Countdown to Our New Home!!

Buying A Home

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carpet... ugh!

It must be carpet week in my world. It's kind of like Shark Week on Animal Planet, but I didn't stock up on popcorn and Swedish Fish.

Wednesday, I learned about making a seaming diagram with a carpet rep. The rep I met with was very patient and answered all my questions about what she was doing, why she needed that information, and what the manufacturer would be doing once they received all the marked up plans and forms. I was very excited that The Boss let me hold this meeting all by myself. He wasn't in the office at all, and I did ok!

Today, I met with a carpet rep for another company that we have been having constant trouble with since we placed the order over 2 months ago. The client is losing patience, and the real problem is not the manufacturer but this rep. I have learned that some product reps are proactive in the design process, keep themselves informed without annoying the designers (me), and can truly be an asset to a project when you are in a bind. Others operate solely as a middle man, seem to only transfer information then expect their cut, and usually end up getting in the way.
So today we were trying to sort out what has gone wrong and how to fix it quickly (color changes, motif changes, grasping of the general direction we are looking for). It was frustrating.
The Boss let me do this one on my own, too, but he was in the next room over. He gave a piece of his mind to this particular rep just a couple days before.

Tomorrow, I will meet with another carpet rep for another manufacturer. We met in Miami last week, and he is coming by to show us the lines his company manufacture. It should be fun.

So, in honor of Carpet Week, here are some beautiful carpet patterns to drool over.

Durkan. Virginia Langley. Dune.

Lexmark. Stacy Garcia. Meteorite.

Signature. Sakura Park. Aristocrats.

Bentley Prince Street. Canyon Rapids. Scorpionweed.

Mannington. Finders Keepers. Taupe.

Shaw. Mirror Image.

Also, I am getting very excited about Halloween! It is my most favorite holiday, and I am formulating a spooky haunted hotels post!


Monday, September 20, 2010

It's been a long roller coaster of design work the past two weeks!

Part 1: Mississippi Mayhem

The Boss and I took a trip to Mississippi to do walk-throughs of the property and spot artwork. These are supposed to be last minute touch-up kind of things. We arrived and quickly realized we had been mislead as to the progress of the site. The finishes (but not furniture or built-ins) in the guestrooms were mostly complete, but the public spaces were nowhere near ready for an opening day 4 days away. So instead of walking the property and making a list, we ended up moving furniture ourselves and trying to find items that had been misplaced. Not typically what designers do, but no big deal right?


Please do not get the wrong impression about my next few thoughts. I appreciate a hard working person that is employed in hard labor. I know that their jobs are just as important as mine in the big scheme, and I know that while I may receive attention as an individual for my design, the construction workers most likely will never be individually recognized for their efforts. That said, the team on site was IMPOSSIBLE to work with! They needed to be spoon fed instructions. We repeated the same tasks 3, 4, 5 times in the 4 days we were there because they could not/would not see the big picture.

It was so incredibly frustrating and disheartening. By the time we left, it felt like we had been
running in circles for 4 days and getting absolutely nowhere. A few examples of the lack of common sense on this site.

Painting base trim while dirt and dust is being whipped around by strong wind

Building the ADA refrigerator cabinet 6 inches from the end of the sofa (a wheelchair will never fit in there)

Unloading brand new furniture a zillion feet from the hotel entrance... it poured rain 20 minutes later

It was a completely exhausting experience, and The Boss said it was the worst site visit he had ever been on in his 8 years of design work. Maybe I can hope the worst is behind me and better projects are to come!

Part 2: Redemption in Miami

We attended the Hospitality Design Boutique Expo in South Beach, and it was all I needed to get re-inspired, re-energized, and rejuvenated. We took the first day to relax on the beach and get settled into our hotel, The Catalina. The entire hotel was booked, but somehow I ended up in an ADA room (i.e. there was fields of space compared to the other rooms!).

