Picture the scene… Your biggest client gets in touch asking you to furnish one of their brand new, luxury developments. The catch? You need to turn around a 6-8 week project in just 10 days.
This was the challenge faced by Camilla, founder of Darsah Interiors. Bellis Homes, a property developer, had arranged an open day for their brand new development, Hadley Wood in Barnet, and the uptake had been so overwhelming that they knew they needed to think about the décor.
“Interiors sell homes”, Camilla tells us when we meet her in the larger of the two properties on this new site – a £5.5 million house with six bedrooms over four storeys. “These are luxury houses and so everything needed to be of good quality in order to give it that premium feel. But with so many rooms and such little time, creating a slick end result was definitely going to be a challenge. And so I got in touch with you guys to see if you could help me!”
In the end, Camilla managed to decorate all but one floor in just over a week and a half, using eporta suppliers almost exclusively – including Boeme Designs, Pooky Lighting and Now’s Home. “Everyone’s over the moon with the end result. Bellis Homes were pleased, and a little shocked, that we could turn around a whole house in such a short space of time. And customers keep asking where they can get their hands on some of the furniture and furnishings. It’s been a huge success.”
Want to know how Camilla managed to pull off such a large project in such a small space of time without cloning herself? Here are her top 3 tips for delivering a gorgeous finished result with the tightest of deadlines.
1. Be organised
First up: plan, plan, plan. At the start of every project Camilla always creates a mood board for each room – exploring colours, furniture and accessories helps her see what works in any space. As well as helping us find the products she needed, they also gave Camilla’s clients an idea of what the finished result would look like, so they could sign off on her vision. “ I only used the eporta website to create my mood boards which saved me time. There are so many interesting pieces that you don’t really need to go anywhere else to furnish a house. Plus, being able to filter suppliers to only include those with no lead times was incredibly helpful!”
Once she’d decided on which items were coming from where (and checked the dimensions and specs by dropping them into a CAD drawing), Camilla kept a detailed spreadsheet of expected delivery times – broken down by room, product, price and where it was being delivered to so that she could easily check info as and when she needed to. “It’s important to be structured and know what you’re doing with each and every day – whether you have 4 months or 10 days to turn around a project.”
2. Make life as easy for yourself as you can
Try to keep suppliers to a minimum. When time is tight, dealing with as few people as possible will make your life a lot easier. Juggling multiple delivery deadlines, invoices and having to remember where everything is coming from can be really tricky – even with one of Camilla’s super spreadsheets. Which is one of the reasons why she came to us for help.
“Making payments is one of the most time consuming elements of my job, so only having to set up one trade account for all my suppliers was a lifesaver! Without it, I would have needed another week to manage all the payments I needed to make.”
3. Build great relationships
Sometimes it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. “No project will ever be 100% perfect,” says Camilla. “But by having good relationships with the people you’re working with you can guarantee that they will try their best to help you in whatever way they can.”
Camilla quickly established a good working relationship with our Project Team. “The level of service and support I got from eporta was brilliant. Everyone has such great knowledge of the suppliers and products that, after looking at my mood boards, they were able to help me sift through a lot of options to find what I was looking for. I didn’t have to alter my vision at all. Once we’d found everything I needed, I worked with every supplier personally.
“With no leeway when it came to delivery times, I explained our limitations to everyone upfront. And every single supplier met the deadline, and any issues were dealt with immediately. It was incredibly impressive.”
Take a look at Camilla’s final result:
If you’re working to a tight deadline let us know and we can find you products that will work to your timescales and help make sure you hit your deadlines.
Darsah Interior Design is a London-based practice run by Camilla Premadasa offering bespoke services for developers as well as private clients.
All photography courtesy of Marek Sikora.