Ink and Reverie #2 – Finding Reality in a Dream

Ink and Reverie #2 – Finding Reality in a Dream

It’s Tuesday, which means…
Today, Wallace and I thought we’d start where any store should, at the beginning.

For me the client, the start of the whole thing obviously began WAY before the architect and I ever met…to say I’ve been dreaming about this house for my whole life would perhaps be a bit of a stretch, I think it’s fair to say I’ve been hatching and plotting about this thing for more than just a few minutes…or years;)

WILLIAM KLEIN - Anouk Aimee, Paris, 1961


As designers, I think we all fantasize about starting from scratch…building something from the ground up that truly reflects our vision, our style and our voice…


I of course, am no different and the fact that this all actually seems to be happening, well it’s totally a ‘unicorns shitting rainbows’ sort of event for your truly.

Rainbow unicorns

Trouble is, like with everything in life, sometimes your dreams are just that…life can be a very different and sometimes harsh reality.

reality, sign, text, words, world


And when it comes to designing a home, ‘life’s ugly reality’ often takes the form of things like GFA (gross floor area,) total square footage, budgets, lot setbacks, height restrictions, building codes etc. etc.

Let me back-up a minute and explain.

Way back in August, Wallace and I decided to set aside Thursday mornings as our meeting day.

After a few of these brainstorms, we really began to get at what it was I wanted…what my ‘reverie’ for this project really was.

Wallace took my grand ideas/very looooong wish list and plotted it all out in some early layout concepts.

On August 30th, he presented this…

…which PS, signaled my ideal dream house scenario…to me, this plan was ‘happiness in a field full of wild spring flowers’ love joy…
Only trouble, I couldn’t have it…not in that form anyways.
Note that pesky 48′ width measurement…the lot this pretty is going on is only 50’…doesn’t leave much room for you know, getting to the back yard.
The square footage was an issue as well…1760 on the main floor means a house that was itching towards a total of 4000 sq feet as a whole and well, mama can’t afford that sort of business when the cost of building is let’s say $300-400/sq foot…with the finishes I know I’ll want that is.
Also, there’s the increasingly annoying set back and coverage stipulations…according to the zoning by-laws in my area, my house can be a maximum of 2900 sq feet and needs 4′ clearance on either side…and that’s if I have a built in garage…those side set-backs and square foot measurements diminsh if I choose to forgoe a house for my car.
*** editorial note/PS, when I say ‘my’ and ‘I’ …I really mean ‘our’ and ‘we’…this is not just ‘my’ house;) ***
So, the reality of it was, the initial dream concept as it stood, couldn’t happen…not in that exact form anyways.
Cue early design #2…you know…the one that totally can happen…the one that sticks to all the rules…the one that makes all the by-law people happy but PS, doesn’t excite yours truly the client…not in the same way dreamboat #1 did anyways.
…no offence Wallace;)
So…what happened next…well, a lot of meetings that’s for sure….I think we’ve had about 10 since these initial layouts were presented…at least…there’s also been a large consumption of coffee…and plenty of times I had wished our chats were in the evening so I could have guzzled some vino instead.
Thankfully, we’ve moved forward and are now well within the design development phase.
I don’t want to give away the golden egg before we’ve met the handsome chicken but I will tell you that concept #1 is what we’ve moved forward with…with some (but as few as possible) reality adjustments of course.
Ambroise Tézenas,  “Dans le salon de Kilian Hennessy”  for NUMERO (France)
I’ll take you through the long and windy road of layout evolution next week.
For now, hop on over to wjbdesigns and read all about how Wallace viewed this early dream vs reality battle…if you ask me, I totally give round one/early concept development’ to team reverie;)


No Comments
  • wjbdesigns
    Posted at 12:37h, 08 October Reply

    Even though we spend countless hours in design discussions, I gain new knowledge and perspective from your blog entries… As enjoyable and creative as the client, herself!

  • Naomi@DesignManifest
    Posted at 14:00h, 09 October Reply

    I found this all fascinating. How exciting for you! I hope you are keeping the little courtyard xxx

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:31h, 10 October Reply

    love your blog. no powder room on main floor?

  • Yolande Leake
    Posted at 10:33h, 28 January Reply

    Awesome designs! Planning for a large house might be mind-boggling, yet you’ve exerted your best efforts in finishing the plans. Are you done with the renovations? 🙂

    Yolande Leake @ Co-Construct

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