JUST THE BEGINNING: WEEK 3

This week time management and design processes have been very important. Projects had to be on schedule and ready for reviews on specific days, while also being sure to attend design in-house furniture meetings and keeping in contact with other design colleagues. Being sure to create a schedule for myself has been most helpful. Having reminders of what due and where I need to be at specific times has allowed me to relate back to my academic studies in my past years at UK. Staying organized at school has helped me to better understand how to stay organized out in the workplace. Working with other designers to better the outcome and over all project organization has really come to show that the best work is produced from a team that works together. Understanding how people work and understand the projects in different ways shows that having more than one voice of opinion and different suggestions creates a better project in the end. Relating back to my academic studies at UK, getting advice from the teachers and other fellow students has ultimately resulted in a more positive outcome on many past projects as well as seeing how this works in the real time workplace environment.

Having this type of experience this week allowed me to better understand how the organization of different types of materials can better reflect on how and where they will be placed in a project. After working diligently on a project that will be located in Germany, I learned that grades of materials in a government building are actually very different from the everyday materials we may see and use everyday. Only specific materials are allowed and will be excepted when designing such buildings. Understanding more about how and where these graded materials go, I was able to help a veteran designer create a space that was breathtaking to the view and will benefit the occupants in more ways than can be explained. Materials in a government environment are used for more than a visual presence, but rather a purpose.

Using my visual skills to pull selected colors has been beneficial to the outcome and aesthetic of this project. Only using a vital three colors, I was able to research and search through materials by some well known textile companies for the most vibrant and durable materials that are acceptable to use. Keeping in close communication about where to find some of these pieces was critical. There are no ordering materials online; it is solely done over the phone. By now having my CAC card I am able to enter into a secured government system and look into past projects to see what best fits in that space and how it all related back to the sole purpose of the project. I found that the designer I am working with liked materials she had used in pasted projects because she understand how they look in a space and how that will work and reflect more than just a visual presence.

This week has given me the opportunity to work and communicate closely with a veteran designer. I was able to talk to her about why I pulled the specific materials I did, while using the correct design language. I can’t thank Colleen enough for allowing me the opportunity to work on such an amazing project located over seas. She has allowed me to better understand what materials can and can’t be used and what will be aesthetically pleasing as a finished project. Ultimately hearing that I had done a great job on finding the exact materials she and I had pictured was astonishing. I look forward to working with Colleen in the future with this project and hope that I am able to experience this space sometime in the future.

Week 3: Lighting

We began this week looking for lighting to use throughout the house.  We visited Lowe’s and Kentucky Lighting.  We first went to Kentucky Lighting to see if they had any styles that our clients liked and get the prices of those and compare to other stores, such as Lowe’s.  We met Annie Martin at Kentucky Lighting and she was fabulous.  She was very sweet and really helped us find the right lights for our clients, but they were definitely on the pricier side; more than what our clients were wanting to spend so we didn’t actually end up buying anything from there. I’ve never actually been in Kentucky Lighting before so that was an experience in itself for me personally.  I really loved a lot of their light fixtures they had, but very expensive for this type of house.  For example, in the pictures down below I’ve marked the prices for each one from Kentucky Lighting so you can see them visually.

Before searching for lighting the clients didn’t really know what direction they wanted to go in.  They mentioned how they never really gave lighting a thought so they allowed us to go pick out some stuff that would correspond with the feel of the rest of the house, which we did.  Since they gave us no budget to begin with for lighting, this is why we ended up buying nothing from Kentucky Lighting.  I would have wished they let us know a little of what they wanted or some type of budget because we were in Kentucky Lighting for almost 2 hours, but then nothing we had worked for them budget wise. This was definitely something I learned this week – even when a client doesn’t give you a budget, just ask for an estimate so you can stay on the right track and don’t show them anything ridiculously out of range.

