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Jenny Branson on Functional Design

interior design

client communication

Trying to help your client make bolder, brighter choices? Jenny Branson shares the five questions you should have on your client intake form

Words by 

Megan Hill

Published on 

August 4, 2022

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Jenny Branson is an interior designer who's certainly not afraid of a little colour! Jenny prides herself on crafting personalised, playful homes—without a scary price tag. Her work has been featured on Channel 5's ‘Dream Home Makeovers’ and she currently holds the Best of Houzz 2022 awards for both Design and Service.

Helping hand

Usually, clients commission Jenny for a full-room design following their participation in her "Moodboard Masterclasses" or after an in-person initial consultation. Once they are signed up, most of the quick communication is done through the chat function in Jenny's online studio. However once the design is ready to present, an in-person meeting is preferable. Following this, Jenny releases everything to her clients online so they can shop when budget and time allow.

These days, face-to-face meetings are not essential to the design process, but they're still preferred. "Purely because the final results are always more daring and fabulous when you can do some gentle hand holding along the way! It’s very difficult to replicate that level of trust over Zoom or email."

Moodboard therapy

A crucial part of Jenny's design process involves guiding clients, step by step, to create a unique abstract moodboard. From that moodboard, the specifics of a room design can evolve.

Jenny finds the whole process super enjoyable. "All my clients have a lightbulb moment when they have completed their moodboard and it’s at that point I know I’ve captured their style. It’s fantastic to witness each client let go of their inhibitions and unapologetically commit their own unique style to paper."

Colour outside the lines

"My job as a designer is to connect each client with a colour palette that makes them smile." For Jenny, the majority of that work lies in coaching her clients to stop worrying about what the neighbours think or what social media is telling them to do.

"It’s all about shutting out the noise of Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, magazines etc. and getting each client to focus firstly on how they want to feel in a given space. Then I can pin down the colour palette that provides those feelings."

Jenny likens colour to "music for the eyes," in the sense that we each react to it in very different ways. It is paramount to remember that what is relaxing for one person can be really irritating to another. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution!

A super bright lounge area, deep blue walls and mustard yellow sofa with pink and purple accents
Colourful design by Jenny Branson.

Client deep dive

Style is unique to everyone, so how does Jenny get to the bottom of each client's individual taste? We asked Jenny identify and solve a clients biggest "problem areas" using just five questions...

  1. Who will be using the room?
    There’s no point decorating to please a member of the family, or indeed the nosey next-door neighbour, who is never going to use the room!
  2. What do you want to feel when you enter the room?
    Energised, relaxed, social, stimulated? The desired mood of a space is always key to the design direction I suggest to my clients.
  3. Where are you happiest?
    If we can pin down what it is they are drawn to about certain positive environments, we can use that to create a space that really taps into those elements.
  4. When are you going to be using the space?
    This is key to making sure the layout works with the available natural light, or that thought is given to supplement the natural light if necessary.
  5. Why isn’t it working at the moment?
    We need to know the key existing problems with the space before seeking to resolve them.

Got a question for Jenny? Head to her website. Or discover a world of colour on her Instagram.

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