I recently viewed a television program on a well-respected channel.
As a design professional myself, I was all ears. I am always interested
in what other professionals are doing and am constantly viewing
my competition . . . or so it goes. A bit of very interesting information
had come to my attention through watching this particular program.
My question is this: Is all interior design and decoration good
The reason I ask is because I started critiquing a particular episode
of this program and found it filled with design flaws. All I had
learned in school was not being practiced.
Specifically, the designer was offering ideas to the client for
window treatments in a living room area. The walls were tall and
the windows were large. The space was very large and ostentatious.
The client, who had collected numerous antiques throughout the home,
wanted a warm and cozy feel to the space. The solution from the
designer on the program was not the best, in my opinion. For instance,
the designer suggested sheer fabric to cover the windows, which
offered no protection for the antique furniture. The fabric chosen
for the room was cold and uninviting.
Please offer some insight as to the authenticity of good design
ideas. How do you weed out the bad when trying to explain perplexing
ideas to the client?
SOLUTION: As we know, many design
trade professionals appear regularly on television programs. As
with any business, you will find that most individuals appear professional
and offer excellent ideas based on sound design principles. Others
. . . well, you may question their credentials as well as their
As with any profession, television producers should demand referrals
and reference letters before they even consider these individuals
for appearances on their programs. A great solution would be to
have a professional interior designer on staff who would decipher
the information and visit job sites before a designer is chosen.
In addressing the window treatment solution you have mentioned,
it is good to remember that the basis of good window covering design
is to offer a solution that would solve all the problems of a particular
window and room. By having and filling out a Client Profile, you
will obtain the information needed to address these problems.
In this case, the situation demands a window treatment that would
secure and protect the antiques in the home and address the issues
Color choices that offer a warm and cozy appeal must be chosen.
In addressing the issue of spaciousness, adding textures and warm
colors into the room will create the sense of warmth desired and
address the issue of the large, cold and uninviting walls.
It seems the designer in this case was not paying attention to the
wants and needs of the client. This happens all to often when designers
are only concerned with the “exciting designs they have chosen”
and not the clients’ needs.
I also have observed on many programs on design issues that the
interior designer in question may or may not be professionally affiliated
with a recognized trade association, or is trying to sell a particular
product. I am worried about the impression this places in the mind
of the general public as far as interior decorating and design is
perceived. We need to raise the bar and televise only the best in
interior design solutions.
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written
by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions
we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions
Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question
you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
E-mail: SharonAnderson_1@msn.com Sharon
L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential
and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty
member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured
in numerous books and publications.