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Soft Furnishings Sketchfile

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How to get into the soft furnishings niche and suceed

How to get into the soft furnishings niche and suceed


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  • 1. Soft Furnishings Sketchfile
  • 2. Soft Furnishings
    • Soft furnishings are those extras that we often forget to offer to the consumer when we sell draperies.
    • Table top
    • Kitchen and Bath accessories
    • Bedding ensembles
    • Decorative pillows
    • They add dollars to the total sale. More importantly, this category can move your business to the next level by offering your clients unique products.
    •  
    • To be successful at this you need:
    • The right sales tools
    • Be prepared to sell the extras
    • Good presentation package to back it up.
  • 3. Right Sales Tools
    • My Portfolio
    • Presentation Boards
    • Mock ups and templates
    • Selling Bags
    • Sketching
  • 4. Right Sales Tools
    •  
    • Purchase or make utility bags. I use canvas bags that I have had my name monogrammed on.
    • Keep a bag for every room in the house or product category that can be hard to sell.
      • I sell a lot of dressmaker details, so I have a bag of detail samples.
      • I also have a decorative hardware bag. No more selling expensive hardware from sales sheets for me.
    •  
    • In each bag, keep what is pertinent to the room or the category.
      • I have had my workroom make up samples
      • This is a great way to use up extra fabric. Workrooms consider this idea to sell to designers.
    •  
    • The Kitchen bag has placemats, lampshades, cushions, and napkins
    • to show as an add-on sale.
    • The Hardware bag has different rod sizes, finial choices, finishes,
    • ring sizes and finishes to show the client.
    • Use your imagination and put together your own bags.
    •  
    • Bag Ideas
    •  
    • Lampshades
    • Cord scrunches
    • Decorative pillows
    • Trim
    • Soft accessories
    • Blind and shade hand samples
  • 5. Portfolio
    •  
    • A portfolio should be a representation of your work that can give the client an idea of your style, the quality of your work and depth and breath of it.
    • When putting together a portfolio consider the following:
    • Choose a design direction or target market and be specific- traditional, contemporary, eclectic
    • Your personal style and image should be reflected in every page. Develop a portfolio that is an extension of you.
    • Show examples of cutting edge design
    • Target a specific appearance to show your best work. If there is any doubt if a project should be included- DON’T.
    • Never include a piece just because you were paid for it. But show example of your highest creativity/technical ability regardless if it was completed.
    • Be consistent
  • 6. Portfolios
    • Target a specific subject-soft furnishings
    • Keep the outside dimensions the same.
    • Your case should be distinctive- a good size, color and of quality materials
    • Remember your logo on the outside
    • Be choosy – 10 to 15 photos or boards
    • Update it regularly
    • Divide it into categories:
    • Who you are
    • Your work
    • Your awards
    • Your press
  • 7. Be Prepared
    • Today’s savvy customer is looking for a window covering professional that will listen to them, consult and draw out the feeling that they are looking for.
    • Window covering pros on the other hand seem to want to show the customer their portfolio and tell them how they can save them money.
  • 8. Sell The Extras
    • The Clients Stress Performance
    • Know my needs: consult
    • Work with me
    • Justify my budget
    • Talk with me directly
    •  
    • Performance based on service
    • Designers Stress Competence
    • Know design: have experience and training
    • Know how to coordinate, schedule
    • Save her money, stay within budget
    • Use impressive media
    • Based on credentials
  • 9. What does all this mean?
    • LISTEN to our clients, and position ourselves in the marketplace correctly.
    • Have you ever thought that the reason you are not selling today’s hot product category is that your market isn’t right or you haven’t positioned the product correctly.
    • Are you showing 2” wood blinds to a customer who can only afford metal blinds? Or are you not selling up when the customer is ready to pay more for a better product?
    • Let’s not be doing jobs that we are not prepared to do.
    • The reason you aren’t selling motorization could be that you aren’t comfortable
    • Last but not least, sell your ideas!
    •  
  • 10. What Rooms will be Decorated in 2009?
    • Hearst Home Group recently did a survey hoping to understand and quantify current decorating and renovating activity in the American home.
    • Among the survey’s key findings, “Affluent consumers are in decorating mode,”
    • “ Decorating is slightly higher on their agenda than renovating. And, the master bedroom is where the action is, in more ways than one!”
