Thursday, January 16, 2014

17 Shades of Gray

I'm currently working on a project that I first worked on back in 2007. Back then, I lived in Dallas and worked for a different firm, and I was master-planning the project.

Then, of course, 2008 had to go and happen, and I lost my job, and the project was shelved for a couple of years.

Fast forward to 2013.

When I graduated, I began work at an amazing firm in Houston, and I love it there. Here. Wherever. I'm also back on that 2007-era project, albeit designing apartment units for the client, instead of laying out the site.

I confess, I'm happy I'm no longer a part of the master-planning shennanigans. They were pretty miserable, because of all of the codes, covenants, and restrictions governing what could be done on the site, where, and how.

The client decided that they wanted us to design the units' interiors, as well, which is a bit of an unusual request, for us. Typically, the interior designer who handles the amenity spaces - the club room, lobby, gym, etc. - also does the apartment interiors.

Not this time around.

Since we technically don't have any interior designers working in our multi-family studio, I was nominated to the post of temporary interior-designery-type person.

It's been crazy. For three weeks, my desk - and the table I technically share with three coworkers - was drowning in a sea of carpet, tile, quartz, and cabinetry samples. Now, fortunately, I just have a few cabinetry samples and a few errant tiles lying around, because I claimed space in the Resource Center for my very own: a basket, labeled with the project name, containing samples of everything needed for three separate buildings.

I didn't mention that, did I?

Yep, three buildings, with three price-points for rental, three target demographics, and three distinct characters.

It's fun, but a bit overwhelming.

In a few days, I'll be drowning in 17 paint samples, because trying to go through the fan decks in our Resource Center to find a decent shade of white and a nice shade of gray was just overwhelming, so I ordered some that looked likely from the Benjamin Moore professional website.

Also, it's almost impossible to tell what a color's going to look like from a tiny little swatch on a fan deck.

The process of choosing a perfect white and a passable gray reminds me of this fall, when I helped my sister select whites for her new house (it's gorgeous. Seriously.). We painted umpteen-million swatches of paint on the wall in search of two whites - one for the wall, and one for the trim and cabinetry.

I think we did a good job, though the contractors probably thought we were insane, what with all of the whites we went through (a bazillion, in case I failed to mention).

I look forward to the next few days, when I'll receive my new paints - which will hopefully be neither too green nor too blue nor too pink, because apparently, gray can be too pink, as can white - and meet with two product reps about engineered hardwood floors, which I'm having some trouble pinning down for one building.

Fortunately, right now, all I have to do is pick fixtures for the bathrooms and kitchens - two of the buildings will probably end up with the same fixtures, because it's difficult to find ones I like and that I think the client will also like. The mid-priced building and the value-priced building already have their floors selected, fortunately.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to afford to live in even the value-priced building. Good thing it's in Dallas, so I don't have to worry about it!

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