SEATTLE, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Doctors and patients do it.
Realtors and house-hunters do it.
So why wouldn't interior designers and their clients use video conferencing and high-tech tools to brainstorm on decorating rooms and homes?
Seattle interior designer Faith Sheridan leads the new trend of using computers, cameras and custom software to collaborate with executive clients who are too busy to meet in person to redesign their rooms.
"In the Seattle area, many entrepreneurs and C-level executives travel a lot and manage big teams so they can't take off for an afternoon to look at swatches in my office. They and their spouses also have very active family lives and volunteer on many worthwhile charities and activities. They simply don't have time to meet," she said. "So they appreciate using technology to get things done quickly and efficiently."
Sheridan uses Skype videoconferencing to show plans and designs to clients as the first step in creating the master plan. Technology allows Sheridan to create "beautiful interiors for busy people who don't want cookie-cutter designs."
"Technology is the perfect solution for busy people who can't take time off from the office to look at interior design ideas," she said. "We use quality time for face time. Video-conferencing is also great for people who are designing a second home hundreds or thousands of miles away."
Paint giant Benjamin Moore's in-house magazine recently featured Sheridan's room designs and described her style as "Beautiful interiors for busy people delivered artfully and efficiently."
As for Sheridan's high-tech collaboration innovation, Gail Doby, president of Design Success University, said, "Sheridan's virtual business approach is one that few designers have mastered."
After an initial Skype meeting, Sheridan sends a "Party Box" with ribbon-tied packages of furniture and fabric selections complete with enticing descriptions of each item. The swatches, colors, fabrics and stains help clients see and touch key items so they can decide which one they prefer. She adds her flair to the process by adding chocolates and Starbuck's coffee.
"As an interior designer, I respond to their lifestyle and create an experience that helps them achieve the perfect design of their project," she said. "Our goal is to provide the perfect design efficiently."
Using the latest 3D imaging software for interior designers, Sheridan composes a realistic view of the new room with paint colors and fabrics and places furniture so clients can visualize the plan and make changes or raise questions.
"Adding this step removes the stress of interior design decisions in advance and avoids costly mistakes," she said. "We show them how to create amazing options for each room."
Then a face-to-face meeting completes the planning process.
By using technology so well, Sheridan gets thank-you notes reading "Thanks for understanding us and our tastes so well," which was sent by a happy couple.
"It's all about the client and interpreting what they say and don't say. I look around their home and help them express who they are in my designs. I take it beyond what they would expect it would be," she says.
"I don't work within a fixed style. I watch, listen and observe. It becomes a Gestalt. It is more than they imagined it would be."
For that reason, she can work on home designs with anyone on any style.
She likes to quote Steve Jobs: "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. It is the way it works."
About Faith Sheridan
Faith Sheridan combines her Master's degree in psychology with an extensive design vocabulary and hand-selected artisans and resources to create a perfect space -- a haven from the chaos of an over-stimulated and hectic world of work and life so you can relax and enjoy the rewards of your hard work.
Faith is based in Seattle and works nationally. She is a mentor and design industry leader. As a contributor and member of Benjamin Moore's Color Advisory team, she defines the Color Palette Initiative that determines future color trends. Faith is also a professional member and past president of the Oregon Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
For information, go to http://www.faithsheridan.com.
SOURCE Faith Sheridan