Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Day in the Life

Ever wonder how decorators and designers just have all the answers so easily?  How they seem to appear out of nowhere on those great TV shows and transform a whole house in one day with their magically-appearing drawer full of just the right fabrics, paint colors, furniture and accessories?  Well, let me tell you....

A day of locating those "just right" fabrics and similar products starts like this (and let me say first that I really love what I do, and apologize if the following truth takes some of the glamour out of it for some of you): (1) carefully select outfit and shoes for a day of shopping in design centers, which means comfortable pants to bend down in, since we are often crouched on the floor digging through racks of hanging fabric swatches and large libraries of trim books.  Wouldn't do to be wearing a dress or skirt that flashed a revealing view upon squatting down!  Also consider shoes... hauling large bagfuls of samples, heavy sample books, handbag, water bottle, etc. while covering many thousands of square feet of designer showrooms requires footwear that is professional, fashion-forward (since what we designers are selling is style, after all), and will not induce an ankle-rolling while arms are loaded down with aforementioned bags; (2) ensure all samples of existing client finishes are firmly in-hand for proper color matching, style and texture matching; (3) stack of business cards and necessary business documents packed along to ensure shopping privileges at designer-only showrooms; (4) healthy lunch options bagged up and brought along since I will be in my car when my lunchtime hunger pangs start and I promised my husband I'd forego drive-thru fast food during Lent this year as a testament to doing something to better myself.

Then the pursuit for the most perfect products ensues.  Row after row, aisle by aisle, showroom upon showroom we scour every display wing of hanging fabric samples, pour over books of swatches, like eagles hunting for a mouse for lunch we squint our eyes and quickly take in the view before us trying to hone in on the exact shade or tint of color, tile sample, or furniture style for which we are scouting.  At the end of it all, we end up back in our offices with armloads of goodies and begin editing.  Not this, not that, doesn't look as right in this light as it did in the artificial showroom lighting.... on and on, until we are confident that the handful of options we carefully narrowed it to are appropriate to show our client with full confidence that we can create the intended outcome that we and the client have both envisioned from this project's outset.

My husband watches me occasionally as I sort through these piles of furniture spec sheets and piles of fabrics and asks, "you really like doing this?" to which I reply "are you kidding? This SO jazzes me!  I LOVE doing this.".  I hope you love beautifying your home, or working with your designer or decorator who loves it, as much as I do.

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