Friday, August 9, 2013

The Master Suite by Fiorito Interior Design, Part One

The proliferation of television design shows over the last decade or so has given many people a false sense of what interior design is and a very skewed view of how it functions. One of the ways such shows have misinformed the public is in the life span of a project. With so many shows being about transforming a space over the course of a weekend, or even over a 24-hour period (which is literally impossible to do while maintaining any semblance of quality in material or workmanship), the public are not aware of just how intensive a process interior design can be. From first meeting to a completed space takes many months. And it should. Another one of my design mantras I have developed over the years is: "Design is a process." And that process does not need to be, and indeed should not be rushed. When making structural or even cosmetic changes to a home, you want someone who will take their time, someone who will work with you to develop a space unique to you, a space that will function exactly how you want while still being beautiful.

To prove the design shows wrong, I am here to tell you that I have been working on a Master Suite extension since last autumn. After initial meetings with my clients to discuss the possibilities inherent in renovating their master bathroom, they decided they wanted to include the bedroom portion in the renovation as well. We were already in communication with a General Contractor, and through more conversations and meetings, the homeowners decided they wanted to add an extension to their home to buy more space for a new, much more luxurious master suite. At this point, the project splintered off. I met with the GC to go over space planning and possible layouts for the new space. Since the scope of service would now include the need to build out the foundation of the house, and to change the roof line, my GC brought in a structural engineer and an architect to finalize the design that was created by me, the homeowners, and the GC. While the building shell was being handled, I had several meetings with my clients regarding the interior of the bathroom and bedroom. In order to refine a design concept for the space, and thereby narrow down material choices, my clients and I had a brainstorming session: we spoke of an elegant Old World/ European bedroom and bathroom, a luxurious bath that would reference a Roman spa, and finally the idea of a Hammam was brought into the mix. After sourcing some initial materials and finishes that would embody our inspiration, I met my clients at a tile and stone gallery to begin the process of choosing stone and tile. We also spoke about style direction for things like lighting, and sink and shower hardware which would support our inspiration.

While that was happening, the plans had been submitted to the city for permits. Finally this past spring, we were ready for construction to start. As you can see, this is a process that requires care, thought, skill, and planning as well as the talents of many individuals.

Workers dug and poured a new foundation to tie into the existing foundation of the home.

The back of the house was ripped off and framing for the addition began.
The bay window is the home of a future jetted soaking tub.

The water closet was all that was left of the original bathroom, and that got demo-ed before I left the job site that day.

And now we see walls and windows installed, and a lath in place for stucco. Also note the new steps leading from the arched French doors of the Master Suite as well as the new roof line with all new cement shingles.

This all may seem rather unglamorous and humdrum, but it is absolutely necessary. It is literally the foundation for all the glamour and fun to come. For the next installment, I am excited to share with you some photos of the progress of the interior and how this suite has been transformed so far. This is always the hard part for me as a designer: the goal is now tantalizingly near and I am chomping at the bit to see it finished and styled. When that happens, I will definitely share those photos with you as well.

Thanks for reading and happy designing!

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