For those of you who have been following Steve Nobel's blog from its inception, you know that we all love getting his insight and hearing what inspires him. This week, he shares his thoughts about the “real value” of design in our ever-changing industry and recaps a recent panel discussion on the topic. We always welcome comments from our readers, so please let us hear from you! We hope you enjoy the article.
While many of us have struggled this past year, we have learned several important lessons about the real value of design. Our industry flourishes when all of the elements work together for the good of the collective whole: Design centers, showrooms, manufacturers and distributors, the design community, even the media and voices of affluent consumers are aiming at a prosperous future together. We all depend on our ‘design eco-system.’
It was with this in mind that I headed to the Laguna Design Center in beautiful, sunny southern California to moderate an insightful discussion among a panel of nationally renowned design leaders. Our topic was “Revitalizing the Real Value of Design to Inspire Consumer Desire.”
Affluent consumers often prefer to work with an interior designer who can help them understand and evaluate the myriad choices available to them when cultivating a home that reflects their taste and style. However, many say they don’t know how to find designers easily and don’t know what to expect when working with a designer. We need a campaign. Got Design?
Philip Gorrivan, a panelist and interior designer in New York City, urged us to find ways to ‘de-mystify’ the experience of working with a designer, while spicing-up the alchemy between client and designer. More transparency about the real value of design would serve us all well, he said.
Jan Showers, interior designer and author of “Glamorous Rooms,” (Abrams) said that the true value of her design prowess emerged after she spent thousands of hours traveling, observing and training her eye to endow her interiors with grace and glamour.
Erik Guenther, founder of Whim, an interior design boutique in San Juan Capistrano, reminded the audience that ‘anyone can buy ingredients, but only an expert chef can create a fine dining experience.’ Bon appetit, Eric.
Anna Zaccardo, an interior designer in Laguna Niguel, shared with me the relationship she enjoys with clients.“We are very collaborative; mutual trust is a two-way street,” Anna said. “By observing the design system more transparently, my client learns to appreciate our design process even more.”
Designer Kris Lajeskie made an impassioned appeal to all of us in the ‘design eco-system’ to get together more often for heralding the real value of design. “By engaging like this,” she said, “we can talk about and indeed do something about the challenges and opportunities facing all of us.”
I am working in Design Centers throughout the country to help create more consumers of design – more clients for designers – and a more luxurious sourcing experience. We are all in this together. Join me.