Wear and tear is to be expected with even the most careful of clients, but where does a designer’s assistance with such issues end? We asked three designers—Marcy Garcia, Richard Rabel and Martha J. Schneider—how they handle clients’ replacement requests.
“We work very hard to deliver furnishings that have been through our quality-control standards, and we always have the client review it upon delivery. When we receive a call that there is damage from their use, we are happy to facilitate repair for them at their expense. We have a large resource file for antiquities specialists, furniture refinishers and lighting repair businesses. The only thing we can’t do is nurse a broken leg from the child who’s fallen from the chandelier!” —Martha J. Schneider, La Maison, Raleigh, North Carolina
Time and money
“Once the items are installed and the client has moved in and is living with the items, the responsibility of repairs or replacement by either negligence or wear and tear, generally speaking, falls on the client. There are always exceptions, but that is my general rule. This is also the case with items like appliances that have a warranty. My office will always try to assist, preferably by giving the details of who could fix the problem. But if they want us to get more involved, like placing a reorder and dealing with the vendor, I will advise the client upfront that we will be charging for our time and for repurchasing and installing the items. Depending on how easy the clients were to work with, I will happily make adjustments and concessions to the above. Thankfully, in my 10 years in business, I have never had a client issue that was not resolved amicably and reasonably. I really try to weed out unreasonable clients from the get-go.” —Richard Rabel, Richard Rabel Interiors + Art, New York
“I have a contract clause that states that we as a company do not provide any warranties on goods purchased through us. The warranties for merchandise sourced on the client’s behalf are limited to the manufacturer’s warranty policies only. All throughout the project, we make sure to emphasize this clause, and at the end of the project, clients receive a how-to guide that includes the product warranties and how to access them.” —Marcy Garcia, MG Design Lab, Miami
Homepage photo: A project by Martha J. Schneider | Courtesy of Martha J. Schneider