When I view a set of blueprints or visit a new client’s home, I do an assessment and formulate a plan to give the house what it deserves. I call this a “read.” My biggest talent is in what I take away from my first impressions. Although the clients are present with their concerns, I try to tune them out. When I hear other designers talk about how they listen to their clients, it reminds me that I try not to. Don’t misunderstand—dialogue with the clients is integral to my process. But mostly, I try to read the house, then negotiate with the client on the house’s behalf. Surprisingly, this never results in an argument or stalemate. Everyone ultimately gets their way, but I do champion the house.