, I am new to the professional side of interior design.  Before a few months ago my experience included my own DIY efforts, Pinterest, Blogs, and any social or print media I could get my hands on.  On the job I have learned that one of the most important aspects of interior design has to be the client-designer relationship built on a foundation of trust and effective communication.  

    While watching Michelle, I’ve seen that she has a great knack for communication: by being able to truly listen to what the client wants, and have patience to decipher between that and what they believe they want. Although some clients may not know the terms to express what they are looking for, it is the designers job to ask the right questions. Michelle will also ask the clients to bring pictures, and utilize social media accounts like Pinterest and Houzz.  Although sometimes, it’s like when you bring a photo to the hair salon, you have round face and that ear length bob just isn’t flattering.  This is where the trust comes in.

    2015 Chanel Couture show at Paris Fashion Week


    For example, a client may have seen beautiful, contemporary interior and believe that this is exactly what they want.



    But as they begin to show you more pictures, speaking about their daily needs, and giving feedback on specific modern pieces, conflict arises.  Which is perfect.  It now allows you to delve deeper into what they don’t like about the space, offering room for more suitable alternatives. In this case, the client wanted something more transitional, with more softness and functionality for their growing family. Like this space found here: 


    As the client begins to feel the designer truly has an understanding of where they are coming from they usually relax, and begin to trust the designer to do her job. Freedom of expression is another aspect of trust and communication, a conversation where neither party has to walk on eggshells about their likes or dislikes. With trust and effective communication, misunderstandings are few and far between, allowing for a much smoother design process.

    Thanks for taking the time to hear about my journey so far in design, let me know if you think I am right on, or have any other tips!

    By: Alex West