May 24, 2012

This Week in My Life

Sunrise on the North Rim

I spent last week traveling around Southern Utah and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (and then a quick trip back to Michigan for a wedding).  This is why you haven't heard from me in a while.  As you can see from this view, I had a great excuse to not be working.  (If you ever get the chance to head to the Grand Canyon, I suggest finding Crazy Jug Point in Kaibab Nation Forest for primitive camping.  This view was just a few steps away from my tent!)

Taking a week off always makes the following week that much harder.  Which means I'm thrilled the holiday weekend is approaching, because I need another vacation!  

I thought I might recap the progress on a few of my projects this week:

Glass was installed in the custom door / window systems in an office project:

Countertops & glass backsplash installed in a kitchen project (see it here):

Custom bedroom set was delivered to a site:  
(This set is beautiful!  It's figured mahogany, and just stunning.  Will post more pics once the room is put back together.)

I finally got a photo of this custom hutch in its new home:

And I've done some very basic design schemes and budgeting for a new office project:

Aside from that I've measured for a new kitchen remodel project, committed to a small office renovation consult, shopped for rugs, furniture, and lighting with a client, and drawn more custom furniture designs.  It's been a busy week!   As silly as it sounds, I'm excited that I have NO PLANS for the holiday weekend (except for a really long bike ride), and I can finally get caught up on yard work.  

May 11, 2012

The Remodeling Roller Coaster

While at KBIS, I attended a seminar called "5 Steps to Clear Communication" by David Lupberger of Remodel Force.  The seminar was great, a good reminder of the importance of things like pre-construction walk-thrus and keeping signed records of meetings and decisions.  But my favorite take-away from the seminar was this Homeowner's Emotional Roller Coaster graph.  What a great visual representation of the ups & downs a client goes through during a typical remodeling project!  The thing is, EVERY client goes through this in some way, yet so many clients come into the project expecting that every step in the process is going to be fun & exciting.  And it is - at first.  But by the time you're 80-90% complete and you're waiting on the final items to come in, trust me, no matter how much your clients love you, THEY WANT YOU OUT OF THEIR HOME!

I love the idea of showing this graph to clients in the early phases of design, as a warning to let them know what the experience is going to be like - to let them know they will get frustrated, and they will get impatient, and these ups & downs should be expected (no matter how smoothly the project goes - it still happens).  

Knowing this in advance and setting expectations will ensure that the down moments aren't quite so bad.

May 3, 2012

KBIS Eye Candy

While my previous post was my soapbox, in this post I promise you fewer words and more photos.

Things that caught my attention at KBIS:

I'm loving the new & updated cabinet accessories.  Hafele now has walnut(-look) accessories, like the plate racks and peg boards below.

Another Hafele piece:  Their lift mechanism typically used for TV's was installed behind a shallow wall cabinet, and lowered into the backsplash area to reveal spices and knives.  How creative is that?

Robern has new vanity sizes.  At only 30"w x 18" deep, there's a surprising amount of storage space in that cabinet!  And check out the outlet in the front of the drawer.

I always love the Element Designs booth.  Shelves with integral LED lights:

More Element Designs:  Their aluminum frames (available in black, white, and oil-rubbed bronze, in addition to the standard aluminum finish) have several profiles.  And not only do they offer Parapan (a high-gloss acrylic insert that I love), but now they've teamed up with 3-form to offer even more insert options.

I really want to use one of their aluminum cabinet bases.

Not just cabinet accessories, but sink accessories too.  Both sinks from Kohler:

 And I did a lot of drooling at the Toto booth:

Check out the LED-lit lavatory (and mirror)

 More & more possibilities for curbless showers and semi-enclosed glass doors/panels:

Another glass enclosure & linear drain from Fleurco:

And then, just for fun, I loved some of the creative details in the "Contained" exhibit.
Light fixture made from quartz countertop samples and what I believe to be Plumen designer CFL bulbs:

Light fixture from beer bottles:

A floor-mounted faucet for the dog's water: