I’m on a mission to help a friend and do it as efficiently as possible. It’s a personal quest. How quickly can I plan an IKEA kitchen that looks custom-built? Since this blog has become something of a journal, I’ll record the stages of the creative process as it unfolds.
I am back from New York. As anticipated, it was a productive trip. I’m inspired by the opportunities of the new project in Bridgehampton, “a former whaling and farming village.” Will gladly share many details as the design process moves along. It involves remodeling and adding to a traditional shingle-style house on a ¾ of an acre lot. Besides the primary residence, there is a freestanding shed on the property that will serve as a guesthouse, pool house and gallery.
I recently saw a Gardenista article recommending a book by Ethne Clarke titled The Midcentury Modern Landscape. I’ve ordered and have just read it in preparation for an upcoming project. I’m going to Long Island, NY to plan a renovation and remodel. I will be adding an extension, a swimming pool, as well as (in Clarke’s words) “an easy-care landscape that ties it to the site.”
A message from a new client in Miami made my morning: “Hello, Alla. I am so happy I came across your website - thank you for offering your services.” She was very smart to consult an online architect and address space planning or conceptual questions before taking on a renovation project. Obviously, when someone says that “your help and insight are much appreciated,” you work a little harder.
An architect friend of ours, Marina Chkheidze, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in June. In August she was gone. I wonder what she felt once she knew there was no time and possibly no strength at all left to do anything. Perhaps that was the reason she was rushing to get it over with. No patience left, no desire to hang on.
I have to admit. My work schedule is getting more demanding. In the spirit of multi-tasking, this blog has become a platform for client meeting prep. Thus, I’d like to share my process of organizing ideas for a potential project. It involves a beautification of a lobby, a roof deck with a pool, and a subterranean 2-level parking garage. The client is the homeowners association of a 24-unit condo complex in the foothills of Hollywood.
I am in the process of designing an enclosed patio attached to an existing house. The added space will have an outdoor bathroom. We are making it wheelchair accessible; it consists of a toilet, a sink, and a hand-held spray (without a showerhead). Since there’s no shower enclosure per se, the entire bathroom will function as a shower, which makes it a “wet room.”
I am working on a project, in the scope of which we have to address rainwater runoff from the new roof. My client suggested using rainwater harvesting tanks.
A few weeks ago I received an email: “Dear Alla, I got your name through a neighbor of yours, Monika Lightstone. My name is Sharon, and I am an ex-architect who currently is in charge of an art department at a yeshiva in Los Angeles, Ohr Eliyahu. In the summer, I run a 3-week design camp for creative & religious girl teens."
I just got a “project of a lifetime.” It’s a small in-home childcare. Years ago, when my kids were little, I specialized in design for children and dreamt of doing a school. Never got a chance or was selected. Until now, that is. An empty nester, I have all the time in the world to devote to it.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of my design ideas for a powder room makeover. Aside from a custom wedge-shaped vanity cabinet, I’ve proposed a very straightforward, sensible fix.
I was recently hired by a condominium association to come up with a functional solution — a balcony screen — to address lack of privacy and extreme heat gain as experienced by the homeowners with units facing the internal courtyard.
My friends are tired of the way their powder room looks and feels these days. They want to freshen it up, change the fixtures, replace a misbehaving pocket door. I think they should also redesign flooring and lighting. No big deal, right? But to them, even thinking about it feels like a huge undertaking. In this post I’ll show how to do it in 5 easy steps.