MCA-Know Thy Audience-1

Who Are You? (Who, who, who, who? I really wanna know)

It’s an important question for the professional interior designer, but it’s still relevant for the DIY designer, too. Especially if you’re called upon to help a friend who’s completely intimidated by design.

I find it vitally important to know exactly who my clients are and their lifestyles.

We’ve worked in 29 states. We’ve worked in the suburban, urban, and rural space. We’ve designed for every demographic, every price point, and every kind of home imaginable.

Getting to know the “who” of the design is one of my favorite parts of the whole process.

Digging into the unique nuances and demographics and identifying traits specific to those markets, is amazing and fun. And it’s often the springboard for the initial vision for our design.

You’d be amazed at the distinct differences between regions.  Understanding those nuances is what makes the difference between good and great design. Learning about peoples’ lives helps us to design spaces inspiring them to live better.

Once, a top executive from a Seattle homebuilder spent two days touring homes in southern California. She was stunned to find that every master bathroom included a large vanity.

“In Seattle,” she said, “We don’t wear much makeup. We might have 2 mudrooms to hold all our skis, hiking boots and sunglasses, but we’d never waste money or space on a vanity!”

Florida homeowners love screened pools that include folding glass walls and fireplaces.

The color palettes in the southwest are radically different from the ones in New England. The lifestyle of a lakefront resident involves a completely different set of needs from those of an urban high-rise dweller.

If you live in the city and have many restaurants in walking distance, you’ll also want the option to dine at home.  Having a smaller dining table is perfect for the occasional dinner and can also double as a desk.

Whether it’s an aging parent or a child returning to the nest, you may have long-term houseguests. For you, carving out a private suite for them and a caregiver might be your top priority.

All of those factors are drivers of design.

As part of determining your objectives for the space you’re designing, stop and take a moment to give some serious thought to the questions: Who are you? How do you really live today? How do you expect to live tomorrow and How would you like to live?

Some of the answers might surprise you and lead you to an even better, more functional design.

Just for fun, let’s see how good you are at matching designs to these lifestyle. Take the quiz.

Mary Cook & Josh Kassing

Written By

Mary Cook & Josh Kassing

Founder and President of Mary Cook Associates (MCA)