The Power of the Adverb

Two different people . . . two different styles . . . but one home. How does an interior designer know what direction to take?

When I sit down with a client/clients to interview them and then have subsequent follow-up meetings exploring their style and needs, it generally starts out with a litany of ideas and disagreements that have been festering since they began this journey. I let them talk for a long time in as many directions as they need to go. It is mixed with strong statements, some arguing, and sometimes hurt feelings, because these things have been bottled up for a while. It also becomes an arena for a bit of power-playing.

Then when they have gotten it all out, I ask them …”so, tell me…what do you want to feel when this is done?”

They look at each other stunned a bit and then proceed to use adverbs to describe the feeling, the emotional response, the degree of activity and the way they use things. This is where the heart of the information lies.

Mostly when you are dealing with a couple, each one of the pair has very different ideas when it comes to style…but where they seem to be unified is how they want to feel when they come home, what they want their guests to feel upon entering the front door. These are the adverbs that I want to hear. This is where I get the inspiration to transcend what they believe are differing styles so that a cohesive, unified concept appears.

Their shoulders relax and then they begin to trust that I have their emotional well being in place. And they then believe I will be an objective voice in the creation of their environment, insuring both people are heard.

– Mark Polo, Allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

Post was featured on the ASID NJ website.

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