Handing over a completed project always results in mixed emotions. Very few chalets take less than one year to complete, and I have even had one that lasted longer than five years! Typically however, two to three years is the normal schedule for a new build ski lodge. Finally finishing the project, after the thousands of decisions and hours undertaken, is therefore a significant moment in my year.

I have just been through the handover process for one of our most recent properties, Chalet Joux Plane. I am still feeling the residual fatigue after the last few weeks. My clients gave me a date for their arrival and so I worked back from that in order to give the build team a final deadline and to organise a cleaning company to dust, hoover and scrub over 600m2 of chalet full of construction dirt and debris. The furniture deliveries had to be scheduled, as was the truck with all of the UK based furnishings from my fabulous shippers Hedleys. I also needed to procure an installation crew to unpack, assemble, hang and install the chalet furniture with me in preparation for handover day.

The final week of a property handover is exhausting, yet hugely rewarding. It involves long hours with the crew on site and hundreds of decisions to make and problems to solve, whilst the designs you have spent years conceiving and honing are finally revealed from either under builders sawdust or out of bubble wrap and cardboard.

The creativity, frenetic pace and tight schedule remind me of my West End theatre years and I love every minute of it.

I only start start to feel nervous a day or two before the client arrives and it always culminates in a largely sleepless night before Handover Day. These handovers usually take place in late afternoon/early evening as clients invariably fly in for the meeting, but in the case of Chalet Joux Plane it was at lunchtime. The advantage of this is that it give me less time than usual to wander around the chalet moving furniture a few centimetres to the right, only to move it back again a few minutes later! Having had an excellent relationship with my clients for over three years, and up until handover day having been wholly confident that I had designed a chalet interior and furnishing scheme exactly according to their brief, this is the moment when I always suffer from a little stage-fright and worry that when the clients arrive it will not be as their expectations.

Finally I hear the crunch of tyres on the gravel and I run up to meet them. Thus far I have always had very happy client reactions, and this was no exception. My clients were thrilled with the chalet and my nerves are replaced with joy and huge relief, in probably equal measure in those first few moments! However, the successive few hours, walking through the chalet with my clients and drinking a glass or two of champagne with them, are some of the most rewarding moments I experience professionally – it is a wonderful time.

So why the mixed emotions of which I wrote at the beginning? Well the joy is obvious, but a little part of you is sad. Sad that a project you have worked on so closely for years, that was in a real way “yours” has passed on to its rightful owner, and just a little bit bereft at losing something of which you are so proud, especially when it looks so new and shiny! The moment passes quickly however, and there is a much more important upside: my amazing daughter Mollie gets to see a bit more of her Mummy now. Until the next project handover!