Jeffrey Alan Marks

Jeffrey explains the ideal client/decorator relationship and says what he thinks his castmates' talents are.

on Jul 19, 20110

I’ve loved watching the first season of Million Dollar Decorators. For me it is fascinating to see Mary, Martyn, Kathryn, and Nate work with their clients and see how unique each client/decorator relationship is -- they run the gamut from impossible to deal with to totally deferent. Mary has a take charge attitude and knows how to get what she wants. The results speak for themselves -- Mary’s work is sensational and distinctly Mary. Martyn’s clients act as if Rudolph Valentino has entered the room when he shows up, and they let him do exactly as he pleases. His great skill is giving his clients exactly what they want while his work still maintains a characteristic Martyn flavor. Nathan's approach is very collaborative, and because he is so warm and a amicable he gets the best results in the gentlest manner. Kathryn’s casual, comfortable, vivacious rooms are a mirror to her personality. She has a joie de vivre that translates perfectly in her design style and method.

The finished product in any design is a direct reflection of the relationship between the client and designer. The completed Hungry Cat is a combination of my original design scheme and the client David Lentz’s revisions based on his own point of view. David is very specific about the way he wants things. He picked the art, barstools, outdoor chairs, tables, planters, sound-proofing, and changed the seating and table design in the bar.

They say “There are no great decorators, only great clients." The reality of our industry is that without our clients we are nothing. Our clients are our patrons. They supply the funds with which we get to create our visions. Of course when clients try to play designer the results are often less than ideal.

Recently Vanity Fair asked a globally renowned panel of top producers in the design industry to take part in a poll to pick the best contemporary building in the world. The overwhelming winner was Frank Gehry’s Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. Anybody who has seen pictures of the building can’t deny how extraordinary it is, a truly original vision brought to life. Truth is that this building would never have been built without client funding, but more extraordinary is that the Guggenheim foundation was wise enough to let Frank build his masterpiece and express his vision to its fullest potential, and it is the "fullest potential" part that is probably most important. They let Frank do what Frank really wanted to do, no holds barred, and the result is arguably the best contemporary building in the world. The perfect example of clients not playing designer.

12 comments
no.1
no.1

Jeffrey, you are amazing. We have saeson one in New Zealand now and it is fantastic. The other designers are wonderful but Jeffrey .... well what can I say and not only just a good designer.

tburke2006
tburke2006

What an enjoyable and informative first season. We loved it. Is there going to be a Season 2.?

robocop
robocop

you and ross make the cutest couple ever and you have great taste in men because ross is the whole package.

momaria
momaria

Nicely said!!! I love love MDD---all talented people who lift each other up. You are all successful already before you joined Bravo. I don't need to have to hear a new album from any of you, or buy jewelry or handbags or watch you try too hard to become a model or buy cosmetics, all while trying to push the other housewives down. What a wonderful wonderful change for us Bravo fans. Hope to see you sooner because I truly enjoyed each and every show!!!!

jeffrey paszko
jeffrey paszko

I just love everything about Mary.She is smart ,sassy ,and beautiful .I only wish she was on the east coast so that I could show her some love . She is a rare find.

Susie Q.
Susie Q.

Loved the show!!!!!!!!!!!! The inside of Hungry Cat was FAB - the outside was UGLY! I know you had NOTHING to do w the outside - thank god they had you for the inside!

PS - your house looks AMAZING!!

bittersweet4
bittersweet4

Absolutely have fallen in love with this show & hope it returns for another season. REFRESHING to see stars in their own right getting along & supporting each other versus the contstant snarky remarks & backstabbing on the Housewives. Kudos to Bravo for bringing something "chic & smart" to the masses. Love all the decorators.....!

Pam Von Hartman :)
Pam Von Hartman :)

The restaurant really is so beautiful, and I can't express how much I as an armchair decorator loved this whole series. Whomever created the show gathered such amicable, highly original, and entertaining decorator people. I also learned a lot about good stuff, proportion and people. Now I am lost w/o it. ...P:( :))

Victoria V
Victoria V

I absolutely love this show and each of the cast members brings something unique and amazing. This is my new favorite show on Bravo. My sister and I message eachother throughout the entire show because we love the talent and personality each cast member has.

This blog was really interesting. It is great to read the perspective of an artist on their relationship with their clients.

I hope you all come back for another season soon!

P.S. Jeffrey your house is beautiful! (so is your adorable pup)

NolaUptownMom
NolaUptownMom

Jeffery, I really enjoyed watching you and Ross all season. I love your aesthetic and would love to see it in print. Please put out a book! Your #1 Fan! Martha

sohaus225
sohaus225

Well said! As a designer just starting my own business, I have learned so much by watching all of you in action this season.

"I can honestly say the bulk of the design that I have been involved in that does not work is because the client got an idea in their mind of what they wanted or what they thought would work, and I gave in to their vision rather than pushing harder for my own."

This one is going down in my notebook of wisdom & I'll refer to it always!