    • Help them accomplish this, and you’ll gain a loyal customer
    • The survey showed that only one in 10 (11 percent) likes their master bedroom as is.
    • Here’s the good news-some 42 percent seek new window treatments for the master bedroom of their dreams. But don’t just think in terms of the windows.
    Decorating in the master bedroom will increase by a whopping 74 percent; while decorating in the family room will increase by 61 percent.
  • 11. Find the Niche
    • Do the research and get yourself up to speed on bedding, accessory and soft furnishings trends and resources.
    • Check out retailers that own the market share to see how they are marketing themselves.
    • Look for resources - Etoffe Makara , Fleur de Lis , Austin Horn and others- the high end bedding companies that don’t have minimums for designers so with a small upfront cost in sample books you can be in the category.
    • Or forge an alliance with a quilter or workroom willing to help you create a semi custom private label line.
    • Position and market yourself as a bedroom expert. Look to develop packages using the tried and true good, better, best concept of window treatments and bedding.
    • Name them cleverly using buzzwords that are touchpoints for your consumer- Spa, Private, or Sexy, romantic…
  • 12. Packages
    • "All About The Love," package for couples getting married or couples just celebrating their love.
    • "The Upgrade," for those who are wishing to wash that old lover right out of the bed and have recently ended a relationship and are looking for a clean start or an upgrade.
    "Bedroom In A Box," acts as a blueprint for clients for a flat fee delivered in a lovely box. One consultation for measuring and assessing the clients bedroom needs and one edit consultation. "Bedroom In A Box," includes a floor plan and furniture plan, samples of selected fabrics for furniture and window treatments, flooring samples, specs of furniture, decor elements found locally and online, and sources for carpenters, painters, drapery makers and artisans.
  • 13. BEDDING- BEDSPREADS/COVERLETS/COMFORTERS
  • 14. The Bed
    • The bed, as we know it today, was not how it was in centuries past. The bedroom was often a place where aristocrats received audiences, sometimes while still in bed. This practice led to elaborate beds and bed coverings.
    • Beds generally were enclosed including side valances, back panels, bed covers, and curtains - all suspended from a wooden frame. At first, this kept out cold castle drafts, but eventually became decoration. Early beds were square in shape and this lend to using decorative elements such as printed yardage, embroidery, quilting, appliqué, or piecing.
    • Today we spend one-third of our lives in bed. Why not surround ourselves with the soft goods that offer comfort and satisfaction? As our customers become more generous with themselves, the bedroom is becoming a personal retreat. The bed is the focal point of this retreat and the bedding should be consistent with the quality of the furnishings in the rest of the house.
  • 15. Bedding Sizes Comforter Coverlet Bedspread Twin 65” x 88” 63” x 108” 81” x 117” Full 80” x 88” 80” x 88” 90” x 123” Queen 86” x 95” 84” x 113” 96” x 129” King 102” x 95” 102” x 113” 117” x 129” Bed Mattress Size Twin 38” x 75” Full 54” x 75” Queen 60” x 80”: King 76” x 80” California King 72” x 84”
  • 16. Comparison Comforter Coverlet/Bedspread Duvet Square Corner Rounded Corner Square Corner No Pillow Tuck Pillow Tuck 21”-25” No Pillow Tuck Reversible Lined/Hemmed Reversible Filled- Thick Filled- varies No Fill Drop 12” C. Drop- 12” Spread Drop-21” Drop Varies Edging Options Edging Options Edging Options Quilt Pattern only Top/Corner Options Top Quilt only Never outline quilt Outline Quilt Outline Quilt Casual Bed Unmade look Provides Warmth Never stitched thru Keeps comforter clean Velcro/zipper closure
  • 17. Resources
    • Eastern Accents
    • Austin Horn
    • Fleur de Lis
    • Sweet Dreams
    • Casa Fiora
    • Etoffe Makara
    • Kasmir
    • Robert Allen
    • Fabricut
    • Carole Fabrics
    • Jessitt Gold
  • 18. Down Comforters
    • Down Comforters are a classic and cozy style in the bedroom. Down is the best insulator- it is warm, lightweight- and for the eco-friendly customer, a by-product. 
    • What is it?
