I suspect that a lot of people think that every day is crazy creative over here in design land. That we get to play with pretty fabrics and endless amounts of fun. I know that people often remark what a fun job we have and bemoan their own but I wanted to give you a look at what a typical day is when you are juggling new and existing projects including trying to finish up projects that you know, if the client will just trust you to rally hard on and finish up - will be sublime.
As I'm typing this please note I got an all too familiar iMessage from Celia that reads: "CRAP, It's Discontinued...." More on that later.
Our #Nobscot project is in the final rally push and it's at this point where a client will either hit the pause button or they dig deep and finish. We've sort of been on pause for a few months waiting for the baby to come and we're hopeful that there will be a rallying point very soon. Our strategy on this is to pull together a list of items that need to be sourced/added (who are we kidding we know what we want) and then an estimated budget so that we can present a plan of action to the client. This makes saying yes to us all the easier. We can't linger - lingering creates inertia which is hard to overcome.
Our #Unionville project is in the same boat. The light we wanted for the breakfast room was discontinued and the client doesn't like our suggestion for an alternate. This is disappointing because it is perfect so I will have to rally and send a few concepts to sway. This client also isn't loving our idea for the dining room buffet styling - so I've gone to Plan B. The hardest part is often a client wants to see something and it's simply not available in a store and I have to buy it. Some I'll risk it and make the purchase but other times it's too much of an investment and I can't afford to be left holding it after the fact.
I'm looking at firepits, cutlery and media credenzas for #Cactus - the former and the latter are NOT cheap. Yikes.
Trying to finalize between two carpet choices at #AlexandraBlvd.
Our #Sawmill project is getting close to installations. We're finalizing choices in the family room and about to install wallpaper in two of the four rooms getting it. We've decided on plaster pilasters for the living room and ceiling medallions and our Grisaille handpainted paper should be ready in the near future so that's going to be devestatingly fabulous. We've got chairs that have been reupholstered as well that are waiting to move to their updated spaces.
And we're looking at new projects to start including a restaurant in Bordeaux France.
Now it sounds busy, but it's not especially. This is the norm.
Whilst typing this second part of the blog, I sourced a few options for the media credenza at #Cactus and approved some options for a den in #Nobscot and am about to embark on an email discussion with our #Cactus client on nice-ish look or price. He gets to pick one!
Another part of the job is prospecting. We have a new client who loves our work but is yet to settle on a house. That's a new one for us but it's great to know that you've connected with someone who wants you and just needs to find the right house. We've been by the same house with them now twice. I first saw the picture of it online and I have to say - I immediately saw the potential. We then met with the client at the house and I was immediately struck by the light, the openness and again, the potential. We went back a second time today, this time with our contractor to see if and what we should be aware of and are now revising our estimates on what the offer should be based on a proposed estimate on work to be done to the house. Again, really good feeling in the house. It's strange but I am a big believer on trusting a gut feeling when I'm either buying the house or I'm going to look at working on the house. I think back to projects that worked or didn't work and there is a very noticeable difference in feeling I got when walking through the houses.
One house, in North Toronto - to be honest I was in love with the address and the prospect of the job. It was a big job. Of course, I overlooked the huge warning signs - GIANT ALARM BELLS going off that said WRONG CLIENT. WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. I've actually had that happen a few times. Loved the idea of the project but overlooked the Horrible, No Good, Terrible, Bad fit with the client. Walking into that house, in retrospect, it was dark and gloomy and it didn't sing as I walked through it. The wife in this duo was overselling the house - which was to detract from a lack of transparency regarding budget. Very telling indeed. We ended up leaving the project both of these in fact. Concluded our work, submitted our final bills and were done. Sadly, both contractors on these two jobs didn't fair so well and our worst instincts about both clients came to fruition. It DOES happen.
Fortunately, there are times - present house included where you walk in and a totally different feeling takes over. Client is straight shooter as are the entourage which joins them. Love this. Speaks huge volumes. The prospective house feels light. I can see how a family would live without having to struggle through the possible floor plans. Now it will of course still come down to can it be afforded - lord KNOWS we can spend your money for you but this house has flow and charm despite the fact that currently it is obviously just a house and not a home. When ideas flood in that speak to more about what it would feel like to live here as a family of 5 and the way the home could be enjoyed, you know you are on to something.
When you are on the right path, it feels right and is relatively effortless. This is when we do our best work. Clients letting us do our thing, sharing in the journey and enjoying the process. This is the zone of one's genius and I love nothing more than when I am in that slot.