All of the lights we bought were from Lowe’s, which are also pictured below.  Going into Lowe’s compared to Kentucky Lighting was a totally different experience.  Both places were so overwhelming for me, but Lowe’s had higher ceilings with light fixtures on all sides of you.  Kentucky Lighting was more flowing and you saw lighting as you walked through the space; it was much better.  I also don’t go to Lowe’s that often so I’m glad we got to walk around there a lot for about 2 hours and familiarize myself with the different aisles.  The lights that we did buy in Lowe’s are the pictures below with the prices next to them.  Luckily, our clients loved them and they will be located in the bathrooms, pantry, laundry room, outdoor, and closets.  Our clients also came back with some fans from Lowe’s online that they would like so we also ordered those (pictures below as well).

Also pictured is the view of the kitchen with the new cabinets.  As I mentioned in my last blog that the cabinets were just starting to get put up so I attached a picture of the finished product along with them against the paint color; I think they turned out pretty well.  We spent a lot of time on site this week just making sure everything got put in correctly and then of course going back and forth from the clients to lighting stores.  It was a little overwhelming, but I enjoyed it.

 

IN PROCESSING: WEEK 2

Week two has consisted much of observations, organization, and communication. This week I was responsible for observing and communicating with designers, architects, and managers in connection to my start day and processing for next week. Communication was key, making sure all documents were ready for preparation and submission. Keeping all of the private documents organized helped me to make sure the manager and HR personnel received them at a timely manner. After visiting on Monday I was able to watch the work being produced by the designers and architects. I was shown my own personal working space along with where to locate materials, files, and other government records. After working so diligently on these three tasks this week, I was able to connect this to my academic studies. Being sure to communicate with professors about any unsure questions and concerns connects to how organization and observations will take place because I am able to understand what is expected in a more understood manner.

Since week two has only consisted of me touring the space and doing fingerprints to process me into the system, there hasn’t been much experience with the materials, resources, and furnishings yet. Though I was able to see and touch the materials that are in the design department I was able to get a feel of what types of materials and resources I will be seeing in the future while working at the Army Corps.

Through the experienced architects and designer’s helpful tips, I have gained knowledge as to how computer and technical skills will be implemented into everyday work. Though access to government computers is not authorized until a government ID is issued I was able to watch how the IDs can issue you and you only into the system, how much computers are incorporated into the design world, and how often the designers and architects were able to communicate frequently through the Army Corps emails. Monday, when fingerprints were issued I was the first to be put into the new system of security they are now using. The high-tech equipment makes all the work the Army Corps are doing much more secure and protected.

My experience this week has enhanced my communication through the different levels of experience through the Army Corps. Having such communication has allowed me to understand the language the department will be using while I am there, while also giving me a feel of how and who I should go to incase I have any questions. This week I met Melissa Meyers in person. She has helped me stay connected to the designers I will be working with along with my new manager and sponsor. This week I also met my sponsor Jessica O’Bryan, I will be staying in close communication with her in the future to make sure I am becoming well accustom to the new U.S Army Corp of Engineers atmosphere.

APPLICATION PROCESS: WEEK 1

For the last two months I have been in close contact with many professionals at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville. What I have learned about time management is that many of the forms and other documentation to process you into the system are only open for so long. It is important to make sure you keep in close contact with your supervisor with any questions you may have in order to be sure you are filling out the forms correctly and in a timely manner. Throughout the application process I have filled out and filed around 6 different types of government forms. Though, legally I cant say what form are being processed I have learned that having good time management and understanding the process of your employer is most important. My academic studies correspond to this quite well. Through my past three years at UK I have learned that communication and time management is the key to success and I have been grateful for the opportunities that they have given me, solely for understanding they are to be put first.

After having close communication for an extended amount of time with some of the employees including architects, interior designers, HR supervisors, and managers I was able to visit the space and see what type of work is done here in Louisville from the perspective of the architects and designers. They have close connections to Fort Campbell and Fort Knox, which is very familiar to me. Seeing the drawings, sketches, and other materials and work, I was able to see spaces that I have actually visited. Going into my senior year at UK this type of experience allowed me to see familiar resources and piece them together in a real time work place.

