By Natalie Straker, Bernard Interiors
Within this month’s journal we will be looking at all aspects of design, delivery and project management on an international scale with particular focus on a recent project in Marbella, Spain.
Concept Design & Project Management
The space planning and concept interior scheme begins with our talented design team based within our UK studio, carefully assessing the brief of the client and creating a tailored concept proposal which reflects this.
We were engaged to deliver a high-end design scheme for a luxury villa in Marbella. Being appointed to a project in the early stages is imperative and this allowed us to liaise with the Spanish based project manager on M & E, room layout and hard finishes from the outset. Members of our integrated Architectural Design and Delivery studio worked closely with the client and the appointed contractor to ensure realisation of the design vision. Effective and regular communication through clear drawings and instructions is essential when there is a language difference. If an issue should arise on site, using Skype or face time helps to keep the build flowing.
After two in depth site surveys, bespoke finishes and fitted cabinetry were manufactured by master craftsmen within the UK and then shipped to Spain, where a specialist installation team were flown out to install the furniture.
Procurement & Implementation
Our procurement and operations team coordinated the acquisition of products from across the globe. The supply chain for outdoor furniture originated in North America, with the frames and carcasses being made by hand over a three-month period in Richmond, Virginia. We had regular meetings with their British representative in London to achieve the correct finish and style envisaged by our client. The upholstery fabric for this furniture was selected and purchased from Italy, before being flown to the UK for appropriate fire retardancy treatment. After coordinating the transfer of the fabric from the UK to the US for final upholstery, we then arranged for the finished furniture to be transported directly to Marbella, for a white glove delivery. Our operations director, Helen Fahy, explains how we overcome challenges within our operations and procurement department: “Strong and consistent communication with all of our suppliers is a must. We have spent years building relationships which inevitably helps if faced with any project challenge.”
The final installation was coordinated on site by senior members of our dedicated FF&E department alongside our delivery team, who were located in Marbella for the duration of the final install. This ensured that furniture was appropriately received, unpacked and checked thoroughly. The FF&E team then directed the position and placement of furniture and soft furnishings, before styling and dressing for client handover.
Delivering a project abroad brings a certain set of challenges, but with a positive mindset and dedicated team of designers and operations expertise, exceptional overseas schemes have been successfully delivered and installed on time and within budget.