the grease on the griddle is starting to sizzle

We met in meatspace with the architects late last Friday to yip and yarp about the revised plans (sorry: no digital copies this time…). We had been going back and forth digitally (which we like to do given our busy schedules and introverted tendencies), but some points in the process require face-to-face interactions. Since we are near the end of the design, this was one of those points.

We think the design phase has gone well and seemingly quick. Progress has had a weekly rhythm with squeals of glee with delivery of a new product, a couple days of mulling, vaguely detailed emails describing the mulls, and waiting a week or so for the next product. It’s been fun!

The meeting was somewhat sobering in that it was a this-is-it moment: We’re on the cusp of diving into construction drawings. It was good that the meeting happened on Friday afternoon (barking on evening): Being mullers, it gave us the weekend to mull the “finality” of the design. And we had a few things to mull, the main items being (1) the tree behind the garage (start your chainsaws!) and (2) lack of a covered spot for an outdoor grill (build into the house design or deal with it with the landscape?). Since the bride doesn’t want 8-foot tall ceilings in the kitchen (we’ve been spoiled with nothing less than 10 in our living-on-our-own lives), the architects need to find space for more risers in the stairwell. So we suggested that they add space for a built-in grill along one of the walls of the back entry (we grill a lot, so wethinks it may be warranted). That, in turn, gives more space for the risers, space (perhaps) for shelves in the stair nook (we’re thinking this could be the “library”; we need a place for all the architecture books I’ve been buying!), and (perhaps) more space in the pantry (which is now entered from the kitchen [thanks Devon!]). With the tree removed, the architects may optimize the placement of the garage with respect to the back of the house. Then there’s the question of color (more on that in a later post…).

You’ll notice (if you notice these sorts of things) that we haven’t had any [muffled grunts] during the design phase. That’s because there honestly hasn’t been any. The architects have been a pleasure to work with. Architect 2d has been quietly competent, and he (and the Usonian Expert) have not been driven by design dogma. Everything has been on the up-and-up, and design concerns have been addressed directly, either by changing the design or explaining why something is the way it is. Next up are some of the mods described above, a quick budget assessment (the dreaded budget assessment…), and then construction drawings. Yeehaw! We could be breaking ground in four months! Also, we need to find and talk to a landscape architect, someone who can De Stilj with the best of ‘em (suggestions?).

Check out the latest rendering of the house: It kicks the big butt!

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