'DESIGNER TALKS HOME' INTERVIEW SERIES: JASON BALL
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Tell us about your typical day (at work and at home).
I begin each day in my home office checking emails, and planning for the day's tasks and appointments for myself and my design assistant. I also spend time each morning checking design blogs and social networking websites to ensure I know what's going on in the design world. By being up-to-date on current design trends and themes, I can bring these ideas to my clients and make sure they also get access to the best the design world has to offer.
Later in the morning, I either head in to the design studio to specify materials or furniture, or work on concept renderings, or head out to meet with clients. While each day is unique, the one consistent aspect is that I get to do something I love each and every day. I hope this love of interior design translates to my client's experiences with the design process, and eventually to the finished rooms.
In your opinion, what are the key challenges in designing a residence (as compared to a commercial project)?
Most of the work my firm undertakes is residential remodeling-related interior design. The main challenge in any of these projects is the potential disruption to a family's home. Different than a commercial project or new construction, I'm dealing with people who continue to live in their home while the remodeling is underway.
The other key challenge with any interior design is to understand someone's design aesthetic and translate that into a finished room. Whether designing a kitchen or bathroom, with all the various hard surfaces, or the soft furnishings of a dining or living room, many people are unclear on exactly what they want their home to look They usually know what they like when they see it, but can have difficulty describing it. My responsibility as their designer is to develop a look that reflects the client's aesthetic and is the best version of that aesthetic as possible.
Tell us about your own home.
My wife and I live in a house built in 1908 in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. While this may not be an old house in some parts of the world, this is an older home in this city. We moved into the home in 1999 and immediately began restoring the home after some unsuccessful remodeling endeavors by previous owners. Twelve years later, our home is still a work in progress. Lately I've been working to incorporate more contemporary furnishings while maintaining the true vintage feeling of the architectural features. In one room, you might find a modern Italian side table, a contemporary sofa and a 100 year old Chinese storage chest.
As an architect/ designer, what do you think defines an inviting home?
This is a tough one to answer since the idea of "inviting" differs from person to person. I strive in each project to create an environment that is a perfect representation of their aesthetic. I want their guests to say it feels exactly like them, like they designed it themselves. That type of compliment means I've done my job perfectly.
In my own home, I've worked to create a home that's livable and comfortable. I want my guests to come in, kick their shoes off and sit down on the floor to romp with the dogs. It's all about creating a space that reflects the people who live there.