Master Suite Progress

The progress is s..l…o….w… For a number of reasons. In particular, my husband is doing most of the work. Much of it is learning as he goes and dealing with a less than plumb and level structure. He is doing this on weekends which means dragging out the tools and making multiple trips to Home Depot. He’s putting up the beadboard in the bath room –a two weekend process so it seems. Just the same, I am SO grateful that he is doing it and he is enjoying making stuff. I think especially because it’s different than what he does the rest of the time as a welder and fabricator for a custom door and window company.

 

In any case, we are still waiting on the parts of the shower that arrived damaged and missing from our order (clear back in April). We’re dealing with an East Coast vendor and the product is coming from Canada. Wondering if it’s worth the savings gained over having one made custom locally at this point. I’ve given them a deadline of this coming week. Then we will be negotiating a refund and starting over.

 

In the meantime, I’ve created some renderings for the master bedroom that adjoins the master bath. We decided to paint the walls instead of doing the beadboard in the bedroom and did something of a reverse color scheme. This will be the only room in our house with wall-to-wall carpet. The bedding I actually have. It’s Pottery Barn’s “Secret Garden” collection. It’s been discontinued, so I’ve been trying to search down some pillow shams on line to make the window valances out of.  So far, I could only find one available on ebay (I need two) and it’s pricey. The side chairs are currently used in the dining room and I am looking for some fabric similar to that used in the rendering to make slip covers out of. I really don’t need these chairs in the dining room, so it is perfect to use them in the bedroom and have them available when we have need for extra seating in the dining room. The rest of the furniture is similar to that which I already have. The highboy may get painted a white wash (as shown) though I haven’t decided yet.  And of course I’m going to be hanging some of the quilts on the wall that my mom made.

Pottery Barn "Secret Garden" bedding.

Pottery Barn “Secret Garden” bedding.

 

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 1

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 1

 

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 2

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 2

I’ve decided to change the color scheme a bit and cover the chairs in a solid linen fabric in a teal color that coordinates with the Pottery Barn print and I think will go well with the green carpet and wall color.  (I think there’s enough green). I actually found some decorator fabric on line for only $6/yard and no shipping or tax. It’s called Sea Foam Blue and has several shades of the color in it giving it a lovely texture. I’m getting enough to add a bed skirt as well. Still looking for some pieces online of the Pottery Barn Secret Garden collection to make the valances and accent pillows out of . I have faith they will show up eventually. If not, I had the idea that I could take apart the duvet cover and make a coverlet out of one side and use the rest of the fabric for the valances and accent pillows. Bedroom View 1B   Bedroom View 2B

3D rendering is a great way to make color choices. Though the furniture is not identical (but very similar in size, finish and scale), the fabrics and finishes are ‘real world’ . They are actually screen shots taken of online samples or photographs and applied to the models.

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American Dream Disaster

Just watched the final episode of American Dream Builders and I am now very satisfied that I have retired. If design trends are to be lead by the likes of Nate Berkus’ posturing and ego maniacal ramblings, I’m glad to be out of it! He clearly ran the show and made me wonder why they even had the other judges who seemed there just to back up his opinions. I was disappointed in Monica Pederson and  frankly confounded by the very presence of Eddie George as a design judge at all. I’m not a football fan, so up until this show never heard of him before.  His lack of design knowledge and expertise was obvious as he acquiesced time and time again to Nate’s and Monica’s comments and opinions.American Dream Builders - Season 1 Design competition shows (like any other reality TV competition shows) are fraught with tension and drama. If they were just about design, the only people who would likely watch them would be other designers which is certainly not the direction a major network wants to go and it would probably only air at 6 a.m. on PBS. So, following the pattern as expected, this show was definitely high drama.. but not original by any means. The only thing different besides this show and HGTV’s Design Star was the lack of the “White Room Competition” and the network. I guess I should not overlook the infusion of  character borrowed from the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Show with the “Neighborhood Counsels” Blah, blah, blah… (Kept wondering when they were gonna yell at somebody to move a bus!)

