Clients, Cost and Construction: What Counts to Designers

Of course, the customer is always right…but we all know customers are sometimes very right, while at other times, they’re not so right. Right?

When Accountability Information Management, Inc. (AIM) asked designers at the 2011 Fall High Point Market to name the factors that influenced their design decisions, clients came out on top. Nearly half of all respondents cited the “client”– and that really should come as no surprise.

But what does it mean to give the client what she wants? Oftentimes, designers have to determine if what the client has asked for is actually what she wants. What happens, for instance, if a client requests both quality and a good price?

One designer said:

“I think today people don’t care about quality, all they care about is price. I have no idea why, but I think the Chinese market  has done that because they see product that they think is worthwhile. Why does Rooms to Go or Ashley have 17 pieces for $799? And then you try to tell a client that a $799 sofa is not even made correctly.”

This designer – as all designers – conveys passion when speaking about the trade. As the designer continued, “When I started in the furniture business 40 some years ago, we sold sofas for $799 that were quality sofas. Well, 40 years ago if I sold a quality sofa for $799, how, 40 years later with inflation, cost of goods rising, could that same sofa be $799?”

Feel free to continue this discussion with AIM and its sister company, Interline Creative Group, at the 2012 Fall High Point Market, which will be holding focus group discussions for designers, Oct. 13-16. For more information visit

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