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Full Service Distance Design - Is It For You?

If you've been following along with us for a few years, you know that we accepted a project based in Connecticut right in the middle of the pandemic. I knew it was a risk (and boy, did those delays really hit us with this one), but we were excited for the opportunity to work across the country. Thankfully I had Tara with me in the beginning to help with the workload!

We had completed projects for people out of state before, but in a more E-design capacity, where we would provide links to products and the clients were managing a lot of it on their own. This time, we were doing full service design for a home we wouldn't be able to visit more than a few times before the install day! Talk about a challenge.

Now that the project is complete, photos have been taken, and I've had some time to reflect, I will walk through the realities of working in this way, and whether we'll take on other projects like this in the future!

The reality of Full Service Distance Design

Travel is absolutely involved, and you're getting to go somewhere else and take inspiration from somewhere that looks and feels completely different from home. I love traveling, and like I said before, all of this felt like a great challenge to tackle, especially with great clients who trusted us from the beginning!

Speaking of challenges, literally everything about this process was new to us, and I really liked having to figure all of that out. How do we bill for a project like that? How do we handle the traveling? How do we find a receiver out of state that we can trust fully? How do we ship some of our custom pieces that we've made here to the East Coast, without it costing an arm and a leg? (On that last one, you don't - it just costs an arm and a leg). Not to mention needing to bring more accessories than we needed to install eventually (and not breaking any of them in transit), and then also repacking unused accessories in our multiple pieces of checked luggage on the way home!

The project timeline was also during COVID where everything was backordered, so it made the project that much more difficult. Our good friend over at Yond Interiors was an invaluable resource in talking through how to handle this level of organization coast to coast! So much thanks to her for talking us through it :)

Figuring out how to marry our California coastal style with the more formal New England style of this client's home and community was a lot of fun too. A challenge of a different sort, you could say ;)

I think this project was what started my routine of getting up really early in the morning as well. The contractors would be on site at 7am, which is 4am here on the West Coast, and I didn't want them waiting on me for answers if they needed it, so I started getting up much, much earlier to tackle those questions as they came in. Even though I'm still not a true morning person yet, I do enjoy my quiet mornings now. Projects like these will absolutely elongate the work day, so that is something to think about when different time zones are involved!

Would We Do It Again?

I can't overlook that the clients who gave us this opportunity were also so patient, trusting, and generally awesome, so as much as we had to figure out about the process, they made it so worth it! It was really rewarding to be able to fly out for our final photo shoot and see them again as well.

This project will hold a special place in my heart, and this client has already texted me that we'll have to open an MND East Coast for their friends and family who want to work us now. I won't go that far at this point, but the lessons learned from this project will for sure inform any distance design full service projects in the future!

All that to say, we would love to do another distance design project like this! We will have to limit the number that we take on to maybe one or two at any given time, though. Not being able to drive over to a job site for questions or installation of surfaces makes these types of projects potentially more drawn out, and I want to make sure that all client projects have ample time dedicated to them.

And if we get more views like this, I'll be there in a hot second!

If you are outside the Ventura area, don't hesitate to reach out about your full service distance design project with us!

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peeks; more photos coming soon of this beautiful project of ours!



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