Organizing A Decorator; Getting Those Samples Under Control

 Some of my all time favorite projects include organizing decorators offices/showrooms. I guess it stems from my childhood. I remember countless trips to the paint store with my DIY Mom( I wonder where I get it from) and time spent looking through wallpaper books.

Most decorators are juggling several clients/ projects at one time. Not to mention all the stuff that goes along with the decorating process.

Here are some of my top tips to help you organize your office/showroom:

1. Catalogs- Have a file drawer to file these in. File by topic such as lighting, kitchen, ect.

2. Paint pallets- Have one bucket or bin to keep this contained.

3. Material Samples- Create a system to get these under control. Canvas totes work really well for storage. Sort by color or type(such as silk, velvet, ect).

4. Client samples-Have a container to keep all your samples for one job together. Some of my clients have used reusable bags, while others have used canvas totes. Whatever container you choose, it should be portable.

5. Samples to be returned-You need to have a container for samples that need to be returned to the showroom.

6. Books-Books should be organized by type of subject. Kitchens, curtains, ect.

7. Magazines-These should be sorted by title and date. Containerize in a magazine holder if possible and label the holder or the shelf.

8 Checklists- I have helped a few decorators create checklists for their projects. This way they cover all bases when working on a client on a specific room. It keeps them on track and they don't have to waste time asking clients additional questions. They have the full scope of what the client is looking to accomplish.

9. Inspiration Binders- Cut out pictures that motivate you. Organize these in binders by topic.

10. Resource List- Maintain a good resource list of contractors.

11. Client Files- This is the most important part  of the project. For every client you should have a file or files. This should incompass notes, invoices, and your checklists. A small accordian file works well for this process. If you choose to keep the files in a cabinet, use manilla folders, so you can take out the file as needed to refer to the project. I suggest having more than one file for the client:

    1. invoices

   2. checklists

   3. notes/ideas

  4.contract/timeline of the project

The most important thing is to have your office reflect you personal style. You want it to be an inviting place that your creativity will flourish!

Leave a comment