Constantly Monitor the Interior Design Project

Obstacles will arise, one way or another, in all design projects. I have found the best policy is to become a constant monitor of virtually everything and to funnel all tasks and deadlines through one informed source – the designer, me. Not just from schedule, to coordination of trades, to tracking deliveries and materials, but especially in keeping in daily contact with the trades who are doing actual work to see what they are encountering. A problem caught early is usually a problem made smaller. Here’s an example.

In this Caufield home which I am designing right now, I stopped by on the weekend to have a look at the mill work installation for the downstairs nanny kitchen. I had designed the mill work earlier in the project with input from the clients and insights from the carpenters.  The drawings and costs had been approved and over the last few weeks the mill work had been fabricated off-site for today’s installation. I will include more about that process in a design concept posting. In the meantime, a couple of problems straight away presented themselves to me.

The gas fitter had come the week before and run the lines from the furnace room into the new kitchen to allow the new Fisher Paykel appliances to function. At that time he and I had discussed the path which the gas line would follow from furnace room to kitchen. I showed him the mill work design and the future location of the appliances. Shrewdly, we decided it would be an excellent thought to position the shut off valve for the gas in the back of one of the mill work cabinets. Here it would be hidden but within reach so that in the event that the owner needed to turn it off quickly, they would not have to go searching for the shut off valve. A real good example of foresight and function. I’d marked the wall where I wanted him to come through with the gas line into the kitchen.

Now however, the gas line was emerging into the space for one of the gables of the millwork and at floor level. I would have to get the gas trade back in to reroute the line slightly, a few feet to the right and up to two feet to come into line with the cook top specs and the millwork. Fortunately, the gas fitter is also installing the appliances and the plumbing, so it is not an extra trip with the costs associated. This is where your budget can really balloon when trades have to keep returning for small unforeseen adjustments. Thankfully my above mentioned constant monitoring keeps these to a minimum.

Otherwise the work was going well. The stain of the fir I had chosen exactly matched the existing mill work upstairs in the main floor kitchen so the design was accurately carried throughout the house. The hardware I used for the drawers though was much superior to the upstairs work however and was spring loaded to close snugly and quietly. In the photos you can see me discussing these issues with my trades.

Next I’ll pick up the sink and cook top and measure for the granite countertop. Until next time, kind regards, Veronica

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