What is the One Thing You Wish Clients Knew?

CAPID asked their members:  What is the one thing designers wish clients knew?


That we spent years in school to get a degree, that we spend countless hours on research and that it may appear that it only takes a few hours to design their space but in reality it has taken years of experience, trials and mistakes that make it look easy. – Debby Thomas

Clients try to save money by working only with an architect. Architects and engineers can create the structure, the walls and all that pertains to that …but it’s Interior Designers that look at those plans and incorporate how the space will be used. How the kitchen is used, appliances, bathrooms, family room/tv and reflective light in all of the spaces. It’s huge. I could go on but clients need to know hiring an architect is not a One Stop Shop – Elizabeth Ribons

From my experience, clients tend to think if they do part of the work themselves they can save themselves money. The truth is it ends up costing more because I have to mess with a process I already know works and I have to spend time holding the clients’ hands and most likely redo what they have done. – Michelle Chiang

A great TEAM creates a stunning home!
If they only knew how many more options, what to avoid and visualizing the overall project.  – Genoveve Serge

I hope clients can feel our commitment, our dedication and truly that we are not only giving them our talent, our best professional guidance, but also our Heart and Soul. We care.
To the designer, to know that the client puts their trust in them, to give them their best; well then I believe the client should understand that they will get their best and how meaningful that is to the designer.
When the Designer has earned that trust he or she will do everything with in their ability to make it a pleasant and great experience, and have a project they both can be proud of. – Kathy Jarvis

I always remember what a colleague shared with me as inspiration one day when she was President of CAPID. “As good designers we are well trained and have inherent creativity. But beyond that we need to be organized, innovative, self disciplined, detail oriented, flexible, and dependable. It helps to have drive, a discerning eye, integrity, management and planning skills, listening skills, professionalism, and a thick skin. We strive to be a strong communicator, negotiator, mathematician, team player, problem solver, teacher, accountant, constant learner, mediator, salesperson, contractor, and when appropriate, a marriage counselor.” Do clients have any idea what is required to be good at what we do?? How many things we are expected to know? I’d also like them to know we are on their side; that we want to create spaces that in the most personal, functioning, flattering way reflect their lifestyles and personalities while working within their budget. And yes, trust is essential to getting the best outcome possible. – Mary Crane

I felt being the mediator between husband and wife was often one of the many challenges in the design process. Then there was always the challenge of having to depend on the manufacturers and workrooms to produce what you ordered in a timely manner. The client depends on you for this and when things are late or come in damaged you are the one that takes on the task of keeping everyone calm and confident! Not an easy task and not the fun part but so fulfilling when the job is completed and everyone is thrilled and happy. Making their personal space beautiful and functional. Form and function. – Bonnie Roberts

There are so many environmentally friendly options for building materials and furnishings out there that meet all budgets and design styles.  It is so important to bring items into your home that aid in a positive, healthy lifestyle.  Hire a designer that is knowledgeable in environmentally friendly design that will take your indoor air quality in to consideration when sourcing products.  – Alicia Paley


CAPID ~ “Your Local Source for Exceptional Design “

Placing A Grand Piano

A grand piano in a room immediately adds elegance. Let’s look at different ways to place a grand piano in a room.

It is important to know what kind of care a piano needs. Steinway has posted some clear instructions on their website. Here are some important room conditions to consider before figuring out the placement for the piano:

Controlled temperature and humidity: The most favorable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% with a constant temperature of approximately 20˚C. Sudden fluctuations in temperature must be avoided as the tuning and regulation might be influenced negatively.
Never in direct sunlight: preferably against the inside wall of a room and not close to windows and outside doors. Sunlight fades and dries out the wood.
Never next to stoves, radiators, fireplaces, or heating outlets: heat will dry out and damage the wood.
Never in front of, on top of, or under air vent!

With a grand piano, some people prefer looking at the keyboard end while others like the side the lid opens to or the ‘tail’ end. Most of the time, we are limited in the ways we can place the piano due to the room layout. The top should always open into the room for the best acoustics.

Here are some photos from HOUZZ as visual aids.

These two photos show the pianos facing different sides to the seating arrangement. It is not preferred to have the piano next to the fireplace, but it is not a problem if the fireplace is not being used.


Some people like having accessories on the piano. But it implies the instrument is not frequently used. A grand piano looks the best with its lid open.


With bookshelves around the piano to hold the music books, it is convenient.

If the area has a high ceiling, add some soft, sound-absorbing surface material to soften the sound.


Theses two photos showing creating an alcove for the piano. This makes the pianist feel important. When not in use, the grand piano is like an art piece being showcased.

Sometimes, the stairway frames out the best location for the piano.

It is important to have 2′ – 3′ for the chair in front of the piano. A pianist may prefer to be facing or have his/her side to the audience. For a solo performer, it is important to engage the audience.


Guest Room Must-Haves

Designing A Guest Room When designing a guest room on a budget, use  a five-star Hilton hotel for inspiration and discount stores and a savvy interior designer for implementation! Of greatest importance is the best bed you can afford.  A queen-sized bed is more than adequate for two people and usually fits in a guest […] Read more »

Personalized Kitchen Accessibility

Creating a Personalized Kitchen for Your Home Have you ever wondered how a kitchen can be designed to accommodate the various needs of the home’s occupants?  What if only one member of the family is in a wheelchair?  What if the members of the family are all short-statured? We are all aware that people come […] Read more »

Find Your Design Style!

Personal Style in Design When asked, “what is your interior design style?”, I hesitate because I truly have a love and appreciation for all styles, colors, art, and the infinite combinations that can be created from all of the above. When I work with a new client I can get a general feeling as to […] Read more »

Inspiration: Pasadena Showcase House for The Arts 2012

2012 Pasadena Showcase House for The Arts Although a coastal fog was blanketing Southern California, no CAPID members’ spirits were dampened. As we arrived at the 2012 Pasadena Showcase House for The Arts location, it was beginning to rain, but it didn’t matter.  The house grandly stood on well appointed grounds, bright with a light plaster […] Read more »

Curb Appeal Counts!

A home’s curb appeal has a big impact on potential buyers.  It often makes the difference between driving past the house and checking out the interior.  It is important to make a successful first impression. Refresh the exterior paint color!  Look to the color palettes of the surrounding homes. This is what will appeal to […] Read more »