Shopping for Spouses.

Let me first clear up any possible confusion. I am not offering dating advice. If you are in the market for a spouse, you need to scroll to the next article. Seriously though, I do want to talk about doing more to engage spouses in the interior design process. They often are overlooked but have just as much stake in the finished design as does the primary client.

Of course, any time you are designing for a couple you need the involvement and consent of both partners. Frequently, however, one partner (usually the wife) is driving the project and is your primary contact for communications and decision-making. The other partner (usually the husband) may be only partially engaged or interested in the project per se.

Nonetheless, the primary client’s spouse will be living with the results of the project and probably has some preferences as to what those will be. This gives you a great opportunity to provide additional value by offering shopping services for that spouse. You already know what the primary client’s wishes and preferences are. That makes you the ideal person to curate choices for their spouse as well in order to ensure they will cohere with the overall design.

Even if the spouse is not significantly impacted by the new design or does not wish to be involved in selecting products and such, you can still be of service. Especially if you know the primary client’s spouse, you could offer to help them select the right thoughtful gift for their spouse to complement the new design. It could be art or an accessory of some kind or, on a larger scale, an antique or other furniture, an enhancement of some kind (such as a spa tub or sauna), or even an additional project (perhaps a bedroom makeover to go with the new master bathroom).

Many spouses have little interest in the details of an interior design project. That does not mean they are indifferent to how their home looks, feels and functions. Bringing the spouse into the picture, whether it’s shopping for themselves or for a gift for their spouse, gives you another revenue opportunity and helps to ensure both spouses will be delighted with the results of your hard work.

Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting

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