When beginning a design project for a client’s home, I ask myself, “Who lives here?” It’s important for the design to tell the client’s story, not my own. With that in mind, I keep myself open to what my clients bring to the table. There is beauty in collaboration, and although I am surrounded by my own favorite and trusted sources, I appreciate being introduced to great resources by my clients. It broadens my horizons and adds to what I have to offer my future clients. Here are some examples of products, artists, and other resources I’ve learned about from clients.
Stocking a library or extensive bookshelves with antique books can be expensive. You also want to collect books you would actually read. However, putting together a set of books that also looks great with the room around them can be more of a challenge. A client introduced me to Books by the Foot, where you can order books by color, in matched sets, vintage books, wrapped books, and even faux books. This makes it possible to achieve just the pulled-together look you want in any style. This is an amazing site, even offering coffee table books and sets for commercial interiors!
Art changes the dynamic of a house and makes my work speak better. It creates a visceral reaction that varies from person to person, which is why art choices sometimes have to come from the client and not from the designer. When a client introduces me to an artist I am not familiar with, it’s such a gift! The photography of Ben Ham (who I’ve written about in the past), Eric Zener’s paintings, and Vik Muniz’s eclectic modern art, were all brought to my attention by clients. Expanding my knowledge of artists and having a relationship with a local gallery such as Samuel Owen Gallery, helps me collaborate with clients to find just the right art for each project.
A client from London who bought a house here in the US sent me a link to Trainspotters website and I fell in love with their amazing lighting. They have great scale and colors — I’d use these products in my own studio! This lighting, salvaged from a huge variety of places around Europe, are authentic and interesting. We used lighting from Trainspotters in my client’s kitchen and the results were fantastic!
This book is a great resource I first learned of from a client. As a guide to color and creating a palette for a room, it’s an invaluable resource to share with clients. With actual paint swatches from a variety of manufacturers and beautiful examples of rooms, Colors for your Home makes it easier for clients to visualize an unlimited number of color schemes.