Processes can make or break a design experience, which is why we’re so proud of our meticulously crafted Process for Full Service Design projects. It not only ensures your project runs seamlessly, providing you with a stellar design experience and remarkable results – it also lets you know exactly what to expect at every stage of your project before we even begin . . .
Because we believe the only surprises you should have when working with us should be happy ones!
Every aspect of our process is aligned with our overall project management philosophy which goes beyond keeping your entire project running smoothly and on time to equally prioritize keeping you updated and in-the-know every step of the way. Our streamlined processes allow for clearly defined deliverables (such as space plans, concepts and of course, all the amazing product selections that will go into bringing your home to life!) and a detailed schedule (which we create for you before your project officially starts) that lets you know when you can expect to see those deliverables, as well as predetermined meeting times at specific points during your project.
We’ll send you ongoing project status reports delivered to your email inbox and complete with detailed updates on design time spent, progress made, what we’re currently working on for your project and what’s coming up next. You’ll also have your own online project management and account portal where you can access and view the details of your project anytime.
Our Process consists of several phases. Phases 1 and 2 fall under an initial contract, while the remaining phases are handled under a separate, subsequent contract.
Every Full Service Design project starts with an in-person consultation with you in your home (or in our offices if we’ll be designing your new construction home). In this meeting, we’ll work together with you for up to 90 minutes to assess your interior design needs, discuss priorities and to develop a game plan for your project.
DURING THE INITIAL CONSULTATION, WE’LL DISCUSS . . .
- Your goals for your project
- What’s working (and not working) for you currently in your home
- How the space may not be functioning at its fullest capacity
- Initial ideas on how to address your design challenges
- Specifically which areas of the home you’d like included in the scope of work for this project
- Recommendations on areas to focus on that will give you the most return on your investment
- Assistance in prioritizing or phasing your project over time
We’ll give you a lot of ideas in this meeting, but we’ll also do a lot of listening. We’ll discuss the scope of your project in detail, as well as your budget and timeline to ensure up front those are realistically aligned with what you want to accomplish.
We encourage you to bring inspiration images to this meeting to use as a communication tool to help us hone in on your needs, visions, tastes and expectations.
With the information gathered in the Initial Consultation, we’ll create a customized design proposal that will give you a clear picture of the design investment necessary for your project.
After your Initial Consultation, your design project officially starts with the Schematic Design phase.
AT THE END OF THIS PHASE, YOU’LL HAVE:
- A comprehensive timeline of your project that provides you with all the details of when you’ll receive what. For example, you’ll know upon reviewing this schedule – before your project even starts – all presentations and meeting dates, so you can plan in advance and there’s no wondering when you’ll see something.
- A customized space plan, including dimensions of furnishing items that are scaled perfectly for your home and ideal placement of those items.
A space/furniture plan is crucial to creating a well-designed, functional room by addressing questions like . . .
What pieces do we need in the room to ensure it functions as desired?
What scale should those pieces be?
How will the pieces fit into the space in relation to one another?
- Design concept boards that illustrate the “vibe” or “feel” we’re going for in your spaces
In tandem with space planning, we lay a foundation for your project by creating conceptual designs for your spaces. While this may sound like unnecessary “fluff,” it’s actually a critical step in the process. Once established and approved by you, these concepts become our “litmus test” for every selection we make for your project, as we use them to ensure everything we choose is in alignment with the approved design concept.
- An itemized list of everything that needs to be sourced for your project
- From sofas to rugs, lighting to accessories, and everything in between, we map out everything needed to bring the vision for your home to life.
- A range of the furnishings investment for executing the design
Because we believe it’s important for you to know exactly what your overall investment will be before you jump in with both feet, we use our findings from the Schematic Design phase to establish realistic budget numbers for you. Based on our extensive product knowledge and research, we give you a range of “good,” “better” and “best” levels to allow you some flexibility in your investment while still achieving your overall project goals.
The Design Development phase is where we really get down to business and start to make your project’s design concept a reality.
This is when we pinpoint the exact details – specific furnishings, fabrics, finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures, etc. We go beyond the concepts determined in the Schematic Design phase by ensuring all specific selections are ideally suited for you and your spaces. We look at the smaller details, such as the perfect trim for your master bedroom draperies or the fade resistance of fabrics for the chairs in your sunroom. We design down to every last detail.
Your needs and approved investment level (as determined during the Schematic Design phase) are all taken into careful consideration for every product and design element before we present them to you. Before the Design Development phase is over, we’ll have every last detail of your project nailed down for you. Every. Last. One.
You’ll be presented with selections at a predetermined meeting date (as noted above) and once you approve them, we’ll begin creating official proposals for all the items we’ll be ordering for your home. We’ll present everything to you at once rather than piecemeal, so you can see how everything relates to everything else – which is how a truly cohesive design is achieved!
At the end of the Design Development phase is when you’ll make that *gulp!* payment that puts the execution of your project in motion, but again, you’ll know the date when you’ll need to write this check at the very beginning of your project so it won’t sneak up on you.
The Procurement phase is a busy time for us as we work tirelessly behind the scenes to get all the items you approved ordered and received on your behalf.
During this phase, it may seem on your end that nothing much is happening on your project; but if you were to peek behind the curtain, you’d see nonstop activity as we proactively expedite your product orders. As a crucial aspect of taking great care of our clients, we love this part – and since it involves heavy amounts of detailed tasks and communications, our clients are delighted to leave it all to us!
How It Works
- We act as the merchant on your behalf to procure all of the items sourced for you in the Design Development phase.
- We handle all the many small details that need to be executed to place your orders. Purchase orders require careful review and every detail is important – but luckily for you, this is one of the things we excel at.
- After your approval and payment for all your approved items at the end of the Design Development phase, our team works efficiently with vendors and merchants to procure these items.
- Through our project management software, we carefully monitor progress and track shipments and deliveries to our warehouse in preparation for installation in your home on your designated “install day.”
- We receive all items into our warehouse on your behalf. We ensure they arrive as expected. “Issues” sometimes do arise but we deal with them for you – you’ll never need to get on the phone with a vendor or manufacturer.
- Our online project management system and our buttoned-up processes really come into play here. While you may not see anything happening, we’re buzzing around the office handling orders at every stage of processing and fulfillment and gearing up for the fifth, final and most fun phase!
This is the part you’ve been waiting for! The Installation phase occurs over the course of one or more days, depending on the size and scope of your project. At this point, we will have already coordinated, scheduled and managed any vendors or installers (such as millworkers building built-ins, wallpaper hangers or window treatment installers). Then, during our installations, our team will arrive on site to manage the entire process from start to finish.
This is our favorite day, as well, culminating in an emotional and uplifting moment for you and for all of us when you see your new spaces all finished . . . but it’s also a day filled with a lot of hard work and Team Blakely hands are all on deck to make it happen!
It would be impossible to list everything we do in your home during Installation. And it doesn’t happen line item by line item. It’s most accurate to think of it as an orchestration – with many different people making many different things happen all at once as we work simultaneously toward the common goal of putting the many (thousands!) of pieces of your design together in your home, plus giving extra attention to the fine details that will make the reveal beyond amazing.
And then it happens.
When you arrive home at the end of the day, we usher you into your gorgeous new rooms. You know that moment on television design shows when the homeowners gasp and laugh and cry all at once? It may seem a little silly on TV, but trust us – that’s exactly what happens for our clients. Don’t worry, though – you won’t feel silly because we’ll all be laughing and crying right along with you!