Though I have not actually started working at the Army Corps, I have learned a lot about what they do and how they work with clients and other military bases here in the U.S. and overseas. Since this is a federal government position it takes some time to get processed into the system, so I am unable to be on any government computer until they receive their documentation. Though I am unable to do that, I am able to professionally communicate and ask questions about the work they are currently producing, which has ultimately been very beneficial.

After many months of filling out applications and other processing documents I have learned that communication and connections with different types of people from different departments has been most helpful. Just this past week I met Shannon League, she has been very helpful in making sure I am able to start as soon as processing is complete and making sure I am getting and understanding everything that needs to be done. Lastly, Ms. League has been able to constantly call and update me on the processing and has been helpful in allowing me to know who and where I’ll be working within the firm. Opportunities at the U.S. Army Corps are just starting and I am looking forward to where this journey will take me in the future.

Week 2: A lot of Tile

For my second week at Scates Building with Theresa I stuck with her during the building of the house I mentioned in my first blog post. This week we started off picking out tile for the kitchen backsplash and for around the fireplace. To stick with the theme of the house we went to the same tile stores we had visited last week so everything is very cohesive. First, we went to Pro Source and decided on green standing pebbles

with white 6″ subway tiles in a chevron pattern for the kitchen backsplash and pewter grout (shown in picture including kitchen cabinet material and granite for the kitchen). We also decided to use the same green sanding pebbles around the fireplace as you can see in the picture below along with the luxury vinyl flooring (also received from Pro Source). We used Cold Springs Granite for the master bath and guest bath (picture also shown along with the cabinet colors), we are currently still deciding on the powder room.

It really helps out getting all of the materials from the same places throughout the entire house because I believe it makes the house very cohesive. Usually getting the same materials in the same places helps me personally because most of the time they have the same tones of colors making it easy to match each other. It can be hard to find the same color tones at other places.

I met more vendors and also went to the same ones as last week since we went to the same places. I love that these are helping out my communication skills because each time I’m talking to them I get more and more comfortable talking and explaining what the clients want.

During the design process I write a lot of detailed notes and sketch out what a few things will look like. I use my colored pencils to get the right shades. My love for residential design has already grown after just two weeks and can’t wait what the next 6 weeks have in store for me.

This is my first project so far during this internship and I’m loving it so far. This project is right up my alley because the house is already built, we’re basically just filling it with the right materials, not figuring out space planning. The next project I’m working on will be a lot of space planning and drawing along with using Revit.

Next week we’ll be looking at lighting for around the house and the cabinets started getting put up on Friday, so I am eager to see what they look like when they’re up and see how well the room is coming together!

Week 1-4: Four Week Summary

After four weeks at L2Partridge I have learned a lot from my first day till now.  I spent the majority of my first week learning how to navigate the materials library and going through a series of training sessions that were organized by the firm.  The first training session was focused on learning the basics of AutoCad Architecture and the firm standards.  I found it very interesting to learn how they organized their layers and how everything had its place.  I quickly learned to writing down everything. During the first few days I had a lot of information being thrown at me and there was no way that I would have remembered it all.  I also learned that it is best to write questions as you go along when completing a task.  Then once you have gone as far as you can then have a meeting with the head designer instead of asking questions as you go along.  This has helped me save time and also made me realize how this could be applied in an academic setting.  Having actual meeting about all of my questions as a whole has given me answers to questions that I didn’t even realize that I was missing.  This comes most into play when I am picking up redlines of plans for designers that often give me notes on a plan with not much information to go off of.  Another important aspect that I learned during my first week was tracking that time that I spent on each assignment.  At L2Partridge you have to bill every hour you work to a specific project or to the office.  For example, every week I am scheduled to work in the library for 5 hours and that gets billed to the firm.  When you keep track of how much time you spend on a project you learn how to prioritize tacks that you are given.  On an average day I will get around 4 tasks through out the day that range from ordering samples to picking up redlines.  I am surprised by how quickly I was able to learn the varies reps and the companies that they represented.  I was able to meet with Shaw, Mannington and Armstrong representatives when they were bringing new samples to the library.  I could tell that lots of the designers know the reps well and it was very cool to see the relationships that they have formed over the years.  Through these meeting I have also learned what kind of materials that L2Partridge leans towards and how the representatives knew this and focused on those products.  I am excited to see how I continue to grow while at L2Partridge and I go into work ready to face what ever tasks they put in front of me.  I have been very grateful that all of the designers at the firm seem willing to make time for me and give me on the job training as I go.  One of the most stressful things that I have been asked to do in my time at L2Partidge is to go survey two floors of a building where they are the head architect of the building.  This was something almost completely new to me and I was worried that I would not get all the right information.  One of project managers Amy sat down with me and walked me through the plan and how to use the existing mullions of the building do a lot of the measuring for me.

