Demo Done. Hard Hat Party On!

usfhs logo damien hirst artBeing a part of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase is not all work, and no play. With demolition complete, our California Cool Bath project is moving along as planned. So with work in order, we will play. The Decorator Showcase House is in demo mode, so why not have a party? That's exactly what happened. Last week we attended the 1st of many parties for the showcase house - The Hard Hat party. A time to appreciate the beautiful 9,700 sq ft home designed by Architect Julia Morgan and to catch up and connect with fellow designers and vendors.

Connecting we did. It was so awesome chatting with Alexandra Ray of Five Senses Art, about that perfect piece of art for our showcase room. Thanks for sending your ideas, Alex! Love the idea of a skateboard for a young boy's space - Spin Yellow, 2009 by Damien Hirst is super cool.

Also a big thanks to Thelma Garza, Director of Events and Special Projects at San Francisco University High School for keeping us in the loop and making things happen!

Looking forward to the April 25th Opening Party to be blown away by all of the creativity and sheer gumption from the many top designers of this years showcase house.

The Start of a Quinquennial?

hockney poolpromoted-media-optimized_54d521943f939We're so excited to be one of the few design firms selected in this year's San Francisco Decorators Showcase home. This year we're creating a California cool bath for the couples' young son, inspired by David Hockney's 1978 art piece "Swimming Pool with Reflection". So why a quinquennial? Five years ago we paired up with Helena Jausas at Spec Ceramics, here in San Francisco, for the 2010 Decorator Showcase to create one of DM+A's most published bathrooms. Once again, Helena has donated tile that has the look and feel of a swimming pool deck, On Square in Cemento by Emil Ceramica. Giant hugs and kisses to her for helping us realize our design on this very tight budget.

Looking forward to collaborating on another fabulous project and continuing what looks to be a 5-year tradition!


Happiness is Leave No Paws Behind

happiness dogIn honor of International Day of Happiness today we wanted to share a touching story about a senior dog and the love and compassion we as humans have for our beloved pets. A few weeks ago, a senior Dachshund, was lovingly left at a shelter in a basket with a note from his elderly owners. They could no longer afford to care for him, so Rescue group Leave No Paws Behind took him and reunited him with his owners.

So HAPPY to hear, Leave No Paws Behind will pay for the dog's expenses for the rest of his life, and will be reunited with his family at the end of this month.

For more details on this story, click here .

Remodeling? Be Prepared for New Lighting Requirements in 2014

Simulated Cafe  Environment at Acuity Brands Center for Light & Space in Berkeley t24logoI had the opportunity to attend a California Title 24: Building Energy Efficiency Standards Seminar at Acuity Brands Center for Light & Space in Berkeley.  This seminar focused on the upcoming changes to the CA Title 24 lighting requirements which will take effect in 2014.  Essentially the standards will be adding layers of control to the lighting systems.  So that when a space is unoccupied, energy isn’t being wasted.  This isn’t just the use of adding occupancy sensors.  It is also adding multi-level lighting controls so lights have different settings and light levels for different activities.  To get more specialized you could do automatic day lighting controls or demand response controls.  This allows lighting to be adjusted during the peak hours of a day or having a central hub where you can control light settings.  There is a lot of information and a professional would be able to help navigate you through the requirements.  This may seem like a nuisance which costs more money, but when you see the figures, in the long run you end up saving money.

For more information and specifics on the changes, review What's New in the 2013 Code from California Lighting Technology Center.

It’s our turn

Gregg and I were recently invited to a networking event at AT &T Park, generously hosted by ALR/ANSR, GFDS Engineers, Studio Becker and Engineered Environments.  After watching  Rachel and Michelle enjoy SF Giant’s ticket gifts this season, it was our turn to partake.  We were treated to a pre-game party at Triples Alley and then to great box seats for the game against the Colorado Rockies.  On one of those rare warm evenings in San Francisco, the weather was perfect for a night game.  It was fun to spend time with many of our friends, including Claudio Ramos (HE Banks), Justin Wright (Engineered Environments), Leslie Siegel (ALR), Dan Pelsinger and Dan Matarozzi (Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders), and Clayton Timbrell (Clayton Timbrell & Company) and seeing so many other familiar faces.  Thanks again to our hosts for including us in such a great event.

Eduardo’s California License Celebration

Since I finally got my architectural license in this state, Gregg invited the team to celebrate the event. I decided for Local Restaurant & Wine Bar and we all went for lunch on July 27th; I think it was the right decision and will tell you why. It’s very clear to me this team enjoys two things: good crispy Italian pizza and better yet, good wine (not necessarily in that order though). This place has both and the service is excellent, with great help from the owner choosing the right wine and getting your glass refilled.

Saying that’s the best pizza ever would be excessive, but if you’re a pizza lover, this is a place you cannot miss. We ordered four different pizzas (after some serious appetizers) and we all thought that three of them were out of this world:  Salsiccia (with house-made fennel sausage, fresh mozzarella, scallions, and Calabrian chillies) ,then Linguica (with linguica sausage, caramelized onions, red bell peppers and cheddar) and finally Local Pizza (with mozzarella, goat cheese, pepperoni, bacon and house-made sausage).

Besides great food and wine, the place has an interesting modern and clean design that’s worth seeing; nice atmosphere and easy street parking. I don’t think I will get another license soon, but I’m looking forward to going to Local again.

Funny Name, Sweet Creek

National River Clean-Up Day was such a success, thanks to everyone who came out with their family and friends to support the CRC Committee of CoreNet to help cleanup San Francisquito Creek on May 21, 2011.  This is the last South Bay creek running above ground as it flows into the Bay and is a refuge for many native species, including shorebirds and fish.  Water levels in the creek are dwindling as the creek is filled with trash every year.  So every year, we work with Acterra to make the Bay Area a better place to live and work.

We are ecstatic to report we collected over 1,000 pounds of trash including old dressers, tools, cribs, tires and the usual litter of fast food containers and bottles.  Without the help of our volunteers we could never have hauled away so much junk that otherwise would have found its way into San Francisco Bay.   

Special thanks to Tony Yado and Corovan for providing us with a yummy lunch.

Future Designers of America

AICA-SF LogoI was recently invited to be a member of the Professional Advisory Committee for the Interior Design Program at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco.  Always ready and willing to offer my two cents on anything design-related, I happily agreed.  This involved participating in a Student Portfolio Review and a discussion about the program’s curriculum.  My fellow committee members included other industry professionals from firms such as BAR Architects, HOK and the Wiseman Group.  It was great to hear what different studios are looking for in junior staff and to observe what other design pros see when looking at the students’ work.  The general consensus was: show more process and basic design practices and focus less on the smoke and mirrors in the presentation.  So, okay kids, listen up.  Here’s a little free advice: Hone your design skills; develop proficiency in drafting conventions; practice your hand sketching; and have a point of view!  If you can’t demonstrate these things, all the overblown graphics in your presentation documents won’t make a bit of difference.  As the incredibly astute Louis Schump of HOK offered, “It’s hard to see what’s going on with the plan when it’s cloaked in a sea of baby’s faces or a bamboo forest”.  So true, Louis.  So true.