Updated: Dec 11, 2018
Hello my Lovelies!
Today we conclude the series that we have been blogging about "Working With Casa Vilora Interiors", which gives you some behind-the-scenes information about the process to hiring us and what to expect.
I know it has been a lot of information, but if you have ever considered hiring us, or any designer for that matter, I urge you to go back and read the first four parts to this series. You can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
The installation and project closure has to be the best part for the client. This is when everything comes together in their home. They are finally able to enjoy the beauty, function and comfort of the design first hand.
But getting to the installation is no easy feat from the designer perspective. There is a lot of planning, scheduling, organizing and orchestrating that goes on behind the scenes - especially on larger projects.
As we order products for our clients during the project management and administration stage, they are all shipped to a commercial warehouse facility with a loading dock. Most of our vendors require that, as items usually arrive on large trailers that are difficult to maneuver in a residential neighborhood. Shipping to residences can be accommodated, but it usually comes at a higher freight cost. In any case, we want to be able to track all items as they arrive, and our warehouse does a very good job of receiving and inspecting and sending us a report of items received, and a report of any damages so that we can file a claim immediately. We also do not want to inconvenience our clients by having several different items shipped to them on different days. These items will often need to be unboxed, inspected and sometimes assembled. Not what I want my clients to be responsible for during the design process. They hired me for easy and fun - that's definitely not easy and fun :-)
Our policy is to have everything sent to the warehouse and then they are all delivered on the final installation day, which we like to call the "BIG DAY".
There are a few exceptions to this. Fabrics for custom window treatments, bedding and pillows are delivered to our studio where they are inspected, tagged and delivered to our workroom for production. Window treatments are actually installed days or weeks before the big install day. This is because custom window treatments take time to install and it lessens the stress a bit on install day. We also install wall-coverings before the installation day.
A few days before the scheduled installation day, a list is sent to the warehouse of all the items which need to be delivered. This is cross checked and sent back to us to make sure they have all the items ready to go. A checklist is also sent out to the client to let them know what to expect on the big day, and to prepare the home for installation. We ask that items that will not stay in the rooms be removed (our delivery company will remove items as well), pets be put away, and the home is carefully cleaned. We also ask that our clients maybe leave for the day, so that there will be some element of surprise at the big reveal and walk through. The home will sometimes look like a bit chaotic (but controlled :-) ) as we are in the process of putting it all together beautifully. We work with a great group of people who are very skilled at loading the truck, unloading and placing items in the client's home. A lot of care is taken to not scratch the floor and walls as they move items in and out of the home.
When all the larger pieces have been placed and all the art has been hung, this is when I work the final magic of styling the space. Adding the final accessories layer, is what gives the space personality, and this part is the most fun for me :-)
Adding a few books, a floral, some ceramic pieces, or some things that the client has collected, makes the space complete. I often try to incorporate things that my clients already own to make it more personal to them - so that each piece has a story tied to it. But I also fill in gaps on bookcases and table tops with items found from local retailers
After the styling is done, it is time to clean up the areas and call the client to give them a tour of their brand new space!
This is where they can see the items they have approved in person. It is also when they get to see the smaller items which they had not seen before during the presentation. This is truly the most exciting and rewarding moment - ranging from screams, to hugs, to tears, to not being able to find the words to speak for a few seconds :-)
In most cases when we go shopping for the styling items needed for the room, we will purchase a few more items above and beyond the budget that we feel would make the space even better. It is good to have extra items because it is not always easy to determine how much of the smaller items you will need until you start to put things in place. The extra items are returned if they are not used, but if we do end up using them, we will have our client decide if they want to be billed the additional costs for them, or return them.
The main purpose of the walk through is to get clients acquainted with all the new pieces in their home, how they function, go over the benefits and features, and discuss any manufacturer's warranties for each product. We also look for any deficiencies or any oversight on our part. We ask clients to make a note of anything that needs to be addressed and we will go back to correct it in a few days to a few weeks. This could be anything from a ding in the wall, to a scratch on one of the pieces to something major like a broken window. Things can happen, but I am happy to say that we do not have instances where we have to go back for any major fixes, usually not even minor ones.
Clients are usually super excited and emotional on install day, so we do give them a few days to report things back to us. We also follow up to make sure that they are enjoying the space and are happy with the way it feels and "lives". If everything is satisfactory, we ask that they sign off on the project closure form and complete an optional survey or review, and that signals that the project is a wrap. The final invoice for freight charges are sent (if charges were above the estimated charge) or a credit is issued (if actual freight charges were below the estimated). This happens within a week of the big day! When the professional photos are up on our website, we send our client a link to seeing their project in photos.
After doing this for close to ten years, install day never gets old. We as designers live for that moment. When the client walks in to their brand new space, and the words out of their mouths is "this is just what I wanted" or "I love it". It is truly so much more than just a beautiful space to look at. It is enhancing their lives and promoting well being and practicality.
If you would like to be walking into a brand new space sometime soon, then it is time to reach out to us to schedule your in-home consultation. Click here to book now!
Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!