How to Avoid Furniture Installation Headaches

As Capstone Interiors designs and procures the furniture for each project, it becomes important for the designer to be involved with the architect and development team throughout the design process.  Details are critical when designing each space and require clear communication and coordination with the drawings and design intent.

It is important for the designer specifying furniture to be involved at the beginning of concept designs.  This is especially critical for the unit furniture layouts.  The designer needs to be able to relay typical furniture sizes to the architect.  Even something as small as the headboard/footboard thickness can create a problem if it wasn’t included during design development.

Critical dimensions can also be a factor in amenity spaces.  A recent project required coordination with HVAC elements which reduced the footprint of the room, and affected the seating capacity and overall furniture layout.  Some projects have areas with custom sized furniture, such as banquets, and will require field dimensions to be verified before the furniture order is placed.

Elevator sizes can also be a factor during furniture installations.  The designer will need the elevator cab dimensions before furniture is specified.  The goal is to avoid a stair carry during installation or having to remove the cab ceiling to allow furniture to fit.  Trying to squeeze a large sofa or sectional into an elevator raises the risk of damage to the cab and the furniture itself.  A lot of times, the installers are able to remove feet from the sofa to gain a couple of inches that are needed to make the piece fit.  A recent installation required using an elevator to get large tables to the 2nd floor outdoor space.  The tables were pre-assembled at 8’ long, but the elevator cabs were 7’-6”.  This could have been a nightmare! Luckily in this situation, the table was able to be broken down into pieces and taken up in the elevator.  The installer was able to re-assemble the tables and the solution wasn’t too costly.  These specific tables were over 250 lbs, so the installers were willing to take some additional time breaking down the furniture to avoid carrying the fully assembled tables up the stairs!

The adage of “measure twice, cut once” is a good mindset to have when trying to avoid headaches, or even what might be nightmares. Planning ahead for the smallest details helps the designer sleep at night once the furniture order is placed.

Authors: Jane Brakefield, Sr Interior Designer and Tara Blevins, Interior Designer – Capstone Interiors