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A 1930's Loft Apartment Project - Part One

I figured it's about time I shared with you the project I've been nose down in for the last few weeks.  Not just because I think you'd be genuinely interested but also because this week I've done a bit too much pontificating on certain aspects of it and I'm hoping that by putting my work out there as it presently stands all unfinished, you will encourage me to crack on.

So the project starts like this.  After taking details from the assumed client on their likes/dislikes and their lifestyle, plus a run down of the structure of the property and what can and cannot be changed or removed, the first step is a concept from which to build a coherent design around - a chosen set of adjectives and images - Contemporary, Relaxed, Stylish, Urban.

This concept is for the main living area and the colours in the images dictate the overall colour scheme.

I have started a Reflective Journal to jot down all thought processes, collect inspirational images and sketch out ideas.  This bit is vital to the project submission as we must illustrate how scheme ideas have been taken from an initial piece of inspiration, worked on and expanded into a fully workable plan, design or item.  It's a ace exercise in emptying the mind that's brimming over with ideas and getting some clarity on the ones that will and won't work.  I have found that in the majority of instances, particularly with regard to kitchen designs and the overall layout of the apartment, my initial idea has evolved and been overridden with a much better plan.  Deciding on the smallest details of the kitchen design is proving to be a time consuming challenge but as they say 'the devil is in the detail'.  And I haven't quite nailed it yet.

After selecting some furniture for the main living area, I went off to see a fabric supplier (the laborious tasks must always be offset with some fun, tactile and exciting stuff, right?) and spent 45 mins choosing from their huge selection of luxury fabrics.  I've got to get some texture into this open plan apartment to layer and cosy up the scheme as there are quite a number of sleek, shiny, hard surfaces planned.

But oh boy is this project tough going, it's here to test me, my knowledge and capabilities to the limits. It's all-consuming and it's taking my full attention, that's why I've hardly come up for air in recent weeks. I suppose I'm just a quarter of the way through, still on the planning part of the project and there's a number of sample boards and rendered plans and elevations and a client presentation to do yet. There's an immense amount of effort involved in designing a property from scratch and I'm learning and honing skills every day.  Phew!

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Reader Comments (11)

I love your logo! I can see it peeping out behind your renderings and exercises. So neat all that goes into redesigning a space. Things I wouldn't even think about until I see them here, and then I go, "Oh, right, drawer handles." The devil is in t he details is right. I love that sofa, the shape, the color. Playing with fabrics sounds like an absolute dream. Maybe one day I'll go to a fabric supplier and claim I'm an interior designer and then just steal a bunch of swatches :) They won't mind, right? Anyway, you look like you're squarely on the right path! Keep it up! Can't wait to see the final reveal. xo

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Sam, this looks great! It IS a big project but when you get to the end it is so rewarding to have such a comprehensive project under your belt! I look forward to seeing the progress!
Thanks for posting x

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Huband

All I can say, is WOW! What a journey! I'm so glad you're sharing the process with us. I tend to be really process driven and love to see behind the scenes of other people's inner work. And I love the idea of a Reflective Journal. More details, please! I'm thinking I could use one for my photography or blog...

And Erin's right. Your logo looks great! As soon as I saw her comment, I had to scroll up and take another peek! xo

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Good for you. There's nothing like having to go through it, working through the barriers and coming out the other side, better, more experienced and sometimes wiser. This is what gives us confidence and it's all in the doing.

What sucks is being in the middle of it and feeling stuck. You seem to get on with it brilliantly, albeit Go girl, you can do it!!

I work slightly differently. My best ideas come from being out and about and doing something completely different. All of a sudden I find a solution to something I've been struggling with.

I'm rather hoping to see some colours and pattern in those fabric swatches:)

Love all your sketches and pics. Thank you for sharing your process. x

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertina

Wowzers, I can see why this project is taking all of your attention and testing your abilities. It does look like you're making great progress and moving in a beautiful direction. I'm loving all the texture you're planning to incorporate, and that sofa adds a nice touch of softness. I really enjoy seeing your progress and how it's all unfolding, so please continue to share and we will continue to cheer you on. Happy weekend, Sam!
PS~Knowing how much you have on your plate, I need to thank you again for taking a break to participate in my little series. You're the best!

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

Sam, you're so close to the end now you can practically taste it. Keep your chin up (or down towards your drawing board) and stay focused. Allow time for some fun things. You'll get there when you get there. Good luck. (And it goes without saying, lovely work so far.)
S x

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephi

Wow, this sounds like an enormous project, thanks for sharing it. It is hugely inspiring to see you so close the end...keep going! Lovely sketches and logo too :-) x

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Thank you ladies for all your support, it means a lot xx

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam Lennie

Thanks for sharing this, Sam. Getting this practical design process firmly impressed in our minds is going to stand us in great stead. I share the feeling of being overwhelmed by it, but think how much we've developed along the way, where we were when we started. Soon, a project like this will just roll out and not seem so daunting. Great job, Sam! I think those fabric choices fit the adjectives / concept well. xx

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Passey

Gosh such a lot of work! I can't even imginine tackling such a huge project at the minute. I really love your concept images and seeing your ideas coming together.

You are so close now, exciting times ahead :) xx

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Sam it looks amazing! You, me and Kelly are girly swots with our reflective journals! I love the tweed and I love your little drawing of the kitchen and I love the beetle picture and your leaf. And all of it really, all nice an Autumnal. Can't wait to see the finished article xx

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterannie

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