Our first qualification as kitchen designers is that we love to cook. Our design qualifications include a 5 year professional degree in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, 30 years experience in fabrication, fine furniture craft, sculpture lighting expertise, and the fact the we develop all our designs in 3d so “What You See is What You Get.”
In any design project our greatest ambition is to see a huge smile on our clients faces at the end of the project. To achieve that we provide options. There is no worse feeling than feeling ‘Meh’ at the end of a remodel that has involved time, money and disruption. Why go for that if you don’t get something great.
Kitchen myths: Ikea has the best value, and Home Depot the lowest prices. Drawing my kitchen on a napkin will get me the result I want. I know what I want. Hiring a professional is a waste of money, it isn’t that hard. Designers are dictators and I’ll get their style not mine. I can’t afford a true custom kitchen. I don’t believe that having a professional design can actually save me money, as well as protect me from that terrible feeling that I spent money and effort and lived with the remodel and got a lackluster result.
Value: my main job is to provide you options, establish a budget, and get things done with excellent quality and a lasting transformation, that makes your life better every day when you’re preparing food and entertaining people.
My job is to show you relatively unlimited options, sources I have acquired over three decades of experience in architecture and design.
My job is to guide material selection and draw details that are clear, so that everyone involved in the project is ‘on the same page.’
What made our most recent kitchen project success?
We didn’t scrimp on design time with clients. We had a dialogue with each other. Seems that we all really enjoyed collaborating. For the first time we outsourced to a high-tech manufacturer. That means that the cabinets are built with the same precision as super custom cabinetry imported from Europe. And instead of taking 3 months which is the normal European kitchen lead time, the cabinets are ready in 10 days. The fabricator is less than an hour away from clients on the Westside, which meant delivery was easy.
As designers, we have to know that the materials, the details, and the dimensions are exactly correct. Frankly, most non-Pros would have a lot of trouble getting the data down right, which isn’t due to a lack of intelligence, it’s the difference between working on your own project, possibly a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and having the experience of working on several hundred projects.
What do we want as designers? The number one thing is a big smile from our clients when we’re done.
Over the years we have built a number of custom doors and gates. You can order pretty nice solid wood doors from a door factory, but the downside can be that nobody bothers to match the boards very well. I prefer to select the lumber myself, and spend some time making sure the color and grain works well together.
A similar process is involve in building a hardwood gate.
Here are some examples:
Looking back through the many tables I have designed / fabricated over the years. I am excited about using new tech tools like CNC machines, 3d printers, and laser cutters, but I also love traditional woodworking; something I have done since I was 7 years old.
My latest project is variations based on what I believe is an image of two sculptural tables by Rudolph Schindler, perhaps my all time favorite architect. I’m thinking of applying unusual patterns from Italian veneers and laminates to the sober forms of Mr. Schindler.
Here is a gallery of tables, including a few that inspire me for whatever comes next…
We just installed this Woven Redwood fence panel yesterday. Worked out great. It even allows the client’s dog, to peek out through strategically placed knot holes. The drawing shows how the 3d Drawings we make, help us to figure out the details, and allows the client to truly have a WYSIWYG experience. (What You See is What You Get).
We built the garden pivot gate & fence from old growth Redwood years ago. Happy to say it is still in good shape. On the right is a ‘mock-up’ of a matching entry door we are designing for this Brentwood home. We try to go the extra mile, and sometimes it’s a good idea to build a prototype like this so that the client and the door fabricator are ‘on the same page.’
30 years ago as an art student I was make environments focused on highly specific effects of light. My favorite artists continue to be those who make work focused on perception. And just last month I installed this color panel in a garden, which transitions to white with subtle shades of color, to this geometric design when struck by full sun. Two months ago I was able to see Monet’s largest water lily paintings in Paris, and now I’m thinking I need to spend some time with Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park Series,” in order to better learn how to compose collisions of rectangles with sudden diagonals.