 

Like many design shows that are on HGTV that I watch, I find myself watching the opening set up for the episode (first five or so minutes) and then fast forwarding to the end to see the results. However, the final episode for this show was the exception. I did skip through a lot of the process stuff in the middle which I found just obnoxious. I felt the approaches to the projects of the two very different finalists, Jay and Lukas, were worth taking in because they were so different. Jay is a builder and his approach was clearly ‘team’ based as would be expected by a home builder working with a team of talented people on a large, high-end project. It made sense to me that he would take advantage of the individual talents of his team and direct them.  I imagined it must have been a bit like herding cats at worst and conducting a orchestra at best. These are the attributes that one would expect of a design-build contractor. In the end, I felt the project reflected a culmination of many talented creative minds orchestrated in a single direction, but you could see the individual efforts on the team shine through. I felt this was intended, not by accident. This is what I would expect of a Dream Builder. American Dream Builders Based on the comments of Nate and Monica, Lukas should be considered a phenom in the world of design. His approach was to maintain total control of the project in a dictatorial fashion so that he could maintain a strict sense of continuity and project a single design aesthetic throughout the entirety of his project from the smallest detail to the ‘big picture’ idea. His design aesthetic appealed most to Nate and that is what won the competition for him… (Never mind that Eddie just kept his trap shut and Monica nearly collapsed when she saw the black painted box.) Not that it reflected anything to do with the family that owned the place or what they would want nor even the building vernacular of the location. This building would fit right in Chicago, Copenhagen or Milan. Not Ventura, CA, or in any other tropical or subtropical beach location in the US. A beach house it was not. Forward thinking? Not so much.  Wow factor? Certainly.  There were elements of the project I liked, but overall, I’m glad I didn’t own it, have to pay taxes on it and perhaps have to try to sell it in today’s marketplace in that location. American Dream Builders Ultimately, Nate Berkus lead the show in a direction that betrayed it’s title: American Dream Builder. It had little to do with building and everything to do with decorating and design. They are not one in the same. Just because you work on a whole bunch of building projects as a designer, that does not make you a builder. The three judges were not builders and one of them was a football player (HUH?????).   Nate commented that he didn’t think Jay should win because he didn’t think he was capable of doing the entire design of his project as it was on his own. To me that was the beauty of his project, that as a builder he was able to orchestrate the talents of a group of highly diverse designers which resulted in a project that superseded the abilities of any single team member.

 

As a trained and experienced designer myself, I have to look seriously at Lukas as a professional designer because he was (as he stated) self-taught. It shows that he does not understand nor respect the processes that professional designers go through to solve design problems.  He is clearly an artist, and when it comes to residential design I would call him a stylist or a decorator –a professional designer is a stretch. One of the key things a designer does is develop a program that includes the desires of the client. The format of the show did not allow for much of this. I would have loved to have been a mouse in the corner when the ‘black box’ beach house was revealed to the family. I’ll bet their jaws hit the ground in unison! Not in awe but in “Oh Hell, what have we got ourselves into!” I wonder how long after the taping of that episode will it be before they have a really big repainting party (if they haven’t already)?   While I can respect that a great deal of design has to do with art and creativity. there is much more involved. Marrying artistic expression and design problem solving is not an easy thing to do. But that is what is at the essence of good design. If the problems don’t get solved then the design is lacking.

 

Next I want to see a show called American Dream Decorator and the judges should be two builders and a tennis player.

I Made This!

Too much time on my hands? Maybe! Got inspiration for this piece from Pinterest:

Sea Shells, Vintage Carnival Glass Vase, Vintage Bead Necklace.

Sea Shells, Vintage Carnival Glass Vase, Vintage Bead Necklace.

 

I started with a vintage carnival glass vase that belonged to my grandfather. I found a tag on the bottom that looks like it was purchased at a garage sale. I have no idea of its age or value –just that it is covered with a relief of mermaids. I’ve been collecting sea shells (mostly bought) for many years. The beaded necklace came from a thrift store and was probably from the ’50’s or earlier. (I liked the way it blended with the colors of the vase.) The base underneath the vase that is covered with shells was an old ceramic pillar candle holder. The shells and coral on top are affixed to yet another taller candle holder. The base pieces —candle holders, larger shells, coral piece and vase— are glued in place with liquid nails and the rest of the shells were affixed with hot glue. The beaded necklace is not glued on –I could still wear it someday! This is a very heavy piece.

