This is an outline to a talk I have given in the past. I think it's important for everyone to be well-informed, so I hope you find this list to be useful when approaching your next wonderfully dreamy idea.
Living the Dream: an insider’s guide to designing and building your perfect home.
1. Philosophy. Most importantly, you’re trying to make your surroundings into a reflection of who you are. Consider forming a “mission statement” of sorts, aside from the wish list, which explains who you are, what you enjoy, and how you want that to be reflected in your environment.
2. Wishlist. Here’s where you list everything you’ve ever wanted to do, even if you don’t think it applies to design or to your immediate future. The more comprehensive the list, the better the design.
- a. Scope of work – divide the list between needs and wants
- b. Budget – include a 15% buffer for contingency
- c. Schedule – when do you want to start or finish construction?
3. Your team. Mainly, you need an architect and a contractor. If you have a particular architect or contractor in mind, have them help you find the other. You want to make sure that everyone on your team works well together.
4. Logistics – your architect can help you determine the parameters for your project.
- a. Property information
- b. Planning code
- c. Building code
5. Design. This is the fun part. It’s also very intense. Your architect will help you navigate through each phase of design, while keeping everything on schedule and on budget. The goal is to get exactly what you want!
6. Execution. Your architect and contractor will be working with you through all phases.
- a. Design
- b. Building permit(s)
- c. Bidding/negotiation
- d. Construction
7. Maintenance. With a new environment comes a commitment to a new lifestyle.
It’s a long process of design and construction, so make sure you have fun during the process. With the right support (this includes your architect, contractor, colleagues, and family members) it will be smooth and enjoyable.
I love demolition. You see layers of the past right before your eyes.
Demolition has started in a kitchen in Portland, OR and the space, devoid of cabinets and color, is just gorgeous.
Here's an old built-in ironing board nook (which was buried beneath sheet rock and layers of wall paper and paint), and you can even see where the ironing board used to be.
And the back side of old lath and plaster looks like icing layers on a cake.
Chiho Aoshima is part of Kaikai Kiki, an art production company led by Takashi Murakami. I saw Aoshima's work at the Smithsonian during our trip to Washington D.C. last spring. I'm a huge fan of Murakami's work, and I seem to be falling for all his prodigies as well. You can check the whole crew out at http://english.kaikaikiki.co.jp/