The Victoria &Albert Museum is fantastic when it comes to providing affordable classes on almost any topic related to art, design and culture. Back in May 2009, I attended a very interesting study day called “De-mystifying the Commissioning Process”.
At that time I was in the throws of renovating our old flat. We were seriously considering commissioning a fairly large bespoke AV unit as we had spent way too much time trying to find one ready made that met the needs of both big J (it needed to fit all of his precious audio and visual equipment and exacting measurements) and mine (it needed to look good). Then this study day came along and so I jumped at the chance to find out more before we took the plunge. Here are some tips that I learnt that day…
- Make sure that you are clear about what you want and get everything in writing.
- Ensure you are clear on price (including any delivery and installation costs), timing and terms of contract before proceeding or putting down a deposit.
- Provide images, sketches and fabric swatches to the craft person to help them with inspiration and insist they provide samples for approval.
- If working with fabric, always get stock cuttings as the colour on the samples could be different; then check how much is left on the roll. When you receive the delivery of the fabric, always check the stock cutting you have against it as batches can vary in colour.
- Get the crafts person to visit the property they will be building for if possible. This will allow them to take measurements if required and see the space.
A lot of this is common sense however I did learn how important it is to ensure that both the craftsperson/designer and client understood each other and agreed on expectations before any exchange of contracts took place. This helped immensely in our own commissioning process.
So have you had anything commissioned? What are your experiences of this and do you have any lessons learned you’d like to share? I’d love to know.
It’s finally the weekend and this Sunday is my birthday so I’ll be celebrating quietly with my family. I hope you have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you on Monday for more interior talk. xD
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