Good Design for Everyone
Should interior design services be accessible to everyone? Does everyone deserve a beautiful, professionally-designed home?
My answer is no.
Interior design is a luxury service- not everyone can afford it. It’s inherently expensive. Furniture, hardware, hard finishes all can be significant investments - as does the service to pull it all together. Interior design isn’t meant to be a universal right.
A comfortable, safe home, yes. But an interior designer to provide a professional service, no.
But I hear too many designers say that they want “good design to be accessible to everyone”. That’s a nice sentiment, but not sustainable for interior designers and running a business.
Running a Business, Not Charity
There must be a threshold that you determine in your business as to what is profitable for you. Because, most designers who tell me they want to design for everyone are also the ones that want to know how to make money in interior design.
Interior designers shouldn’t get the short end of the stick because everyone deserves good design. There are plenty of ways that someone who wants good design can achieve it without the service of a professional designer - because sometimes that professional service is not in their budget - and that’s okay. Designers don’t have to absorb that cost. We’re not running a charity, we’re running a business.
It’s important to get clear on what you can and can’t offer to clients. You should know what your project minimum is. You need to know if you can be efficient enough to get it done quickly. You need to manage client’s expectations.
You must ask yourself the following questions and be truthful with yourself:
Is the client’s budget reasonable?
Can I make a profit and get the job done in this budget?
Are my fees going to be reasonable compared to the budget?
What is the minimum hours I would need to do this in to make a profit?
What is the maximum hours that is reasonable for this budget?
Is there another service or package I could offer the client that would be a better fit for their budget?
Just because we love design and want everyone to enjoy their home doesn’t mean that we give our skills and talents away for free.