If you’re like me, the first time you thought about coming up with ideas for your home or working with a designer, you were a little overwhelmed with where to start, what you should know or ask, or what anything even meant. To help de-mystify the design process a little bit, we’ve gone through Knowing What You Want and Finding Inspiration, and now we’re going to hear from an actual designer about the process of working with a designer. I chatted with Athina Bluff from Topology (over Zoom, as everything has to be these days!) and here are some helpful nuggets from her experience.
What do you love about being a designer?
It has to be that moment where you walk into a space and see your ideas come to life, and see the client is really happy, and it’s such an adrenaline rush. I also love the moment of having a space photographed and seeing how far you’ve come – especially if it’s been a long project.
What do your favourite projects have in common?
It really helps when we have a nice client that is relaxed and willing to sign off and go with my ideas. When I’m not able to present designs as strongly because the client is less receptive to ideas, or they don’t want listen to my suggestions, often those are the projects you look back on and they don’t look anything like you’d hoped. Also when there’s a blank canvas it’s a lot easier – often when people already have furniture it can be hard for clients to change or part with what they have and it can make it trickier.
What is the biggest benefit an interior designer can provide?
Better wellbeing! If you can make your space brighter, feel bigger, work better for you and your family – naturally it will help you be in a better mood. There is so much scientific research showing that you are happier with yourself if you live in a beautiful space. Especially now when we’re spending so much time indoors, if that space is cramped and dingy it is going to give you a lacklustre mood. Our home has a huge impact on our mental health. Even something like a lack of light – you may not be aware that your window treatment is allowing less light in the room, but it’s going to have a subconscious effect and make you feel low and depressed. An interior designer knows how to adjust the room, the light, the furniture, the overall design to help with those subconscious things.
What should a client do before meeting with a designer?
The best thing you can do is take the time to write a short brief of what you want to achieve, and how you want to feel in the space – and also take note of how the space is used. Maybe you have kids or pets or existing furniture or other constraints, it’s important to monitor how the space is used and what’s going to be practical for you and your family. Be realistic with how you live and what space is available and create a thoughtful brief to talk through with your designer.
What is your ideal client like?
My ideal client has a reasonable budget, is generally a lovely person and receptive to ideas, and also someone whose style is maybe different to mine, and will test my creative flair. I am personally drawn to beige and neutral tones for my own home so I love it when I’m working with a client that likes colours because it unlocks my creativity!
Topology is an award winning interiors blog & online interior design service, based around affordability. You can find them on Instagram and Twitter, and they’re currently offering online interior design services if you’re itching to get started on your home re-design while in lockdown!