Posted by: PatrickJL | November 27, 2013

I’m 57% of an architect!

As with the majority if these exams, I walk out with an air of melancholy, not knowing what the score will be. I felt that I studied the content thoroughly but they throw so many random questions at you it’s hard to judge.

Today I received an email to check my NCARB account for my score. I click the link. My heart immediately starts to pump like I’m running at full speed. I log in, navigate over to the ARE section. I pull my head away and cover the screen with anything I can find on my desk. I want to look, to see if I’m one step closer to my goal or stuck in a six month limbo before I can submit myself to this agony once again, but I can’t. This frozen state of the unknown is where I choose to be. I’m terrified of the idea that I will need to spend more months studying and then retake this exam. I take a deep breath and lower my hands…

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Posted by: PatrickJL | November 25, 2013

#SundaySketch 2

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My wife threw me a Maine-themed birthday party this weekend and the house was turned into a New England Saltbox…well, not really, but close. Embellishments included authentic fish net tablecloth, Shipyard Brewing Co. beer, lobster rolls, lobster bisque, crab cakes, and clam chowdah. We recently painted our kitchen cabinets with chalkboard paint and I wanted to add some New England flair. The mural took me about an hour and I think it turned out pretty good. Maybe I’ll start posting the murals as I make them.

Posted by: PatrickJL | November 5, 2013

#SundaySketch 1

Ya ya, I realize it’s not Sunday but it’s no surprise I run a little late around here. One do my New Year’s Resolutions was to work on my sketching, specifically, sketch more often. So, of course it’s not until November when I get started. I also have wanted to learn some new software this year including a few apps on my iPad. I used Paper by 53 for this first sketch of my living room.

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Posted by: PatrickJL | April 29, 2013

Bathroom Renovation (Part 4)

Finally, I finished the bathroom renovation. Well, it’s more like finally I uploaded pictures of the finished bathroom renovation because honestly, it’s been completed for a while now. All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out.

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Here’s a shot of the vanity I built. I’m very happy with how it turned out considering we had no other options.

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Here is my wife’s addition. We call this her Pinterest piece. She uploaded it on there and gets giddy with every repin.

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[Here am I giving the camera my best model look sitting on a gorgeous Eames Le Chaise]

I thought the modern movement of the 50′s and 60′s was to make great design affordable.  Fast forward fifty years, a lowly architectural intern (me) would like to furnish his home with the aforementioned great design.  The copyrights for these designs are typically held by either Herman Miller or Knoll.  Alas, because I am not a hedge fund manager, there is a good chance I will never be able to drop $3,000-$5,000 on a single chair let alone multiple pieces of furniture.  I mean, seriously, how much does it cost to manufacture an Eames shell chair?  I understand there is a mark up beyond that but c’mon!

Now, I am aware of the heavily inflated prices of these beautiful pieces of art – let’s face it, that’s what they are but the real shock came from my wife (not in the design field).  She knows one of my favorite chairs (I have so many) is the Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe.  Back in September 2012, two months before my birthday, we were in Chicago for a weekend trip when we walked by a fancy lobby stocked with Barcelona chairs.  After she dragged me away, she thought that one of those chairs would be a great birthday present for me…that is until she found out that they start at $5,000!

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.  A while back, I stumbled upon a link of several replica chairs sold online at none other than Kmart.  The chairs are manufactured by a company named Baxton Studio.  Baxton Studio (a division of Wholesale Interiors) sells replica designer furniture by the likes of Eames, Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, Bertoia, etc.  I’m not sure how they are able to get around selling these replicas unless the designs are changed ever so slightly that they are not “copies” although they look pretty accurate to me.

http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_235875401?hei=315&wid=315&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

[Eames DSR Eiffel Side Chair - $155]

http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_228886801?hei=315&wid=315&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

[Le Corbusier LC2 - $485]

http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_228887001?hei=315&wid=315&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

[Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Lounge - $566]

http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_228892501?hei=315&wid=315&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

[Marcel Breuer Wassily Chair - $283]

http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_166653501?hei=315&wid=315&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_235875301?hei=315&wid=315&op_sharpen=1&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

[Eero Saarinen Side Table - $218  and Tulip Chair - $168]

 

It’s clear that at these prices the quality of craftsmanship and the materials are far lower than their pricey counterparts and I understand the importance of staying true to the design by sticking with the real McCoy, but the above options seem tempting.  I can also appreciate the amount of time that went into designing the originals and the hard work and effort into designing them is why they’ve stood the test of time, hence the mark up in price.  As a designer, I would be angry to find someone ripping off my designs and profiting from them.  However, how much do you markup the price before your product becomes out of reach to the general population – the people that some of the products were originally designed for?  Don’t get me started on the irony of naming a store Design Within Reach and then selling a chair for $5,000.

