This week at Jennifer Schnabel I assisted in finding fabric options for a client’s living room, while using some of their existing furnishing. In this image the fabric on the left was a swatch from an existing chair in the room. the other two fabric swatch options from an additional chair and sofa in the same space. This task is always challenging with so many fabric options. Other elements that tie the look together are accessory items; such as throw pillows, lamps, and mirrors.
I also continued organizational tasks; such as the business contacts, and sorting through carpet samples. It was a great week on the job!
This week, I got to go to Philly with third year studio. We got to visit Hershey, Neocon East, Falling Water and Kentuck Knob! The experience lasted from Tuesday through Thursday, and I attended my internship Monday and Wednesday. While at my internship, I put new wallpaper books into the system(s). At Perspectives, we have multiple systems to keep organized, considering we have been in business for 35+ years. When we receive a new wallpaper book (like the one pictured), I first label it with a Perspectives sticker and a bar code. We often rent out books, and rent them out for five dollars that can be put forward to future purposes. This is to ensure the books are returned and that we profit from the wallpaper. We also have a ‘guide’, also pictured, and we have to arrange the wallpaper by borders, color and pattern. With hundreds of books in stock, we have to keep a record of what is in each. Patterns include damask, floral, stripes, dots, etc. and colors range from basics to metallic. This organization helps us provide our customers with the product they need and quickly.
I hope to use these organizational skills in the future to keep my work in check and to keep the clients happy. I have already used some of my new organizational skills from my internship to help divide and conquer my current school work.
This week I have been all over the place. Our office hired a new accounting person, so I helped clean and prepare her office for her arrival. We are also getting the carpets cleaned soon. Because of this, I had to make sure all of our samples are off the floor and organized into a specific location. Also, we are having a Halloween office party on the 30th, so I helped organize that.
Next, I coordinated with the company that came and measured the screen for one of the residence halls. They could not give me a specific date they could be here. Therefore, I had to be ready to meet them at the residence hall whenever they called.
I also got to sit in on the design presentation for the upcoming housing called University Flats. This will be used for upper classmen and graduate housing. I gave input on a few of their ideas. I also listened when they explained why they made certain decisions. I can apply some of this reasoning to my own studio project.
Lastly, our order of flooring for the damaged laundry room finally came in today. I have to call our installers and furniture movers to set a date to remove the old flooring and replace it with the new. Overall, it was a pretty successful week.
Carol went to market over the weekend and was frantically running around all week. On Tuesday I did not see her, and she didn’t leave a list of tasks, nor was she answering her phone, so I organized for a bit, and then after an hour or so she texted me and asked me to check on an order, and place it. I did so, then she said “no, I only needed to price” so I told her how much it would be and then she goes, “no, i need a quote.” It was a very confusing for a few minutes (and even stressful because I was on hold with Lafayette Blinds for so long I was worried the order couldn’t be stopped in time!). I also laid out all of the books she got from market on the pool table and looked through them (with my coworker, Oreo). Also, Lindsey stopped by for my mid-semester internship meeting.
On Thursday, the same thing happened, Carol was MIA so I did some busy work, organized the computer files, and worked on homework until she called me back. I was to create three more quotes, basically the same quote but with different variations. It took a while because you have to do quotes over the phone, but it worked out, and I printed them with little deciphered notes for Carol.
I learned that although sometimes people say one thing, you have to be prepared for them to not mean it, and you might need to quickly change whatever you did to work with them. As Sonic the Hedgehog said, “gotta go fast.”
Last, week I can explain that I have been most knowledgable at gaining experience from each department. In many ways this can help me adhere to all needs of the store. As I talked last week, this image shows the innovation of wallpaper becoming back in style. Again, this is one area I have gained great knowledge. The second area that I have loved to work in is the paint department. Here I see the paint employees creating paint and putting in the right amounts of colors as they are mixing. I have also been able to gain my knowledge of how to differentiate color. For example, a color may have a hint of red or yellow. This allows me to distinguish a language when talking with customers about colors they are looking at. It has also helped me to discover I have a good eye for color. Another place I generate is the dock room where deliveries are given and organized to their designated areas.
This week at Jennifer Schnabel Interior Design I assisted in a drapery install. In this image I’m “pinning” the draperies. Pinning is a task in which, I first measure down to a designated measurement and then hook the pin in. This is used to connect the draperies to the rod above the window. In a drapery install this is my main role or task on site. The rest of the time I observe the learn important elements of the process. I’ve learned that the structure of the home is important; in that sometimes the ceiling height isn’t constant through the room, and ideally there’s a wooden frame above the window for drilling.
Another task performed this week was sorting through carpet samples. In this image I was looking through Stark carpet samples and checking their website to see which ones are still current. I made two piles to indicate current samples verses non current samples. This is an important task in the organization process and before putting the samples back on the shelves. Overall it was a great week with the Schnabels.
In some instances, the interns get to ‘play designer’ at Perspectives. By this, I mean we get to take over their position while they are gone on meetings or measures. We answer calls on their behalf, call for pricing on material and blinds, and even work up quotes for customers (that have to be reviewed before sent out). Mostly though, we sit at their desk and take walk in customers. This requires a lot of prior knowledge of needs, that the designer will need to choose the correct product. We have to ask questions like indoor or outdoor, replacing old or creating new, where they live in case of doing a measure, what type of aesthetic they desire, in the case of blinds, how opaque they are needed to be, and many more. This is sometimes an easy answer, and the customers come in knowing what they are looking for, but often times, we have to help the customer envision what they want. Often times, I will pull out several books and materials to see what they desire, and that is often enough information to give the designer to continue the project. Though sometimes, the customers will be extremely price conscious and ask for rough pricing from the beginning. In which case, I have to call the company and get a rough estimate, which extremely difficult if there are no dimensions. Each case tends to be different, and they often have different design processes, which requires an immense amount of organization. Organization is something I may write about in a later post.