    • Down is the under feathers of waterfowl. It grows out like a feather. It is 3 dimensional with a quill point that clusters like a puff ball- they interlock and form layers trapping warm air in and cold air out. This allows your body to breathe. There are two types of down- goose and duck. Goose down is preferable because the animal is larger and more mature making larger clusters.
    •  
  • 19. Down
    • Quality 
    • The larger the down cluster, the more insulating power it has. Cluster size is determined by age-older is better, size, species, and processing. An imported down, and the priciest, is eiderdown from King Eider Ducks in Iceland. Cold climates make better down.
    • Color- white preferred; more expensive than gray
    • Fill power- # cubic inches an ounce of down takes up. The higher the fill power the better quality the down.
      • Standard is 500-550
      • High Quality is 600-700
      • Luxury is 700+. Down over 650 is considered exceptional.
    • Fabric- covers should be natural. Cotton or cotton/ silk are the best, it prevents the down from migrating.
    • Thread count- amount of thread woven per square inch of cloth, the higher the count; the smoother the fabric. Thread counts should be over 200.
    • Comforters have given way to a whole new generation that doesn’t know how to do hospital covers or the piles of blankets that I remember at Grandma’s. Try dressing the bed in covers and pillow by day, but take them off, and shake the comforter for night use.
    •  
  • 20. Choosing Down Comforters
    •   Warmth Level
    • Light- warm room/ cool sleeper
    • Medium
    • Heavy - cool room/ warm sleeper
    • Ultra
    • Ask what’s my bedroom temperature?
    • Do I want to be cool, warm or medium when I sleep?
    •  
    • Size
    • Drop should be 10-12” on each side
    •  
    • Construction
    • Two basic constructions
    • 1. Baffle- vertical wall of interior fabric sewn to shell so down doesn’t shift; can assume potential loft.
    • 2. Sew- thru - both layers of shell sewn together; usually for lightweight comforters
    • Stitches
    • Karo- open corner pattern allows down to move good for medium to heavy comforter.
    • Box Stitch- basic box pattern holds down in place giving even warmth
    •  
  • 21. Design Your Own Duvet
    • There’s nothing like customization to make consumers feel unique, and the mass-customization trend has brought that feeling to diverse goods
    • Inmod is taking customization into consumers’ home with a service that lets them design their own duvets.
    • There are other outlets that offer custom duvets, but most often the only choices to make are the fabric and size, and maybe the colour.
    • Customers using the Inmod Design Studio, on the other hand, choose from a growing variety of embroidered patterns as well as colours and fabrics to design their duvet just the way they want it.
    • Fabric choices include silk taffeta, dupioni, linen blend; embroidery options include a variety modern, retro, pop-art, geometric and nature designs
    • Customers can preview it online in a bedroom environment.
    • Each embroidered Inmod duvet is hand-made in India, and delivery takes 4 to 6 weeks.
    • One rule of thumb with customization is that it’s
    • How about taking a segmented approach to the same idea, with custom duvets for kids, teens, newlyweds? What about sheets, towels, drapery, or table linens? Let the customizing fun begin!
    http://www.inmod.com/modern-bedding.html
  • 22. BEDDING- ACCESSORIES
  • 23. Pillows Pillow Size Standard 20” x 26:” Queen 20 “ x 30” King 20” x 36” Euro 26” x 26” to 30” x 30” Neckroll 6” x 16”
  • 24. Dust Ruffles
    • Dust Ruffles can come in all sizes. Don’t assume that the drop size is standard. Always measure. Here are a couple of rules to keep in mind when selling dust ruffles.
    • Order the ruffle with split corners-just in case the client buys a new bed.
    •  
    • Don’t deduct an allowance from the drop. This will allow for shrinkage when dry cleaning.
    •  
    • Band the platform in the ruffle fabric for a custom look
    •  
    • Specify your ruffles with a pillowcased contrast lining. This gives the client a reversible ruffle- one for summer and one for winter.
    •  
    • Don’t bother to interline. The reasons for interlining (to add body, and block light) do not apply here.
    •  
    • Consider cording the top edge where the ruffle joins the platform band in the ruffle fabric.
    •  
    • Add a flap, 6-8”, to the head of the dust ruffle to help keep it in place.
    •  
  • 25.
