Kenig Residence StairsEclectic Staircase, New York
What Houzz contributors are saying:
The InterviewThis is your chance to personally introduce yourself and your brand. Most clients who commit to a face-to-face interview have perused your website, have read your firm bio and are familiar with the type of work you’re capable of doing. Try not to reiterate what you’ve already said on your website. Clients are looking for a deeper connection and reasons to hire you. The interview is really a chance to accomplish three things:Information gathering. This is a chance for you to listen to your potential client describe the design problem in his own words and for him to ask you questions. He is gathering information to make an informed decision. Your skill as an architect or designer is directly tied to how well you frame the problem. Be sure to listen to what he is saying (and not saying) and take notes. Be conversational, show genuine interest and ask (as well as answer) questionsDescribe your process. This is your chance to offer the client a taste of what it will be like working with you, so make it interesting. Pull back the curtain and offer her an experience. Walk her through your design process. (This is a good way of working your portfolio into the interview without its seeming like grandstanding). Doing this educates the client on the way you work, and it removes some of the tension from the room. Talking about what you love to do should incite passion and confidence in you and (by design) the client. Most people are unfamiliar and intimidated by the process of working with an architect or a designer — this is an opportunity for you to set the client at ease.Chemistry. Perhaps most important, the interview is a chance for both of you to gauge personal chemistry. Very few clients will hire you without feeling a personal connection to you. The interview is a chance for both parties to size each other up. You’ll be designing the places, objects, materials, fabrics and furniture that the client will interact with daily. That’s a deeply emotional process and one that can span many months or even years. You both have to be comfortable with each other.
The architects at Slade Architecture in New York gave a family the ability to display a large number of photos in an asymmetrical display by lining a stair wall in metal, which allows the photos to be attached by magnets. The fact that they are all color images brings them together and makes a very personal work of abstract art.Mughannam has achieved similar results with magnetic paint, a primer with very fine iron particles that allows lightweight magnets to stick to the wall after the topcoat is applied. “This kind of paint can be tricky for homeowners to apply, because it takes many, many coats,” says Mughannam. “If you are doing it yourself, it is easier to deal with if you apply to a board and hang that on the wall.”