Archive for July, 2010
I must admit that I am an action movie junkie! When I go to the theater I want to be intellectually engaged. When I go to the movies, I just want escapism. Most of the time, though, I am let down. Same situation with the Sauceres’ Apprentice. Do not pull your face as you read this. Please don’t think less of me for being shallow in my entertainment choice! Just think of me as a popcorn-munching movie fan who sometimes makes bad decisions when picking movies.
It’s like the time I was dragged to see Toy Story 3 in 3D. The tickets came to $28 for two people (because it was in 3D) and I charged it. I sat there growling and fuming that I allowed to be forced into this movie. But I think I was alone because everyone else in the theater was laughing and having a great time!
Do you every get up and leave when you don’t like a movie before it’s over? If it’s a theater production I will never leave. I’ve seen people get up and leave in the middle of a performance because they don’t like it and I find it rude. I stick it to the end because I always think there’s something to be learnt. Sometimes in a movie, however, I am very tempted. What do you do?
I’m not very mechanical, but here’s a tip. If you have an ice machine, a refrigerator, a wine cooler or anything that sucks in air in order to work, by all means, remove the hair balls every now and again. When I got back from my blitz trip to Switzerland this morning, my wine cooler was down to 74 and hadn’t been cooling. The ice machine? All I had was a puddle of water at the bottom. Even the jello I had in the fridge had gone liquid. This morning I called the technician in and was told to clean the sucker out. After some house cleaning, I have ice in my machine, the wines (that survived the heat wave) are chilled and my fridge is keeping things fresh. Nene’s fur is not helping the situation. I may just have to shave him down for the summer…
This comment was left by one of your blog readers, and I think it would make a very interesting blog topic.
as posted on:
#15 by becky on April 23, 2010 – 3:04 am
“I agree, great topic and discussion, Vicente.
Whether you select commission based, flat fee based or hourly, I am interested from Vicente, and all the designers reading this as to how much time on average it takes you to complete a room design from concept through installation? I am aware of the endless variables involved, but am curious how long it takes other designers to work on or complete an entire room like a living room or a bathroom?”
I too, have always been curious how my timing compares to other designers.
Love your blog, and your work,
Hi Sonya (and Becky) – yes, that is a good question and I too would be interested in the answer from other designers. For me, to do a job from time of approval of design, it takes between sixteen and twenty weeks if there’s no major construction. The design process takes about a month to a month and a half. Sometimes less.
Please let us know how long it takes you!
I have loved and followed your work for many years now and have heard your talks several times. But one thing I was wondering if you could comment on; as a designer, do you design for what the client needs, or do you design for what the client thinks they need- Are you designing for what their actual lifestyle is and requires, or for what they aspire to?
Thanks, and I appreciate the time you take to communicate on your site.
Matt, I think that meeting with the clients and seeing how they live gives me a good insight into what their lifestyle is and what their needs are. I think one has to listen, but use your instinct to seperate the dream from the reality, which is something that comes with time. I find with my clients that their lifestyle is not about pretence and that most of them are really real and down to earth. But, that said, when a client says “I need a dining room to seat 26 for that once-a year family dinner”, I must understand that I have to provide a place where that amount can sit, but I’m not designing the dining room for that permanently. It’s about using ones common sense and expertise.
I am off on this evening to Switzerland to present a job we’ve been working on. I’ve been to Geneva once before, but that entire visit lasted only three hours (I went to look at the job site!). It’s going to be wonderful to see the Alps in Summer. This project is a chalet in the mountains, so I have dusted off my lederhosen and I am looking forward to recreating the Sound of Music – who knows, maybe the hills will come alive?
I’m back Friday morning just in time for me to head out to Montauk on Friday afternoon. While I’m away you’ll see some “Ask Vicente” posts up here. If you have any questions you’ve been meaning to ask me, please mail them to info (at) vicentewolf (dot) com.
Each time I don’t listen to my gut, I pay the price. And I’ve come to realize that sometimes it is better to face the music at the beginning than to try and fool yourself into looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.
Recently I had a prospective client come back to me after two years and we started the process all over again. The first time we got the ball rolling and they just disappeared – much to our frustration at the time, and after hours spent working on this project. Well, they came back now, professing to wanting to start work immediately and being very excited about working with us – both here and at VW Home. We had a one and a half hour meeting where, from my recollection of the house, we discussed what could work and what wasn’t working and I gave them some really good ideas. They asked for a contract, it was sent out.
A week went by. We followed up a few times and the phone calls were not returned. Then we finally received one to inform us that they had decided that they wanted to work with their contractor and were going to be managing the process themselves.