Fun With Photos

Lately I’ve noticed there is a phone ap floating around that many designers are playing with converting photos to watercolor paintings. I’ve had Photo Shop Elements for a long time (in fact a very old version) that does this. So I thought it would be fun to apply a watercolor “filter” to some of my recent 3D renderings and photographs. Image 1, 2 and 10 are from photographs. The rest are from 3-D renderings I created using Chief Architect software.bed benchLouie on Bench Master Bath Sunny Hills DiningSunny Hills Dining 2 Sunny Hills Den & Dining Sunny Hills Entry View Sunny Hills Front View Sunny Hills Kitchen 2 Sunny Hills KitchenThe name of the popular phone ap is Waterlogue. I can’t use it on my iphone because it’s too old. Maybe time (excuse) to update my phone! 😛

Here are some photos that I found on Pinterest of seascapes and sea life. I think some of them would be worthy of framing. I’m putting the original photo next to the ‘doctored’ one so the photographer is credited (if possible). I could not find the photographer on many of them, so if this is yours, please let me know and I will gladly give credit where it is due.

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Brenda Baker

Brenda Baker

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Haikey Photography

Haikey Photography

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by Rick Lundh

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Remodelling the Mobile Money Pit ~ Renderings

We’ve lived with construction and most of our stuff still in boxes now for a couple of months since moving to Sunny Hills, a 55+ manufactured home community in Santa Maria, California after moving from our somewhat larger stick built home in the same town. It’s a triple-wide manufactured home that’s a little over 1700 square feet with two bedrooms, two baths a large living & dining space, a separate family room and has an attached two-car garage. The lot is small but backs up to a green belt area with many beautiful birch, maple and cypress trees. The ‘coach’ was built in 1987 so is ripe for updating and came with a lot of deferred maintenance from the former owner.  We had the cottage cheese ceiling scraped, retextured and painted throughout. We also removed all of the carpeting and replaced most of it with laminate floating flooring that looks like hand-scraped maple hardwood in a darker finish.  The kitchen and laundry/pantry will have a floating vinyl floor that looks like tile, is resilient and easy to clean. The only room to have carpet will be the master bedroom. We’ve also repainted most of the place and installed new window coverings. (I’m proud to say I installed the blinds myself in the sitting room and family room myself and was surprised at how easy it was!) Most of the house will be rewired during the kitchen remodel and we are still debating replacing the plumbing. (Much will be determined when we get into the kitchen remodel.) We were fortunate that a new roof was added only a year ago and there is a new furnace.

Since we moved in, we also moved and reconfigured a non-load baring wall which entailed expanding the ceiling, adding a light fixture and retexturing and painting the walls. It seemed like an awful lot just to move the wall a foot or so and make it longer, but the result was spectacular! You can no longer see into the guest bath now when entering the front door or sitting in the dining room! We also had to completely rebuild the front stoop outside the front door and the wall and floor inside the front door entry that had dry rot and mold from an old roof leak. The leak was repaired when the roof was replaced, but the damage caused by it was not. So that was our first undertaking when we moved in.

So, I’m biding my time waiting for our new kitchen remodel to begin. I’ve created a few renderings that I think will reflect the after photos pretty closely.  I’ll do a post of the ‘before and after’ photos when the construction is completed. The kitchen should be completed around the end of December. The other spaces in the house might take a bit longer. The exterior might be years from now. We won’t even start with the landscaping until springtime.

Kitchen:

triple-wide kitchen 3

triple-wide kitchen 2

triple-wide kitchen 1

Adjoining laundry room is also the pantry. Comes from Home Depot. Mine is primed for painting and the frame will be painted barn red as shown in the  rendering.

Adjoining laundry room is also the pantry. Comes from Home Depot. Mine is primed for painting and the frame will be painted barn red as shown in the rendering.

Dewils Cherry Cabinets in Frost stain. The door style is Oneida in the Designer Series. The countertop material is LG Himacs -Galaxy pattern in Cosmos colorway.

Dewils Cherry Cabinets in Frost stain. The door style is Oneida in the Designer Series. The countertop material is LG Himacs -Galaxy pattern in Cosmos colorway.

This is the backsplash material. I've not decided whether it will be installed vertically as shown in the renderings or this way. What do you think?

This is the backsplash material. I’ve not decided whether it will be installed vertically as shown in the renderings or this way. What do you think?

Master Bedroom & Bath:

Master Bath View 1

Master Bath View 1

Master Bath View 2

Master Bath View 2

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Sitting Room/Den:

This is the "formal" end of the house. (See front door on left.) It's adjacent to the dining space. Notice the truss work on the ceiling that is the same as that in the dining room rendering.

