I’m off to another client installation today. We’re doing a living room & a dining room. My clients will be gone for the day & they’ll come home to the completed spaces. Here’s what the house looked like before: (My clients didn’t buy anything new when they moved in.)
Over the years, I’ve changed how my processes work. (I may be forever changing, as the more I learn, the more things change.) One of the things that we do now that I feel is really important is doing our installations all at once. We have almost everything that needs to go into our clients’ homes shipped to a receiving warehouse where the goods are inspected and stored until installation day. (We used to have items individually shipped to clients which can be inconvenient for them and can also result in clients being nervous about the items because they only see one part of the plan and they worry it won’t be right.) With the single installation, clients get to come home to the house exactly as it should be and don’t need to use their imagination to envison the final result. (Plus, it’s a bit like Christmas after all of that waiting!!)
Anyway, after the previous post, I got a few questions about how long projects typically take from start to finish so I thought I’d share a bit of the process with you. From the point where we “survey” a client’s home, it takes about one month for us to create a plan for them. (Obviously this can be done in a much shorter amount of time, but I really prefer to let the room sink in with me. It takes this time to source interesting pieces & to shop around and rework floorplans. The final presentation itself takes a few days to put together and this includes, budgeting, final floorplans, design boards, etc., but I really like to mull a project over & get immersed in it. Also, in our projects I often leave “holes” for items we plan to find along the way if we know it needs to be a one-of-a-kind piece and we haven’t come accross it yet.) Once the clients approve everything presented (this can take anywhere from 1 day to a few weeks) we begin actually implementing the design: scheduling contractors, ordering products and shopping for one-of-a-kinds and artwork.
Like I mentioned, this “waiting period” typically lasts 2-4 months (with the norm being 3) when we’re using custom goods, which we pretty much always do. As anyone in the industry can tell you though, there are often backorders which can delay projects & rearrange your plans completely.
At the onset of our projects, when we place all of the orders (this can include anything from custom upholstery to casegoods to antiques) we typically have to wait anywhere from two- four months for everything to be made. (And some items can also be much longer… A custom rug can take almost a year just to give you an idea.) It takes patience, but is always totally worth it in the end.
As the months tick down, I begin collecting and purchasing unique accessories & items that I think will be perfect for my clients. The night before installation, my van is FILLED with them.
On installation day, everything is delivered & placed in the home. We hang artwork & window treatments and the electrician installs lighting. Unless it’s a very high area, I prefer to install artwork myself. I make sure everything is just right.
I start “playing” with the accessories, which is how I prefer it. I typically use about 75- 80% of the items I’ve brought to try out. Sometimes I know exactly where an items will go when I find it and other times I just know it will work in the room but I’m not sure where yet. When my clients come home, these items are a total surprise. They receive a price list of all of the items and can buy whichever ones they like. (Since most of the items are vintage items & one-of-a-kinds, I can’t return them unless I took them out on approval, but that’s okay because I only buy items I truly love.) It might sound risky, but for now, it’s the way that’s really been working for me. (And most clients want everything.)
Anyway, time for me to run, but have a great day & I’ll be sure to share after photos soon!!
If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.