Ask questions

The lesson for the day is:

ask questions

One of the things I learned early on is that every client has a hot-button.  There is some design aspect, feature or aesthetic that is critically important to that client.  Often, you the client, don't even knows what that thing is until you ask the right question.  

The key is to ask a lot of questions to get to the right question.  Whether you're a client or a design here are a few suggestions on how to get to the hot button:

  1. I had a young neighbor growing up and his favorite question was, "how come?"  And once you answered, there was a subsequent "how come?" that followed.  Usually that game would go on for several rounds.  As designers, homeowners and clients, constantly ask, "how come?" 
  2. Consider what you like (or don't) about your current house, a friend's house
  3. Ask yourself about your childhood home.  What was significant about it?
  4. Be silly. If you were a home improvement super-hero, whom would you be? I'd be Water-Droplet Man.  I don't like water in my house and I'd make sure that not a single unwanted droplet could penetrate the exterior.  And I know I have a client who would be AntiMouse Woman