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The Design Development Phase

Ya’ll. October was crazy. How in the heck do other people keep up with blogging every week. Nay, a few times a week?! My apologies. I hope to do better from now through the end of the year. Here’s my next story based on the design process at Midnight Midcentury.

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Design Development is the next phase in the process of working with a Design Professional. In case you missed the first steps, you can read it here before you read this story.

So now you’ve settled on a design concept and floor plan. Great! Time to sign off on Phase 1 and move into Phase 2. You Design Professional will have you officially approve of your selected concept and floor plan, then bill you for the end of Phase 1, per your signed agreement.

The Design Development Phase is when your project begins to come to life. Your Design Professional will begin sourcing furniture and finishes as well as designing and drawing cabinetry or any other custom built items. If you are knocking down any walls or moving things around (like kitchens and bathrooms) those drawings will be made as well.

I like to provide little mock ups for my clients so they can visualize various options as they come together. Here are three different mock-ups I put together for Midnight Midcentury

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These provided a lot of great feedback from the client in that they told me the things that they definitely wanted and other things that they would like to see more options for. Having a variety allows the client to more specifically describe what they do and don’t like about certain things. In this case, it was that they wanted fully upholstered lounge chairs and the dark blue wall with grey sofa. This client was also pretty certain about rug, chandelier, and table dining table options, so that set up on the path to be able to view these items in person prior to purchasing. The overall concept is there, and now it comes down to keying in on the specific pieces that are desired.

When I’m working on remodel and cabinetry work (which, being an architect and interior designer, is pretty much a given) I work through drawings which are super important. Once fully developed, the drawings become what is given to the contractor or millworker as the design to build from. I also use them as a way to show little vignettes to my clients to help them better visualize what their cabinet, fireplace, etc could look like.

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This phase doesn’t have just one meeting, it’s a lot of back and forth and parting of the different design elements until the client is happy with each individual item. This phase generally takes the longest of any design phase.

#Wednesday Round-Up Guest Post: Counter Height Stools

Jessica Davis here again.

I've been on the hunt for a pair of fun stools for the end of our kitchen island at the #hotlantamidmod.  Luckily for me there are lots of counter height stools out there on the market now.  However, I think a lot of people still get confused about what size stool to buy for a kitchen.  Here are a few guidelines:

A typical chair is about 18" high and it sits at a table that is about 30" high so usually the amount of space you have to tuck your legs under is somewhere around a foot or so (and tables and counters often have a 3-4" apron hanging below).

So a typical kitchen counter is about 36". Using that same math, a counter stool would be about 24-26"  If you buy a 30" stool your legs will be squished under the counter (or won't fit at all)

Similarly bar height is another 6" taller at 42".  So you want a 30" stool here. If you got a counter height stool for an actual bar height counter you would be sitting with your chin on the counter. 

Size aside, I also like stools to be wipeable and lots of times I prefer backless so I can slide into the bar without moving the stool far out from the counter. Here are my faves right now. 

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#Wednesday Round-Up: Dark Blue Rugs

I’ve had three recent projects that called for dark blue area rugs, so I thought it only appropriate to do a round up of some of them that are super great, but didn’t make it into my client’s home.

#Wednesday Round-Up Guest Post: Bedside Sconces

Today Jessica Davis, founder and creative director of Nest Studio, is bringing you a thorough round-up of gorgeous and affordable bedside sconces.


from Griege Design

from Griege Design

Recently I've spent a lot of time looking at bedside sconces for our master bedroom and also for the kids' rooms. I really love a sconce at the bed. It offers directional lighting so one person can sleep while the other reads and it keeps our nightstand surface uncluttered which is key if you have a small nightstand.  Here are a few of my favorite bedside sconces right now (so many great affordable options).

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#GimmeThatDesign Installment 3

In this week’s installment, I’m showing you how you can get this great minimalist kitchen. I found this image on Pinterest, and it’s one of those that don’t link back to the article about the image - so unfortunately I don’t know the designer or any other information about it. If you do - please let me know!

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Starting a Design Project

When you are educated in a particular topic, it’s easy to forget that not everyone else in the world knows what you are talking about. I’m guilty of using architectural jargon when talking to clients. It can be difficult to remember that what I’m paid to do for a living is because I am highly educated and skilled in areas of space, design, and building. I’m learning more and more when working with new clients who might have never engaged in a building project before to break down exactly how this collaborative process will unfold.

In light of this revelation, I’m going to be bringing you updates from one of my current projects over the next few months to better illustrate the different phases of design and what it is like to work with a designer or architect. I’ll be using a current remodel project which I’ve just named Midnight Midcentury. (More on the importance of project naming in a future story)

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Today’s topic: How the project begins

Step one is an initial meeting with your potential designer or architect. I described this in detail a few weeks ago, check it out here.

After your initial meeting, if both you and the Design Professional want to move forward with working together, the designer will prepare a proposal with scope of work and contract for you to review and sign. I do this all online with Dubsado so no in-person signatures or delivery of contracts is required. This makes for a seamless start! If you sign a contract with your Design Professional, they will invoice you for a retainer or deposit and once that is paid, the project gets started!

