One would think that by the time one reaches the age of 58 1/2 and has been in the business of interior design for over 30 years - teaching at college level; working as head of a department in an architectural/engineering firm; owning my own companies; designing various show houses for charities; handling major renovations in multi-million dollar homes; guiding builders through the process of designing the bones of a spec house; being published and honored for my work; etc. etc. etc - one would have developed a thicker skin! One would think!
Over the past 2 days, I have once again entered the "school of hard knocks". Ouch! Business has been a bit slow lately, so in an effort to "up" my profile, I signed onto HGTV and posted some photographs of my work. Some of those same photos appear in my AVA Living pages. Some of the comments posted are absolutely amazing! Shocking! Nasty! Mean spirited. It appears some people have nothing better to do in the middle of the night but surf the internet and take some perverse pleasure in belittling someone else! What's the line from Steel Magnolias? "If you don't have something nice to say, come sit by me!" Well, don't come sit by me, don't even come into my room until you learn some manners!
I am amazed by the negativity and vituperative nature of so many of the comments. As a designer with more years' experience than I sometimes want to admit, it is obvious from some of the comments that these people are not professionals; do not have a knowledge of design and/or color theory; and are not exposed to the finer elements of design; and do not understand the nature of the work we do when we work on behalf of our clients and take our clients' tastes, preferences, styles and personal belongings into consideration as we work on their behalf. Many comments - all public by the way - focus on a narrow element or a specific item - failing to see or understand the big picture or the overall guiding theme.
I was particularly amazed at the comment of one person about a dining room where not one piece of furniture - other than the chairs - were "matched". The comment was that the furniture was too "matchy" for their tastes! Huh? Each piece was selected on its own merits. Yes, it was all from the same period but only the chairs matched one another! I did, however, like the comment by someone else that most Americans' tastes run to the more mundane, less upscale in decorating (paraphrased). I guess that comment assuaged my hurt ego a bit!
I believe the comment is true, though and that this truth is reflected in the quality and calibre of the shows and level of interior design that we now see on TV. People have the false impression that interior design professionals work for free; show up in dungarees and knock down their walls; that we "design on a dime"; that if you want your kitchen renovated for $40,000 with free labor you must choose between design A or design B; and that room makeovers can miraculously happen in 30 minutes or less by contractors and fabricators with portable sewing machines with never a mention of the cost of the project or work completed!
Ah, well, I vent! It's time to toughen up! Lighten up! Laugh at the absurdity of many of the comments. Move on. Chin up! Hold head proudly! Be confident and secure in the knowledge that my work is acknowledged and continue to serve those clients who are at the same level of quality as myself and who expect only the best!
Moral: Ya posts your pictures - ya takes your chances!