Friday, April 2, 2010

Design Doctor

Can I just vent for a moment today? You won’t mind if I have a bitter moment, will you? Today I am going to vent about the curse of being an interior designer, what seems to plague me from time to time (i.e. today):

People are always asking me for design opinions off the cuff, without more specific info. I won’t talk about today, but take this experience, for example. One Christmas dinner, some people my husband and I were sitting with said, "We were thinking of painting our kitchen cabinets baby blue. What do you think? Would that look good?" It was crazy to ask me that when there are about a hundred different tints, shades, and tones of baby blue, I had never seen their kitchen or the style of the cabinets, and didn't know what look they were going for, didn't know what kind of lights they had, or the scale of the room and what colors would be around it, or what the texture and type of wood the cabinets were.

When people ask me if something will or won’t work, it’s a hard one to answer without seeing the space or talking to them a lot more about what they’re going for… So I often feel irresponsible giving an opinion, and end up sounding evasive or put-out…. not too intelligent! Really, I like everything in its place and within a certain specific context that it may work within. Part of being a good designer, I think, is being able to appreciate the merits of every style, of every color, and of every individual item... Certainly everything can be good within a certain context, and bad within another context. Maple syrup is great on waffles. Not so great with chicken soup.

Part of me likes being able to give advice. It’s flattering when someone asks. The part of me that still owes thousands of dollars on my student loans gets a little frustrated, though. It’s hard wanting to do something professionally (meaning making a living for oneself) but wanting to help out friends or others that ask you for bits and pieces of help here and there. I am nowhere near being a doctor, but I feel for them, because they must constantly have the same problem! People wanting advice without offering money or particulars! Sigh. Good thing that if that’s the biggest problem I have in life, I’m doing pretty well!