Ever wonder what goes into one of our interior design projects? Curious about what goes on behind the scenes to pull off and put together a whole home before the photographer comes in to capture those picture-perfect vignettes?
While most projects begin the same way, each new installation provides unique challenges and opportunities that keep our designers well engaged and coming back for more! Typically, our talented Design Consultants meet with the client, going over project details and parameters and pull together a storyboard of ideas. Depending on the scope of the project, this process can take a few days, weeks or even months. Once our Design Consultants have picked out the perfect pieces for a project, they generate a Sales Order—utilizing the same process for accessories and case goods alike—and itemize each unique piece to be ordered. Once the Sales Order is generated, we hand it off to our Logistics Coordinators, Sharon and Nancy. These ladies submit orders to each manufacturer individually and track the purchases through to delivery to our local warehouses. Meanwhile, our Design Consultants are busy on-the-ground, coordinating delivery to the project and often times, helping to make other design decisions along the way.
We caught up with David and Kriss from our Naples Team, who shed some light on their recent installs and how they transform paper plans into spectacular spaces. Without further ado, our quick Project Install Q&A!
1. What is the first step to an entire home install?
D– Double checking the orders prior to initial install, making sure we have the correct pieces, and that all the dates are organized with everyone involved—this includes the movers, the warehouse, designers and owners of the property.
K– The first step for my recent install was to meet with the builder to get his vision, and walk the house to get the feel and flow.
2. How many months of planning are typically required before the installation?
D– It depends on the size of the home, but typically four to five months of planning.
K– For the 10,000sq ft home I just installed, I began planning about six to eight months prior to the install date.
3. Do you start with the big picture and progress to the smaller details, or pick the elements out all at once?
D– The answer depends on whether or not it is a builder or a walk-in customer and what the project entails. For any project, you have to take in to account the ‘look’ the buyer wants, their budget, the layout, and how quickly they want everything. A large install requires a lot of communication and double checking…measurements, dates, style numbers.
K– For my recent install, I started with the over all look and then planned the detail down to bars of soap for the powder room and bath sheets for the pool area. Everything that is in the house and in the outside living space—beds, bedding, tables, rugs, art, dishes, pool towels—was picked for the space! I also learned to measure multiple times. Eye-balling does not always work!
4. How many people involved?
D– Depending on the size of the project, it varies.
K– There are many people involved with the process – I did the product picking with input from everyone that was working on the project and had help pulling together the product quotes and look-book. I met with the builder often to show and get approval, met with his designer that picked counter tops, flooring, paint, lighting, wallpaper – to make sure we were on the same page. There was help from the MN stores in sending fabric cuttings, and from the business office to fine tune the Sales Order and submit to the manufacturers. The install—the final step—really was an all-hands-on-deck effort. It’s helpful to have another set of eyes (and hands) to help when finally staging things up and moving product around the house. Movers, electricians, picture hangers…the numbers really add up!
5. Creative process?
D– Determining the look, the style, the layout and the colors. There are quite a few different details not to be overlooked.
K– The creative process is the best part – especially when the install is for a ‘spec home.’ The builder has the initial idea or look that he or she is going for and after that, my job is to pull together a couple of options for approval, and then go for it. I present to both the builder and designer the proposed plan, and take in to account their input. The actual install the most creative time for me, as I get to accessorize and stage the whole home before pictures are taken and the house goes on the market for sale. The smallest details make the biggest impact, and I think that those details transform a staging project to a home that buyers can picture themselves living in.
6. How to achieve end result for photographs?
D– The lighting and accessories are key to helping achieve the polished end result for photographs.
K– The days before photographing, I like to find as many fresh pieces as I can—from flowers to plants and fruit— I love what they can add to the freshness of a space. I love to set the table, leave books open, and games unfinished so it looks like they may have been called it dinner in the middle of what they were doing. My goal with my recent install was to make it feel “homey,” and at 10,000 square feet, it was challenging but very rewarding to see it all come together. I could envision a family living there, and that’s what sells a property to potential buyers.
Each install is as unique as the home itself and that’s what makes it so fun! No project scope is the same which gives our Design Consultants the opportunity to really listen to the client and hone in on what works for the individual space. The challenge of bringing a home to life through furnishings keeps David and Kriss, and our Traditions team, going back for more! To view some of the after install pictures—the beautiful vignettes captured by photographers—head over to our portfolio page.