Well, here at last.
Many of you will know this particular client personally (let’s just say it’s close to home). And if any of you know my artist-turned-finance-guy husband, you know him to be opinionated in matters of art and design. As a practical matter, this was a real team effort… (go team).
For all who have embarked on a gut renovation of a co-op in New York City, we might share a knowing wink. This apartment had not been renovated in perhaps 50 years, and the inevitable twists and turns of city renovation in an old building were ripe for the taking.
While this is obviously my business, I was not immune to the mental drama of designing one’s own home. (Should we all be so fortunate… I do not mean to sound out of touch.) However, whatever the scale, making decisions when it is your own home is the same for everyone, designer or not. Decisions can feel like roadblocks.
Needless to say, we made it to the finish line.
A few pieces of advice before embarking on a big project.
1) “Future Proofing” is a losing game. (Easy there, New Yorkers – for the control freaks among us, just try your best). There are always going to be trade offs in functionality of NOW vs LATER. Yet try as we might, we do not know what the future holds. If COVID taught us anything, perhaps it is that.
2) There are no right answers, and few wrong decisions (only bad execution!). There are so many possibilities and creative ways to approach design. If you take this to heart, then making decisions can become easier.
3) Opinionated or not, there is often more than one constituent in a project. Even I, as a designer, had to make design compromises, and often those compromises made the project better. The more organic the process, the more unique the result.
4) You’ve heard me say this before: design first, build second. What a nightmare if you are changing big things on the jobsite! What a headache if you have to pay for change orders that could have been avoided by planning. Obviously, things come up, but to the extent that you can avoid them… WAIT before you pick up a hammer.
We enlisted Alastair Standing of Standing Architecture as architect, and we brought on Eamonn Deane of Garadice for our contractor.
And in case you missed it last time, we had a project published in a coffee table book, Architecture and Design Review, published by TeNeues. If you’d like one please let me know or you may purchase it here.
That’s a wrap. Until next time.
In good design,