My favorite day in a design project is the installation day. It is the day when all the pieces come together and the finishing touches are complete. Often it follows a week of elaborate installation from subcontractors, but installation day begins early, and ends with clients walking in to the home (or room, or office) of their dreams. It is both exhausting and exhilarating, and it is the only day you might catch me in flat shoes. Even on a construction site, tennis shoes are not in my vocabulary, unless I’m actually running. Installation day often includes my (almost) magical refinisher/retoucher to freshen up all the furniture, the drapery installer, if needed, the delivery guys to bring in the goods, and of course Judy and me, and whatever assistants we need for that particular day.
I have used the same team of people – cabinet maker, delivery service company, drapery workroom, wallpaper hanger, upholster – for the entire run of my business and the relationship I have with them affords me not only their excellent skill sets, but a deep appreciation for the talent and patient they have for very tedious details. All of my “team” have worked in the homes of my clients and are trustworthy, clean, polite people who are actually a pleasure to have in your home. I love that part of what I do. Twenty years with this team, that just makes me so happy.
At the end of installation day, I’m exhausted. You (the client) are thrilled, and realize it was all worth it. My favorite compliment was when a client told me through gushing tears that aside from her wedding day and giving birth to her three kids that installation was the best day of her life. She actually left it on my voicemail and I saved it for years.