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Thank you for visiting my blog. I am a designer providing design, presentation, and documentation services in Southern California. My background is in interior design, and my work is mostly done utilizing CAD and modeling programs. Most of my clients are interior designers and architects. This blog is where I share my personal experience and opinions on work-related topics. This blog covers architecture, interior design, and some landscape design. I also draw inspiration from my life here in Southern California, my trips to Taiwan visiting my family, and Taiwanese and Japanese TV programs I watch. Please make yourself comfortable. Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. Thank you!

San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Tour – Day 1

After meeting everyone in the group at dinner the night before and a good night sleep, we officially started our excited tour.
I can only describe 38 years (1884 – 1922) of non-stopping construction as ‘crazy’! A humble farm house turned into a mansion of approximately 24,000 square feet of living space. As a trained draftsperson, being in the house was a little uncomfortable. There was no logic to the design. However, I enjoyed learning about history and witness the craftsmanship of a century ago. Back then, this house was ahead of its time with plumbing and electricity. The number 13 and the spider web motif were used throughout.

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Most of the people don’t know this charming little town was the State Capital of California for a short time. We spent some time at the capital building and learned a little bit about the history.

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Led by Paul Duchscherer, we were shown part of the printing process. This changed what I thought about wallpaper.

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Opened in 1915 and revamped by Phillippe Starck. The legendary Art Deco style Redwood Room is paneled with wood from a single redwood tree. Check out this blog article for some vintage images of the Redwood Room.

San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Tour with Eleanor Schrader

This 4th of July weekend, I joined the San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Architecture Tour organized and led by award-winning historian Eleanor Schrader. I became a fan of Eleanor’s since the first time I met her. (Read about my first tour with Eleanor HERE.) I was so happy that I could fit the San Jose / San Francisco in my schedule.
Over 4 nights and 4 days, we visited many landmarks and indulged in art, culture and history. San Francisco and the surrounding areas have so much to be explored. Upon returning home, I just had to do my own research on places we visited. I am working on separate articles to share my experience and photos.
Unexpectedly, the best part of the trip was the people. We all join the trip because of our interest in design and history.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group to travel with. Everyone was so inspiring and full of life. Over the four days together, we became good friends.
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Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park

On February 14, 2015, I visited Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright at Barnsdall Art Park as part of its celebration of reopening after years of restoration work. For one night only, the admission was waived and photographs were allowed.

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Just got in line.

It was 9 a.m. when I got there. It was a beautiful clear day! After waiting for a little over an hour, I made it to the entry.

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Getting closer.

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Almost there!

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Built between 1919 and 1921, Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project in Los Angeles commissioned by Aline Barnsdall.

The Dining Room was on the left immediately after the Entry. And the Kitchen is beyond the Dining Room.

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Hollyhock House

Dining Room

On the other side of the Entry is the Music Room.IMG_8564

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The hallway has low ceiling and opens to the Courtyard. IMG_8585IMG_8587

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The focal point of the Living Room is of course the fireplace. The custom carpet was interesting.

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I love books!

Hollyhock House

Library

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The Courtyard and the areas adjacent to it are my personal favorite.

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IMG_8562A few photos from the outside of the house.

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Visitors were only allowed in the common areas of the first floor. That was a little disappointing. The parts we were allowed to be in all have low ceilings. Not so comfortable. Maybe that’s the way to keep the line moving.

I am not crazy about the house. It is not my style, and I can feel it tries to control me. (No doubt Frank Lloyd Wright was a control freak.) I do appreciate the attention to details, and brilliant design ideas. It was still very inspiring to see how everything was well thought out.

If you are interested in visiting Hollyhock House yourself, please click HERE.

Click HERE for a photo tour of the entire house.

Hiring Your First Designer

MichelleChiang.design:

Great advice!

Originally posted on Alicia Friedmann Interior Design:

If you’ve never hired an interior designer, you probably have a few questions about how the entire process works. What do I need? Should I have an idea of everything that I want? Is my designer going to walk into my house and laugh at me?

Well, before you overwhelm yourself with questions, we’d like to help you out! We’ve compiled a list of the most important things to know going into an initial consultation with your interior designer. If you follow these tips, you’ll be ready for your designer to guide you through the steps of having the house of your dreams!

  • Know what you plan on using your space for: In every home, function is just important as form. You want to redo your living room but do you want to keep it a living room? Do you want to convert part of it into an office? Or…

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Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara

In late July, I joined other members from Conejo Association of Professional Interior Designers and visited Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara.

Madame Ganna Walska purchased the property in 1941 and spent the next 43 years creating Lotusland. She had her own ideas on each part of the gardens should be and was not afraid to go “outside the box”. There are surprises at every turn. We had only caught the end of the lotus blooming season. I think end of June would be the best time to see the lotus flowers. My favorite part was the Reflection Pool. It was a shallow kidney-shaped pool with beautiful abalone shells as the border.

Reservations are required for touring the gardens. Please visit the website for details.

Please visit my Facebook album for photos from the tour.