Coaching Diary - Coaching and Consultations for the Home

Because not all potential design clients want extensive support, I now offer consultations or interior design coaching packages. Initially, this started as a one-time service for new clients touching on furniture placement, color choices, lighting advice, priority setting and more. However, there are clients who benefit from more than a single session, because not all tweaks are created equal or small.

Andrea and her family live in a classic and very nice New York City apartment building. A couple of years ago, they began the daunting task of a gut renovation that would transform their space from “good enough for now” to perfect for their family’s lifestyle.

I worked with them to define a new layout that opened up their home and catered to the many competing needs of NYC apartment dwellers. In their case, space for two pianos, casual and formal dining areas, open flow, more natural light, lots of storage and utility areas, and entertaining space for adults and kids — all without adding an extra square foot.

Having Tamara on day 1 was great in so many ways. Instead of feeling paralyzed by this huge project that lay ahead, Tamara helped guide us through the process. She was methodical in her approach. We started off with a questionnaire and conversations so that she could understand how we live, what we need in terms of functionality, what we want in terms of style and our budget. She presented several schematics to us and after a few meetings, we had our floorplan. (Houzz Project Review)

Fast forward many months and the renovation — managed by Andrea — is entering the final stages. There were a few pivots along the way, but Andrea and her family were better prepared to make real-time decisions because of the up-front planning and goal setting we achieved. 

With the move-in date set the family had a list of final decisions to make regarding furniture choices and placement, finishes, window treatments, and lighting. Andrea reached out to me and we agreed on her purchase of a three-pack of design coaching sessions.

With a design coaching package, the client purchases a set of sessions to be used over a limited time period. Each session typically lasts 90 minutes and is focused on the client’s current design dilemma. The advantage of multiple sessions is that we set a list of next steps for the client to complete prior to our next meeting. It’s a bit like working with a personal trainer on your fitness goals.

Starting with coaching session 1, Andrea had a list of issues and concerns she wanted to discuss. First we reviewed the floor plan and goals for the use of each space. Then we dove in. Final lighting decisions, den seating, dining chair options, bedroom lounge seating, and window covering styles. With Andreas’s prep work and my training and experience, we quickly moved through each issue. In sessions 2 and 3, we dealt with additional details by visiting showrooms together, examining samples and furniture.

In between, Andrea had lots of homework, gathering samples, placing orders, and reviewing costs. When real-time input was needed, we emailed or spoke on the phone.

Coaching is a great option for clients on a budget as well as people who are keen to do the legwork themselves, but could benefit from expert advice and a trained eye for design. Or simply somebody to call when they hit a metaphorical or literal brick wall. Coached clients, like Andrea, appreciate having an experienced partner to move them along, provide framework, and support their decisions.

Contact me if you are interested in a design coaching package or in-depth design services.