If we ever decided to do a restaurant fit-out again, I would be oh-so-wise and savvy to the world of renovations.
I’d know things like;
• start ordering your lighting now, even then they’ll still be late.
• you will use every bit of your 10% contingency money unfortunately, so do not count your chickens before the last invoice is paid
• get your coffee machine up and running early. Keep your tradies well caffeinated
• homemade biscuits are also an excellent form of bribery. I had great success with anzacs and choc-chips
• ask ask ask. It’s amazing what and who people know. Truly incredible and can save you a lot of time and money
• Google is not always your friend. People’s websites are not always up to date. Sometimes you’ve got to be old fashioned and actually go to the store
• do not believe anyone who says it will be ready tomorrow. They lie like a rug
• when you are overly tired, your brain decides what details are important and which ones aren’t. This does not always work in your favour. Forgetting to hang out the laundry is fine, accidentally combining bank account details and paying the wrong people is not
• read the fine print. Of course it’s cheap when it has a delivery time of 21-45 days. We assume this particular item is coming via carrier pigeon who is attempting to get into the Guinness Book of Records by being the first pigeon to fly solo round the world while also carrying a light
• This reading of the fine print has caused a few near-disasters on my part, (although I will not accept the blame for the chairs not being here, that was a different issue entirely) but I will accept that having to open without wine glasses or napkins would have been my fault entirely.
Details people, they’re not my strong point. I used to sing for a living. The biggest detail I used to deal with was where is the spot light and is it bright enough. HA!
The saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ has never been more apt than with the great case of the missing napkins. What were we going to do? Even if I did express post them from the US and no carrier pigeons were involved, they still weren’t going to get here in time.
Enter Julie of Cloth Fabric. We discovered Julie because Ash told me to put together a list of fabric places for us to visit and so I did, randomly searching the internet, picking them based on their name and proximity to our house. Cloth Fabric – that seemed like an appropriate name for a fabric store, and they’re in Surry Hills. I know where that is.
And it was there we found the fabric for our banquette, built by the ever-so-lovely and highly efficient Greg of Top Notch Upholstery. Check it out. Done in only a few days.
There it is, paired with tasmanian wood from the demolition site that is apparently now extinct, and the two differently finished dining tables, one made from the floors of an old terrace, the other more wood from out the back. Top bloke that Greg, when I have the money to re-cover my grandmother’s hideous dining chairs I’ll call him. Although I suppose I’d have to get a dining room first…
Anyway, Julie was really great to chat with, one of those all-round artists with fantastic ideas, clever ways of looking at things and a genuine interest in what we were trying to do at Hartsyard.
She also had bins of off-cuts for sale at her store. Off-cuts Ash suddenly realised could be used for napkins…
Of course, this idea struck at 1am on Saturday, Cloth is closed Sunday, so Julie and her band of elves only got to work on Monday morning, and this afternoon I go to collect her creations.
This is my new favourite thing to have happened. We’ve had many merry accidents along the way, but this one has to have been one of the greatest successes.
Two hundred napkins in two and a half days. I’d still be working out how to thread the machine.
That’s Julie. And look she’s smiling. That must only be napkin number 4.
A huge thank you to Julie and her elves, not only have they delivered a rather key element for a dining room, they’ve delivered something waaaaaay cooler than we were ever hoping to have in the first place.