IMG_0215.jpg(Gathering space at L2Partridge)

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Week 1: Just Getting Started

I met my mentor, Theresa Scates, at 10am on my first day. I was nervous, but very excited to get started.  Since I’ve known the Scates family for some time it was nice to feel comfortable on my first day.  To be honest, I’m kind of shy when you first meet me so it was important for me to feel comfortable because if I’m comfortable with her then I can be comfortable when meeting the actual clients.

I met Theresa and the clients on site and was able to do a walkthrough with them.  Theresa took over so I could observe and take notes of what the clients want.  The house is still under construction, but had drywall so it was easy to get an idea of what they wanted.  It is a 4 bedroom home so we were there for about 2 and a half hours picking what type of paint colors, flooring, cabinets, placement of beds, office space, etc. for all of the rooms.  I usually go without breakfast everyday and am fine, but I definitely learned my first day to eat before work because by the time we were done with the walk through I was starving.

After the walkthrough, we decided to go to different places to get samples of products for the clients to see in the actual home.  I realized how important it was to gather multiple samples and to bring them back to the house and see if they all work together.  The clients leaned more towards grey and white with some mint and blush pink here and there, which sounds easy to match together, however; going to so many places and not seeing everything side by side at first created problems of not knowing if they’d go together.  The grey flooring could have too much blue in it, therefore it wouldn’t go with the cabinets, if we got too dark of grey carpet it started to get a blue or purple hue to it in the sunlight, etc.  We went to Ray Tramontin Company for the granite (ended up picking “delacatas” shown below), Pro Source for the floor and tub tile place (also shown below), Kitchen Concepts for the cabinets (picked out a white flat paneled cabinet for kitchen and butler pantry with a grey stain cabinet for the island and bathroom vanity also shown below) and knobs as well, and Sherwin Williams was used for paint (picked “functional grey”, “wallflower”, and “break time” for the main colors).  These places are scattered all around Lexington and we’re in each place for awhile.  In fact, we had to call Kitchen Concepts to stay open so we would have enough time.  We pretty much ran around all day, but I loved every second of it!

The next few days were more low-key.  We met with the painters at 10am on site for the second walkthrough to show them which walls and ceilings got painted certain colors.  The clients have some furniture to move into this house, but since it is bigger than what they had before they will need more furniture to fill it.  With that being said, we also visited a few furniture shops to get inspiration and show the clients.

I had already learned so much from the first week.  Key things I’ve learned so far include: eating before going to work, getting to the site earlier to make time for errands later in the day, picking multiple options for clients to choose from and letting them see it in their home, and really listening to your client and taking really good notes in order to pick out the best options for them.  It was easy for me to ask questions and talk to these clients in particular to build my communication skills because they knew what direction and style they wanted their house to go in, which made it easier to pinpoint what materials and finishes would go best.  I followed Theresa’s instinct, but she definitely allowed me to give input and say what I thought would look best, which is nice to know you’re getting real world experience.  I also got to talk to the reps of each place we went to and discuss products and interior design with them.  Networking at these places and actually knowing familiar faces will definitely help me in the future so I am excited about that.