Last week I attended my daughter’s new brand launch party. While chatting with her friend Eric, we got on the subject of alladiyally. He was curious to learn about the way it started, and I enjoyed reminiscing. Offering virtual architectural services was an innovative concept; thankfully, it has evolved into a thriving online business. Besides, it’s really a lot of fun — I get all kinds of design/construction-related questions. Mostly, the clients are satisfied with initial consultation because the people who reach out to me are true DIYers!.
If you read this blog, you've already heard about my project in the Hamptons. The first stage of it is under construction, which consists of the garage remodel/pool house conversion. With respect to the existing structure, the intent is to preserve as much of it as possible, especially the operable barn door — keeping this endearing element is critical, even if it morphs into a window covering and its hardware is replaced.
Many years ago, I attended a presentation by a motivational speaker whose description of her secret garden made a lasting impression on me. I still remember that inspired delineation arousing a sense of urgency in me. I left longing. Imagining her cherished mornings, I was galvanized. I’ve fantasized about having my own secret garden ever since. And now I can pop in anytime! Just like today. In case you are wondering, the weather in Los Angeles can be quite pleasant in December.
A client wants to build a deck at the top of her steep hillside property. The view from there is breathtaking! Unfortunately, structural requirements make it prohibitively expensive. In addition, the obligatory 25-foot-wide side yard deems the project impossible to implement at the location we're considering. Well, I am not giving up just yet. There must be a feasible solution right at our fingertips. Actually, what if we create a free-standing rooftop structure over the existing roof?
Recently, potential Alla DIY Ally clients reached out to me, wondering if I would be able to give them a hand with a master bath and dressing area remodel project. They are considering a complete makeover of an outdated space and are open to new possibilities. Having emailed pictures of a sunken tub and narrow shower stall, they complained that the layout of the room is quite inefficient, not to mention leaking glass roof and windows.
I am in the process of deciding what kind of an entrance/driveway gate is appropriate for a client’s property. Should it be an electric sliding gate or a bi-parting swing gate? The height is pre-determined by the local code and it cannot exceed 48”, which means that this gate will not function as a privacy or security barrier, but as a clear demarcation between public and private domains.
A project you designed, when built, may present itself in ways that were ultimately unpredictable. Picturing a space with a degree of certainty is an acquired skill, and a scaled model is an invaluable tool for training your eye. It just makes it much easier to imagine what a room will feel like, to anticipate the spatial experience within it.
Having just come across a post advocating putting wheels or casters on furniture, I am thinking out loud. Enhancing versatility with casters is a terrific concept. Unless the piece in question is intended to be a certain height, like a desk, and it would be ergonomically awkward to raise it. Clearly, it’s always better to build in wheels right from the start, not as an afterthought.
A generic statement, such as: “In this bright white modern space, the architect used clean lines, a minimalist palette, and simple shapes to create…” can succinctly describe my intentions for a tiny bathroom and adjoining kitchenette I am in the process of planning. Although it sounds formulaic, it’s anything but. Trends come and go; the object is to design with the site-specific requirements in mind.
I’ve written extensively about a collaboration with a wonderful client while designing an in-home child-care facility. We successfully got the project approved by the City of Santa Monica. You can read about our process here, here, and here. Finally, it’s under construction; the client is selecting/purchasing windows for a built-in window seat at the moment.