Client Confessions: J White Designs

What clients really think of their interior designer

You very rarely hear about design from the design client unless it is in a shelter magazine or a bad review online.  But there are thousands of experiences in between.  Here is a perspective of different projects through the eyes of a client and the value they see in interior design.  This series is to help other designers understand design clients better and for clients to see the value of interior design.

Client: Sharon in Scottsdale, AZ

Designer: Julie White of J White Designs 480-703-6078 Project Budget: $50,001 - $100,000

What made you decide to hire a designer? I know my limitations on having the ability to have the total "vision".

What were your concerns about hiring a designer? Since I don't have that "vision", I change my mind probably more frequently than the designer would want. I was afraid that the designer would be upset about not going with her "expert" opinion and not realize that I have to live in the house.  That being said, it's a fine line since I don't have the "vision". I do need to be told if something will not look good.  Also, I like working on an hourly basis versus working on a per furniture piece basis.  I do like to do my own shopping to get the best value. If it was not hourly, I would have been dropped by a designer a long time ago.

What was the most rewarding part of working with a designer? Besides getting to know Julie you mean....anyway, working with a designer has expanded my shopping expertise and "how to" concerning decorating.

Is there anything you would have done differently? With my current house, I should have been more involved at the beginning of the selections. It would have saved some returning that I had to do. Also, I would have priced different contractors/suppliers. I know designers have their favorite subs; however, if you want to get the best pricing, and more importantly the best delivery times, you have to shop around. I don't want to pay my designer to do that.

What is your advice for those who have never worked with a designer?

It's your house and you need to be assertive on what you want, what you want to spend on furnishings, and ask questions.

Client: LC in Flagstaff, AZ

Designer: Julie White of J White Designs 480-703-6078 Project Budget:$100,001 - $500,000

What made you decide to hire a designer? When my builder shared a booklet that had been prepared by my designer for another homeowner which detailed each room and was extremely organized - that did it for me!  I like to be organized and I also realized at that moment - the scope of work involved and that it was beyond my own capabilities.

What were your concerns about hiring a designer? I wanted to make sure I knew up front what the cost would be and that it wouldn't get out of control.  I also wanted to be sure the designer had a good feel for my style and that she was diversified and talented regardless of style.

What was the most rewarding part of working with a designer? Probably the friendship I made with my designer, and secondly, the things I learned working with her - I have such a respect for what they do as a result!  Feeling confident about choices made during the process.  Getting the discounts on furnishings passed along was very nice too!

Is there anything you would have done differently?  No - I feel like my designer looked out for my best interest and worked well with both the builder and the architect - amazing team throughout the process!

What is your advice for those who have never worked with a designer?  I would strongly suggest they consider a designer, especially when it comes to cabinet design, furniture layout and color selections - many people think they know what's best, but it sure is good to have an experienced professional to bounce ideas off of that can tactfully explain if you are on the wrong track.  Money spent up front on a good designer - saves in the long run on potential costly mistakes!  It was a BIG WIN for us!

Get Involved! If you are a designer or a client that would like to participate in this series.  Email me at info{at}capellakincheloe.com