Last week I had a long "to do" list.  I had lots of client orders to place, two big presentations, a new client meeting, and my son's 11th Birthday party.   Somehow it all gets done.  My new client meeting was really interesting and it inspired this post.  These clients have recently relocated to the Boston area from Colorado.  They have a brand new home and they were looking for a departure from the "lodge" look in their previous home.  The problem was trying to communicate what they were looking for to me.  This happens an awful lot.  I've designed an exercise to help decipher what a client's "style" may be.

I first start by having them go through tear sheets.  I have tons of shelter magazine pages I've filed by room in every style imaginable.  The only criteria for me is they have to be great rooms.  As part of the process, I ask them to go through them quickly and set aside pictures that speak to them.  It may be a single element, a color palette, or the room in its totality.  After they go through them, we go over their "like" pile.  I ask the what and whys of each page.  It is amazing how quickly consistency shows up. 

The next step is to show them various chair styles.  I want to know what furniture style they are partial to. Here is the chart I show them.


Next I show them my fabric chart.  It has different categories that helps me determine if they like traditional, transitional, modern, or ethnic looks.

Fabric test 

I also want to determine what wood and metal finishes they prefer.

Finishes Wood and Metal 
Lastly, we talk about color palettes.  Do they like neutrals, brights, warm tones, cool tones?

  Pantone Neutrals 

Pantone high def 
Pantone colors
It is amazing how much info I garner and how quickly clarity is gleaned.  So, if you take the test and leave it in a comment I'll give you my analysis.   Since this is truly a metamorphosis, I'll be joining Met Monday at BNOTP. 

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