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Field Trip

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Wednesday my Interior Design V class went on a field trip to a prominent architecture firm in Mississippi. The firm employs interior designers as well as architects, and they do mostly commercial projects: restaurants, schools, churches, etc. The interior designers are currently working on a restaurant project for a new open air shopping center. The client for the restaurant project was in the interior design material room as we were touring it. As I was walking by, I overheard the client say that she liked the flowers in a fabric one of the interior designers was suggesting. The client ONLY liked the flowers and was wondering if they could cut out the flowers in the fabric and put them on another fabric.

Um...what?! Did I just hear that correctly? She wants them to cut out yards and yards of flowers and sew them on another fabric! This isn't $1/a yard fabric, people. Designer fabrics costs a lot, like $100's per yard! And this women is likely doubling her costs since she would have to buy twice as much fabric (the flower fabric AND the substitute fabric). I thought that commercial designers didn't get crazies like that. One of the reasons I want to go into commercial design is to avoid the people. I don't want to become someone's therapist.

Another student in my class, M, works for a furniture store that provides decorating services (there is a huge difference between an interior designer and an interior DECORATOR!). One day M's boss didn't have time to stop by a client's house, so she asked M to do it and to pretend that she knew what she was doing. After that, clients started actually requesting M instead of the decorators. M has told us crazy stories about the clients she has. Since the people M works for aren't designers and don't have any formal training, they charge under $50/an hour to stop by people's houses and give them decorating advice. One time M stopped by a client's house, gave suggestions and was about to leave, but the client said she would pay M if she would just stay another hour and talk to her. Of course M agreed! Who wouldn't want to get paid just to talk to someone! And they weren't even talking about decorating or design. The client just wanted to talk to M about her life. Weird. I guess it's cheaper than hiring a therapist.

I'm hoping that I'll avoid that sort of behavior if I'm in commercial design.

Tomorrow my class has another field trip. I'm wondering if I'll hear about more crazy clients...

4 Responses to “Field Trip”

  1. Hi Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by my site. It's always nice to find other mil-significant others. I'm so jealous of your career choice! I love interior design, and the commercial aspect has always interested me. Good luck!

  2. Wow, now that's some crazy stories! Who knew an interior designer could double as a therapist?

  3. that indeed is a really funny story. People do anything for a little entertainment, I guess. The idea to cut out the flowers and place them on a differnt fabric is plain ridiculous. You should post it on It is a platform that discusses the ridiculous trends and rules that have been set during time and makes a mock of it....great laugh but also very insightful.

  4. Wow, the field trip sounds crazy! But fun :) I don't know anything about designing, it sounds super interesting.


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