The holidays are in full swing, so we asked six designers—Jean Liu, Sara Malek Barney, David Mann, Jessie D. Miller, Chanae Richards and Mary Ta—how they show their clients the love in this festive season.
“At the holidays, we like to show clients our appreciation by sending a gift that’s in keeping with the kind of design we pride ourselves on delivering: custom, beautiful and functional. This year, we chose an advent calendar by Onyx Coffee Lab. These roasters are out of Arkansas, and between the packaging—unique in its accordion structure, wonderfully adorned in gold type—and 24 days of jolt to please the most discerning caffeine achiever, we couldn’t think of a better way to fete our clients.” —Jean Liu, Jean Liu Design, Dallas
“I celebrate holidays with my clients and staff by giving personalized gift baskets. It’s an opportunity to stock up from local small businesses to get treats I know they’ll love. ’Tis the season!” —Chanae Richards, Ọlọrọ Interiors, Philadelphia
“I’m not big on living a life of excess, and I’m not sure a small gift resonates our full appreciation to clients, so we opt to donate in their names to various charities.” —Sara Malek Barney, Bandd/Design, Austin, Texas
Personalized Moments“During this special time of year, I prefer to curate individual gifts for each client, tailored to their personal tastes and preferences. I enjoy the creative expression, and it allows me to show my clients that I recognize their unique styles. As an interior designer, maintaining healthy boundaries with clients throughout the design and build process takes stamina. This is especially true during the holiday season when everyone's schedules can become hectic. By giving them thoughtful gifts, I am able to show my appreciation without disrupting the professional dynamic we have established.” —Jessie D. Miller, Jessie D. Miller Interior Design, St. Louis
“We have holiday-inspired decorations styled by our design team in our two showrooms, which gets people in the spirit. Similarly, our seasonal Champagne and Chocolate Bar allows us to host our clients in a festive and cozy space every day of December.” —Mary Ta, Mass Beverly, Los Angeles
“In 2009, we made a deliberate shift in our approach to celebrating the holidays with our clients. Instead of traditional gift-giving, we chose to embrace the spirit of giving back to the community. Each year, we carefully select a charitable cause that aligns with the current needs of the world or our local community. This decision reflects our commitment to making a positive impact beyond our business relationships. By making charitable donations in lieu of gifts, we aim to contribute to meaningful causes and address pressing issues. We believe that this not only embodies the true essence of the holiday season, but also allows us to support initiatives that matter most to our clients and the broader community.” —David Mann, MR Architecture + Decor, New York