Monday, April 9, 2012

The Design Process: Admin

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We’re in the final throes of the renovation on the cottage which means I am in the midst of my final round of POs (purchase orders in design admin lingo) and yes they are as time-consuming as they sound. Admin is a huuuuuge percentage of the work involved in any given design project, especially when your client is taking advantage of all the lovely customizable options available at their stylish fingertips. For a big order I can spend hours on a single PO making sure it covers all the pertinent design details, including correct fabric information, dimensions, construction notes and more.

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For instance, one PO for a toss cushion to give to your sewing workroom could be as complicated as this:

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And that’s just one part – then you need to order each fabric and ribbon component separately (if the fabrics are from different fabric houses) – so one toss cushion can take over an hour to order by the time you factor the math, formatting, triple-checking it for accuracy and then submitting. It’s a good thing to keep in mind when hiring a professional designer or decorator that you’ll be paying not just for their creativity but their project management skills and administration time as well.

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HELPFUL TIP: Whether you’re a pro or just starting to tackle your own home, having a binder with dividers that separate the space by room, with plastic sheet protectors holding your fabric memos and tear sheets of the furniture, lighting, accessories etc. for reference is a big help when wrapping your mind around a big design project. More importantly though, is keeping your paperwork organized with all of your quotes, order confirmations, purchase orders, receipts, invoices and the like sorted. Heaven forbid something goes screwy along the way, you have your admin binder which documented every step of the design to support you. The binder is also a fab reference tool for the future when you need to pull out paint colours or reorder and reupholster anything.

1 comment:

amy walters said...

Love this post Jessica!
I always tried to explain to friends what I do as an interior designer...you said it perfectly. This really is what the job is about. LOL.
Love your photographs...really excited to see the cottage reveal. Cheers!