Sunday, August 15, 2010

Design Projects Are Under Construction!

Thankfully, my desk isn’t quite this bad . . .

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. . . but it’s a reminder of how important it is to stay on top of the management of interior design projects.  Interior Design is more than the “pretty” selections we make.  In fact, the behind-the-scenes or the “during” process can be downright unattractive.  Most people are anxious to get from point A to point Z, in the blink of an eye, but aren’t interested in managing the work that takes place in between.

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Sometimes it’s difficult to have a concept of how the whole process will come to completion.  I’m glad I have my “virtual design vision” to rely upon.  Of course, I appreciate all aspects of design.  I actually thought my client’s “before”, framed-out-dome was quite beautiful.  The fellow who did this was an artist, in my opinion!

Tighe - DR Dome 2

Okay . . . This might be the scary stage for some!  In order to arrive at an aged, metallic copper finish, the dome had to be base-coated in a pumpkin color.  For the folks, in my area, who are Clemson Tiger’s fans, this color could have been cheering them on!  Beauty can be in the eye of the beholder.

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Each additional layer brings the room closer to focus.  Remember, if you have any doubts, be careful in pulling the plug midstream.  If my client had done so, in the “pumpkin” phase, we wouldn’t have made it to these glorious results.  Having a professional designer by your side, during all of the project applications, gives you peace-of-mind . . . and a hand to hold.  (And a big Thank You goes to my fabulous decorative artist, Whitney Preslar Bayer ,for her consummate professionalism and talent, on this massive home project.) 

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Now, the table is ready for setting and for receiving guests.  (And for the professional photographer!)  We left the chandelier a little higher, if she decides to use a taller arrangement for special events.

I’ve been working on my “Designing A Room At A Time” series.  It’s still a work-in-progress, because, aside from being a Design Blogger, I am first and foremost, an Interior Designer.   Client projects are under construction so they’ve been needing my time and attention.  Just like any project I undertake, I want to make sure my list is complete in order to allow for the best outcome. 

In the dining room, shown above, here is the list for creating this room, from floor to ceiling:

  1. Review plans with architect.  (In this case, we swapped the dining room space, for a living room.  The original dining room was to be in an area with a 24’ foot high ceiling and a glass dome.  There would have been difficulty in placing a chandelier in the glass dome, maintenance issues, and we wanted the room to feel a bit cozier for guests.)
  2. Space planning, based on meetings with architect, builder, and blueprints.
  3. Meet with framer to design dome size, dependent on depth of room space above this ceiling.
  4. Meet with woodworker to determine molding profiles, size of crown mold, and flex molding for dome base.
  5. Select cast stone base mold.
  6. Meet with electrician to review layout of outlets, switches, positioning of chandelier, and wall sconces.
  7. Meet with smart home wiring company to determine placement of security sensors and audio speakers.
  8. Select flooring – polished and honed marble combination with inlaid stone border around the perimeter.  Meet with installer to review placement.
  9. Select door styles, (not clearly shown in photo), wood species, stain color, finish type, hardware style, and function.  (May want to open to loggia or keep fixed.)
  10. Get specs for windows to begin the window treatment design process.  Pay attention to where attachment may be needed to decide if board mount is better.  Discuss options with workroom.
  11. Pull color palette together for walls, ceiling, dome, windows, and chair seats.
  12. Source fabrics, trims, hardware, furniture, and future accessories/artwork.
  13. Double-check all measurements, post completion of construction, for accuracy against blueprints and changes.
  14. Create quotes, order product, coordinate deliveries, and installations.
  15. Be available to oversee all processes.

Today’s interior designer wears many hats.  While some may specialize in certain areas, we all still must be involved in the project management.  The wise client will select someone who can be a team player and act as the liaison for translating the pieces of paper to a real life experience.  Rooms just don’t pop off the magazine pages or the internet screen!

Back to my “construction site”.  I’ve got more lists to make into reality.  What project do you have in progress?  I would love to know more about it!

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