Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Cargo (380 NW 13th Ave Portland, OR 97209Phone: (503) 243-7804 )- This huge warehouse is filled with everything Asian. It's a treasure chest of antiqued painted furniture, funky Asian framed prints, endless accessories and a fun section of modern Chinese toys and party favors. If you're looking for a valuable antique, this isn't the place, but you can definitely find some fun pieces to bring a little life to your space. Below is a photo of a gorgeous blue dresser that, unfortunately, couldn't find its way into my client's space.
This portion of The Designer's Guide to...is getting lengthy, and I work for a living, so I will leave you with this last important bit of advice. Go to Everett Street Bistro. Don't question it, why would you question it? Just order the clam chowder and the braised short ribs and call it a night, and if you must, add the flourless chocolate cake, and if you're trying to really enjoy yourself, order a glass of the A to Z Wineworks Chardonnay (local Oregon wine) or perhaps the entire bottle. Of course, I wouldn't suggest the Chardonnay in the fall or winter, but in the last days of summer, it just felt right...
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I just saw this incredible paper lantern on Apartment Therapy Los Angeles' Blog, and you know how I love my light fixtures. I've got a bit of a love/hate thing with Japanese design, sometimes it's just too sparse for my taste, but I've always been really into beautiful handmade rice paper which this company uses and can even customize. You can check out this lantern and others on the Miyako-Andon website.
My second little project is a trip to Portland this Thursday and Friday to set up the apartment of a client who's house I recently completed in Hermosa Beach. This is interesting because I haven't seen any photos of the apartment, so I'm basically winging it when I get up there. I am preparing for the trip by looking up local resources, so I can do a whirlwind shopping trip Monday and set everything up on Friday. This is exciting because I don't normally design in this way...I'll imagine that I'm on Design Star and Kelly Wearstler, etc will rip me apart if I don't get it right!
My third small project, the details of which are still being hammered out, is a referral from my next door neighbor who connected me to a friend of his that lives right up the street from me-gotta love the convenience factor there. The potential client rents, which I don't normally love to get involved with because you're so limited in what you can do to the place, but it needs a facelift nonetheless. The space is your typical bachelor pad, which is to say there hasn't been an extensive amount of thought put into the design, and it doesn't exactly scream "home aka Nest". I like the idea of doing this because I know that with minimal furniture and accessory purchases along with rearranging the furniture layout, this place can be 1000% better. The client also has his own clients and colleagues over to the space, which makes it even more imperative to clean up his act.
My "diary project" the SoCal Nest is still moving forward. An issue came up that I've dealt with before, which is how much input can you or should you give to a client who asks your opinion on another designer's designs. Let me lay the story out for you more specifically... SoCal Nest is doing an outdoor covered patio which includes a BBQ area. I don't have all the details, but the design of the BBQ area came from another designer who was already on the job when I was hired. I don't mean to say that there is another interior designer on the job-there's just me-but this person probably works specifically for a BBQ/Outdoor area company and designed the space through that company. When my client sent me the plan for this and some of the inspiration photos, I didn't want to step on any toes, but I put in my two cents.
The design is pretty simple-curved counter, sink, BBQ, etc.-but I didn't think the curved counted worked with the lines of the house, and I told her so. I feel a bit weird about it now because I've had people undermine my design opinion in the past, granted it was a client's girlfriend who didn't have a design degree or taste but....it is really irritating. Too many cooks in the kitchen really. I may be over thinking this as I tend to do, but I wonder if anyone has experienced this type of situation before?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
1. Take your business personally: Business has, traditionally, addressed the world with profits in mind, which is to say: impersonally. We can no longer afford this. More than any other generation – [today’s] business people are in a position to lead in making the world a better place. We must take more responsibility, which is to say, take it personally.
2. Be daring. Be first. Be different: Or no one will notice.
3. Be good.: Because you can.
4. Business is not beyond morality. Business is no longer a cold-hearted, objective, pseudo-scientific project to manipulate customers…it can’t be that anymore. The future of the world depends on us doing business with heart. Without ‘heart’ the creativitiy of the human spirit dwindles, too.
5. Business is like activism: It is a way of saying what kind of world you want to live in. Protest is not enough. You need a vision.
I say this is most important because involves several factors, which I think are key to developing a business and which are sometimes undervalued.
1. Selling Yourself- I try to sell myself whenever possible-it's that simple. During class one day I got the opportunity to explain what I do and how I got into it. It was incredible to hear the reactions of my fellow students who had previously not thought of starting their own business as a real possibility.
2. Networking- This is pretty much the same thing as selling yourself, but I went beyond explaining what I do and actually spoke to individuals about the realities of the business-what they could expect if they got into it and also learning about their background. I had a woman email me saying that she would love to get involved with a project of mine, which I will put into my notes if I find myself in a situation where I need an assistant or collaborator.
3. Collaborating- My fellow student explained that he was approached to do a project by some acquaintances of his and asked my advice on certain things-how much to charge? where do you get your vendors? etc. and then he asked if I would consider collaborating with him. When it comes to business, I don't have a huge ego. I absolutely believe in the power of two (or three or four...) minds coming together. The benefit of collaborating for me is that I will pick up a new project, make a little money, make new contacts, expand my creative repertoire, and mentor a fellow designer, which is a total trip. The benefit to my fellow student is a having a mentor that can guide him in the basic business aspects of the project and give him a boost of confidence in executing his, what are sure to be fabulous based on his work in class, designs.
Speaking of the three tenets above, I had a lunch meeting with my electrician David Bernstein yesterday, and we had a really great meeting where both he and I explained why we were in business, why we liked what we do, how we got in business, etc. Because of that exchange we are now both looking out for the interest of the other. At this point, quite frankly, he could do a lot more for me, but as I grow and establish a larger client base with larger budgets, he stands to benefit as well. It illustrates what I always say to anybody asking about what I do- your vendors and your tradesmen are your best friends. If you've got a good team behind you, you can be a better designer, plus, if you're a decent human being and they like you, they may even promote your work. This has happened several times for me where a vendor has hooked me up with a client.
So if you're just starting-network shamelessly and if you've been in business for awhile and have hit a slump-network shamelessly. So get out there, take two business cards and call me in the morning.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Not that I will claim this as the most