who's room is it anyway?

the struggle at work lately has been figuring out a way to hear what my clients are really saying when they say they want their space to be: comfortable, relaxing, inviting...home.
When it comes to 'home' shouldn't it be personal? Shouldn't it say something about them, not my design? I can spend just a few minutes in a room and have a scheme figured out from color to the mood that I know would work. But it is theirs, not mine. Is it the right brain talking to the left brain that is our disconnect? Design really isn't glorified shopping.
I'm looking for art for a family room to go over a beautiful fireplace for a client who is vibrant and fun and I'm sure she has a place she loves to visit, a color that really makes her happy, a scene that she would never get tired of enjoying... so I can't pick something that speaks to me, it has to spark something in her too.
It has been a fun process. This getting over the idea that I know best and listening more to the subtle things they are saying behind the words they speak about not having a clue. But they do. If they didn't, we wouldn't run into problems when I put together a beautiful concept and it isn't quite what they had in mind. They know what home is. It is something in us all. I'm a home whisperer. I'll find it in them and show it to them. But how?!


  1. "home whisperer" - I like that! Your design kung fu is strong.

  2. Take a tour of the other rooms in their home, notice what literature (magazines and books) they read, what is their most major purchase, even notice what clothing colors they most often wear. A lot of clues can be found in funny places. From what you said you are obviously on the right track of sleuthdom.