One peek through the glass doors of Blakely’s Design Library, and people stop in their tracks! Clients, vendors, other visitors, even delivery drivers — everyone who catches a glimpse is intrigued.
“What’s inside this beautiful room?”
“What do you use it for?”
“What mysteries abound in those cabinets and bins?”
If you remember this space, which got a major facelift during the Blakely Studio Expansion last year, you may have asked the same questions. Well, look no further, because today I’m giving you the full behind-the-scenes tour, from these French doors to vibrant drawers…
What is the Purpose of Blakely’s Design Library?
Our design library looks so good you might think it’s all for show. Not quite. If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you know that beauty and function always go together.
1. Housing Fabric Memos & Materials Samples
The most obvious function first… the Design Library houses thousands of samples of wallpapers, paint, hardware, fabrics, and more. We have books and binders filled with just about any product we might need for a project.
To help us with some strategic organization, we called in Stephanie from NEAT Method in Providence. Our layout helps us quickly find what we’re looking for and tells us the price point of items at a glance. As champions for our clients’ budgets, we never want to waste time selecting a fabric or material only to find out that it’s way out of their range.
Inside Scoop: Fabric samples are called “memos” in the design industry. Not to be confused with the memos my boss used to send me back in my corporate days. 😉
Fabric memos in various shades of orange
2. Nurturing Our Designers’ Creativity & Ideating Design Concepts
As you know, your environment influences the way you feel in a space, and interior design can actively work to shape that experience. What do our designers need from the Design Library? Creativity.
Creativity requires inspiration, time, ingenuity, and iteration. And when it comes to an interior design concept, you also have to add in all the technical details of a project — the space plan, lighting, budget, timeline, etc. To work the magic we do, we must mix strategy and beauty in new and creative ways.
The Design Library with all its samples, memos, books, and binders is designed to bring out the best in our designers… and for our designers to bring out the best in them.
3. Place to Meet with Reps & Stay Up-to-Date
Our Design Library is also where we have regular meetings with our vendor reps, who bring in their latest collections from season to season. This is how we stay up-to-date on the latest trends and products, and if we choose, we can order memos to keep in the library.
Prioritizing great vendor relationships also means that if there’s ever an issue with a fabric or we have a question about something, we know we will always get a timely response. This translates to on-time projects and a great experience for our clients, which is important to us!
Inside Scoop: When a rep shows us options that are beautiful but not aligned with the Blakely brand, we don’t utilize our precious space for them. Our clients choose us for our Vibrant Coastal aesthetic, so we only house samples that represent us well: bold, crisp, unique, and timeless.
Vendor love in action… The animal print daybed with green velvet pillows and the king bed (the Capital Craftsman Project) were both custom-ordered from one of our favorites. You can’t quite discern it from the photo, but this daybed is HUGE and super comfy!
4. A Way to Save Time & Money for Our Clients
Did you know our Design Library saves our clients time and money? How, you ask? Well, before the creation of our Design Library several years ago, we often had to travel to the Boston Design Center to source for projects. Now, we source right from our own studio and nearly always find exactly what we need.
Having this space to house so many memos and samples saves us time… and time is money!
Inside Scoop: In non-COVID times, we’ll travel to the Boston Design Center every now and then just for fun. It helps us see what’s new and what we would like to add to or edit out in our own library.
Another drawer of memos! Don’t you want to just dive in here?
5. Design Development Meetings with Clients
The final function of our Design Library is the one our clients find the most fun: the Design Development meeting. During this meeting, we present all our selections for their project, with samples laid out on the island in the Design Library. This gives our clients a chance to see our selections in real life (not just on a screen), touch the materials, and visualize how the colors, textures, and materials come together.
Here are several palette and materials selections that we pulled for a client’s Design Development meeting. Each tray represents a different room in their home!
Come look around…
Now that you know exactly what is happening in this space, let’s zoom in on some of these beautiful materials. At a glance, it looks like we have hundreds of options. In reality, there are way more than meets the eye. Thousands, even…
Lots and Lots of Fabric Memos
Fabrics are categorized in drawers by color, performance and non-performance, and then organized by manufacturer. Yes, we have the whole rainbow stocked over here.
Hanging fabrics are grouped by vendors who offer their own line of fabrics for their custom furnishings. Like the drawers, performance fabrics are identified with a red marker. Of course, these are organized by color as well!
A Variety of Wallpapers
Also organized by color and manufacturer. Would you expect anything less from us by now?
Paint Color Decks
You know we love color!
Carpet & Flooring Samples
Both hanging on display and organized in bins…
Finish Samples for Furniture, Hardware, Blinds & Shades
Only in samples of the brands we love, know, and trust!
We’ve reached the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed seeing the Blakely Design Library and learning all its juicy secrets. We love that this space sets us apart and supports us in helping our clients live as boldly and vibrantly as they dare!
If you’re a client of ours, we can’t wait to welcome you in our studio and Design Library when working on your next project. If you haven’t booked us just yet, what are you waiting for? 😉 Book your Discovery Call here and let’s get to know each other.