Here I am, popping my blog cherry. A warts and all look at what it’s like at every stage of the journey of making a bespoke piece of furniture.
Like all jobs, it begins with a phone call. I’m not that well organised to have an appointment diary. A wardrobe for her boyfriend’s Mom. A scribble on a bit of paper will do, date, time, directions, a mental note that I have to be there at that time on that day.
I’ve done loads of things for this girl before, a Department Store buyer who does a bit of interior design on the side. It’s great to have a good working relationship with a client like this, I know that she knows I can be trusted not to make a dog’s dinner of it, to turn her ideas into a functioning thing that will be ‘just what she wanted’. I also know she has an appreciation for what’s involved and what things realistically cost.
On the appointed day, I ready myself. Gather up all the things I need to go and talk wardrobes. Pencil, paper, tape measure, spirit levels to check the walls for plumb, the floor for level, a framing square to see how much off perpendicular the corners are, a pinch rod to check the ceiling height, a catalogue with numerous styles of wardrobe doors and handles, the usual story.
I can’t believe this house when I get there. Forget the door catalogue, this isn’t going to be some chipboard fantasy. A 300 year old Estate House of giant proportions. We go up to the room to discuss where it’s going, I can only describe it as epic. We quickly establish that chipboard in whatever form has no place in this room. Her vision is of something sympathetic to the period details that adorn the room, the house. I couldn’t agree more. I already have a mental picture of the piece that would suit it’s surroundings. She has that same vision too, it’s great that we’re reading off the same page.
I leave with the dimensions and a bunch of print outs that she’s already prepared, pictures of Victorian and Georgian wardrobes downloaded from the internet. This is the brief, stage 1, but with some proviso’s. Design a wardrobe that’s not over the top, but styled in Victoriana, functional, mirrors and drawers. Practical considerations too, like getting it up the stairs have to be addressed. I like jobs like this one. Real involved. Immerse yourself in it, but with quiet reserve. There’s no point counting chickens…