Working Wednesday – The HGTV Effect

I disappointed a client yesterday…

It wasn’t intentional.  It was due to what I like to call “the HGTV effect”.

You see, this client had watched several shows on HGTV.  The type where the designer swoops in, cases the joint, says “I can make it beautiful”, then come back a few minutes later (in TV time) with lovely project boards covered in colors, fabric, and even renderings of the final result.  Then, after a couple of days of painting, moving around furniture, a moment of angst, and some sort of crafty project, viola!  A spectacular transformation, HGTV style.

Problem is, it doesn’t really happen that way in the real world.  Projects take time, a lot of back and forth on the details with clients, and actual skilled labor to make them work right.

Also, those renderings?  They rarely happen.  It’s not that designers don’t love being able to show a client how their space will look.  In fact, I love that “aha!” moment when they see one.  The problem is, they don’t just appear out of thin air.  Someone has to pull together all the samples, the floor plans and elevations, and then sit down and sketch it up – either on paper or the computer.  All of that takes time -and time, as they say, is money.  In this case, the clients money.  So, I don’t do them unless the client specifically requests one.

Hence my disappointed client.  When I told her I was sending her CAD drawings, she thought I meant renderings.  I sent her a floor plan for her bathroom, and she was expecting a pretty drawing of what it would look like, because that’s what they do on HGTV.

Argh!!!  I hate disappointing a client.

Have you ever been victim of the HGTV effect?

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4 Responses to “Working Wednesday – The HGTV Effect”

  1. Working Wednesday – The HGTV Effect | Shelterholic Now Says:

    […] Wednesday – The HGTV Effect The Interior Revolution Wed, December 21, 2011 10:03 PM UTC The Interior Revolution Rate this story Share (function(){var […]

  2. Kevin Says:

    That’s an unfortunate story. Surely when the client sees the end result of all your hard work, though, she will forget all about her disappointment. Would you say that this is a common occurrence these days?

  3. Rachel Says:

    Hi Kevin – I’ve run into it a fair bit over the last 10 years – ever since HGTV really hit it big. The general public has become conditioned to the idea that home renovations can be done quickly, cheaply, and stylishly all at the same time. However, most clients are happy to adjust their expectations once they realize what really goes into getting a worthwhile project done.

  4. kristie@thedecorologist Says:

    Great subject to write about! Often a new client will contact me to “spruce up” their house or choose paint colors for every room – then they ask me if I can do that in 2 hours. Aack! I’m pretty fast, but I’m not The Bionic Woman. :)

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