I’m often teased about the glamourous life of a designer (as I began typing this my 10 year old barged in, informed me of what a hideously inadequate mother I am and slammed the door ) — does the kid have timing or what?? — So I thought I’d let you in on a little of the work that goes on in a day around them (t)here parts (said in my best John Wayne voice)…
Here’s my desk today. Not glamourous at all exclusive of the gorgeous lamp I bought last winter. It’s got a crystal rock base and an intricately floral embrodered silk shade in my favorite blue hue which makes me oh so happy (apparently cobblers children have no shoes but they do have expensive, gorgeous lamps.) So, despite how type A , obsessive compulsive, anal retentive I claim to be about organization and orderliness, this is usually what my working area looks like (it’s also indicative that I actually have work — therefore I’m also very thankful for the mess).
Sketching, drawing, conceptulaizing spaces for clients; its the language of design and how I communicate. Unfortuanately I’m not very good at (the sketching part) and really wish I was. If I TRY it looks like this:
and I DREAM about my drawings looking like this:
But they USUALLY look like this….
Drawing is a minor peice of the puzzle however. Conceptualizing on the other hand is what sets designers apart from other creatives. It’s how you customize a space for each client that makes it unqiue and special (fortunately this part I am good at).
New design projects often involve a bit of courting and dating — opening a clients eyes to fresh ideas and getting them on board. Once they’ve committed it really becomes a marriage of sorts. I am recently embarking on a new relationship with the Smith’s. New construction, clean modern lines, great space. They are deviating from their overly traditional “go to” aesthetic to something more transitional so I’m very excited about this one.
Conceptualizing (envisioning the space) is something that few are able to do well. I’m working on a home office project right now and we’re re-covering the walls in a gorgeous slightly pink color sisal wallpaper. The starting point was an amazing pink toned oriental rug I purchased from Safaveih in NYC. We’re utilizing the clients own modular office system but embelishing the room with an romantic capiz shell chandelier and yummy cream colored custom designed chaise lounge… the process of drumming up all those ideas is what’s called conceptualization. And why I
am brain dead at the end of the day get paid the big bucks. *cough cough*
Making the concept reality is called specifying. Sourcing the furniture, fabrics and finishes that you have “conceptualized” takes time and care. Once I’ve presented concepts to a client and they approve I assign all details to various suppliers to get quotes. This phase is the lions share of time spent on a a project as the devil is in the details. Every change the client makes in the specifications necessitates revisions to things like the RFQ (request for quote) PO (Purchase order) CFA (cutting for approval) which also adds time to the project. Most clients are able to review the choices and make a decision. Others need more time and more choices which is okay but impacts timing and budget. This project moved very quickly and efficiently in the ‘specifiying’ stage and turned out just amazing for one of my very favorite clients! Really exciting.
hugely stressful the big payoff! Coordinating deliveries, making sure everything arrives on time, in perfect condition and the client loves the outcome is the final phase of design. For larger projects, I usually kick the client out so I can unpack, arrange and stage thier new space accordingly — I love it when they are surprised! I’m continuing to finish up details and installations for this local project. It’s all coming together just beautifully. I love this part!
so there you have it! GLAM -O -RAMA at its best!