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Cultural Concierge

November 2, 2009

In the course of my journey through the wonderful world of interior design I have come across a phenomenon, thanks to a design firm in Las Vegas, and thanks to a group of designers in New York.

If it is true that 90% of the wealth in America was generated since 1980, and 70% since 1995, then it seems likely that many people who are now our nation’s wealthiest people did not grow up with the lifestyle they live today. This is a fundamental cultural shift away from the world of inherited wealth. Inherited wealth came with a sort of training- symphonies, ballet, trips to art museums, life in well-decorated houses, private schools, tutors, family dinners at fine dining room tables- at least some did. What this created was a sort of cultural training program for the next generation.

In today’s world, that “training” is not necessarily something to take for granted, and it is no one’s fault, especially not the wealthy person who made it on their own. What designers need to consider, I think, is how to offer this client what might be more than just a design project. Make the design process a cultural exploration and a voyage of discovery and not just the purchase of home furnishings.  Part of the designer’s value might now be the education that comes with the design experience.  If they do not know what you know, then share your knowledge as a part of your service, and as an explanation of your design brilliance.

So, be the cultural concierge- offer a wonderful world of history and cultural authenticity that manifests itself in your client’s living spaces and takes them on a journey into the creation of an environment that will offer their children that cultural training program above for future generations.

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