Flashback to 2012: Before The Glam Ottoman Hit Texas
Back in my last years of being a fabricator [that’s the person or company that makes the finished products a designer or retailer sells you], I was working with designers. I was their go-to for custom products and that resulted in developing a great relationship with the industry and service providers. Today, I’m going to talk about one project unit: The Glam Ottoman and it’s lead. Her name was Ducky. Ducky was working on a girl’s room and needed an ottoman to go with the decor. Earlier that week, we had visited the site and taken measurements, made notes and addressed the colors and fabrics for the rest of the room. There had been no discussion about an ottoman during the visit but it came up one night, when I accepted a late call from Ducky. We defined the look as a Chic Hollywood Glam look without all the fuzz and pom-pom trim. It dawned on me that this was not the usual design trend here. Hmm. How about that? Something different. It was a regular visit, just like all others except it was not the traditional style known throughout Texas. Things were about to get fun…
I’ll take “The Usual”, please!
When a client calls and asks for an accent piece designed just for them, things do indeed get fun! Reviewing of fabric selections and the detailed information on the consumer’s likes and dislikes takes place. We have to understand that the final consumer, a teenaged girl had to “grow into” the room, not “grow out” of it. Throughout my conversation with Ducky, we were discussing the many details that should be ironed out prior to making the products being ordered. Mind you,most calls from Ducky came when I was home, my family was asleep for the night and I was on my way to catch up on a book yet… Rrrrrrinnnng! I’m taking calls from Ducky – talking about the bedding, the fabric choices to be certain they will be durable and lay right and now, the ottoman that never existed until that evening.
Magically, things take shape the minute we start talking about them.
One of the things people don’t understand about the creative mind is that the unit doesn’t have to exist yet. Just tell us about it and poof! it suddenly does exist! The Glam Ottoman had to look like something that belonged in the room. It had to flow with the custom work that was being made. Ducky was talking saying we had time to think and I was drawing until I came up with this: An oval fully tailored ottoman with a pretty bow on it. The Glam Ottoman had come to life!
Now all we had to do was choose the fabrics we would use. I was quiet. It happens when I think hard. I stare and analyze. Some find it strange but I go into full creative mode so it’s tough to hold a conversation when it happens. Ducky was talking and I cut her off.
“I know! Let’s Use the Same Fabric as the Bed’s Dust Ruffle for the Glam Ottoman’s Skirt!”
Why reinvent the entire wheel? The only thing that could not be used was the fuschia from the pillows : It was a polyester blend with pretty embroidery but it was not upholstery rated. You can’t use that unless you want to reupholster it again within a year or two, I said. The next day I was looking for fuschia fabric. It had to be durable and last just as long (if not longer) than the Glam Ottoman’s structure itself, right? Right. 🙂
I knew it the moment I found it!
For those of you that don’t know very much about me, I am still a fabricator. Even if you don’t do the work anymore, you will still be a fabricator. What exactly is a fabricator? A fabricator is the person that says yes, it can be done or no, we may have to make several adjustments but it can still be done, just a little different. This Glam Ottoman was not a new experience. To date, my ottomans have lasted up to 16 years and still going strong (per the words of one happy customer that I recently reconnected with). Designing and building ottomans was something I was familiar with because I was designing furniture long before this Glam Ottoman came around. Human dimensions versus furniture dimensions were on the wall, custom templates were easy and the fact that I was a specialty fabricator made things move along smoothly. (A Specialty Fabricator is someone with the ability to create the most complex designs imaginable through sight alone, no ready-made templates or patterns unless are used unless we make them ourselves.) Coming up with different methods to create things is one of my specialties and when it comes to creating a custom piece, that’s when things get lively. We are like product engineers that love to draft graphs and create a single-use template because everything we make is one-of-a-kind. How exciting is that?! 🙂
For this unit, a drafted piece was necessary in order to create a smooth curve for the foam and the wood framing. Custom templates for designers were safely stored in the studio and once used, they were destroyed. Why? you ask. An unwritten code of ethics stops us from recreating what was once custom designed and made for a previous client. Not everyone abides by this code but I do. My thoughts are that it wouldn’t be right to reproduce it in the exact same finishes, look and size as the first. How would you feel if you saw your exact custom ottoman in your neighbor’s home? I think anyone that experienced this would be livid.
The Finished Product
Once the fuschia suede was located and purchased, it was time to get to work. 8 hours later, the ottoman was finished. Made to look similar to the dust ruffle waterfall, with a scaled-to-proportion sash and bow to adorn it.
Here is the Dust Ruffle, folded on the table and ready for packaging:
Here are the pillows: Notice the fuschia Pillow fabric is too soft for upholstery.
More of the Bedroom: We made the pillows, draperies and bedding in this space.Well, we didn’t make the rosette pillow but we made all the others. 😉
Do you see the Glam Ottoman on the far left-hand side?
Back in 2012, before we started seeing more of the contemporary trends in San Antonio, some of us were working together to create beautiful and different spaces for the younger clients. For anyone working with a designer, you aren’t only working with them but an entire team that stands beside them. This project was the beginning of something new. Cleaner lines came into San Antonio. Less of the traditional and more of the transitional-meets contemporary. And it all started with one ottoman.
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