    • One of the last remaining items from the early bed is the dust ruffle, or bedskirt, a term originally coined in the 19 th century to describe a fashion accessory that women wore inside their hems of long skirts to protect the fabric from dirt. Europeans refer to dust ruffles as bed valances. If thought of in that way, imagine all the possibilities. The dust ruffle is the last piece of the wrapped bed, but not the least. Just because it’s at the bottom of the bed doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have the same attention as the other components of the bed and bedroom. We still want to hide our box springs and closet space underneath with a ruffle.
  • 26.
    •  
    DUST RUFFLES Problem Solution White Deck Peeking Thru Add 4” band of ruffle fabric to edge of deck, overlap at corners. Round the corner at foot to fit box spring. Shifting Ruffles or Doesn’t Fit Fabric might have stretched as you tugged to get in place. Carry twist pins/ safety pins to alter. Fold platform lengthwise to adjust skirt length- safety pin fold- add a row of twist pins each side to prevent shifting. Water Beds or Decorative Rails Fabricate with wide band (12”) like a picture frame and sew the skirt to it. Tuck or staple in place. Skirt too short Make double 2 ½” hems that can be lengthened. Sew ruffle in 2 sections with vertical center overlap- skirt length can be adjusted. Secure with twist pins.
  • 27.  
  • 28. SHAMS
    • Shams can be quilted or unquilted.
    • They are differentiated from pillows by the envelope back.
    • They are not reversible.
    • Shams are usually the under pillow, and the accent or details will show more if placed on its edge.
    • Most customers don’t use their sleeping pillows to stuff the shams. Keep this in mind and sell sham stuffers to go along with the shams.
    •  
    • Specify Euro shams as zippered pillows instead and then choose two patterns so they are reversible.
    •  
    • Use leftover fabrics or antique textiles and trims
    •  
    • Use a monogrammed handkerchief folded on the diagonal over the edge.
    •  
  • 29. Pillow Placement Tips
    • To plump synthetic pillows- put in dry on low 1 x year.
    • Always cover pillows with a pillow protector.
    • If a pillow “breaks” its time to replace it.
    • To test it:
    • Fold pillow in half on hard surface
    • Push the air out of the down pillow
    • Place a shoe on a polyester pillow
    • If it doesn’t return to its original shape- it’s broken
  • 30. Bed Linens
    •  
    • The best dressed bed starts with quality bed linens. If handled properly, luxury linens should last five to ten years. Consider them an investment. Most bedding experts consider either 100% cotton or linen sheets top of the line.
    • Bed linens can set a mood, or create an atmosphere in your bedroom. Mixing and matching linens can give you a light and airy look, relaxed country, Baroque to minimalist.
    • The best test is to touch and feel the sheets and look at thread counts. Thread count is the number of threads in one square inch of fabric. The higher the number, the more threads there are. Fine sheets are ones with a thread count of over 200. A thread count of 180 is considered percale, and is usually a blend. Thread counts in luxury sheets can go as high as 720.
    • Cotton
    • Cotton breathes – Polyester doesn’t
    • Cotton sheets feel cooler. Cotton wicks moisture away from the body; thus you don’t perspire.
    • Cotton/Polyester sheets feel rougher
    • Cotton/Polyester sheets
    • Linen
    • Linen is more luxurious than cotton
    • Linen is cooler than cotton
    • Linen gets softer the more you wash it
    • Linen does require ironing
    •  
    •  
  • 31. BEDDING - HEADBOARDS
  • 32. Headboards
    • The finishing touch to bedding is a headboard. Beds without headboards create an unfinished impression.
    • It adds an additional point of emphasis to the focal point in the room- the bed.
    • Existing headboards may be slip covered for a completely different look. Ruching, cording, padding, buttons and pleated bands add to the luxury.
    • Headboards done in the same fabrics as the window treatments create a sense of unity and harmony to the room.
    • Consider contrast piping, monograms, or ribbon ties as details to the slipcover. Tie - on padding is inexpensive and stylish.
    • The concept is easy- a rectangle of fabric, padded and tied to the headboard. Picket fences, shams on rods, twigs, faux finishes, paint, shoji screens and shutters all can be turned into headboards with a little effort.