We were taken out dinner each night at the nicest restaurants I have ever been to like Barton G and Gotham Steak.
At the show, I fell in love with design all over again. All of my frustrations from the week before melted away as I viewed fresh tile designs

Beautiful upholstery on cozy yet modern chairs

and lighting that turned me on! (I admit, that one was a little too far)

There were parties to attend, product reps to take us out, and plenty of free goodies to take home. It felt like everywhere we went, I was handed a drink and a business card.

The highlight of my trip, however, was meeting one of my favorite design icons, Stacy Garcia.
I was introduced to her on the showroom floor, but only spoke to her for a moment. Probably a good thing too, because I was totally starstruck. So when we saw her that night at a club and we were able to have some real conversations, I felt like some kind of ID-VIP. She even asked if I was on Twitter and suggested we follow each other. Of course then I had to confess that I had Tweeted about meeting her earlier that day (eek!), but luckily she thought it was flattering and not creepy (phew!). This is one of her stunning carpet designs

Awesome no?

I am so grateful to be designing and working full time in what I love. I am learning all I can from the amazing experiences as well as the amazingly terrible ones.


P.S. I got the "Internet Chair" position on the board I mentioned in my first blog! Huzzah!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another View or Two

This story completely frustrates me with the disgusting display of ignorance. I mean, how can they call themselves the "Dove World Outreach Church" and burn a book that some 1.57 billion people in the world use to practice their worship? That action sort of contradicts every single word in their establishment's name as well as any fathomable combination of the words. Instead of continuing to rant and raise my blood pressure about this issue, I would like to share a few photos I have found (and a few I took myself) that show the beauty religion and diversity can exude. Enjoy, and please practice love and open-mindedness if nothing else.

photo taken by me in New York City

photo taken by me of the Basilica of St.Mary in Minneapolis, MN

decorative page of the Qur'an

page from the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed on a movable type printing press

decorated Torah scroll

Shiva dancing as Nataraja

sculpture of the Buddha

Australian Aboriginal Rainbow Serpent rock painting

papyrus of Maat, Egyptian goddess of truth, balance, and order, bowing to Isis, goddess of motherhood, magic, and fertility


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's the beginning of my third week as a full time designer. I had a wonderful holiday weekend full of friends, football, and sunshine. And it seems like my employer had a good time also because he is more focused and fun today than he has been. Tomorrow we leave for a road trip to Fulton, Mississippi. I came into the office this morning, and after being greeted by the two cats who live here, I was greeted by about 20 bags from Home Goods type stores. The boss had gone accessory shopping over the weekend. While he showed me all the vases, accent books, and figurines he pick up, I picked off the price tags. :\ So, we will spend 4 days accessorizing, hanging art, and walking the property before their big opening on September 14th. I think a spa trip is also in the works since neither my boss nor I will have any time between now and the Miami trip to prep and primp.

After about 36 hours of being home, we will fly to Miami for the HD Boutique Show. We are staying in the Catalina hotel.

I would love to stay in the El Grande, but I will probably be in the It's a Small World room. My employer made the reservations, and he also paid for them, so either one will be great! I L O V E the bicycles! Guests can use them during the day for free!

Hopefully this is not a sign for how the rest of the trip will be, but I received my badge today, and I had misspelled my position. I am the "Design Coordinator", but I am a terrible typist, so I put "Deisgn Coordinator". GAH! I fixed it with a copy, scissors, and glue, but still, my proofreading is now on full alert.

A little closer on the agenda is the board meeting for a national organization for hospitality that I participate in. Tonight I will attend this meeting and hopefully gain a newly created position titled "Communications Chair". If this happens I will be in charge of Facebook updates, Twitter announcements, and posting things to the website for the chapter. It's a pretty exciting opportunity for someone who graduated less than a year ago!

Personal note: I would love to have one of these for all of my traveling coming up.


Unfortunately, I have zero extra cash, so I will probably carry my laptop and on-flight necessities in one of these.

Maybe I can jazz it up with some glitter. Aren't feathers in right now??