Expectations can be a real problem for a design team. Let me begin with, I love HGTV and all the fun design shows they feature. With that said...Thanks to HGTV we have client's whose expectations of working with a designer is as follows: I come over, walk around their home and without any further input from them buy furniture and art with a wiggle of my nose and a snap of my fingers. They believe just like that we reappear with magical elves and put it all in place and surprise them with the final look. The reality is nothing like that at all. A good designer designs around her/his client's lives. They make each room tell a story about who lives in that house. We give a client choices on furniture placement, colors, and styles. To design with a client requires a lot of communication and a little bit of time spent sitting on the pieces that I select for them.
Anyone can jump on Pinterest and copy different looks and implement them into a home. They might be wasting a lot of time and money trying on different looks for their home, but still it can easily be done. To actually design a space for a client, takes some planning and well thought out color and style placement. Of course, we do get an occasional client who takes my CAD drawings and implements them themselves, but they miss out on the actual end result as I always save my end choices, the little details, that make the plan actually designed for last and only share while midway through design. This, I do so that when a client does decide to implement without using me or my team, they really aren't getting my design. They are only getting furniture placement ideas, etc.
I can't tell you how important a good rug and wall art is for a well-designed area. I have found I can save our client's a lot of money on artwork by creating those pieces myself and bringing in the correct symmetry of color into their spaces. One of the biggest mistakes clients make is symmetry of color. They go overboard in their selections because they can't see the end results of a design.
If a client can have real expectations of working with a designer and have enough trust in the designer to allow him/her to create the perfect designed space for them...that is how the magic truly happens. Those are the clients that give us the opportunity to show the world how beautiful symmetry of size, style, and color truly is. Those are my favorite type of clients.