Sophie Donelson, design strategist and former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, believes that interior designers pick up where agents leave off, bringing families into their new life and helping them settle in their new home. This is particularly true for buyers in the luxury market.

Interior designers are the tastemakers-in-chief for America’s affluent families,” Donelson said during a panel at Luxury Connect. Wealthy homeowners are no longer just asking interior designers to pick out fabric; this is a partnership to help them determine how to best use their space.

In order to do that, interior designer Chloe Wagner, president of Redmond Aldrich Design in San Francisco, often visits properties with clients when they’re shopping for a new home. “It’s so nice to have a designer tour a house with you because it gives people the confidence to say, ‘oh I can have a party barn,'” said Wagner. “People are having party barns, band rooms, pottery or writing studios. It’s giving people the stamp of approval that that’s perfectly okay, and actually kind of awesome.”

Designer Timothy Corrigan agrees, adding that clients often think they “have to work themselves around the house.”

“I often talk to clients about not using a room just what it used to be used for,” he said, giving the example of a client who turned a library into a bar room. “That’s really important to do when clients say ‘what am I going to use this room for?'”

One thing many wealthy buyers want, and something that both Corrigan and Wagner are designing for clients, are safe rooms. “I learned that half of people who are worth $100 million or more are also prepping for the end of days,” said Wagner.

Watch the full video above on Inman Select to learn more about what it takes to design a “panic room,” and how interior designers and brokers can better work together.

Don’t miss out on the latest Inman Connect videos published daily. Discover what’s next and grow your business by watching on replay or joining us at upcoming events for live learning and networking. Session videos, livestream and event discounts for Connect are all exclusive to Inman Select subscribers.

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