my newest hired hand

jake-officei know this blog is supposed to be related to my business so i had to find a way to include this cute picture of my oldest son, jake, who is 2.5 years old (some of you will remember him from last month’s go take a hike article.)

SO, here he is, the newest addition to our office staff, complete with phone and headset. don’t be surprised if you hear jake’s voice the next time you call the office….just be forewarned, he loves to chat on the phone 😉

what is the big deal about closets anyway?

master closet floor plan

the westbourne project is entering the final stages and the most fun. it’s where everybody can really start seeing things come together. we’ve completed the design of the master closet which is really luxurious, complete with a custom built island and dresser. we’ll also be installing shoe racks and plenty of hanging space. we’re using FSC, forest stewardship council, walnut. it will be stained a dark color and is sure to look gorgeous. by the way, in answer to the title, the big deal is that we all want them and we all have closet envy…. that, and we never have enough.

master closet elevation #1
master closet elevation #1
custom dresser elevation
custom dresser elevation
custom dresser & cubbies
custom dresser & cubbies

go green expo is here in los angeles!

perf_logoif you’re in the los angeles area this weekend be sure to check out the go green expo happening at the los angeles convention center. it is on saturday and sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. there will be lots of green goodies and services advertised there just waiting for your business. as much as i like to think i’m “in the know” about all things green, i admit i didn’t find out about this event until it was too late to get a booth (but have no fear, reside will be exhibiting at our first trade show next month, the home remodelling & decorating  & eco-expo show, also happening at the los angeles convention center).

you can also catch mariel hemingway on saturday discussing “how to green your life” and her new book along with other panels discussing ways to incorporate “green” into your daily life. i’ll be there on saturday with the family in tow, so if you see us, please stop us and say hi!

ask david: help with our kitchen

lawrence from glendale, ca  writes;

patricia and i want to remodel our kitchen but don’t know how to go about it. we kinda have an idea of the style we want but can’t decide on the specifics. can you help?

david’s response;

david2lawrence, since you’re in the los angeles area, i’ll be giving a seminar next month on kitchen and bathroom design. be sure to look for details on our website under the seminar tab. in the meantime, a couple of magazines i love for ideas about kitchens and bathrooms are kitchen trends and metropolitan home. expect to spend anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 for a new kitchen with custom cabinets and stone countertops. moving walls and opening up spaces will increase the cost. look forward to seeing you at our upcoming seminar!

insulation, tis blow-in the wind

our LEED project, westbourne, is really starting to come together. we had the insulation installed last week and for the exterior walls and the roof/ceiling we used the blown in from greenfiber as discussed in a previous post. here are a couple of action shots;

step one is installing the mesh on the inside of all the exterior walls.  

step two is cutting small holes in the mesh and inserting the vacuum hose and blowing the insualtion in. it took about three days for the complete install. 

kind of like a vacuum hose in reverse.
kind of like a vacuum hose in reverse.
the second floor complete with exterior walls and ceiling
the second floor complete with exterior walls and ceiling
the hopper that the insulation is fed into.
the hopper that the insulation is fed into.

shout out! joelle reeder, moxie design studios

this is the first in the monthly series of my new SHOUT OUT! blog, in which I’ll be joellefeaturing individuals who have done something to deserve praise, such as vendors, subcontractors, clients, employess, or friends.

this month’s SHOUT OUT! goes out to joelle reader of moxie design studios (my wife is still wondering why she’s not my first SHOUT OUT!). without joelle’s  help, I wouldn’t be writing this now, nor would any of my website been  possible. she was an integral part in developing the new look of reside architecture, inc.

I hired joelle last may but because of her always-in-demand-business, I wasn’t able to begin working with her until october of last year. joelle and her partner, kathy, schedule their work 3 or 4 months out so there is almost always a wait list (well worth the wait, I might add).

when I began looking for a website designer I knew I wanted a clean, cool, modern, and hip look but I had no idea how to get there. I looked around on craigslist and quickly realized how many “part time” web designers  there are in the los angeles area. I’m not really a betting man (okay, sometimes i  go to vegas and put my home equity line of credit on 00 on the roulette wheel), but if I was, I would bet there are almost as many of these “part-time” web designers as there are actors here. I wanted somebody who was a real pro, who did this as their career.

moxie design studios is great at creating very chic-centric themed websites. when I showed one of my clients the moxie website and said that they would  be doing my website, his response was “I don’t see anything on their website that is your style of cool and modern architecture”. I told him I agreed, but there was something about the style or hipness or freshness that moxie design studios was creating that led me to believe they could really do something cool and modern for me. another thing I really liked about them is that, they are specialists at setting up blogs and that was a top consideration for me.

