There’s something about the moment you see your thoughts become reality. It’s a sigh of relief, a weight lifted, the exhale of a breath you’ve been holding since the giddy conception of that very idea.
Truthfully, as a designer, there’s a slight gap between what my client and I want to see done and what my knowledge bank says is feasible. This gap is maybe more commonly known as risk.
Late creator, Steve Jobs, left us with “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. When a client asks a designer into their home, or work place, or facility, they aren’t typically looking to give us a laundry list and see a lack-luster check off in each area. They’re looking for innovation, new ideas, and some excitement to truly change the way they live or work in these spaces. If we weren’t delivering these things and leading them to these design possibilities, we wouldn’t be getting the calls.
So when a recent client asked us to transform their basic entryway into something to talk about, we made sure to have a lot to say. As I looked at this rounded stairwell sitting flat and in a seemingly precarious shape, the client asked what we thought about them wanting a custom bench of sorts. My brain jumped to the possibility of a streamlined upholstered bench greeted by a sexy button tufted wall behind it, both dressed in neutral but eye grabbing textiles. Then the next thought… Is it possible?
Any creative, out of box thinkers can relate on this one. My pen to paper coordination took off somewhere between my 3-year-old, anal retentive, coloring inside the lines and creating signature homemade stationary. For profit. At the age of seven. So you can say I’ve always been a pen-in-hand dreamer. Crafting ideas for my clients on paper is no different. It’s a scheme, an idea, a dream of what I envision that space to be. With sketch in hand, I approached one of our fabric and upholstery workrooms, looking to them with hopes they would bring my thoughts to a 3-dimensional reality. After being assured it was doable, my gap of risk recessed a bit, and, with an excited client approval, we moved forward on this entryway.
In the realm of custom design implementations I’ve experienced, this was by far, one of the most unique to watch come together. As they layered in, foam cushioning, holes, fabric folds and buttons, they slowly brought to fruition that sexy curved tufted back. With a simple, brown paper, template, a beautiful concave bench was built to snuggle right up to the wall. And as quickly as the idea was tossed out, it was returned with beautiful, show stopping gains…and eight hours of intricate installation…but who’s counting.
At the end of the day, design is ever changing, ever growing, and ever challenging. But as I continue on my pursuit of innovation in my field, I continue those hurdle jumps across the gaps, bridging ideas to reality, concepts to fruition, drawings to dimension… and leave the risk in my dust.