How to Design for Influential Clients


Susan White of Iggi & Phoenix Interior Design has a coterie of ‘A’ list celebrities, international business personalities and investor homeowners as clients and is the ‘go-to’ designer for some household names. In an Abode2 exclusive - she reveals some of her best-kept design secrets and how she goes about the home making process for some of her most influential clients.

When I first meet a prospective client, the priority is always to take a detailed brief and truly delve into that specific client’s needs and wants, taking carefully into account the space, dimensions and aspirations of the property in the spotlight. This overview brief is then translated into visual ideas and mood boards where we begin to refine our thinking and can present our thoughts and vision to the client - this invariably includes 3D drawings of the space required.

Once the client has reviewed and approved the design – the creative outlay and execution  truly begins. This often involves a shopping trip to a host of trade outlets to view and sample fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, art, accessories and more. This is a truly personalised approach, as the client is invariably hands on in the process, often with a set aesthetic knowing exactly what they want. By shopping and sourcing together, we ensure that the client has complete ownership and ‘buy-in’ to everything that is chosen for their home. That said – a talking point element  can be incorporated by our access to keynote exhibitions both locally and further afield to scour for unusual, one-off pieces that create the ‘wow factor’ and give that particular home design an edge. Hard to resist and absolutely a goal worth aiming for.

On top of this process, what is key is that my design team are on top of trends with their fingers constantly on the pulse. We do this by immersing ourselves entirely in the design industry; we are active on social media, following and engaging with key influencers. We subscribe to all media both in interiors and fashion and always on the look out for new media to consume. We also love attending international design shows and exhibitions. We recently returned from Milan Design Week which is always such an inspiring week, we have come back re-energized and with lots of ideas to incorporate into our upcoming projects.

For clients, this is a key asset that we are acutely aware of trends. It’s essential to be ahead of the game in order to differentiate ourselves as designers.

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