June 13, 2012:

#Kingswood2.0 More Reveals

We tried out area rugs last week at our Kingswood 2.0 project. LOVE how they bring the rooms together.

This is the first room you see when you walk into the house. I gasped when I saw the carpet in there. PERFECTION. You'd think we'd picked out the carpet and the fabric at the same time. We so didn't. A wonderful find indeed!

I love when you put a carpet in a small space and suddenly it's visually twice the size. The carpet plays up the embroidered fabric on the backs of the tub chairs. Did I say perfect already? I'm speechless really.

Here's a close up. Wool & Silk, my favourite.

We chose this carpet for the dining room to play off on the more ornate living room selection. Understated but elegant.

You may remember this carpet we preselected to try out. Loved it with the fabric selections we had for the room but HATE it in the room. There is a purple one we tried very briefly that was utterly brilliant but the client dismissed it outright as not being something she could live with all year long and they rolled it up before I could snap a picture. :(

Then we tried this carpet. It's a great carpet but in this space it's a total train wreck.

Then we tried this one. It's subtley patterened. Tone on Tone medallions.

Sometimes opting for the quietier carpet is the winning combination. The art needs to be changed... for another day.

June 12, 2012:

What the Heck DO Designers Do All Day??

I was joking with someone last week about my day and made a quick reference to sitting around eating bon bons all day. There are times when I swear that people actually think that I do such a thing. Have you seen my hips? That would not work in my favour for starters given my genetic predispostion to wider hips.

So what DO I do all day?

Well, let's just say that I'm a consumer of hours. I mean I blink and four hours have gone by. Sometimes it feels like drips and drabs have been accomplished, other days I feel like She-Ra Queen of Some Sort of Design Jungle. Because of this, I tend to start working the moment I crack open an eye - yes I start to return emails before I get out of bed and I'm often still returning emails once I've gotten back into bed. It's an obsession really. I'm also known to tweet on the way to/from and occasionally within a bathroom.

I've been working on proposals and budgets for new projects a lot recently. I think this is an undervalued/appreciated aspect to what a designer brings to a project and why you need an experienced designer at the helm of your project vs someone who well thinks it would be fun. Case in point: Our Boston project. Once retained by the client and the project begun in earnest, we began to put together the spreadsheet of all spreadsheets. We itemize our 'shopping list' if you will, room by room for the client to review. Then we estimate a range of what these items should/would/could potentially cost. In order to do this, Celia and I literally sit in my office and between computer/laptop/iphone access online, trade only, wholesale suppliers as well as previous projects that we have done to give an educated guess as to what the client can expect to pay for X & Y. This includes having to do on the fly drapery, yardage and wallpaper calculations. We also have to estimate in such a way that we give ourselves wiggle room. You can't just throw a number at a wall and hope it sticks, you have to have something to back it up. You also have to appreciate that you can't truly design the room without this in place and at the same time you have to sort of actually design the room in order to know where on earth to pull the prices from.

Seriously folks, it's a work of art and not something that just anyone can do and do well. Yes, I'm tooting our own horn. Absolutely. It's the balance of spend/splurge/hold the phone and worth investing in by going with a team who know how to make the magic happen.

Now we have had many prospective clients ask us to do this sort of estimating prior to retaining us. I have done so in the past but I don't think I'm going to in the future. This is too valuable an endeavor to do and not have the client committed to you and the work that you do. I value what we do too much to not bill for it. I hit total on the Boston estimates today to find myself exactly where I need to be budget wise. The low end was on target and the high end was well high. There will be some give and takes that can happen but having this range and seeing everything laid out before you like a shopping list truly helps clients prioritize and give their team the necessary input for the design process to move forward.

In the mean time, we were also prepping room plans and bringing the pretty. We need to get all of these in place sooner rather than later because we have painters getting ready to start and we need colours to be approved. 

This is what we are proposing for the Breakfast Room. Ikat for a dining bench, Bright Turquoise for seat covers for Saarinen chairs. Simply Fromans with some contrast trim on the windows - the room is round and full of windows.

