footstep following

i was recently asked to work on a kitchen-- a beautiful kitchen in a gorgeous house-- in need of a gentle renovation.  my clients are creative and wonderful-- busy professionals who have very little time to address the kitchen issues by themselves.  the kitchen was renovated 24 years ago-- and was designed by a local designer whose work i very much admire.

here's the amazing part-- my clients handed me a folder with all the original notes from the 1988 renovation!  hand written and typed (pre-email!) notes back and forth between client and designer; progress reports from the designer-- hand-written notes on time taken to do different pieces of the job and what she charged for them;  invoices-- the paper trail of a major renovation.  i was an historian and an anthropologist long before i was a designer-- and these kinds of old documents excite me no end!

it is also amazing to see how this designer's work has developed.  in the plans for this kitchen (and in the photograph taken just as it was finished and also placed in the file!) i can see her signature style-- it is a very well planned, detail-oriented, sleek, contemporary kitchen.  she tends to use a lot of natural wood with a lot of black-- and both are present in this kitchen.  if i had not been told who designed this kitchen, i might not have guessed-- but once i knew, all the tell-tale signs of this designer's work were there.

now it is my job to respect the work she did, and to find ways to gently update and renovate to meet the needs of the current owners-- hopefully leaving a little bit of both our signatures when i am done.


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