EDITOR’S NOTE: An important part of a designer”s communication skill set is not only guiding a client”s choices, but also instilling confidence during The Process. Just as the cooking neophyte breaks out into a cold sweat when confronted with a recipe having more than six ingredients, the majority of the public panics at the idea of committing to any design choice that will cost them a significant chunk of change. If you educate your clients, however, they will make some good decisions on their own, be sure of them, and still recognize you as the valuable asset you are. And just as the novice in the kitchen will depend on a caterer when the time calls for it, your client will reach out to you when the really big decisions come their way.
PLOT SUMMARY: When last we left Client Debra, she and her husband Paul had begun the journey into Remodel Purgatory. Random construction workers, gaping holes in floors and walls, and unhappy pets had become part of the couple”s vernacular. Designer Rob and Contractor David continue on with their mission, leaving Debra and Paul to live in the war zone. Will there be any escape for them” Read on to find out.
The Remodel Diary of Debra Brennan Tagg” continued
The days are blending together. This week in particular, I stay out of my house as much as possible and just come home to breathe the dust-rich air while sleeping.
Rob and the contractor, David, agree to paint large swatches of the color we chose on our living room wall so we can “live with it”. They want to make sure that I like the color in the light of day. Apparently they see the likes of me coming from a mile away and know that there is a high probability that I will hate it once I see it. I come home on Friday night, very tired, and glance in the barely lit room. I love the color.
I walk through the house the next morning after a full night”s rest and stop in the living room again. The one wall is still pretty. I think. I mean, it will be fine. I suppose. It”s the color I wanted, right” And it looks great with my chocolate couch, right” Right”
The painter arrives an hour later and starts painting the entire room my “chosen” icy steel blue. I panic and ask him to please stop. We have not consented to this color and are just not sure if we want to use it in the room. After a few brief attempts to tell me this is his job today, he goes away. I insist there must be a miscommunication with the contractor. I find out two days later that David requested that the whole room is painted so I can be really, really sure I like it. Sometimes clients should stay out of their contractors” plan.
A few days later I request a “meeting of the minds”. Rob, Paul, David and I get together to review where we are and where we need to go. I definitely knew where we were, but I had no idea how far we had to go. Nonetheless, David still estimates one month until completion. (Readers, I hear your “yeah, rights” indeed. Paul and I use a “2x” factor on all quotes these days, so we estimate two months until completion.)
Two hours later, none of us agree on the paint, and we decide to put more samples on the wall. I am somewhat embarrassed to be so indecisive, but this is the living hell that is me and home d