I've often said that the dressing of self and home are reassuringly familiar, it's a principle that has heavily influenced my decisions when working with clients. Oftentimes I look at the client's wardrobe choices and I'm able to tell what they would go for, this concept has nothing to do with brands or price points, it's more so about paying attention to their style choices. If a woman wears relaxed clothing immediately I know she values comfort over all else so that tells me the firmness of the sofa to suggest, now if she has ten great dresses in that style versus 50 of them it tells me she wants something more long term and is willing to invest in a sofa that's potentially more expensive but more durable with attention to detail.
I once asked a client to give me a sense of her vision for her space, instead she gave me a leopard bra and panty set in a zip lock bag and it was enough to guide me to a successful outcome.
The interesting thing is I did not use animal print in the space, but instead I understood her personality and that she wanted something feminine, bold, luxurious and most definitely sexy. All of our meetings were after 9 pm. Based on her availability I recognized she was a night person so I painted the bedroom walls black and made sure there was no light by day. It was the thing she appreciated the most, because she worked in entertainment at night, day time rest was important. I noticed there was a strong element of black leather in her attire, the first meeting a wide belt, the second meeting over the knee boots, the third meeting a large black Hermes Birkin bag. These details led me to finding a vintage French provincial sofa and having it reupholstered in black patent leather with a matte white frame. Just like her outfits I decided that would be the only thing black in the room, taking my cues from her look of always having one strong element. Her stiletto heel , and iconically French bag made a French provincial sofa the right choice and I wasn't wrong. She had a taste for the unexpected, a true modernist with an affection for icons past. Most of the decisions I made were based on her appearance, people love themselves and the more of them you reflect in the space the happier they will be. If your client loves makeup, spend money on lighting, if he loves sports, invest in the largest television the budget can buy and the most comfortable chair to go in front of it.
People choose the colours of their garments because they feel good in it , why not surround them with those colours. A man constantly wearing dark suits is telling the world he is practical, he may as well hold up a sign that says no fluff, he is literally a grey sectional with little or cushions. A single woman in high heels , with soft prints and perfectly manicured nails aspires to an almost white sofa, velvet or linen textures in pale tones are her go to, and when the space permits its brass or gold accessories. It may sound like a generalization but for the most part in my extensive years of experience it proves to be true. Humans are pretty transparent so much of who they are is displayed in their appearance, if one takes the time to observe their choices and reflect it in their environments you will be a successful designer, ultimately they just want your curated version of their style.