Concept is Crucial

If you don’t have a concept, you don’t have a project. This beginning phase can look a little different depending on the type of project. If yours is a new-build or a commercial project, it will likely involve more steps such as a feasibility study and permit research. If it’s interior design with no architecture, it may involve less. Since I’m taking you through the process on Midnight Midcentury which is a remodel with interior design, that’s the type of project I’ll be discussing here.

Data Collection

The first thing I do once a contract is signed is to set up a site visit where I will take photos and measurements of the space to be designed. This step goes a long way. After that initial meeting is over, I immediately draw up floorplans of the space and utilize the photos frequently to refer back to the existing and surround spaces. In the case of Midnight Midcentury, I’m redesigning the front entry rooms of the home which have pocket doors closed off to the rest of the house, a hallway that attaches to the other living space, and big sliding doors that visually connect it to the newly re-designed backyard. I was also told that the curtains in the dining room had to stay as well as one piece of art.

At this initial site meeting I will also gauge the client’s desires for the space and go over their Pinterest board to determine a style direction.

Concept Imagery + Space Planning

Now that I have gathered all the information, it’s time to sit in front of my computer and pull together imagery that will help my client more specifically determine the visual concept we will develop for their space. These are the concept mood boards that I put together for this project.

At the same time, I am drawing up space plan options. These are crucial to begin to determine size and location of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Here are the three planning options that were presented to the client.

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Meeting Time!

I try to ensure that all my presentations happen face to face - whether that is an in person meeting or a video conference - it’s critical for me to be the one walking the client through the boards so they understand the concepts, the reason why something is sized or placed where it is, as well as the the clear difference in the various schemes.

Client Feedback is Critical

After this meeting, I generally have some pretty good feedback and an idea of how to move forward, but I also send the pdf to the client and ask them to give me written feedback. This is important to give them additional time to review the details of what has been presented as well as show it to their spouse or partner if they weren’t able to be at the meeting. Then, the client will send back the pdf within a set amount of time, marking out things they don’t like and circling things they love. This feedback loop is critical for my next step which is taking the desires from the concept phase into the design development phase.

Stay tuned as I walk you through that process next week!

Guest Post: Why You Should Hire A Designer for Your Next Remodel

Today, I bring to you the first guest post for Bone Collective Studio Stories, our newly revamped blog. I recently realized that many of my clients were actually reading the blog, though I hadn't posted anything new in well over a year! Yikes! Sorry about that. With this new "Stories" section, I'll be providing quick doses of fun reads to help educate you about the design and architecture process. Have a burning question that myself or my team of experts can answer for you? Send away to hello@bcstudiola.com.

Today’s post is from Ariana Lovato. Take it away, Ariana!

Why You Should Hire a Designer For your Next Remodel

I’m the first one to admit it - Designers get a bad rap of walking into the door and the dollar signs just start pouring out.

After all, Designers are just spending people’s money every day while they drink champagne and shop, right?! 

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Okay, sarcasm aside, I’m here to tell you that that’s not really the case.

Sure, we shop and spend other people’s money. But we are doing this with the intention of creating a beautiful, functional and safe environment for our clients.

Let’s start from the top.

Interior Design, by definition, is the art or process of designing the interior decoration of a room or building.

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When it comes to designing a space, there are so many moving parts involved. From the style and height of the baseboard, to the lighting, to the space planning, to the cabinetry and the furniture, a Designer’s job is to ensure everything works together in beautiful harmony.

Not only do these decisions and specifications need to be made in a cohesive manner, they also have to be made quickly in order to help keep projects moving along.


Now let’s say you were looking to remodel your kitchen.

You’ve seen a few HGTV shows and it seems like you know what you like. Maybe something along the lines of Fixer Upper but maybe with a modern twist.

Let’s see… you’ll need to pick out new cabinets, new countertops, backsplash, appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures.

Seems easy enough.

First of all, you have to determine your cabinetry style.

A simple Shaker frame sounds about right.

Honeycomb Home Design, Marcel Alain Photography

Honeycomb Home Design, Marcel Alain Photography

OK, next decision, the cabinetry kitchen layout.

How do you work in the kitchen?

Where do you prep?

How many cooks are in the kitchen at one time?

Do you entertain often?

What kind of appliances are you needing?

Do you want flush inset cabinetry or full overlay?

All of these are super important questions to ask yourself during this layout process.

Feeling overwhelmed yet?

Here’s where hiring a Designer for your next remodel comes into play.

Not only are we there to make these decisions with you, we’re there to guide you through this entire process and prevent you from the stress of a remodel.

To the person that does not do this for a living, sure, all of those questions would probably result in, “ummm I’m not sure???”

We find out what your objectives are and how to fulfill them in the most cost effective and stylish way possible.

Entertain a lot? OK, you’ll need an island with some seating.

Do you and your partner end up in the Kitchen at the same time? OK, we’ll need to make sure your island and your perimeter countertops are at least 48” apart to allow enough room.

Farmhouse with a modern twist?

