Tokyo, Part II: A Design Study

There was ONE building I didn’t talk about in the last post, because I felt it deserving of its own post. You see, I finally stepped foot in my favorite architect’s work! Not only did I experience the work of the great Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (AKA Les Corbusier), I visited a museum he designed which housed a significant exhibit of his work. It felt amazing to look at models built by him (or his office), and see his sketches and planning drawings of Villa Savoye among others. To see models of his ideas for urban planning- the start to what today’s cities are, felt almost surreal, magical. Photos cannot possibly do this building justice, and there were many areas where photos were not permitted, so I’ll do my best to find references images.

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Tokyo: Textures and Show

Most of the buildings we saw in Tokyo were exterior only (no photos allowed inside), and many were along the main shopping strip. The two things that stood out to me the most were (I’m sure you can guess) the use of texture and the extravagance of it. There is definitely a show happening with design from every angle. The clothing, the buildings, the presentation of goods. Every single building was a work of art, almost as if each one was trying to outdo the next.

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Kyoto, Part II: Shrines

I could write all day just about our first few days in Kyoto, and all the interior design observations I’ve made. So many details, approaches, elements, etc. have been noticed! I definitely feel growth as a designer being here, observing and learning about the architecture and interiors of the spaces I’ve visited. Much of the observations I have made have been cultural and in nature, and this absolutely influences my design choices. The Fushima Inari Shrine has been my favorite outing to-date (not necessarily my favorite design or structure). The fact that it was an outdoor space, or vastly outdoors, tells me something about enjoyable spaces. We enjoy being outdoors! Okay, this is nothing new, I have stepped foot into my favorite architect’s designs (as of yesterday) and he definitely still holds his position as my favorite. Even after that experience, my favorite was by and large, outdoors. I’m sure there are many factors that play into this:

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Kyoto, Part I: A Design Study

A hotel would give us an amazing commercial experience, but we stayed in AirBnB’s while in Japan, because it was so important to me to see how people live on a day-to-day basis. When we remodel or build a new space, we are looking for a lifestyle and atmospheric change. What better way to view this differently than to see how people live?

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A Week of Design

Take a look at the daily tasks and ins and outs of an entrepreneur interior designer! This is a snapshot of one week of my time, including some of the sketches, notes and technical drawings.

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Hiring a General Contractor

One of the biggest problems we face with employing a General Contractor, an independent contractor, or a design firm is simply the misunderstanding and miscommunication of expectations. It is easy to see how this happens, because renovation projects are a discovery process as the project unfolds. Sometimes we just don’t know that we want a custom item until we realize that the items on the market don’t match needs, or the opportunity arises in the budget that was not expected.

So, how do we protect ourselves and develop realistic expectations?

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We Are Here for You… Even When We Aren’t!

I love talking to all people with home projects, but sometimes those projects are not the right projects for me. It took me a few years to come to the realization that sometimes the best way I can help a potential client is to steer them elsewhere. So many times, I have seen scenarios that were either going to result in disaster or where my services were unnecessary. I am always happy to talk to these people and help them find the right consultant!

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Furniture: Retail or Designer?

One of the challenges in working with furniture as a designer is that my policy is to give my clients the absolute best their money can buy. Sometimes, retail is the best match, sometimes designer, and sometimes a little of each. So, when does one make sense over the other, and what is the difference? Let’s break it down:

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The Truth Behind the Houzz Awards

Anyone who gets reviews in a year on Houzz automatically gets a customer service award. That’s it. Not only that, but Houzz treats people, particularly designers very poorly. Those badges they give us as an “award” actually pulls internet traffic away from our websites and to theirs instead. It is filled with code that directs consumers to them, where they take rights to photography without consent, and use designers’ work to tell their cheap knock offs. Read more…

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