Diary of a Show House Designer: Xanax Please!
It's been hard to find time to blog lately. Between the Junior League of Boston Show House and holidays, I've put blogging on the back burner. But I thought I would give a sneak peek into the progress of my show house room and share some lessons I've learned from my experience thus far.
In my last diary entry, I detailed some of the "procurement" aspects of participating in the show house. I have to admit that up until the end of last week, I was still up to my eyeballs in that phase. Even when I thought I was in good shape, there were items I still needed. I had left some important things -- namely the LED lights for my ceiling cavity and some accessories (things I had scouted when I was in New York way back in August) -- still un-ordered. Big oops. The accessories (mainly some great tea-light holders and desk accessories from Global Views) were, of course, out-of-stock. First lesson of Show House: when you see something you love that you think will work in your space, grab it; don't wait.
My LED lights . . . second lesson: before you commit to something in a proposal, know how much it will cost. When I went to price my lights, I was overcome with the disparity in price and quality of LED strip lights. To get the color and quality of illumination I wanted for my space, I was going to have to shell out big bucks. And I didn't have time to research and check pricing. Third lesson of Show House: it will cost way more than you expect.
In spite of these issues (and many others) and the anxiety that they caused me, I have managed to get decent lights in a remarkably short amount of time. And in place of the tea-light holders I wanted for a wall installation, I found something even better: a signed piece of vintage (circa 1970s) Curtis Jere brass wall sculpture. Fourth lesson of Show House: everything always works out, and if it doesn't, no one but you will know.
Now I'm on the installation phase of my space. I thought I was going to be the last designer to start installation. I was surprised and relieved to find out that many other designers were in the same shape I was. Fifth lesson of Show House: you're not in any worse shape than everyone else.
The primary architectural features of my room are built-ins that I designed to camouflage some quirky wall angles created by a dormer and the house's Mansard roof. Here is the before shot:
And here are some progress shots: first, of one of the cabinets before painting (that's Billy, the painter, in the picture)
and second, of another cabinet after painting.
I have to say, if the rest of the room turns out as good as this, all of my anxiety will be worth it.