Studio Brunstrum

Diplomacy and The Art of Negotiation

January 21, 2019

Do you know how many people it takes to create one interior design project? It's not just the designer and the architect! Mastering the art of diplomacy and negotiation is key to the success of a project!

Photo via: Monster

It takes a team effort of over 400 people (a village) to create, build and design a home environment. Some of the obvious people include the architect, contractor, interior designer, plumber, electrician, tile installer, countertop fabricator, carpenter, cabinet designer and installer, A/V technician, painter, specialty painter. But, how about the furniture artisans and craftsmen that produce each piece of furniture, the procurement manager, the many truck drivers getting the furniture pieces from the manufacturer to your home, the appliance delivery team, the millworker, the furniture delivery team, the artwork installer, the artists, the framers for the artwork, the cleaning crew, the window treatment fabricators, the fabric sales rep, the furniture showroom manager, the hardwood floor refinisher? The list continues…and all at some point “touch” the project.

Photo Via: Dreamstime
Photo Via: Scandiano Triangles

The triangular collaboration between the designer, architect and contractor, along with the homeowner at the center point, is crucial. As the designer, it is typically my role and responsibility to be the point of contact or “owner of the questions and answers” and interact with everyone to expertly manage the project, all the while advocating for the client.  It is important for me to enhance and showcase the hand of every person, or shall I say, artisan on the team, as each is integral to the overall result!  We all must negotiate on the schedule, timing and the budget for the overall project and every segment, product or service within it.   It is this team approach that equates to trust, respect and open communication with each other and as importantly, with the client.  Our clients receive the expertise of not just one person, but the cohesive participation of the many talented and knowledgeable individuals within our circle of influence.  Our combined effort, on behalf of the client, creates a culture of presence not attitude and requires diplomacy to surpass the client’s expectations.

Susan Brunstrum
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