Let’s bring in some white shaker cabinets, white Quartz that looks like marble, mix in some darker cabinetry, and some elongated subway tiles and some fun dark metal pendants.

Honeycomb Home Design, Marcel Alain Photography

Honeycomb Home Design, Marcel Alain Photography

Trusting a Designer to not only design but to help guide you through your next remodel is one of the best decisions you could make, we promise!

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Today's Guest Post comes to you from Interior Designer, Ariana Lovato. In 2016, Ariana founded Honeycomb Home Design in Arroyo Grande along California's Central Coast. She received an Associate Degree in Interior Design from FIDM and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of LaVerne. When she's not designing your dream home, she is spending time with her husband and their four pugs as well as being very active in her community.

Color-blocking

image sourced from meganflugdesigns.com

image sourced from meganflugdesigns.com

Perhaps as a way to mix my architectural background within interior design, I am in love with color-blocked paint on the walls. I have a client right now who is happily allowing me to do a variety of color-blocking effects as an overall concept for her home. We started with her home office where the wall which her desk site is all grey and the color moves onto the adjacent wall, ever so slightly, creating a geometric angle cut. Check out the project here.  We are also painting a 2" frame around the window opening in black. The next room I am in the middle of designing right now is her master bedroom where she wants total calm. I've designed a block of light grey or blue paint going all the way around the room, including on the doors, trims, and baseboards. This will align with the top of her dresser and be just about an inch above her headboard. It will also create some additional visual interest as it cuts across one of the three windows in the room. Lastly for this client, I am working on her living room and want there to be something very geometric on this core wall that connects kitchen, stairwell, and living room. It will definitely be grey and involve angles with possible additions of an accent color. Or more black.

This example from apartment therapy shows a similar idea of what I'm doing in my clients's home office. I love the bright blue here. It also reminds me of what Consort has done recently to their showroom.

image from apartment therapy

image from apartment therapy

image of Consort Design showroom, via instagram

image of Consort Design showroom, via instagram

Why not try color-blocking with two similar colors?

image courtesy of mommodesign.com

image courtesy of mommodesign.com

I particularly appreciate using color-blocking to highlight the architecture of your existing space. This image I found on pinterest of the window being offset onto the wall is a great example, as well as anytime paint is used to highlight the framing of spaces.

image found on pinterest

image found on pinterest

image found on pinterest

image found on pinterest

While geometric angles with various colors don't work for everyone, they make a beautiful statement for people who enjoy a little touch of boldness in their space.

Wallpaper from Murals Wallpaper

Wallpaper from Murals Wallpaper

image via Inside Closet

image via Inside Closet

Excited by the idea of color-blocking, but a little too scared of color? You can still make a statement with white walls by adding just a block of color to your door.

image courtesy of Madame Decore

image courtesy of Madame Decore

image courtesy of Sugar and Cloth

image courtesy of Sugar and Cloth

Color-blocking doesn't have to be limited to the walls. It can also make objects look more edgy and modern, such as these more classical-looking paintings and frames.

image courtesy of homedit.com

image courtesy of homedit.com

from Seaandsandasters Etsy shop

from Seaandsandasters Etsy shop

Various Shades of Grey

I have had a grey obsession for many years now. In architecture school, you learn that architects all wear black. While this is probably 90% true, and I definitely own key black architectural attire, I often dress in all grey. Additionally, my house is about 90% grey, hence the instagram photo that may have led you to this post. But I recognize that I am not alone in this grey obsession. Researching a variety of interiors these days, the color grey is abound, and it looks fabulous! Whereas many buildings have long been grey, thanks to concrete, limestone, and steel being key exterior architectural materials.

The thing about grey as an interior design element is that you can use just about any color as an accent and it will be perfect every time! That's why I am a huge advocate for selecting grey major pieces, such as sofas, chairs, even rugs. Then whenever you need a style change, you can change out pillows, arts, and accessories as you wish. Of course, in my own home, my pillows and accessories are all mostly grey too. But, hey, I already let you know that I'm obsessed!

I should also point out that yes, I spell it with an "e" GREY... Most Americans spell it GRAY. I think it's much prettier with the "e," and I feel that it makes it that much more mine.

Here's my round up of some stunning greys that I think are doing a great job at doing what they do:

1. A dark grey wall helps makes the white art, linens, and Louis Poulsen lamp pop.

source unknown

source unknown

2. Color blocks of grey. A definite favorite of mine, just like I did in one of my favorite interior projects, LA Home Office. And yes to West Elm's Saddle Swivel Chair.

source unknown

source unknown

3. A medium-light grey linen sofa will never go out of style. How awesome is that large scale ombre art?

Interior Addict, via Instagram

Interior Addict, via Instagram

4. A lovely grey, muted bathroom is the perfect place to relax in the tub/shower after a long, hard workout.

Lubelso Hawthorne Home by Canny, via designmilk

Lubelso Hawthorne Home by Canny, via designmilk

5. An all exposed concrete building is more than alright with me. It's one of my favorite things!

Bundner Kunst Museum by Barozzi Veiga, via Dezeen

Bundner Kunst Museum by Barozzi Veiga, via Dezeen