I often say jokingly that being an interior designer is being a glorified mover some days! It is that and much more to be able to put together a great showhome like the Belvedere or Hudson at Fireside, Cochrane for Brookfield Residential! We plan months in advance for the show homes; so the set up days are really getting to see all of the hard work and preparation completed. This is the part that I love because seeing it come together and transform is really rewarding!
Usually 6 months prior to the showhome opening we are working on it. We usually pin or save images of items and concept homes that we like, and then work to make all of the images cohesive and work together. We call this concept development or a concept board. Once we have a strong concept, I start making selections for the home. We select all of the finishes; the cabinetry, hardware, countertop,hardwood, tile flooring, tile backsplashes, baseboard and casing profiles, interior doors, and paint. We strive to make all of the finishes work as a great backdrop for the merchandizing portion of the showhome.
Merchandizing takes more time than the finish selection, however, I believe this makes the homes sell, and completes the overall look that we are trying to achieve. We will start the selections on furniture 4 months prior to the grand opening. This allows us time to select all of the furniture and fabrics, and then get approval from the client. All furniture that is worthwhile takes approximately 8-12 weeks to fabricate and/or ship. Once we have all of the large items on order, we start purchasing accessories that go with the rooms. We purchase some wholesale, and some retail items depending on what we need, and what we see. Like every good shopper, we make lists and take it off the list once we find it! The show homes are not an overnight event. They take time, and organization t o be able to have it all pull together in 1–2 days for set up.
When we have collected everything into our warehouse for the showhome, we do one move from our warehouse to the showhome, and tackle the set up. The movers are usually done in 1 day, and then we spend the 2nd day finalizing the set-up of smaller items and accessorizing.
Often our bodies ache, and they are long days on our feet, but seeing the home become what we hoped; makes it all worthwhile. We hope that you enjoy viewing the homes, and that you can tell that we love what we do!