I searched through dozens of architects’ websites and most of them were poorly designed and didn’t show off the work. I saw some great work from other architects, but I either had to click through dante’s inferno to get there or wait longer than my patience would allow for some flash thing to load.

with that said, I was able to give joelle a whole bunch of website links to architects’ websites that i DID NOT want. through one phone conversation at the beginning and everything else being handled via the web and email, somehow she was able to read my mind enough to come up with a layout for my website that is everything I wanted. the orange and grey are hip cool colors, the navigation bar is super easy to use, and the website overall has a very clean, modern feel to it.

joelle reeder is a top notch professional in her field. she takes pride in what she does, has great ideas, and above all is great at servicing the customer. she was always able to respond quickly to my concerns. for the month and a half she was working on my website, I truly felt I was her only client as she really paid attention to everything. thank you joelle!

sometimes, you just have to say it. . . go take a hike!

the new year always brings the new resolutions that we commit to at the beginning ojake-hiking-1f each year. no doubt, on the top of most people’s list, is the committment to get more exercise. with our busy days and family lives, it can be difficult to find time to do just that. also, many people just aren’t in to the gym scene. BUT, one thing everyone can do is go for a hike in your local mountains. for you flatlanders, there is plenty of hiking in your neighborhood, along rivers, along golf courses to name a few. oh yeah, and a trip to the local mall doesn’t count, even if it’s an outdoor mall like the ones that i’m surrounded by here in los angeles.

speaking of los angeles, we’re blessed with sunny weather for a majority of the year and are in close proximity to the ocean, mountains, and desert. as i write this today, it’s a nice 65 degrees out (so why am i inside writing this…).  i’m not sure what it is in new hampshire where i grew up and my sister lives (i talked to her the other day and i think she was getting 8 inches of snow while we were on the phone), but there are opportunities there to strap on the snow shoes and enjoy the fresh air. right in our neighborhood are the local santa monica mountains which provide a plethora of hiking opportunities for all levels.jake-hiking-2

the attached photos are of my son jake who is 2 1/2 years old and loves to hike. he simply has to go outside and breathe the fresh air. on those weekends when we get a late start getting outside, he gets antsy and a little cranky. once we step outside, an instant change takes place (similar to when the incredible hulk changes back to bruce banner, but with a smile and without the ripped clothes). i frequently take jake hiking in the santa monica mountains and i’m committing myself to getting my wife and other  son remy out there as well. so exercise shouldn’t be looked at as a dreaded thing on your to do list, it should recharge your batteries, give your body the fresh oxygen it needs. SO with all that said, stop reading right now and go take a hike!

cool product of the month – shaklee

happy new year to all! 2009 is finally here and i’m expecting many good things this coming year. 2009 should be about change, cleaning out the old and starting anew. with that in mind, i’d like to introduce january’s COOL product of the month;

shaklee healthy home cleaning products.  shaklee is the number one nutrition shakleecompany in the united states. YES, they are a corporation, BUT a corporation with a conscience. their web site is fantastic and full of wonderful information about their products and their commitment to the environment. from their website:

“Our mission at Shaklee is to provide a healthier life for everyone and a better life for anyone. We do it by making natural products that are so exceptional, you just have to tell your friends. Every product that goes into every Shaklee bottle is designed to improve health, work without compromise, and be gentle on the planet.”

i’ve been using their cleaning products at our home for the past year and i really love them. the best thing about them is that they do not smell. you don’t realize how great that is until you spend the afternoon cleaning and realize you don’t smell anything, no lemony fragrance, no lavender. with two young boys crawling and running around our house, this is a big plus. i especially like the basic h2 cleaning concentrate. you put a few tablespoons in a bottle and fill the rest with water, and voila! you have a safe, non-toxic cleaner for wiping all kinds of surfaces. i will admit the dishwasher detergent wasn’t as effective at getting our dishes sparkly clean so i’m still searching for that product to come along. my recommendation is to spend some time on their website and order a few products to try. most you will love, some you may not, but once you find the products you like, you’ll never dread another cleaning day.

i’ve been trying for the past couple of years to align myself with more environmentally conscious and responsible vendors, contractors, clients, and friends. i’ve also been taking steps at home to improve indoor air quality and shaklee cleaning products help my family in achieving that goal.  i don’t get anything for plugging their product, it’s not necessary, the satisfaction of spreading the word and helping others improve their own indoor air quality is enough for me. i believe whatever little steps we take, the world will be a better place. if my little steps can be multiplied by everyone i know, and their little steps can be multiplied by people they know, it just keeps going. here’s to keeping it going in 2009!

the master bath, a private sanctuary

the master bathroom is one of the most important rooms in a home. it can be a place where you wake up and greet the morning or a place to relax after a long day. the westbourne master bathroom satisfies both of these requirements with style.

master bathroom floor plan
master bathroom floor plan

 when you walk into the master bathroom, you’re immediately greeted by an almost six foot wide by nearly eight foot tall built in cabinetry unit that can hold robes, towels, linens, as well as a counter for a coffee maker or espresso machine and a small refrigerator to hold milk and water.

if you move to your right, you’ll see a private toilet room complete with a dual-flush toilet by caroma and waterless urinal by falcon

if you move to the left you will enter the main space of the master bathroom. you’ll find a long vanity with dual undermount sinks. the vanity “floats” above the floor for easy cleaning and is made from FSC, forest stewardship council, teak veneer, and formaldehyde free cabinets. the countertop will be caeserstone.

the shower consists of a steam shower unit which will allow for some nice relaxing time after that long day (or a great way to start the morning for you early morning types). the shower and tub are designed to be one unit by using a caeserstone tub deck that will also become the shower bench.


master bath cabinet elevation
master bath cabinet elevation

tall cabinetry, plan & elevation
tall cabinetry, plan & elevation


introducing the – ask david – feature

david2i’ve just introduced the “ask david” feature to the blog on the left sidebar that visitors can use to submit questions or comments.  so if you’re looking for expert advice, please feel free to submit your question or comment and i’ll be happy to answer them and also post them for others to see. i’m hoping this will become a nice “interactive” feature of the website.