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Behind the Scenes - Purchasing and Project Management

Colorful desk work space at the studio office space for Houston residential design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

Last year, we talked about the initial consultation phase and the design concept phase of the full-service design process, and it's finally time to dive into the waiting stage (for clients), otherwise known as purchasing and project management! While our clients have approved their design, paid their invoices, and eagerly await their new spaces, this stage is actually a very busy one for us behind the scenes. I always associate this phase with the feeling of holding your breath while juggling, sometimes standing on only one leg or then flowing into a backbend, oh and your hair's on fire! This time during a project is both exhilarating and exhausting as the vision starts coming to life, We are fielding inevitable issues with backorders, or missing parts, or any number of things you as a client or consumer could probably never imagine going wrong. Part of our unwritten job description is the ability to stay flexible and adapt when things happen (because stuff always happens). Any issue, big or small, that arises will be handled by our team behind the scenes during the process. It's part of our full service customer service.

Before we purchase any trade items on your behalf, you will receive a proposal that details items to be purchased along with all known associated costs. After proposals are approved and invoices paid, we work diligently behind the scenes, placing and following up on all orders placed by NLI, tracking shipments every step of the way. We cover our bases with both physical calendars up on the wall (#oldschoolandOCD) to track shipment dates for multiple items and clients, and we have our digital calendars as well. Both of these get updated as items ship, get delivered to our receiving warehouse, or go on backorder.

Desk work space at the studio office space for Nancy Lane Interiors
sneak peek of one of the work spaces in our new design studio

All orders placed through NLI are shipped to our receiving warehouse, where they are unwrapped, inspected for damage, and stored safely until our installation day. Our full-service clients can rest assured knowing that we are on top of the logistical process of procurement and will handle all the moving parts and resolve any issues that may arise from ordering to install. We also strive to keep our clients informed and in the loop by sending weekly updates.

While we are waiting for the larger furniture items to come in, we continue work on finalizing our styling plans for smaller decor as well! That might include finding accessories on multiple shopping trips together, repurposing pieces that clients want to keep, or pulling from our bulk decor inventory that we purchase throughout the year at various markets and other vendors. Everything associated with a project stays at the receiver until installation day aka when concept becomes reality!

Do you have any questions about this part of the design process? Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the final phase of our full service design projects - the installation and final reveal of your beautiful new home! Plus we'll reveal photos of our new studio space. Stay tuned!


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