Thursday, December 4, 2008

The importance of concept sketches!

Most people, even designers, have trouble visualizing the "end product." A designer tells you - "Let's put built-in shelves on both sides of this room and then we'll put wallpaper behind the shelves and put a new sofa here, two chairs here and here are all the fabrics and here's what the new chandelier will look like!" You, the client, looks back at them and says "Uhhh, okay, I guess" while not having a clue what it will look like in the end and feeling slightly dizzy at the prospect of it all. Sometimes, the designer's not even clear on what the end product will look like!

Sketching out the room before anything's been purchased, built, decided on 100% is soo worth the little time it takes to do. You are paying for a well-thought out design. It makes sense to be absolutely confident that you are going to be happy with the final look, and an easy way to do this is by looking at a sketch.

Here's a sketch we did for a living room:And, here's a photo of the final product (different angle):

There are a few differences, but the "look" is the same. The sketch doesn't need to be polished, just a rough idea of the look and what colors go where can help most people say, "Aha! I get it now!" and either sign off on the idea, or decide that maybe they don't love the color green as much as they thought they did and tweak it a bit.

Sketching is a great communication tool - don't feel shy to ask your designer for this. Please check out our "Conceptualization" page at O Interior Design to see more examples!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Installation Update

No, it's not Anne Rice's apartment.... The attached image is just an updated shot of an install in progress! We believe in delivering an amazing product to our clientele, and truly unique innovative interiors always take a number of steps to deliver - no HGTV "done in a day" for this job. Of course, part of that delivery depends on good project management. The ultimate goal for this wall is for it to be antique mirror with lit wallpaper panels inside. Now, this goal has been a lofty one, and it has taken months to build it out, install lighting, apply paneling and wallpaper and paint at various points! As one can imagine, the number of installers for one wall - such a small piece of a large job - denotes the number of subcontractors needed for custom work. At one point we were juggling 14-17 sub contractors in one week for the entire space. That's when experience and organization come into play, and it's one of the things that client's pay us for - to streamline the process as much as possible.

This wall was shown painted creme in a previous image. Now it's black. Why did we paint it twice? The antique mirror will naturally have seams, and if the base underneath is light, then you will see it in the seams. If it's dark, then the seams will appear to be minimized which is the end goal. The clients were living in the space, and we didn't think they would want to live there for a month with black walls. With the antique mirror at least one month out when they moved in, the decision was made to keep the space as light as possible until the mirror could be applied. Of course, the black actually looks amazing and very dramatic. We all love it - temporarily - but the mirror will lighten and expand the space. So, the creme paint gave the client a closer feeling to the actual look of the finished product. These seem like small decisions, but we find that they directly correlate to the clients' happiness with their home. It's important to make sure that the client is content with a jobsite, especially if there is a lot of construction going on day-to-day. They get to live there, and we want to keep them comfortable.

Next week the antique mirror is being applied!!! We can't wait to reveal the finished product, and we'll be sure to update as soon as we have the images.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Switching Gears: An Install

Another glamorous meal in the life of an interior designer.....

As Andrea wrote in her posted comment, we're in the process of value engineering (re-selecting things to fit within the client's budget) the project for which we started this dialogue, and our General Contractor had the flu, so things have been at a stand still.

How have we filled the time, you might ask? We've had a fantastic, almost year-long project come to its final few days - this is also known as "The Install". This is Andrea's favorite time in a project. You get to see yours and the client's vision come to fruition. This is finishing touches, delivering furniture that has been stored or been just finished, hanging drapery, displaying art, accessorizing. This is the big payoff. The client gets giddy; we get giddy; we all get a little bit weepy.

It can also be a mind-boggling challenge to coordinate (as the wonderful (and pregnant) Caro would tell you.) Yesterday we had most of the furniture delivered - Andrea was on her hands and knees dusting the floor, inspecting and adjusting the furniture over and over and over again - I think she may have even washed a window or two. I took a few photos today for you to see the last minute hoop-la that goes on before the client moves in!

Superheroes: Carpenters and Electricians!

Entertainment Room in Progress....

Friday, February 8, 2008

A day in the life of a project

Our clients are a young couple who live in Boulder, Colorado - they've hired us to assist them with all interior finishes, elevations (built-ins, kitchen design), and furniture - this is a remodel of an existing house. They brought us in before demolition or construction began and we've met with the architect several times and have already created a lighting plan and selected light fixtures (we had to do this first, and quickly, in order to get a building permit).

We love being brought in to a project this early (actually, even earlier would have been even better); and we're really excited about it. We've started this blog to document the design process from the start to the finish. We hope to illuminate the many facets of undertaking a project like this. The fun of finish/furniture selection, the problem solving/value engineering that usually goes on, the small triumphs, moments of zen, moments of angst, and moments of boredom that are almost inevitable with any project.

In the coming weeks we will post some photographs of the job site as it is now along with schematic drawings and inspiration images from the client.