As an independent designer since 1996, I work on a wide range of projects, from complete gut renovations to single bathrooms to paint palettes. This is not a showroom and I have no product to sell; we’ll meet in your home to discuss your project. Big or small, all projects begin with an initial consultation. Some clients only need that small bit of insight and advice, though most projects involve complete design services.
I started drawing floor plans when I was 8, after seeing an ad for a log cabin kit in one of my dad’s issues of Field and Stream. It made immediate, intuitive sense to me and I’ve been designing rooms ever since.
But I also loved typography, and after graduating from the School of Visual Arts, I ran a graphic design studio for 14 years. All that time I was moving around the city from apartment to apartment, fixing them up for fun.
An opportunity to art direct a series of home design magazines came up, but the budget and staff was tiny. In an early planning meeting, we wondered who we could get to oversee the renovations. The editor turned to me with a raised eyebrow and said, “You’re always fixing up your apartment.” It wasn’t long before I was designing rooms instead of page layouts. I’d found my true love.
At first I did all the work myself, but demand grew quickly and I soon trained a crew, which grew into a design/build firm. After a few years I realized I wanted to go back to just designing. Now I work with several independent contractors.
It’s a great benefit to have had this varied experience and seen the process of renovation from so many perspectives. I consider all renovations from three points of view – that of designer, client, and contractor – and believe that renovations work best when they are handled as a collaboration. As we go along, we’re solving issues and agreeing on decisions as a team.
One thing I learned while working as an art director was that if a crew was having fun at a photo shoot, it showed on the film, and made for great photos. It’s the same with renovations: if the team loves doing the work, that makes for great rooms. It’s important to enjoy the trip, not just the destination.
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