I would like to share this story with you:
A while ago I had an introductory meeting with a new interior design prospect in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It was an application to design the interior of their beautiful new home. I already spoke to one of them on the phone last week. But I didn’t have the privilege to speak to the woman yet. But with the man I had a good click. I knew this could be a very good match! So, we decided to meet in person.
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At that live meeting I sat down in my chair comfortably. They gave me a large mug of herbal tea and shared their story. They passionately told me about both of their lives and explained me the vision of their own companies.
They have worked hard to get to this level. As you may know, before I meet potential clients live, they always have to fill in our Living Analysis questionnaire.
After going through a few questions, we arrived at the following question: "What are you most attached to?"
The woman replied: "this mirror!" as she points to the mirror hanging on the old mantelpiece in the living room.
"This mirror definitely needs a new spot in our new home”
Of course I wanted to know why, so I asked: "what's the story behind it?". To which her husband replied: "She just bought it once at a market in Antwerp (Belgium).”
Me: "And what does that mirror mean to you?" The woman indicated that she actually didn't know that. She was quiet for a few seconds, and then she said.. "But every time I look in that mirror I have to laugh. It just makes me happy!"
To give you an idea it was a rectangular mirror. Silver, with lots of curls rather richly decorated. A bit baroque.
The mirror holds no significant financial value, but emotional value? Yes.
The meaning is gigantic, I could sense that. This makes it an absolute must for us. We have to give this mirror a beautiful place in the interior design. A place where she can relive and grow this feeling every day.
Wonderful isn't it?
But I still wonder WHY? Now I’ve become very curious where this meaning comes from. You too, right?
The conversation continues: "Your husband describes you as 'a princess!', tell me about it..."
The woman told me about her childhood. She comes from a family of four daughters, of which she was the youngest. "My father always called me his 'little princess' and that's how I like to feel!"
"Now that I'm with my husband, I found that in him too. He really treats me like a princess. I love that. And I'm crazy too on fashion, makeup and those big dresses from back in the day, you know."
Ah! Let’s recapture so far:
- So the mirror brings back her beautiful childhood memories and makes her feel like a princess.
- By the way… The woman is wearing a black suit, pumps and red glitter nail polish. On each hand she has one finger with gold glitter nail polish.
The story doesn’t end here…
The next question in the Living Analysis questionnaire is about what 'home' means to you. She wrote down: "a romantic castle that I can enjoy every day. Warmth and atmosphere, a wonderfully soft large bed, soft large pillows and blankets. Preferably everything in soft colours."
"Yes delicious!" she says. I see her glowing, sparkling eyes, and enjoying the idea already.
That look on her face is exactly what I was looking for. That’s the feeling I want to feel.
If I can clarify and resolve this together with these people in the interior advice, I know exactly what to do, what to design. This is priceless and will ensure that her whole life, from now on, will never be the same.
A real breakthrough! But it's going to be even more fun:
I look at the large soft, fluffy big chairs and the sofa with the luxe pillows. She noticed me staring at it. Then the insight came to her, together with all her emotions. I saw tears of joy, of memories and gratefulness in her eyes.
Do you already know what your man wrote down at the question "What he is most attached to?" She answered: "No, I don't know. The clock?" "No," I said: "He said: 'my wife'".
The fairy tale happened right in front of my eyes. They looked each other deeply into the eyes. I hardly dared to look. Love was everywhere. Wow!
I gave them a moment before I asked her: ”do you see what that mirror means to you?" She looked at me, and now I was sure she had it all figured out. There was a pleasant silence as all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
I love this. This is the impact I want to make. This is the impact I want you to make!
Now that you have read this story, you may think: If this was my life I would have definitely seen this 'link' a long time ago. It's so obvious.
But nothing could be further from the truth: you are often far too close to see something like this. And moreover, things like this slowly develop over time in tiny steps, without you noticing.
In the Netherlands we have a saying: "You can’t see the forest because of the trees."
So, in this case… They couldn't see the beautiful fairytale forest because of the trees. And they were in the middle of it! I helped them to zoom out, to get more clarity.
I looked at her… and said: "Every time you look in that mirror, you see your own fairy tale. You feel loved. It gives you energy. You are grateful for everything you have in your life right now and you see your own unique life every day. And you created that!"
I really want to be a part of this dream story. Because this fairy tale is going to become true! I know that! It should be clear by now. We got the deal right at the table.
Does it mean that we are going to design a Disney Castle?
No, it's not the towers that make the castle but there is a good chance that there will be a ‘hidden tower room'. A place where she can 'lock herself in'. A place where she can do her own thing, where she can recharge. Until her prince comes again to liberate her every time she want that to happen.
The entrance hall will also be impressive. No drawbridge or large gate, but it will make everyone curious gasp. It will invite everyone who’s welcome, to come in. Warm, soft colours and materials will embrace you and make your heart feel welcome. The ultimate home feeling… for sure, for them….