Over the years, I’ve learned that the most important thing in working with my clients is to listen. They may be saying one thing and really mean something entirely different. If more than one person lives in the home, such as a couple, it can really get interesting; they may both be agreeing on the same thing, but for entirely different reasons.
Lynn and Cris are a perfect example. I’d known the couple for a long, long time; actually, I’d known Lynn since we were 4-years-old. We lived on the same block grew up together. Off and on I’d helped them with redecorating their home in several different phases. One time in particular stands out. They wanted to redecorate the living room. The living room, dining room, kitchen and family room all opened to each other so it wasn’t just about redoing the living room. We had to take it all into consideration.
They didn’t really know what they wanted so I gave them tons of magazines to look through and mark the pictures they liked. It didn’t matter if anything went together at all. It was a way to help me get to get inside their heads a little and visualize what they might want. Although someone may not see any correlation between the pictures, I’ve learned to spot a pattern in style, theme, color or other elements that helps me identify about what a client likes.
In this case when we met again, they were really excited because they could now visualize what they might want. As we went through the pictures, I asked questions about what they each liked in the picture. The funny thing is that even though they both liked the same picture, they each liked it for totally different reasons!
Lynn loved the pillows, the color, the feeling of the room. Cris liked the way the room was laid out. He didn’t care or notice the colors, the pillows the shape of the sofa or any of that. They were shocked that they weren’t having the same conversation about what they liked. It was a real eye opener for me. Just because they might agree on something, it showed me there was definitely room for more conversation.
Once we established the differences, we were able to move forward in addressing all the details: feeling, color, style and spacing of furniture. We really got to the specifics. We had such a good time working together to give them a room they could both enjoy, whether sitting, entertaining, or just walking by. It gave me the direction I needed to move forward and give Lynn and Cris the Harmonious Home they both dreamed of.