Monday, August 21, 2006

designer angst #3

It was not so long ago when I told myself that I will not accept projects for less than a million. Now, I am starting to do one that I quoted for 500,000 and the owner told me that she can only afford three hundred.

The number one reason why I said that, was primarily because of the work load. Apparently, homes of a lesser budget means more work. Meaning, sourcing like you're looking for a needle on a shag rug. Usually, low-end suppliers will not give designers swatches and samples. In order for a cheap tile to be approved by the client, it's either bringing the client to the store or buying a piece for approval. Fabric can only come from elpo in divisoria and lights and faucets, from binondo. You don't leisurely visit these places on a regular day. It's an event going to Ylaya and Ongpin.

Secondly, the lesser the budget, the smaller my fee since it usually is percentage of the budget. I do need the money. Apparently, a lot of people still don't understand the whole idea that it is actually a job. A design proposal does not at all mean just a couple of drawings, a swatchboard and a discussion over a cup of coffee for three hours. Designers would actually spend sleepless nights trying to form a concept for the given space. Together with the laying out of the plan, is solving each problem the floor, the ceiling, the walls and every single detail the interiors give. In each proposal, much work is done. And when the drawings are done already, half of the work of the designer is finished. Apparently, less than half of the fee is being paid at this time.

Together with laying out the floor plan, is a lingering reminder that the budget is is only up to this. It is very frustrating to design when you know for a fact that the space has the potential to be really beautiful and each space can be of function when you are restricted by the budget-- or the lack of it.

I have been very honest to my clients for the past years. I would tell them initially how much they need to finish the house and most of the time they say that they can only afford sixty percent of the estimate. It has been very hard trying to keep everything not to go over that given sixty percent. Maybe next time, I'll jack up the price to double. Sixty percent of that will not be that bad as a working budget. Then again, what does it say about me?

So far, I rarely take photos of the finished product (as defined by the client) primarily because for me it is not yet done. Yet their pocket says it is. Though I doubt it very much myself if indeed it is their pocket (sounds pretty much like f#*k-it) thats speaking. It was not their main priority. Then, I would feel depressed because it is to me.

Yet I am doing another one with exact same story. My fee is secondary to the whole thing. I want my client to have a beautiful home. I just hope she will understand my predicament. Maybe I should tell her my story.


southdude said...

Here's hoping she'll understand your situation...

decorator said...

thanks southdude...