In my research to compose a blog article about the collaborative process of interior design, I came across a fabulous two-part article by Amanda Rumore about the relationship between interior designers and architects.
Her articles, “Team Collaboration is the Key to Success” Part I & Part II, in Arizona Foothills Magazine, illustrate the importance of “having the whole team on board at the beginning of the design process.”
She says, “having all of the design team at the table…ensures that the client’s wants, needs and vision can be met; each discipline can offer valuable information focused on design, constructability, and budget; ideas build upon one another creating a well-integrated project that exceeds a client’s expectations (and sometimes even exceeds the design team’s vision).” I couldn’t agree more.
I encourage you to read both of Rumore’s articles.
In addition to Ms. Rumore’s information about collaboration between architects and interior designers, I’d like to stress the importance of collaboration between interior designers and builders/contractors and interior designers and clients.
Interior Designers and Builders/Contractors
Interior designers make on-site visits to ensure projects and progressing, questions are answered and any issues are resolved as quickly and smoothly as possible. This requires a close working relationship between interior designer and builder/contractor.
Designers need to ensure their client’s vision is carried out, in accordance with building principles. The builder/contractor is the one who literally makes ideas, visions and drawings a reality. And, the reality is that details come up during the building process that need to be addressed. With a collaborative relationship, designers and builders can resolve many issues on site.
Interior Designers and Clients
Probably most important of all is the relationship between interior designer and client. This relationship too is one based on collaboration. It must include trust, respect, understanding and communication. Designers must “get into the heads” of clients, understanding their exact needs and wants, lifestyle, tastes and preferences. And in turn, clients must rely on designers to carry out their vision.
Designers are not mind readers. We need feedback and direction. Clients CAN hire interior designers that take over a project, carrying out their OWN vision. That may work for SOME people. But the best designers work WITH clients to develop the CLIENT’S vision. Likewise, clients are not designers. They need guidance and expertise. When client and designer work together, the best designs result.