Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

Decorating is Exhausting: Part Deux

by habituallychic

08 . 11 . 08

When I told everyone that I had to go to the Hamptons for an installation, I think everyone assumed I would be sitting by the pool eating bon bons while directing the delivery men as to where to place furniture. This could not be farther from reality although we did get to have a little bit of fun when we arrived on Thursday night. We saw Peter Cook having dinner at Sen in Sag Harbor and then Jay McInerney of “Bright Lights, Big City” fame after we got ice cream on Main Street. But then a huge thunderstorm rolled through town. There is nothing scarier than staying in a sparsely furnished and enormous Hamptons house with no window coverings while lightening looks like it may strike you or the house at any minute. Oh, and did I mention that lights went out at one point?! Good thing we weren’t watching a horror movie!

Well, we made it through the night to greet the delivery men at 8:00am Friday morning with a truck packed to the roof with furniture. We, of course, had muffins, donuts and drinks for the men but you would be surprised at how many people don’t even think to offer them anything. Let me make this clear, if you are having moving men deliver the heaviest furniture ever produced, it would be polite to offer them a glass of water, in addition to a hefty tip. A hurricane could hit the house and the Holly Hunt teak outdoor furniture they had to carry would still be sitting there. I could barely even move any of it a few inches. And then there was the ridiculously heavy Dakota Jackson dining table. Luckily, we had the nicest and funniest crew you could ever wish for who were a delight to work with. And just because I was moving furniture didn’t mean I wasn’t working.

We also had the contractors to deal with in addition to the electricians installing light fixtures and the carpenters installing bathroom accessories. It was a three ring circus with only two ring masters! Next time we are definitely bringing our intern! Things weren’t finished until 5:00pm and then we had to clean up! Everyone thinks interior design is so fabulous and that all we do is pick out fabric and paint colors. Little do they know that you’re also sometimes a shrink, personal assistant and maid. While my colleague vacuumed, I had to go through all the bathrooms and clean up the messes left by the workers. I also made sure all they all had perfectly folded towels and fresh flowers. (The house is so large that it is actually exhausting to walk the length of it!) But in the end, it was all worth it. The house looked so beautiful that it was a shame we had to leave. Although, we have two more installations before it will be finished so we’ll definitely be back!

On the way home, we had very weird weather. It was both sunny and raining which produced a spectacular rainbow. We also happened to see the editor and chief of a big magazine in the parking lot of the Super K wearing a very casual outfit of cargo pants and a t-shirt. A very large departure from her usual all black ensembles. Just goes to show that not everyone or everything in the Hamptons is glamorous all the time. I will admit though that I wouldn’t mind a huge house to get away to every weekend! Maybe I should start working harder to save up for one. Anyone need a decorator?!

Comments Closed

  1. mandco August 11, 2008 | 4:37 am

    Sounds like rather a fun and quite exhausting trip! 😉 Will we get pictures of some of the interior when finished? That would be fun to see 🙂

  2. Camilla @ Designalogue August 11, 2008 | 6:28 am

    Oh I hear you! I hear you!!!
    I recently had a 3 metre 200 kilo (that’s 440 pounds to you!!) dining table delivered to a client’s house –it took 8 men + me to carry it in!
    Certainly not a ‘glamorous’ part of the job!!
    (still really fun though!!!)

  3. maison21 August 11, 2008 | 12:39 pm

    having just spent a day last week installing a single room, i hear you- decorating s exhausting!

    after the movers left, i had to personally climb a ladder to wire and hang a chandelier (no contractor but luckily m21 is kinda handy), install switch plates, hang a mirror (and windex a lifetime of dust off it), in addition to vacuuming, polishing fingerprints off EVERYTHING (including the gloss finish walls- i was sweating after that), and of course, the endless obsessing on moving furniture and accessories *just so*.

  4. My Castle in Spain August 11, 2008 | 6:54 pm

    I’m having a chocolate mousse after sweeping my patio thinking gosh that was exhausting. I am now reading your post and I think you’re great !!!

    and yes, it would be nice to see some pics of the finished work

  5. Habitually Chic August 11, 2008 | 6:55 pm

    M and Co, I think they will want to try to get it published so I’m not sure I can post anything yet. I’ll see what I can do later.

  6. Habitually Chic August 11, 2008 | 6:56 pm

    Camilla, It’s a fun part of the job because you actually get to see a result of all the hard work! And I love styling! That’s the very best part!

  7. Habitually Chic August 11, 2008 | 6:58 pm

    Maison21, I forgot the part about dusting all the fingerprints off of the dining table but then the dust cloth kept leaving more dust behind! Very annoying.

    Oh, and did I mention the spiders and hornets?! So much fun putting cushions on the outdoor furniture when you are being chased by bugs!

    But it was rewarding to see the final result!

  8. Habitually Chic August 11, 2008 | 6:59 pm

    My Castle in Spain, I work so hard on everyone else’s homes that mine is a bit neglected. I think I need to do some sweeping when I get home!

  9. katiedid August 12, 2008 | 4:23 am

    Hi Heather! I hope it DOES get published! I would love to see your work. What a fun weekend, even if a working one. Hey! How is the bachelor pad coming along?!

  10. Hound Hill Design August 12, 2008 | 5:46 pm

    Wow – this post brought back lots of memories of being a design assistant in NYC for years!! My first installation was out in Aspen, and I remember asking my boss if I should bring along my skis – he laughed so loud and told me the only thing I was going to see in Aspen was the hardware store! And he was so right. Keep up the great blogging!

  11. Anonymous August 13, 2008 | 3:05 pm

    at least you dont have to use your brain.

  12. Habitually Chic August 13, 2008 | 3:10 pm

    Anonymous – Obviously you don’t use your brain but I certainly use mine. How else would I calculte square footages, measurements for custom furniture, whether a piece will fit through a door or on a freight elevator, fabric yardages, etc.

    I’m not sure who you are but I would appreciate if you didn’t waste my time with your boorish comments. Go bother someone else and get a life!

  13. Rock Kyndl August 14, 2008 | 3:55 am

    I’m in the renovation business. There is always a certain, poignant point at the end of a satisfying project when the last details are completed and you pass the house over to the owner(s).
    I take solace in the fact that-if you’ve done your job well-you’ll be back!

    I really enjoy your blog that I found through 1stdibs.

  14. Robin August 16, 2008 | 9:51 pm

    Great post (I’m behind on my reading and am just catching up now). I work in the event business and everyone thinks all I do is travel and attend parties, they don’t understand the hours of planning, hours of on-site set up and then hours of running around during the event is so NOT a party for me. And when I worked at a winery people assumed I sat around drinking wine all day!

    And kudos to you for feeding and watering your movers and laborers. When I moved a couple of years ago, I bought deli sandwiches for the 4 movers and they were dumbfounded. Apparently no one ever does that. I figured they spent all morning packing one house and were about to spend all afternoon unpacking into another house, the least I could do was spend $26 to buy them all sandwiches and iced tea. I’m positive that is why they were so patient with me when I had them move the heavy glass-front china cabinet four times until it was in just the right place…