And … it’s a wrap! I’m going to do one last entry to reflect, give a bit of an overview on the process and formally draw the curtains on this project. With a bit of distance from it now, I can really appreciate everything I learned and all that went well.
Overall, it was an amazing project. What a job to kick off my interior design work in the UK – and through a pandemic! It was quite a journey. From the first day on-site, with all the inevitable twists along the way which are to be expected on such a large project, to now when the project is complete and I can take time to reflect on how far we came.
Highpoints of the journey that you might like to read include:
- Lots of small strands: from downlights to ducting to working with the CGI artist.
- Final presentation accepted by client!
- Everything coming together beautifully.
- Flameproofing fabrics
- Snagging and a lesson learned
I hope I’ve achieved this day-in-the-life experience, with the photographs and time-lapse videos helping to bring it to life. I have to wait until the house has been published to share the professional pictures but they will be on the website as soon as possible.
The house itself was a dream to work on. It has such character and fulfilled one of my especial interests: restoring older properties to their origins, while introducing tasteful modern updates. As I said early on in the process, ‘the house’s age and its eccentricities and flaws are all part of what I love about it’. My ‘perfectly imperfect’ ethos, celebrating a piece’s unique qualities, and combining the new with the old, is exemplified here.
I also loved having such autonomy. As the owner was living abroad, it was as much about interior design as project management. Thank goodness I had Julie from JS Project Management to consult. You can read more about our collaboration in the posts about Project Management and Health and Safety. And as I’ve discussed throughout, when I moved my business to the UK, I spent the first year laying foundations and making contacts; this project allowed me to put all those pieces together and build on them.
Creating this beautiful interior required drawing on lots of people from different areas, so it’s has been a wonderful opportunity to develop industry contacts. Apart from being very happy with the end design, I’m pleased to have added a raft of excellent craftspeople, builders, lighting designers and suppliers – many from the UK – to my contacts book. I’ve listed a selection of them at the end for your own interest and inspiration.
Estimac: Interior Designer Business Software
As the job progressed, you will have noticed that I repeatedly refer to EstiMac.
This is software specially created for Interior Designers which helps to organise all of the financial and administration aspects of an interior design project. I have to say, Estimac kept me sane and on track throughout. Another thing that helped keep me sane – and indeed widened my horizons, providing ideas and contacts – was having a strong network of fellow creatives and designers through The Camberyard Collective. And it was through Polly at Camberyard that I was introduced to Katie, a brilliant interior architect who supported me on the project. As I said early on, ‘my saviour is having the right team built up … having this strong foundation saves me every time’.
Prepare for the Unexpected
One of the many lessons I’ve learned in this project is that no matter how well you have planned your week, when working on a big project like this refurbishment, unexpected issues or developments crop up. And especially if you’re running your own business, there will inevitably be bits and pieces to catch up on over the weekend. Not every week – but you have to be prepared to put in some late nights or sacrifice some ‘off-time’ to the job. Without top-notch planning, organisation and up-to-date admin the beautiful interior designs wouldn’t be realised – or at least within the client’s agreed timeframe and budget! The devil is indeed in the detail!
Moreover, I learned to expect the unexpected and ‘that it’s important to be flexible with what’s possible as things don’t always go to plan’. In addition to finding solutions to unexpected issues, which sometimes meant altering parts of the original design, there were restrictions and delays caused by the pandemic. And sometimes, finding that right piece just takes time. For instance, with the carpets – getting the desired style and size can be tricky. Compromises may have to made if time is of the essence. Which is why good communication is key; it definitely helped to make this project run smoothly. And it certainly made for a delighted client at the end of it – the most important thing
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey – perhaps found some new recommendations, some inspiration or even just a flash of recognition for a moment you’ve shared on your projects. I hope when I am able to share the final shots of the finished home, you will enjoy them. Here’s to more beautiful homes and to enjoying the process as well as the result!
Holland & Sherry
Furniture & Fittings