Friday, September 21, 2012

Working with Designers

Over the years I've had the opportunity of working with some very talented interior designers. One of these is Christina Oliver of Oliver Interiors in Newton, MA; she also happens to be a really nice woman who is a pleasure to work with. I thought I'd write a little something on our latest collaboration to give an idea how this co-mingling of vision works.

Christina called me in the spring to say she had a client who needed a hutch for her newly re-designed dining room. She was using other makers' work in the room, but thought of me for the hutch -- possibly because she wanted a contemporary take on a traditional form. She gave me dimensions, a target budget, and her thoughts on how this piece should look: transitional, with a glazed finish and some kind of contrasting accents. What I did then is what I do with all my clients: I gave Christina my best estimate what it would cost to design, build, and deliver what she had envisioned.

My estimate fit within Christina's budget, so she gave me a deposit (included in my estimate) to start designing. After a little back and forth, this is what I sent her:

Her client didn't really care about having drawers, so she wondered if we couldn't save a little money by deleting them. Absolutely, I said:
Christina then wondered if I could leave the interior unglazed to brighten it. Yes! Could I use walnut burl accents? Yes! Could I make a glaze to match a standard paint color? Yes! Could I change the design of the side elevation to match the front more closely? Yes! Here are Christina's final notes on the design:

The glazed finish on this piece was a little tricky. It took many iterations of formula and technique to get it right, but we kept sending samples down to Newton until Christina and her client gave the thumbs up. When we got the go ahead we locked Paul in the finishing room until everything was glazed. Here he is at work:

We delivered the hutch last week, and everyone was delighted. Here it is, finished:


Blogger Craig Thibodeau said...

Steve, love the design. I'm curious if you inserted the wood details after the glazing or just taped them off very precisely? They do make for a subtle but also dramatic accent.

December 1, 2012 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger Steve Holman said...

Hmmm. Sorry for not answering you sooner, Craig; I guess didn't realize these blog things are a two-way street. I though you just sent the stuff out into the ether and that was that.

To answer your question, we sealed the entire piece, then taped off the walnut,then glazed the piece, then sprayed a top coat.

September 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM  

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