Oh well, I supposed I’ll keep searching on Craigslist and scouring antique stores to hope to one day get mine.

Posted by: PatrickJL | January 24, 2013

Bathroom Renovation (Part 3)

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Holy S***! Who knew it would take this long to update a bathroom that’s smaller than most people’s linen closets!  Well, here we are.  Finally, we started getting the tile in the shower up just before Christmas.  We decided to go with a classic subway tile and a glass mosaic banding that would intersect the storage nook we built in.

 

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I’ve come to the realization that one must come up with creative solutions when working on home improvement projects.  Here we are trying to set the soap dish.  We spread mastic on the back of it, propped it up with a level (which is supported by a brick in the tub), leveled it, and finally, duct-taped it to the wall.

 

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The floor tile is 12″x24″ porcelain tile with a light grey linen texture.  We found these at Hood’s for a pretty good price and we only needed 12-13 tiles to cover the whole floor.

 

 

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Of course we had to leave our mark on the side of the tub before the hardibacker went on.  I wonder when is the next time this will be uncovered again?

 

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I am thoroughly disappointed with Moen and their Kingsly shower faucet.  This gap doesn’t even come close to how they represented their product on their website.  I complained on twitter, using their @MOEN handle, and have been in contact with them regarding my issue.  They are sending me a spacer that is supposed to close the gap but I am still angry that I am not getting the product I thought I was.  I purchased the Kingsley line so that ALL of my fixtures in the bathroom would match.  I have no idea what this spacer ring will look like or if it will even solve my problem.

 

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As everything started coming together, I needed to finish up the vanity before the plumber came back to hook it up.  I found the heaviest books we had in the house to hold the sink down until the adhesive could set.

I will include a few more pictures in a final post while we wrap everything up.

 

Posted by: PatrickJL | December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Rudolph

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Posted by: PatrickJL | December 6, 2012

Bathroom Renovation (Part 2)

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I honestly thought this would only be a 2 part story (and one week job) but alas, here we are, in the second week of construction (or deconstruction as I like to call it) and only the second part to this neverending story. When we started the demo, we ran into more problems than anticipated. It turns out the plumbing was horribly undersized and questionably installed. We had to basically rip it all out and start anew.

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Posted by: PatrickJL | November 23, 2012

Bathroom Renovation (Part 1)

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The bathroom renovation has commenced. This has been a long time coming. This renovation will include a new vanity built by yours truly as well as all new finishes. We’re replacing the shower tile which is currently a cream-colored 5×5 square tile and will be replaced with a bright white subway tile with a mosaic accent band. Unfortunately, the original honeycomb floor tile that we discovered after removing the crappy Pergo wood laminate, which should never had been installed in a bathroom in the first place, couldn’t be repaired so it will be replaced by a 12×24 white floor tile with a linen texture laid in a brick pattern.

Also, the chocolate brown paint that we chose when we moved in 4 years ago will be going.  We’re opting for a lighter french grey that will hopefully lighten up the space.  The wainscot will also be replaced with something similar but we are opting dropping the height of the trip so that it doesn’t intersect the light switches, mirror frame, etc.

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Posted by: PatrickJL | November 10, 2012

Lost+F(o)und Furniture Competition/Auction Entry: Re:Wine’d

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I was invited by Perennial StL to enter a furniture competition where we were supplied an old wooden ladder and were tasked to turn it into a fresh new furnishing for the home using only the wood salvaged from the ladder.  Also, we were only to use hardware that we had readily available, we weren’t able to purchase anything new.  I immediately started thinking about an Adirondack chair, probably because I have been lusting after some salvaged pallets to make one for myself, but I talked it over with some people at the office and we decided that was an obvious choice and that I should come up with something that is a little more unusual than a chair.  That also ruled out coffee and end tables as most people have that taken care of already.  Naturally, my mind went towards alcohol, specifically alcohol display and storage.  I wanted something that was portable, usable for inside and outside, and also multifunctional if possible.  I started sketching up some ideas for a bar cart/wine caddy/breakfast butler that contain storage and workspace as well as be portable and easy to move around.

Here are some initial sketches (using 53′s Paper app on the iPad):

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