The Design Diaries: Heather Kates, Designer

Today on the blog, take a look behind the scenes as Heather tackles the second day of a clubhouse install!

On the first day of any install, the furniture, rugs, artwork and accessories are delivered to the clubhouse. As everything is unloaded, the designer checks the items for damages, and directs the movers to the proper placement of each piece. This is a long process which takes up the majority of the day. After this, the team will unbox all accessories and consolidated them in a ‘waiting area’.

At the end of the first day, the designer will make a list of items she will need for the second day of the install.

 Now that we have some context, let’s take a look at Heather’s second day on an install!

8:30 am

The first thing Heather did was review her list from the previous day and pick up any items she needed before arriving at the clubhouse. Typically, this includes glamorous items like felt pads, trash bags and light bulbs.

9:00 am

Upon arrival to the clubhouse, Heather touched base with the onsite project manager to discuss the timeline for the day. In these meetings, the designers and project managers often address any concerns that have emerged and develop a plan to continue installation.

Flexibility is key in the life of any designer, especially during installs. Sometimes the parking lot needs refinished, and the designer will have to drop what they are doing to move their car. Oft times, complications arise that need to be addressed, resulting in delays for specific clubhouse rooms. When this occurs, designers need to reevaluate their plan for the day.

 This install was no exception, as Heather found out later that morning.

 9:30 am

When the artwork is dropped off, it is typically placed in a front room of the clubhouse. After meeting with the project manager, Heather began to go through the artwork and distribute each piece throughout the clubhouse in preparation for installation. She separated each piece and placed them in their respective rooms.

While disseminating the artwork, Heather discovered unexpected wall features that conflicted with the original design. Because these features included electrical outlets and safety features, they could not be relocated. Subsequently, Heather had to devise a new plan.

She took art originally meant for one wall and replaced it with artwork from a different room. By modifying her original plan, Heather was able to create beautiful accent walls that complemented each space.


After the artwork alteration, Heather met with the installer, leading him throughout the clubhouse to explain where each piece of art was to be hung. After their walk-through, she turned her attention to one of the most difficult parts of the install

1:00 pm

Following lunch, Heather began the challenge of accessorizing.

This lengthy process began with visiting the island of accessories in the kitchen and choosing a variety of options that fell within the shape and color she wanted for each space.

 Heather states, “With so many accessories to put in a large space, sometimes it’s really difficult to decide what you want where and how many accessories to put in each area. It’s a big space, but you don’t want to overwhelm it with too many things. You really have to play around with different options and see what looks best.”

And in this stage of the install, that is exactly what Heather did; she created different pairings to see what would work and then chose her favorite option.

4:00 pm

Finally, Heather began two very tedious yet important components of the install.

The first component is the process of removing tags from all furnishings. Almost every item brought in has some type of sticker or tag. Because of this, Heather examined every item in the clubhouse and removed any tag she found.

The second component, similar in its essence, is the procedure of applying felt pads to chairs and tables. Whether this is to balance them on a rug or protect the beautiful, handpicked floors underneath, felt pads are essential to the install process.

5:00 pm

Before Heather left for the day, she noted anything she needed for the next day and touched base with the project manager to ensure everything was ready for the third day of the clubhouse install!

To get updates on each clubhouse and see more photos and videos of installs, follow us on Instagram and watch our story!

Further Reading