Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wait..we got hyjacked?

It was an unusually odd day yesterday at the office; ever since we have done a network clean out/switching the network things have been a little bit on the wacky side. Yesterday was a normal day, we were all running around working on projects, and all of a sudden Christy walks up to me and says.. "Guess what? (insert giggle) we got hyjacked!" I didnt really understand, she told me to look out the window to where our AC units (were/are) someone(s) had come by last night and stolen 3 of our 5 AC units. Sometimes its just so lighthearted at DFR, everyone just thought it was so funny, even the president of the company just chuckled. Its just wild how the world has become.

Other then that event, Alison and I met again with a client who is renovating their kitchen. This lady is the nicest lady, however she speaks only in fragments and it is like pulling teeth when trying to have her make a decision. So we tried to guide her in the right direction and speed up the decision making process by showing her different options for lighting and hardware, but then of course when we were getting somewhere with the lighting, the internet shuts off. Go figure!

I have also been working with Alison the job that has had the complete demolition. I worked in 20.20 to help fill in the rest of the spaces, I feel like I am finally getting comfortable with 20.20, just in time for me to leave. I still would prefer autocad over 20.20 any day of the week, but the ability to be able to print a price sheet at the end of the drawing is the reason I think it is so clutch around here. It was nice to have time to think about the design of this new project, I am really starting to enjoy residential and will def. miss working on residential projects and meeting with clients in their home. Below are some quick sketches I did of different proposals on the kitchen penisula.

I know the drawings are hard to see, so I hope that when you click on them they become clearer.

Courtney and I also stopped by her job Chaffin, who was actually the first project I was starting to learn 20.20 on, and it looks amazing. she used slab doors with really sleek hardware, bamboo-like flooring, copper pendants and copper like tile. It's not exactly complete yet but we went to pick out paint colors. Courtney and I always seem to be on the same page about paint color (which is why I think she likes to have me along...) We picked out a really cool blue/grey color and I think it will really help her kitchen pop. From being on site and seeing transformations of different spaces, I have really started to realize the importance of a paint color, it really can make or break a space.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where does the time go?

Just like everything else in my life, I feel as if my time here at DFR has completely blown by. Holy Cow. 2 days left here at DFR-weird.

I feel like I have abondoned my blog for the past couple of days, which I can isnt COMPLETELY my fault, I'll blame a bit of it on DFR, since my computer has been out of order since the last time i blogged. but oh well.

The past couple of days have been busy with appointments and getting things organized and ready for clients with both courtney, and alison. the rave tile is about on my last nerve, and i think liz and alisons too! We have been having gliches and complications with the tile. its been frosted, gloss, not the appropriate sizes, etc. etc. etc. But, I believe we finally have it! BY GOLLY it may even get ordered today! Liz has been one of the only clients I felt hasnt been entirely open to my suggestions or opinions, she would rarely acknowledge me when sitting in on cleint meetings with her and alison. However, the other day she acknowledged me, she liked my tile lay out design and some of the light fixtures that I had chosen for her eating area; and she actually spoke directly to me and looked at me-it was a first. And it was definately was a hurdle I had finally jumped over.

(as a side note, since my last post about MARVIN ARVIN he has NOT called courtney until today-very impressive...just thought I would throw that out there)

Awhile back Alison and I had met with a couple named the Humphreville's (this was the couple whos bathroom/shower I had fiddled around with designing for alison), around here we like to call them the humphrey's for short, and it ended up they knew my parents-small world, and their son goes to wake forest!

Keith and Alison have been back and forth back and forth on designing their 11'-5' shower with a double sided fire place ( i think when we mentioned that it was one of the only times mr. humphrey's/Mark face lit up) however, the complications are too complicated and we don't think that it will pass code, therefore, we are moving onto a different path. Below are some drawings alison did of the bathroom, I worked on picking out mirror trim as well as placement and light fixtures.

This bathroom is going to be amazing, all made of really cool rock slate, and flat slate on the floor a nice bench and updated accessories, it's going to turn out perfect for both cindy and mark.

What else has been going on here at DFR? what hasn't i guess. Michelle brought her cat in today, even though my allergies shot through the roof at chaffin and i look like I have gel in my eye i couldnt help but play with ziggy. *yes, i know, i dont even like cats* Alison and I spent a couple hours yesterday at a house that had been completely demo(ed) measuring their kitchen and living area. Their was a very odd construction man there that filled us with random words and awkward moments; I walked out with grey shoes instead of black, and white pants instead of black, but thats what you get when your onsite. Right now I just finished picking out selections for that job, their kitchen should be really cool, I just hope they let alison take control of the rest of the house, it could def. use her help and professional decisions. Hopefully they will see how cool the kitchen and "breeze-way/entrance/4-seasons room" is and let her do the rest of the home. Cross your fingers.