Wall colour: This room has options. Given the height and roundness plus all of the windows, we are proposing going with a high gloss rich turquoise/teal for the walls OR a leaf green OR a Limon. The ceiling has some interesting details so there is still option to mix and match colours as the ceiling actually has a dome within it.

Off the charts right?

The breakfast room is off of the kitchen as is the dining room. This is the fireplace mantel I'm proposing for the dining room. I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. ::PRAYS TO THE DESIGN BUDGET GODS::

Master Bedroom palette. That's grasscloth. The bedding the client already has. Lulu DK in cobalt/periwinkle & white. We're going to go with bold drapery too. Just trying to figure out which one will be the winner. I jump clap every time I think about this room. Then I have to figure out all the numbers and well.... eat bon bons of course.

June 11, 2012:

Kelly’s Bakery vs Kelly’s Baked Goods vs Kelly’s Bake Shoppe….

We are in full swing for our new bakery project. As I type this, I'm getting ready for a big meeting we are having with the clients today for concepts & branding. I'm torn between the two names in the Subject. Your thoughts?
In order to develop this project, I'm starting from a branding perspective first instead of a look for the actual space. I am being very specific in terms of look going after a High End Luxury Brand Boutique feel.
Classic, timeless and luxury. I think these are key to distinguish this shoppe from all the rest and let me tell you - there is a plethora of these shoppes in the marketplace. Sadly though, I find almost all of the branding for a bakeshop to be cutesy.
I don't do cutesy.
In fact, it makes me want to stab my eyes out with an ice pick.
Cute is something you call someone when you are put on the spot in front of them and asked to describe their looks. My tween years were plagued by this. Cute or Nice = DEADLY.

Updated: We decided to go with Kelly's Bake Shoppe. That's good, that was my favourite. If you are in Burlington this coming weekend, you may see T Shirts and fabulous baked goods with this logo on it - they are participating in some sort of Fair there. Run, do not walk to get their chocolate cupcakes and the brownies shown below. You will not regret it. Did I mention that they are Gluten Free and Vegan as well? I know. It's insane. Guilt Free too. Hubs says their rice krispies are amazing too. Oh and they have an alternate to an ice cream cookie that you will not believe. Not a single cardboard flavoured good to be had! Promise!!

This is the branding from their other restaurant/spot. The new location will be just devoted to their baking.

These are their Brownies from God on High. Seriously. Divine. OHMYGAWDGOOD The number currently remaining the box does not match this picture.

All that delicious is inspiring us in this direction. Stay tuned!!!

June 11, 2012:

Crazy About Hand Painted Anything….

but especially hand painted fabrics.

I recently changed my duvet cover Chez Moi.

Me likey. Me likey a lot.

I need different pillows though. What, I'm not yet sure.

If it makes you feel any better, the zebra bench at the end of the bed and everything else you can't see in this picture, pretty much looks like a bomb went off.

June 08, 2012:

Life: It Gets In The Way

The sad reality of blogging is that life loves to throw you a few curve balls....

Phones that ring at 4am that you ignore

Flu bugs that make you queasy

7am calls because you ignored the 4am one (though hindsight says it was probably a good thing)

Irresponsible teenagers who do stupid things necessitating early morning phone calls

Almost 3 year olds who have a definite opinion about um well everything (where the heck did he get that from I ask myself?)

A weekly status call re: project

A client early morning install/rug go see

Our car out being repaired thanks to an asshat Uniform Company who side swiped us, necessitating a rental necessitating that only my husband and I can drive it thereby messing up my elaborate plans to have my weekly call whilst my asst drives me & my car to said install.

Hubs throws curve ball & thinks I'm taking almost 3yr old to Nursery School so he can oversee a plumbing inspection at our #SnugBistro project...

You know... just an average day in my life.

So ya blogging.... we'll get back to that soon enough.

Have a great weekend.