Mar 24, 2015

Changing the Landscape of Interior Design: Designer Axis - Interview with Keith Granet


Big news for so many of us interior designers that have jumped on board the digital bandwagon, utilizing the many online resources to store our client's information on "the cloud".



As a client of Studio Designer myself, I have enjoyed building my Interior Design business with the help of this program and have had the opportunity to use it in both a retail and within my design office environment.


Deciding to grow my business last year, maintaining my New York office while opening a second in Newport Beach along on the Southern Californian coast was greatly made possible because of the advancement in technology in our industry, This flexibility of being able to access each project from anywhere, and share each item instantaneously with both vendors and clients, is a fundamental key to that success!

Earlier this month, when I received the press release of the newly formed partnership between Studio Designer's creator, Lance Haeberle and Keith Granet I was immediately intrigued!




What a privilege it was to speak directly with Keith who took the time to share with me some of his thoughts on the landscape of this ever changing industry and how Designer Axis and their new formed partnership, will be a part of that success.

By sharing Keith's thoughts on Interior Design and how our industry is changing, I hope to help all of us start the conversation on how we can all be more consistent and better professionals.




"Studio Designer is the premier project management and accounting application for interior design professionals. 
Best of all it’s accessible from any computer or mobile device, anywhere, anytime.."



Q1. Share with me your design mission and how you see our industry today?

KG: I have frequently been asked "What is the mission of my practice..?
I have dedicated my entire career to help elevate our industry ... if we treat ourselves as a business than we will garner more respect from the consumers. The problem is always that one asks a simple question and gets 10 different answers. What's your markup? How do you charge? We need to be more consistent in the way we present our services, and stop undercutting each other in order o get the job. We need to value what we do and what we bring to the process.

" A HOUSE IS A PRODUCT, AND A HOME IS A PROCESS.." - Keith Granet

Photo: Stacey van Berkel Interior Design: Jennifer Mehditash // Mehditash Design


Transparency is fundamental. The markup needs to be related to the service you are providing, and your talent and experience.


What the consumers need to realize is that, a standard 35% markup that many designers practice most represents at least 25% - 30% of the time that the designer dedicating to the project and the process. That has to cover, walking in the door and turning your lights on! It quickly is eaten up with simple everyday costs, and perhaps one would be left with 5-10% profit.
What consumer would argue with that?

The problems arise when you begin charging Client A 25% and Client B 35% - in the end that designer will not be focusing as much on that project. Consistency is key.

Photo: Stacey van Berkel Interior Design: Jennifer Mehditash // Mehditash Design
Q2. Talk to me a little about how Studio Designer will evolve into Designer Axis.

KG:  Designer Axis and Studio Designer is a B2B model platform.
I have spent me entire career protecting the industry and this is a continuation of that.
Part of the advantages will be from all the data garnered from Studio Designer's proposals which can be used to better allow brands and manufacturers to understand why some products may be proposed x number of times, but only produce 5% of PO's. Albeit highly confidential and with no direct client information, the significance of having this accessible to the vendors will allow for better product pricing, management and growth.

On the other hand, as many designers work at all hours of the day and night, allowing for immediate transmission of information from a client presentation with one click of a button, automatically generating a PO to the vendor there will be much less time lapse and no longer the duplication of time and efforts. Even in the highly customizable business of design, the level of communication directly with the vendor will allow for it to be traceable, engaging and highly more efficient.








Q3. How will brands interact with the designers on Designer Axis?

KG: Many brands are eager to allow for their products to automatically accessible to all of the clients. Kravet, as one of our major investors, is one that is believes that the direct access to the clients with the purchasing power allows will grow their sales and help the designers with their time management.

There will not be any solicitation from the vendors directly to the designers, but they will be able to showcase new releases and so on, which designers can view or not.

In some instances, smaller designers that may not have the individual buying power to create direct accounts will be able to go through these portals or buying agents that will consolidate the requests and provide them access and pricing which otherwise would be unattainable.



" KNOWING WHO YOUR CLIENTS ARE AND HOW THEY FIT WITH WHAT YOU DO IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS ..." - Keith Granet






Q4. What is the "disruptive change" that Designer Axis will bring to the marketplace?

Closing the loop from Manufacturer to Designer to Client.
There isn't a seamless way that connects all the stakeholders in the industry right now.
That is the key element that this engaging platform will provide to everyone.







" THE POWER OF A SIGNATURE LOOK..." - Keith Granet

Stark, Kravet, Merida Rugs, Michael Smith - Jasper, are among some of the brands that have jumped on board in this initial phase.


I am looking forward to what this new working model of Studio and Designer Axis will bring to my ever changing business.

Do you use this program? Share your thoughts on this with me - would love to hear what you are using in order to better your practice.





The Business of Design
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Keith Granet formed Granet & Associates, Inc. in 1991 to support designers in running their practices as viable and profitable businesses by providing strategic, financial, and operational management services. Soon after the firm's formation, Granet was working with the leaders in the profession to manage their financial and operational needs. In 1994, with an interest in licensing their client's designs, Granet helped launch the most successful furniture line in the history of Baker furniture. 

Known as the go-to firm for licensing and management consulting, Granet & Associates has serviced over 400 design firms to manage, develop and expand their brand positions. Keith Granet is the founder of the Designer Speakers Bureau and co-founder of the Design Leadership Summit, an annual event that attracts the top design professionals from across the nation.

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