as opposed to my local design resource the Boston Design Center.
It also led me to wondering how west coast clients differ from their east coast counterparts.
The PDC has about 130 showrooms, to the BDC’s 78. Well, the Northeast is more conservative than LaLa land, I suppose. Although the numbers really don’t matter. Most designers have a handful of “go-to” resources that they know they can count on. And in this business – reliability of resources is key. I know which showrooms I can count on and which it’s a hit or miss event. Being the designer is truly the middleman among middle-men, so knowing that I can rely on a vendor makes my life so much easier.
I’m going to make a gross generalization here. I suspect that California clients are more easily swayed by trendy designs and designers than their New England counterparts. There, I said it. Rip me a new one, if you will.
New Englanders have a “I can do that myself” attitude. I have worked with a sewer who taught himself how to make window treatments because he didn’t want to pay the price of custom and thought “Why can’t I do that myself?”. I have a client who wants original abstract art as part of our design, but who paints herself and thinks “Gee, why don’t I just pull out the brushes and get creative?” She’s not overly slowed by the fact that she has a demanding career and a 1 year old. I had another client who bought several window treatment books – and a sewing machine -thinking she could make her window treatments herself. And again, she has kids, a dog and a busy consulting job. This isn’t about pinching pennies (although we’re known for that as well). It’s just how we are. We are DIYers to the bone. We did survive those first harsh winters way back when.
Sometimes, tho, people just need to sit back and respect the experts. As I said, I could be wrong, but I suspect they are more likely to do that out west. “You’re the designer, I like your work, take over and send me a bill. By the way – what are Brad and Angelina doing in their house(s)?”
Rarely do designers get free reign over their designs – there is almost always a client. And unless one is doing a designer show house, or a “reality” tv show, the client should have the last word. So, it’s a fun fantasy to be able to do exactly what you would like – to really stretch your skills and vision. Of course, the designers didn’t really have total freedom – as I’m assuming they are using floor samples from the showrooms – so they can’t specify exact materials or finishes. But, still, 130 showrooms – lots of floor samples to pick through. I wonder how they decided if more than one design team wanted the same item? I also wonder if the $50K budget is retail or wholesale (net) pricing? That would make a big difference.
I guess we’ll just have to “stay tuned”.