A residential design firm dedicated to
improve home improvement
with efficient, effective communication.
In the world of Reality TV, Virtual Reality, and the move to “Keep it Real”, there seems to me to still be a lot of confusion and ambiguity. I’ll give one illustration.
I love watching Gordon Ramsey’s shows. There’s Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, The f-Word (F stands for Food, what did you think it was for?), and Hotel Hell. (I really wish Hotel Hell would come back.) My illustration comes from Kitchen Nightmares. I do believe that much of it is real, but sometimes, I wonder if the owner’s attitudes are a bit embellished for ratings sake. I mean, they did ask him to come help them fix their restaurant, right? They’ve seen the show, right? Why do they insist on their food being 8 or 9 out of 10?
Well, we work in the reality world here too. But this is the Word on Master Remodeling Hell Nightmares. (Ok, that show probably won’t fly with Fox.)
We recently purchased some new technology to expand our capabilities and options for communicating our passion for good design and good business. This new direction has placed me square in the middle of a black hole of options now. Who can I follow? Where can I follow them? What is going to be my practice so I don’t fall into the black hole of social media wherein one can waste so much time?
Searching for articles on iTunes apps for designers and business has yielded few results. I’ve even suggested this topic to a magazine editor today. Then, the thought flew into my mind, “Why don’t you write down what you’ve found in your searching, and list the few that look like they could help?”
…continue reading Making Technology Work for You »
I’m going to share some common thoughts about remodeling here. You think about some one-word adjectives and see if we’re on the same page. Scary. Over-budget. Scary. Long. Headache. Scary. Dusty. Frustrating. Did I mention scary?
But what would you say if I told you remodeling could be fun? Crazy? Wait! Please hear me out.
…continue reading Fun in remodeling »
You’ve heard the saying, “the devil’s in the details” right? Typically, this saying is used negatively as a reaction to something unexpected happening to those “best laid plans.” At the end of this article is a picture of one of such details.
I like to turn this saying into a positive, pro-active tool during our projects as a reminder that details do matter. How do they matter? When do they matter? Why do they matter? Can we keep the devil away?
…continue reading Devil in the Details »
All businesses have a business model – whether they realize it or not. Yes, that means some business models are not fully intentional. I must admit, creating a business model can be difficult, but it is important. It takes creativity, forethought, insight, and a lot of pure blood, sweat, and tears to create a business model.
The answer depends on whether you are a business person or a customer, but it is important to both.
…continue reading Is your model important? »
This question is important to ask for many reasons, and it plays an important role in our business for two reasons.
Most importantly, we ask this question of our clients since we are working to design something that fits them, and meets them in their taste. This makes it hard, since each project is unique, to share a portfolio of projects. Experience has taught us that what fit the last client most likely will not fit you. It hasn’t happened yet! So our goal is to learn about our client, in their home habits, circumstance, and needs.
…continue reading What’s unique about you? »
It’s a hard time to be in business, for sure. However, I have kept asking myself why am I seeing so many businesses start up during a down economy? (let me clarify “so many”: any more than 0 during such an allegedly dour economy would seem to be extremely gutsy!) Do they have a crystal ball? If so, I want it! No, it doesn’t seem that they have crystal balls, just extreme guts!
So, I read about business and entrepreneurialism. And I come across a hard truth. The title of this article says it all…”It’s Not the Receission, You Just Suck!”
A recent article in the Residential Design + Build magazine piqued my interest. The author states throughout the article, and in the title, that architects/designers should lead design/build projects. Mr. Jauregui makes many great points about the fallacies of the design-then-bid-then-build model, and I refer you to the article to read more about that. He also outlines many of the advantages of the design/build model that I have mentioned as well.
However, to state empirically that the designer/architect should always take the lead on projects doesn’t add up to me. My experience shows that clients do benefit greatly when the builder takes the lead.
Am I slamming architects/designers?
…continue reading Taking the lead: builder or designer? »
Recently we’ve been working on a library addition. For marketing purposes, the board needed a fly-thru of their addition/remodeling project.
This is the latest as a part of their marketing movie. (Other parts of the movie to be added by others, including photos of existing conditions, and music – for continuity)
Contractors, are you using 3D to communicate with potential clients?
Continuing our series following a real-life remodeling project, we come to the point where the design had been vetted by two contractors, and, as we might expect, the project was more than the homeowners had previously stated they wanted to spend.