Mary Kathryn Marx Reveals the First Question She Asks a Client and Her Favorite Furniture and Decor Brands

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What is the first question you ask your clients even before you begin the design process, and why is it the most important one to ask?


The first thing I have clients do before I start designing is have them take me around their spaces and describe to me their wants and needs. This allows me to gain a better understanding of their personal styles, how they use the space, their traffic patterns, and the scope of the project.


For instance, if a client takes me around a space and I see young kids or pets running around, I know the design needs to be practical and relaxed as opposed to formal. For clients whose kids are out of the house, I tend to put more focus on the aesthetics than purely function.


Are there any furniture or décor brands you tend to gravitate to the most when designing a space for a client? If so, which ones?


Hickory Chair is expensive but definitely represents my personal style. They make very well-made classic pieces that are customizable, and they have a wide range of styles.

The brands I gravitate toward all depends on my clients budget. If they have a bigger budget I look to Stark carpet, Schumacher fabric, and Hickory Chair furniture for products. Alternatively, if my client’s budget is smaller, I will look at Jaipur rugs, Kravet fabric, Visual Comfort lighting, and Woodbridge furniture.

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