2 days in counting...I guess that means only 2-3 more posts. It will be weird, but I suppose it is time to graduate and focus on the future and finding a "big girl job".

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Are you the stain girl?

The past two days have been a mix of craziness, loosing our brains and hard work, cant forget the hard work. Yesterday, Tuesday, I raced to work, left my lunch at home and was too afraid to turn back after just getting on the highway in fear of being late to work (we all know my anxiety disorder on tardiness), so, I didnt and thought, oh well I just wont eat-or I will buy something, only to find an empty suite 104 at DFR. I sit down to my desk and open an email from courtney telling Michelle and I that both her and alison wont be in until 9:30-10. Damn, could have gone back to get my lunch.
Michelle and I filled our time by having chit chats at my overly-large, hunk of a desk and decided to rearrange the extra tile storage room...again. That passed about 45 minutes and the rest of the time i spent searching for silly appliques for alison new front desk design. No luck ( I probably should be continuing my search on the appliques-but, im not, im over the appliques, for now..). I went to grab lunch and recieved a text from Courtney who was at a meeting about some errands she and dave (aka shickasaurus) needed me to run for them. My first stop was to meet dave over at a job site to give him some wood samples. I met him there and from there he asked me to run over to campus view to meet a guy named Rick who was going to sand and stain the wood with the samples I had shown him prior (are you still following me?) He gave me the address to Ricks, which I thought was a business, but when I was driving through a neighborhood double checking my address I thought, well, this is interesting. So i pull up to 413 (whatever st) and wondered if I ring the doorbell for Rick....if he is gonna meet me outside..who is rick? Oh, oh wait, the garage is open and there is a saw horse hanging out the back...guess Ill go see what thats about. Sure enogh there is Rick. and the conversation goes like this:

"Hi! You must be Rick..!?"
"Okay, Im Shannon, Dave sent me over so that you could do some sanding and staining on this piece of wood. I guess we should just do half and half, then he said to go ahead and spray the semi-gloss on top and we can let you know which one they like better.."
"ok...I have a phone call to make so ill be right back..."

So i go back to my car for what felt like 20 minutes, thought it would be enough time for him to sand, and stain so I didnt have to try and make awkward conversation with him, or, rather with just myself. Apparently making a to-do list, checking facebook and leaving a couple voicemails wasnt enough time. When I get back out there Rick is in the process of doing the first color of stain, as he is doing that another guy walks out of the house.
"oh, shes pretty"
Oh, thats awkward, I just keep my eyes on the stain and continue and try my darnest to make the most out of my awkward conversation. Then an older lady and a little girl come out of the house, they were headed to her stroller, I thought, hey, maybe I can make friends with them.
"Hii, how are you?"
(ignore me and only spit out conversation in french)
Wow. I'm done, just get me out of here....and he was done. perfect. So i take the stain samples and drive to the Fletchers ( an older adorable couple that are living out of a motel because they are completely renovating their new condo. Courtney said I could just meet them by myself because how hard could it be to get them to pick one or the other sample?
So, i get to the fletchers, chat with them, show them the samples and to make a long story a tad bit shorter, they didnt really like either, in fact, they hated one of them, and kinda like the other one. I tried to explain the process and how the color they kind of liked would actually be a bit darker once it was actually on the floor and stained. Mrs. Fletcher wanted me to take it back to Rick and get the second coat on, she was so sweet about it, she said "if you could dear, I woud love for you to have the second stain put on and then bring it back so we can see it-even if it is in 30 minutes, we can come back, I would just really like to see the second coat."
I thought there is no way I am going back to awkward Rick, so I told her I would put the second coat of stain on myself, save us both a trip.
"Are you the stain girl?" She asked.
No, but it is quite easy to do. So I went to grab the stain from my car, and grabbed a paper towel that was on the floor, opened the stain and applied it. easy as one, two, three. She ended up liking it much more now that there was a second stain on it and she saved me a trip back to ricks!

