Creating the Look of Opulence: Getting Out of the Designer Comfort Zone

When I meet with clients, I always tell them that the best designers do not have a typical style that they only work with.  The best designers have studied all styles and know how to create any look based on their client’s preferences. That’s what research and the knowledge we accumulate in design school is for. The design concept should reflect the client’s preferences and taste. The designer’s role is to interpret the client’s vision and make it come to life.

A designer’s portfolio is what is used to advertise their skill and attract new clients.  A designer’s portfolio often morphs into a showcase of a particular style because repeat clients want the same look as what is advertised in the designer’s portfolio based on past projects.    Some designers only want to work in a style that reflects their personal preferences and have no problem only working with clients who can bend to their personal design will.  That is a good match only if the client knows that they are limited to the designer’s beliefs.

I’ve always been one of those designers whose portfolio reflected the clients that repeatedly sought my work based on past projects, urban contemporary style. However, I never turned down the client whose style didn’t fit my typical client’s style profile because it was a welcome challenge. For example, a client approached me with a picture out of a magazine that could have been Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. It was a creative challenge and fun project due to the amount of research required and new sources required. The results were fantastic.

Have you ever worked with a designer who imposed their personal style on you?