Archive for April, 2010
Name: Kim Foran
I have searched everywhere for Parisienne architectural molds similar to those on the cover of your book Learning to See. I don’t seem to be able to find them. Can you help please?? I love the look and texture on the wall. It’s fabulous…
Kim, the ones on the cover of Learning To See are 19th Century and they were used for artists to practise drawings at the Mozart School of Design in Paris. I bought the whole set at one time and I’ve never seen them again, but if you find some companies who do plaster work in Sydney or Melbourne, ask them if they have pieces of mouldings or architectural details – you could potentially get a similar type of product.
Last night I went to see A Behanding in Spokane with Christpher Walken. It is what one would truly call a ‘Black Comedy’ and it was really wonderful – so funny and so politically incorrect. If the N-word was used once, it was used 20 times, if the F-word was used once it was used 200-times and Mother Effers were flying left and right! The cringe-factor helped to make it really funny. Christopher Walken was great, adding his mad-hatter quality to an already great play.
Don’t miss it!
The roughest time in running my own business is always when all the design has been done for the jobs I’m working on and you don’t have a new project to jump into. In the last couple of weeks we presented all the jobs that we’ve been working on and we’ve installed the jobs that were completed – which is always fun. At the moment there are a few jobs lolling about in the estimating and preparing-construction-documents phase.
What this means for me is that I don’t have a new love affair to get involved in – and while I’m not being 100% literal here, to me every new job is a love affair! Not having one makes me feel very useless, a little fidgety. When you have staff, they have their to-do lists to get through and I’m just the point guy who gives them their assignments. But they’re working and I have no cake to bake at the moment.
When talking to my shrink about it she described it as that moment where you, instead of always looking for the next big thing, should be able to focus on the present. I have a project that I’m very excited about – it’s progressing and it looks wonderful and things are happening, but it’s that fix of having a new job to work on that’s missing. I think I’m a new-job-junkie. (Not that I want one every day, because that would be overdosing.) But it’s that insecurity of not being wanted or needed anywhere. I wish we could just learn to be happy with what we have and not always be on the lookout for the next high. Life would be so much simpler…
It’s hard to believe – with the economy being what it is -that so many vendors are still not pampering and following through and catering to us designers who are providing them with business. “Oh, the truck broke down, the glass broke, the workman didn’t show up today”, or the ‘I’m not going to answer your phone call or return it’ and the sort of excuses I have heard for years which say to me “I don’t give a shit about you” just makes me so angry.
Naturally I’m not saying every supplier, but I will tell you this, the ones that are doing this to me will not work with my firm anymore. It’s hard enough trying to find clients and trying to keep the relationships with the clients smooth. Who needs a supplier throwing a spanner in the works?
Are you all having similar problems? Please commiserate with me if you do!
I had my second meeting with the consultation client and, after I gave her an assignment the first time, she came back with a plan of her apartment and showed me her different solutions. It was interesting to discuss her design process and to look at what solutions she had discovered. Still, my challenge was to try and infuse in her a free-er quality to her work. After discussing the process she went through, I showed her some other options, incorporating her ideas and the lightbulb went on!
I think the strongest point in talking to her was that the plans that she had brought were all furniture plans. I believe that one should really decide how one is going to reallocate the background before even starting to add furniture. What she was doing was to move a few walls so she could place the furniture, where my thinking is to really bring the background to a 100% and then the furniture sort of places itself in the space.
After her showing great insecurity about her creativity during our first session and wanting to know from me what good design was, it was such a great surprise to see pictures of a home she did for herself in the country as well as an apartment in NYC and just how wonderful it was. It wasn’t quite completed and I gave her some suggestions, but I think her fear overrode her style and her talent.
It’s so important that we trust what we do and are realistic when we look at our work without underselling ourselves. After all, if you don’t believe in your work, how do you expect the client to?
Sitting in front of me is the last revise of Book 3. I can taste it. It’s amazing to see the process from beginning to end, of adjusting photographs, moving them around, changing the volume and sizes of the photographs. It is, like the first two times, such an exhilirating experience. For somebody who always sees the glass half-empty, I was more and more positive with each revise and fell more and more in love with it. I hope it will give readers more information on the design process and I’ll be sure to let you know when you can start placing orders for Lifting The Curtain On Design. I’m so excited!
Vicente, what is your idea of the perfectly paired down bed. Simple luxury. What would use from the sheets up? There are so many choices out there.
I love working with both Anichini and Sferra, they do beautiful linens and have proven to stand the test of time. For me, it’s always white linens. It says “I know when my sheets are dirty and I’m not trying to hide it under brown colors” and I like a beautifully made bed with hospital corners and fluffy pillows. I usually fold the comforter at the foot of the bed – I don’t like to bring it all the way up.
After working with Pointed Leaf Press and Director Sam Shahid over the last year and a half, at last the book will be coming out in September this year! It will feature all of the photographs from Frida’s personal photography collection, which I won and each time I look at these photos, it makes me feel like Frida is right next to me. If you are an afficiando of her, you’ll love the collection as most of them are photographs that have never been seen before. As an art director, Sam really did an incredible layout which brings the collection to life.
Yesterday I had a group of students come from Parson with their lecturer and fellow interior designer, Kitty Hawks and I showed them how I present a job. We used a job that I just presented three weeks ago, from beginning to end and I probably should have done some refreshing on all the elements of the presentation, but I think they got the point. We discussed how to answer clients’ questions, what instructions you give a client at the beginning – here’s a pad, write down your questions and we’ll discuss them at the end – and I showed them the renderings, materials and the pace that I follow in presenting a job. I think it was a valuable session for these students, who lapped up the information and kept the questions coming. What a great idea of Kitty’s, and fun for me to get to share important information with those just learning the ropes.
I wanted to share these photos of a job we just installed on Friday. The apartment is great and has incredible views of New York. I think the project is quite different from my usual jobs – the client wanted very straight lines in the upholstery, which we had made, and it’s not every day one gets to incorporate such incredible views of the Hudson river into the overall design. You can see the cruise ships coming in and to incorporate it into the design, we had the library wall mirrored so when you look in that direction it reflects the activities on the river. I’m very pleased with the paneling in the master bedroom around the bed. it gives it a very smooth quality, while still keeping it warm and inviting. The client loved it, I loved working on the project and overall I think it was a big success. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)