Getting back to the office and telling courtney the story just seemed to set off fireworks here in the office. Everyone on the bottom floor started going crazy, it reminded me of studio when we all drink way to much redbull, mountain dew and random things that "hype us up" but really we just get dillusional and crazy, well thats what happened here at DFR for the next hour, and there is no story telling that can create the hysteria that went on here!

Today was a bit calmer, no stain girl, no rick and no fletchers. I worked on 20.20 a lot and fiddled with that. I am starting to become more comfortable with it and I think that Courtney is feeling the same, since she left it up to me to draw a whole floor plan! Other than that we had another wacky lunch, and Alison, Gary and I went to the Oglesbee's to do a photo shoot of their kitchen, not much of a photo shoot, because it is fairly small, but none the less a beautiful kitchen. We were unlocking the door and realized that there is a little puppy in the house, as Gary tried to squeeze by he casually asked "does it go away?" no, Gary, "it" doesnt go away, and from then on we named "IT" "Jack".

I think this is the longest post I have ever written, and for you I am sorry and you should blame it on Rick and the fletchers. Hopefully you have made it through the long stories!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It always makes for a good car ride home...

In the "real world" I have quickly started to realize clients are clients and theyre not all as wonderful and easy as you would like. Courtney recently got handed a job where she basically just needed to go in help the man (we shall call him Marvin for blog sake) and his wife simply (and I do say simply) pick out paint colors and hardwood floors. Well, Marvin isn't simple, rather he is a bit complex and over the top, he is well organized, a bit challenging, however he always makes for a good car ride home full of giggles and loud music and of course a calming pit stop for coffee. His "simple" job tasks have turned into 2 hour long visits 3 times in the past two weeks. It has gone from Courtney helping with color and hardwood to ordering carpet, dealing with the hardwood guy, and recieving 3-4 phone calls a day for random questions or concerns. It's a hard task not only because he is overwhelming, but also because we just dont care for Marvins taste! So, we just try and go with flow and we will see how things pan out. Oh well, one client out of 20 I guess, I'm just glad they all arent like Marvin.

On top of traveling to see Marvin this week everyone in the office has tried to get the ball rolling again on the renovations for Dave Fox's office and showroom. I have been working with Alison trying to get things ordered, to understand her vision as best as I can so that I can help her as much as I can and trying to persuade the sales reps to give of all the things we want..FOR FREE! Below is a drawing that i fixed for alison for the new entry way to the showroom (where the new intern will enjoy the changes).
I know its hard to see but basically there are a bunch of notes that I needed to add to the drawings so the man from Cambria understood a little better as far as what we needed. Alison has decided to design the front panels with detailing they will be white, the countertops will be a gray shade and we are in the process of finding really cool floor tiling, but the best part is the lights....

BAM! we just love them, we proposed a client to use them in her kitchen, and even if she does, we will order two more, because we have to have them in our space! Dont you love them!?

On top of Marvin (I want to say Marshin (spelling?) because of our green light) and helping design and connect with sales reps I have done just some random drawings and work for Alison and Courtney.

Above is a clients drawing I did for them to help them decide placement for their new mirror and vanity lighting. At Dave Fox they also have their design consultants do a little interior decorating that way the client can pay them at an hourly rate and they can get little tips and design techniques for other spaces in their home. This client we spent an hour an a half with helping them pick out fixtures, lighting, mirrors and paint colors for their bathroom they are going to have a brother do. Because the designers here get paid a salary and dont get hourly, its nice to have this option to make a little more cash!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Just some words-throwing it out there...

This week has been busy, interesting and enlightening. Oddly enough I will begin this entry by saying I am "re-considering" residential design. ( I know, commercial has been my driving force forever-please note re-considering). There is something about DFR and Residential Design altogether that has so much personality to it. Though the projects maybe somewhat smaller than I had ultimately imagined myself working on there seems to be more life and light behind Residential and remodeling that maybe what I would recieve when designing a hotel. Don't get me wrong, these are all just thoughts and words, however this week meeting with clients on a one on one basis, in their homes, in our showroom, having laughs and getting to know them personally, playing with their animals, drinking their coffee has something so special and real to me. I have always known that it will be a challenge for me to find my "perfect firm" where I am working on fabulous commercial designs and feeling important as a designer rather than a number, and I think for now until something better walks my way I will continue on that search, but who knows, maybe remodeling or residential may be in my future...

This week has been full of life, from meeting a man who is persistant, yet kind, money pinching yet wanting the best, to working with the Genglers, an uber funny welcoming couple to being able to meet a baby great dane.