This is the “formal” end of the house. (See front door on left.) It’s adjacent to the dining space. Notice the truss work on the ceiling that is the same as that in the dining room rendering.

Den, Dining Room and Entry Area:

Entry (Next to fireplace)

Entry (Next to fireplace)

View from Entry & Den into Dining Space

View from Entry & Den into Dining Space

View through Dining Space toward Entry.

View through Dining Space toward Entry.

Exterior/Landscaping:

Entry

Entry

Front View- we won't be watering grass anymore. We're planning to replace the landscaping with mostly succulents with some day lilies and canna . lilies. The rest is river rock and some large boulders and driftwood features.

Front View- we won’t be watering grass anymore. We’re planning to replace the landscaping with mostly succulents with some day lilies and canna . lilies. The rest is river rock and some large boulders and driftwood features.

I’ll add new spaces as I produce the renderings to this post.

New Renderings

Wow –it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to this blog.  Sorry for being ‘off the radar’ for a bit. I’ve been ill for a few weeks and my ‘social media presence’ has suffered while I’ve been off feeling sorry for myself.  Well –f*** that! Time to get back in the game! While I’ve been away, I’ve actually been diligently working on some renderings. These are part of a project called Spanish Colonial ~ Dreaming of Todos Santos.

Dining Room ViewFoyer ViewKitchen View 1Kitchen View 2Livingroom View 1Livingroom View 2

….And an homage to the arrival of spring.Alternate ColorFront View

Hand Drawn vs. Computer Generated Rendering

One of the members of a group that I am a member on LinkedIn called Architectural Illustration posed the following question:

“What do you think about the future of hand drawn renderings? With technology advancing so fast, it is becoming easier to emulate reality when producing renderings. Also it is becoming easier to emulate hand drawn renderings as well! Is there any life left for the original one?”

This was my comment:

“I have been selling my artwork in one form or another for 45 years. My preferred mediums are acrylic and watercolor, though I have also enjoyed soft pastels, pen and ink, and charcoal sketching. While working on my design degree in the ’90s, I freelanced doing architectural renderings by hand. In the meantime, I developed my skills doing 3D computer generated renderings that I do exclusively today. (www.pamdesigns.net) 

Even though I use the computer now, I would recommend that anybody who wants to do architectural rendering should have a solid foundation in hand rendering simply to understand the fundamental requirements for spacial expression and developing compositions for scenes. Without this basic understanding, one may know how to work a computer program, but the results will not be as successful as they could be. 

In deciding whether to do renderings by hand or by computer, one has to ask why we render in the first place. Is it to create beautiful art pieces or sell a project? Realistically, it’s the latter. Renderings are tools like 2D drawings and are created for a purpose. They are not art for art’s sake. Photo-realistic renderings can be created with a level of speed and accuracy that I could never produce by hand. Though when it comes to concept and design development, nothing beats hand sketching in front of a client to win them over. If I were still designing in front of clients I would definitely be sketching my ideas by hand —then creating beautifully crafted 3D renderings on my computer that would seal the deal!”

So as you can see, I do not see a bright future for hand-drawn renderings as a profession, though it is still indicative to have a foundation in it to become a professional rendering artist –regardless of your medium– whether it be using computer software or a pencil. The key in determining which medium to use is one’s marketability and cost effectiveness. I do not believe that high-end computer renderings are easier to create than well executed handmade renderings. To become proficient using the software takes years of learning and practice. It also takes artistic talent (which is a whole other blog post) not just knowing the mechanics of operating a computer program. Even though one may produce renderings by computer exclusively, maintaining ones ability to sketch by hand and ‘see’ the potential of a rendered scene is fundamental to creating successful renderings.

That being said, the future of rendering is going to be driven by it’s market. As computer generated renderings become more able to produce photo-realistic images that imply one can actually view into the future, the value of artistic artwork pieces as architectural rendering have become less in demand. Is the artistry lost in producing computer generated photo-realistic renderings? To a degree, I believe this is so. Computer renderings can be made to look like hand-drawn or hand-painted works, but they can’t recreate the individualistic style of painting that is unique to the artist such as the loose impressionistic style of Jeremiah Goodman.

Jeremiah Goodman in his studio

The following is the artwork of  Jeremiah Goodman who is probably the most successful and well-known rendering artist of the last century. He’s in his 90’s now and still painting beautiful renderings from his studio in Manhatten:

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