The thing is, when they first came back I had a sense in my gut that the same thing was going to happen, but I wished for better. And when it did (again), I went through the whole “What did I do” / “What did I say” / “Too many ideas” / “Not enough ideas” and after beating myself up a little. Mostly thanks to my shrink I realized that it had repeated itself from the first time and it had nothing to do with me. I had put my best foot forward and that this is just they way some people work.
You need to listen to your instinct and when something seems to be one way, don’t disregard it. Certainly look at it and question your role in it, but don’t beat yourself up. I’m guessing that, had we gone down this road with these clients, the same thing would’ve happened in some form or the other. I know it happens to many other designers and invariably you end up question yourself. But sometimes you look at situations and you just know.
Have you had this happen to you?
Dear Mr. Wolf,
Been an admirer of yours for some years tho could never afford you. I spent an amazing night at the Lorien Hotel that you designed but we had a humerous/ could have been terrible incident with the industrial shower door on rollers – my living room is a combination of thai recovered teak bookcase and dining table, modern angular camel leather sofas , and marble topped mahogony antique drumtable, a number of things from my travels to china, indonesia, but all in a pretty ho hum colonial townhouse. it still doesn’t hang together and i would love some guidance. i’ve avoided putting too much in the room so it still looks like i really don’t live there. how can i keep the cool uncluttered look but make it feel lived in and warm? With thanks,
One has to pay the price of publicity! Yes, it exposes you, but it makes people think you are unreachable and unaffordable. It’s a double-edged sword. Somehow appearing in magazines can intimidate people and make them feel like you’re out of their reach. The reality is that we do all sizes and budgets and we work from smaller to very large budgets. So what you say of being unaffordable really is not necessarily true.
About the shower door…I’d love to know more of what happened!
Regarding your living room, without having all the specifics, making it an elegant comfortable and inviting room is about balance, proportion and blending all these elements in a very cohesive way. It’s not simple and requires a strong design capability to balance all those elements together. Why don’t you get a professional in to help you find the right balance? If you dare, you may even call my office for a consultation!
Name: Mallery Roberts Morgan
What in your opinion is the all time best fabric for upholstery for sofas for families with kids and pets? I’m asking a few designer friends and trying to get a consensus.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
There’s some great industrial fibers being produced right now that have the look of luxury but the functionality of iron. I have a client that has large quantities of dogs that seem to always be lifting their legs on the wrong place. So we found fabrics that are dog-urine resistant yet still has a great look – good enough to have appeared in a magazine! Same goes for when you’re designing for high-traffic areas like restaurants and hotel lobbies. You just have to research what’s out there or have a designer do that for you. One of the finishes we’ve found is coated with Crypton (yes, you may think ‘Superman’) which really prevents damage. Check out www.cryptonfabric.com
I certainly enjoy reading and participating in blogs. But the case of Shirley Sherrod (former USDA official who was blackballed and forced into resigning by a misquote on this blog for her speech on her experiences in her work) was a clear example to me of how there is really no policing whatsoever over what gets said or how its portrayed. If the same quote had appeared in a newspaper where she was misquoted she would have been able to have some recourse – and you can be sure that somewhere along the line an editor would have questioned this sensationalist story. But for political reasons, a blogger took what she said out of context and got her to force to resign. The White House and the NAACP came down on her and all because of people using this online medium for their own selfish reasons and saying whatever they please, whether it’s the truth or not.
People are using social media tools for their own political or personal reasons without any gatekeeper. And I think the bigger problem comes in when children get involved. Kids have access to information and ways of portraying themselves online that we wouldn’t have even considered in our wildest dreams back when I was ten or eleven years old! These days children are committing suicide because of things that are said about them on blogs.
This is not something to be taken lightly. When we put something on a blog or post about a topic, we all have to take responsibility for the fact that it is not just you reading it, but that you’re putting it out there for the world to read and interpret. Have any of you had any problems with things said on blogs that have affected you?
The Bridgehampton Antique Show was a new venture for us. This past weekend was hot, muggy and there wasn’t a breeze to be found anywhere. You wouldn’t believe that, despite the horrible conditions, we were able to sell a wonderful indonesian desk, chairs and accessories to the point that we had to restock our booth with items from the showroom here in Manhattan.
I was there for parts of it Trudi Romeo, the VW Home showroom manager, was the one who braved the boiling heat without much of a break – I believe she lost 3lbs over the weekend!
Did you manage to pop by? What did you think of the event?