What I’ve been up to…

I’ve been away for a while. I can only explain the absence by saying that setting up this blog in the midst of having just moved back to the country and trying to find a place to live was probably extremely optimistic. However I am back and hope to get some more projects and ideas up here very soon. I’ll be posting a bit about current projects but mainly about ideas that come to me, things that are currently interesting me and some different ways of approaching design. Hopefully this will make for some variation and keep things interesting.

And because no post is complete without some sort of picture I’m going to leave you with a gratuitous shot of one of the many reasons I love being back in Sydney.

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Kitchen Design continued …

After I’ve gathered some inspiration and have fairly clear idea of the space I move onto some sketch design. This is done in conjunction with sourcing materials and products which will work for the project. For this project I’m looking at some kitchen products and companies which will give me the quality and aesthetic I’m looking for. I’ll talk about the materials in my next post but right now I’m going to talk about sketching.

Sketching is a big part of this initial design phase, it gives me a feel for the space and allows me to map out different options for the arrangement of design elements without getting too caught up with technicalities. It’s all about getting thoughts down on paper and working through ideas. Here are some of my sketches from this project.

They aren’t the prettiest things in the world, but they serve their purpose. I start by sketching out the space and identifying any problems and benefits of the space I’m working with. In this case the problems include separated working spaces within the two rooms, a step up into the secondary space, a window against one of the main walls which is too low to put cabinets against and the location of gas outlets. Benefits of the space include the placement of pipes and dishwasher hook ups. Some of these features will permanently determine the placement of some elements, such as sinks, dishwashers and ovens. These will remain static within each of my layouts.

I then start working on rough layouts, working out what shapes the kitchen is going to use, where different elements will be places and how people are going to move and function in the space. I allocate different zones for different functions, for this project the zoning in the kitchen is quite tricky due to the separation of the two rooms. You can see in the 2 quick plans above, the smaller room to the right is actually a step up from the rest of the room. working the layout around this and some of the other problems of the space has been the major challenge at this point. So for this space I am using the smaller room to the right for cleaning and storage and the larger, open plan space for prep and a dining area.

From this process I’ve established two layouts I’d like to explore in further detail, the arrangements above. To flesh out these designs I work mainly in plan and section (2D vertical views) this allows me to visualise the space in 3D with a sense of scale. I test functionality, traffic flow, general aesthetics and use of space in these sketches as well as working out the arrangement of particular elements. Now I move onto working on these two designs technically and building a materials palette.

What I’m working on …

This is quite a small project for the fit-out of a new kitchen of a rental property in Balmain. I thought it would be interesting to walk through my process for a project like this on the blog.

As a renter myself I know what generally gets put into a rental property when the owner wants a quick, durable and budget driven fit-out. They are generally pretty bare, catering to the essentials and nothing else. So for this project I want to do something nicer while still sticking to the small budget. The base building itself has some good potential, old slate floors and brick walls, the building was an old pub which has been previously converted into a number of small commercial spaces. Now you could just chuck a stock standard budget kitchen in here and it probably function fine, all be it with some small problems from the uneven floor surface. It would look out of place though.

In my mind whenever you start a project you have to look at what’s already there and then work with that. In this case the slate floors and chunky brick walls don’t exactly scream stone look laminate to me. You’d be throwing off the language of the space completely without any real gain. You also have to look at the restrictions of any project. In this case budget and that fact that it is a fit out which needs to accomodate potentially a range of renters are the big two. So I decided on a clean yet rustic look. Whites and warm timber tones will work well with the existing building and also be adaptable enough for the people who end up living there to make their own.

At this point in a project I put together some images that I use as inspiration for the project. They help me focus in on the key elements and style that the space is going to take on. There’s a saying that everything has been done before, which I think is true. There’s always something to be learned or inspiration to be had from what others have done. The images that are jumping out at me for this project are below. The final project will probably look nothing like any of the images below, all of these images will mingle with the ideas in my head and come out with something individual in it’s own way.

Inspiration for kitchen. Links at end of post.

Next up is sketch design.

Links from inspiration images (left to right, top to bottom):

  1. Keltainen talo rannalla
  2. Nrom Architecture
  3. Act like summer walk like rain
  4. Design Sponge
  5. Bakom inredningsbloggen
  6. Norske interiorblogger
  7. Norske interiorblogger
  8. Slowpoke Espresso via We Heart
  9. Emmas Designblogg
  10. Norske interiorblogger

Hi All!

Kevin McCloud and I at Grand Designs Live Australia 2011

Welcome to the Jessica Poole Design blog where I’ll be talking all about what I do as an interior designer. I’m just starting out and building up my experiences so please bear with me while I find my feet. I love what I do as a designer and hopefully the outside looking in is a fraction as interesting as the inside looking out.