The Genglers are remodeling both of their full baths, I was able to sit in on both selection meetings and today we did the pre-construction walk-through and went over every little detail so there was no problem come constuction day. The Great Dane was at a project where Courtney had re-designed their kitchen space-it is in pickerington and looks fabulous, its very open, has beautiful white cabinets, great granite and beautiful tile that I was able to see today. Today (Friday) we went to see the tile, did the gengler meeting, and now I am working on 20.20 for courtney, drawing out their bathroom space for a condo remodel (lets hope that I can be quick, efficent and correct with 20.20, I still havent really fiddled with it all that much).

Shown below are some drawings I had down this week-just for visual entertainment.

On a side note-I can't believe I only have 3 weeks left...weird.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the taste of pure satisfaction

So Courtney and I just got back from a completion walk-thu at a home courtney and keith designed a kitchen for. We met with Mrs. Ryan and her adorable dog Lucy, we just walked through the kitchen, looked at the project in detail and in large with the Project Manager and made sure the client was satisfied and loved everything about her new space. Mrs. Ryan loved her new kitchen and was largely satisfied with the work that was done for her, so satisfied that she has hinted towards the idea of having somethings updated in her attached dining room area, which I think would be a great compliment to the work just completed in her kitchen.
As I was viewing the kitchen the details I really enjoyed was the island Courtney, Mrs. Ryan and Keith worked hard on shaping and designing. It's nice to see different techniques for your standard kitchen,and it made me appreciate residential design more then I already do. Her Island was an elongated peanut shape that spanned through her kitchen, she had cabinets under half of the island and for the other space it was used for a seating bar area. The shape really worked well within the space because her kitchen is longer than it is wide, and it works really well with egress as well as the ergonomics of the space and the people using it. (Hopefully I will be able to post pictures of the Island soon)

Details such as hardware for the cabinets I think some clients can tend to shove to the back burner and try and cut the price on those, but Mrs. Ryan's kitchen was a prime example of how hardware can make or break a kitchen, dont worry-it MADE the kitchen. On the ride home Courtney and I discussed how if they would have placed knobs on the kitchen cabinets the kitchen would not have been as dynamic, and that hardware and paint color are crucial in a space.

As far as the rest of the day goes, I think I will be busy doing random work around the office, such as faxing, filing, ordering, organizing and other things. This week seems to be a little less busy then the rest, but then again it is only Tuesday, I always laugh because i can look at Courtney and Alison's calendars on Monday and think "aw, this week will be nice and peaceful" and then by Thursday Im thinking holy cow, where did all these appointments come from!? I love it though, keeping me busy in the office makes the time fly, and I am glad that people are still investing money into design and innovation.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Glamour shots + Concept Boards.

For the past couple of days work has been packed with helping the designers get ready for clients, going to meetings with clients and assisting at photo shoots of spaces previously remodeled for entries to a design competition. Alison, Bryce and Wendy have been working on a large project that has to do with a second floor addition, remodeling the kitchen, baths, living room...essentially 70-80% of the home. I did some research through images recently taken of her home as well as on the internet to try and understand who this women really is. Alison and I gathered words and images that we thought best described her and would help us sell the job and help the women understand the intent of the designs. Furthering our development Allison asked me to make a mood/concept board, so from the images and conversations her and I had previously I created a concept board.
From what I understand their meeting with the client went well and she perceived everything shown to her with excitment.

Weds was a busy day spent with Courtney doing photo shoots and meeting with clients. Gary, Courtney and I went to a clients house to shoot photos of a remodeled basement Courtney and Louise had worked on-HOLY COW was it a remodel. It was an unfinished basement that is now full with a gym, a pool table, a bar, lots and lots of storage, full bath, and everything anyone could want. It was interesting to see the process of shooting photos in a space-we had to set the mood of the space-try to find the best angles to showcase the work and the space and make it look as if it were being currently used-without people in the shots. It really was-LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION! and we had to move FAST! after finishing that shoot (which took about 2-2 1/2 hours, we headed to a house in dublin to shoot photos of a wine cellar. It was a smaller space, but because it is filled with wine and the exterior is made of glass getting the proper angles and treating the reflections was a bit challenging. Below are some photos from each of the shoots-ENJOY! (This images are scanned, so I appologize because they're lacking quality)
As for today, it was busy this morning with client meetings but things are on the slow side now-thus the reason I am blogging, its rainy out and is making everyone tired-It was a busy week this week, so it has been nice having a slower Friday.