This has been an interesting couple of weeks. I would love to say “today I did …” and name a specific item. Right now I am all over the board on multiple projects doing site inspections, creating/maintaining budgets, preparing purchase orders for and buying furniture and following up on vendors that are providing products for our projects. Instead I will highlight two items that have consumed me.
1. Problem Solving: A vendor that was making a large chunk of our custom furniture told me that they would not be producing all the work we had given them. This was quite a shock, since they have had the purchase order (PO) for over a year ago. We have tried to follow up with them, but they have been hard to contact. Because they have been a long standing supplier to our client, we trusted they would deliver. But, finally after reaching an individual on the phone they said, “If that is when you want your items, no, we won’t meet that date.” It was more than frustrating to have that conversation, since the delivery date was on the PO. But at this stage in the game, a number of months out from installation, I don’t have choice but to move on. I quickly called 3 of our other vendors that have been producing work for the same project. I had to prepare all the documents and drawings and send them to each company to request a quote and lead time to complete the work. It took 4 -5 days to get it all out the door and hear back from them all. The only way I could meet our project’s deadline was to split up the work so it wasn’t too burdensome on one supplier. After many conversations, we were able to get the work spread out with Purchase Orders going out last week Luckily, the original supplier that bailed on a lot of the work said they could get the upholstered pieces done by then, which was about half the work. As much as I would like to pull away all their work, we need them right now to deliver what they can. Plus, all the fabric was shipped to them and has been in storage at their shop. To re-ship all that upholstery on to other various suppliers would have only compounded the situation.
2. Antique Lamps: This project needs about 70 lamps. Because this project is a Historic remodel from the 1800’s, lamps have not been the easiest thing to order “off the shelf.” The market for Victorian lamps isn’t what it once was and the distinctive glass shades have been hard to find. A lot of suppliers for them have disappeared from the market. Finally, a vendor for lamps was able to find a source that could supply the typical shades of that design era. We took some of their standard lamps and “victorianized” them with the historic shades and crystals typical to the design movements of that era. These would be used as the general lamps throughout. Then after much antique shopping, I was able to find a handful of lamps that are 90-100% antique that could be scattered around the project as design highlights. These will really be jewels of the project, giving the true flavor of the time period. Some of these antiques have been converted to electricity already. Some have not. But, I have found a local supplier that can do that for a reasonable amount of money.
Here are some of the lamps that I have purchased. For all you true history buffs, I acknowledge that these lamps aren’t all from the 1880’s or 1890’s. Some come from much earlier and some later. But just like we have items in our homes from earlier time period passed down, etc., these lamps will tell a story and give a flavor of authenticity.
As I have previously mentioned, I am a modernist at heart, but I have loved this experience finding items of the past and taking in their character and charm. These pieces were modern at their time and it is fascinating to see how items of quality design and craftsmanship can last through the ages.