contributed by D. Marie Leon [Silk Dynasty SW regional sales representative / therapist / master cupcakestress]
Interior designers continually strive to create distinctive spaces for each of their clients. Depending on the project, the goal could be to reflect a personal style, carry through with a corporate culture, or communicate a company brand. One interesting element having attractive possibilities – but that is often overlooked by designer professionals due to an array of perceived concerns – is handmade wallcovering. In this two-part series, accompanied by video footage explaining the installation process, I will address the four anxiety-elevating issues that frequently accompany handmade product. In so doing, I hope not only to dispel the myths about this versatile option, but also to expand your creative process, resulting in a final design that is both beyond satisfying and well within your client’s budget.
When looking to create a signature interior, options seem endless. Furniture provides utility and comfort, ceilings determine intimacy or grandeur, and floors anchor a space with planes of color and texture. Then one’s thoughts turn to walls. While paint is a safe, certain bet, sometimes you just need something more. Whether used as a subtle backdrop or a more prominent accent, vertical surfaces can be the key element in pulling together an overall design schema.
If, as an interior designer, you have ever considered handmade wallcovering for a corporate, hospitality, or residential project, you probably have concerns about the unique nature of the product. Therefore, let me address some of the most commonly expressed issues that I have encountered as representative of a leader in the handmade wallcovering industry.
1 | Lead-time, Availability & Assistance
Deadlines are critical to the success of a project, so before specifying something, its lead-time must be a primary consideration. The wait for handmade wallcovering can range from immediate availability to 12 weeks or more depending on whether or not product is inventoried or made to order.
The beauty of handmade product, however, is the ability to customize. When considering a manufacturer, ask if they offer this service as it can inevitably turn out to be an important consideration. Many times a project will evolve and end up demanding a unique color or texture. If the manufacturer you are working with only provides stock color options, then you are going to find yourself in a bind – exactly the kind of trip-up you don’t want to disrupt the fast pace of your project.
Find out about the custom policies of a handmade wallcovering company you are considering up front. If you end up needing access to custom services, then you will need to understand all of the company’s requirements, such as swatch submission, how you are to communicate your design vision, upcharges for a custom strike-offs, etc. I’m happy to report that Silk Dynasty can generally return custom strike-offs within two weeks, and we are committed to assisting designers to achieve the desired outcome through the use of Pantone swatches and other sources requiring interpretation.
2 | Affordability
There aren’t too many of us who have not felt the pinch of the current economic downturn. No matter the field, companies are making a concerted effort to stretch their dollar – and with profound affects on the design community.
You may think that the luxury of handmade goods is outside what is fiscally responsible for a project. However, using handmade wallcovering could turn out to be the most affordable means of setting a space apart. When cared for properly, it creates lasting impact that offers a continual return on your client’s design investment dollar.
In contrast to investing in costly furniture or painting, both of which can require frequent touch-ups, wallcovering can last for years and require little maintenance. And, when fairly priced, it provides a high-end look that is completely affordable.
As a small company determined to weather the economic storm, Silk Dynasty is extremely sensitive to current budget constraints, and we are committed to providing the best value and “look” for design professionals’ dollar.
Next month watch for information on handmade wallcovering’s environmental benefits and enduring stylistic appeal. In the meantime, take a look at this installation video that Silk Dynasty has provided to set your specifying mind at ease and help you communicate with your client and contractor. GO HERE to read Part 2.