Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the "glamorous" life of an interior designer

sometimes i think most people get the impression that an interior designer gets to have "fun" all day doing all kinds of "fun" things.  while it is a great profession, it is not all "fun" and games.  i hope to do some more blogging about what i do in the future....but it seems that by the time i get around to blogging i really don't want to blog about what i do all day.  anyways, this week has been a crazy week so far and we are only half way through.  monday was....monday.  i found out that some boards we had taken to a client were wrong and that one of our renderings {3D computer drawing...allows clients to see exactly what we are proposing} we had done basically needed to be completely redone...thus tuesday morning myself and one of my partners would be having a meeting with the client discussing the changes that needed to be made.  tuesday morning arrives and my 11x17 printer won't work.  i grab all my stuff for my dreaded meeting and start on my hour drive to the client.  get to the meeting and although it isn't as embarassing as i thought it would be, there are a TON of changes that need to be made ASAP. 

****side note:  b/c we use computers all the time in my profession most people think that means that changes don't take very long and things can be added to renderings really "quick" and that they can have their stuff the next day.  news flash....yes, computers help speed turnaround time up but it is NOT as simple as a push of a button.  there is a lot of time that goes into drawing plans on the computer and especially a lot that goes into building a 3D model and rendering it on the computer*****

on our way back to the office, we decide to go by another job site that is close.  here's the background on the job:  it is a school that about a year ago burned to the ground.  i believe they were about to celebrate their 100th year in the original school building.  it was really a sad situation.  luckily we were able to get the job and within 48 hours had a floorplan to the superintendent for a new school building.  they wanted the new building to be reminiscent of the original school building and to achieve this we chose to reuse the original stone, down to the stone that has a bullet hole in it.  

the job is very far along in construction and is looking great.  upon arrival we notice that the building is surrounded by a mud pit.  after looking for a somewhat decent path into the building we realize that this:

is our best option.....rickety pallets placed side by side that move as soon as you step onto them.  "oh yea!" is what goes through my mind, along with "suck it up alayna, you do NOT want to be girly girl, prissy interior designer who can't hack it on the job site!"  luckily i had worn flats...that looked like this afterwards...

{i narrowly missed my socks being soaked with mud!}

the interior is looking awesome.  pre-k through 2nd grade will be in the new building, so our design is very playful.  in the following pictures you can see the corridor with the exposed ceilings that are painted a sky blue. 

there will be floating clouds to help with acoustics and to add a sense of scale.  the lower parts of the walls will be a light yellow vinyl wallcovering that has a subtle design {this will help with durability and maintenance....easy to clean}.   on one end of the corridor, up high above the doors, there will be a large sun with rays painted.  the other end of the corridor will have a big rainbow.  lower on the walls, on top of the vinyl wallcovering, there will be trees that are 7' tall that are made out of really thin acrylic.  the floors in the corridors will be stained concrete with a design using 4 different colors.  like i said...a very playful interior.

my philosophy is that students should be proud of where they go to school.  it should be a place that is welcoming and comfortable....not a huge sterile white box.  luckily our client was willing to go with me on this design concept!  i am excited to see the final product and i will be sure to post some pictures.

as we were going through the building i noticed that the millwork had been installed.  as i got closer i realized that the counters on all of the millwork have the wrong plastic laminate on them.  i pointed it out to the contractor, so he brings the plans, specification book and submittals over.  i look through all of them and they all clearly state that the counters are to be "PL2".  the millwork company has used the "PL3" plastic laminate instead.  now, sometimes when things like this happen i will say "it's okay....we'll work with it".  this  the millwork company was a butt to work with.  their shop drawings {drawings they send us to look over and sign off on} were terrible.  our contact at the company would not call us back....when they finally did they assured us they would call and discuss before they started production to make sure they understood everything.  we never received a call from them.  so, i am not about to let this one slide for them.  they have ALL the millwork installed and ALL the counters are wrong...lovely!  the contractor was nice about it and put a call into the millwork company....i haven't heard their story yet but i am sure they will have something to say.

 wow...this post has turned out a lot longer than i expected!  anyways, the profession of an interior designer is not always "fun" and pretty colors.  a lot of times it is sorting through crappy shop drawings, trapsing through mud pits on the job site, dealing with hateful contractors {luckily not this time}, trying to decifer clients wants/needs, and wanting to throw your computer out the nearest window b/c it just froze and lost your last 2 hours of work!  but, all that to say that i do love my has just been a LONG 2 days!

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