  • 33. Headboard Tips
    • Make sure headboard is right height and in proportion to wall- 2/3 to ¾ way up
    • Make 2” wider than mattress; 1-1/2” for twins
    • Contrast the width of a king with height in headboard
    • Don’t skimp on padding- 2-2-1/2” foam and a wrap
    • Light should be mounted so bottom is 36 “ above mattress
  • 34. Headboards
    • The finishing touch to bedding is a headboard. Beds without headboards create an unfinished impression. The simplest of beds can become transformed with a headboard. It adds an additional point of emphasis to the focal point in the room- the bed.
  • 35. Headboards
  • 36. Headboards
    • Remember to check the look by hanging a template on the wall behind the bed. Check to see if it is balanced with the bed and other pieces in the room. Ask yourself if the scale is right. This is also a good way to see if an unusual style works in the room.
    •   Ask your workroom what leg height they use. Heights can change depending upon the shape and bed size. Always do a pattern. Remember to measure for the headboard with all the bedding on. Mattress sets can be extra thick so measure from the floor to top of mattress for height.
    •   Some guidelines to use for headboards are:
    • Twin 40 x 45
    • Full 55 x 45
    • Queen 61 x 48
    • King 79 x 48
  • 37. Headboards
  • 38. BEDDING- CORONAS/TESTERS/ CANOPIES
  • 39.  
  • 40. Coronas, Testers, Canopies
    • Coronas, testers or canopies are the finishing touch on a bed. They can go from simple to elaborate, dramatic to sublime. You can use a plain, suspended pole with gathered panels to gold leaf crowns. No matter what you use the effect is wonderful, and can add romance and mystery to the bedroom. Even a simple mosquito net conjures up “Casablanca”.
    •  
  • 41. Coronas
    • Coronas are usually semi circles and can create a formal effect. They can be made from wood, plaster or resin. Styles range from highly carved to plywood boards that are covered in fabric and hidden with a valance. Back and side curtains usually drape from it. The corona should echo the window treatment. It lifts the eye up from the bed which is low and rectangular and moves it around the room.
  • 42.  
  • 43. Tester
    • A tester appeared in the 14th century as a square canopy that hung over the bed suspended from rods or chains from the ceiling to hold bed curtains.
    • Half testers are the rectangular pelmet boards fitted above the bed that is covered in fabric.
    • The half tester is usually the width of the bed and 12”-20” deep.
    • Both of these should be mounted at the same height as the window.
    • They should never be lower than 12” from the ceiling. Also, try to keep the bed valance at the same drop as any window valance.
  • 44.  
  • 45. Canopies
  • 46.  
  • 47. Bed Curtains
    • Bed curtains are a must for coronas and testers.
    • They soften and add glamour to the bedroom’s focal point.
    • Remember that the bed curtain can be seen from all sides and needs to be reversible.
    • Choose two fabrics and distinguish between them.
    • By distinguishing between the two fabrics in the components (valance, back and side curtains) the whole treatment doesn’t seem confusing.
    • Consider these ways to do that:
    • Opposites dark and light
    • Pattern and plain
    • Matte and shiny
    • Banding/trimming the edges
    • Mix weight and textures
    •  
    • The front curtains of bed hangings should be interlined
    • The back curtain should be 4 x the width of the back of the corona or tester, so as to drape across the width of the bed.
    • Side curtains should be at least 1 ½ widths and reversible.
    • Velcro the back curtains to the baseboard by putting a strip at the baseboard the width of the bed and sewing a strip on the back side of the finished curtain the same width. Ease in the fullness.
    • For half testers, measure the sides and front and add 2 ½ times for the front and 2 times for the back.
  • 48. What Makes a Romantic Bedroom?
    •  
    • We have all been asked to create this phenomenon in a suburban tract house at one time or another. Here are some tips:
    • Make sure from the start that the size of the bed and mattress and pillows fit your body type and sleeping habits. No one can get romantic it they are uncomfortable.
    • Multiple sets of pillows add support and mystery. Or try a down filled bolster that goes across the width of the bed.
    • Cover your box springs with fitted sheets trimmed in lace or braid. Velcro it on for easy cleaning.
    • Use silk, cotton and linen fabrics and sheets
    • A romantic bed is always accessorized. Add decorative pillows, shams, coverlets, throws. Add scent to the bed- lavender between the mattress and box spring, candles, fragrances.
    • Keep lighting natural and adjustable. Use pink light bulbs for a soft glow. 
    • Use a tray for makeshift desk or catchall.
    •  
  • 49.