So by popular demand, here's an image of the kitchen that caused the ruckus I wrote about on 15 and 16 September. I think it's pretty mild, but to the eyes of my client, it was pushing so far into the realm of the avant-guard she could barely stand it.
The cabinet color:.
The lights are showing up really orange-y in this image. In life, they are an amber-y brown that plays against the wall tile nicely. Here they are:
The pendants are the Sasha II from Besa Lighting with an "Amber Cloud" shade.
This was by no means a bad kitchen or a bad job or anything I think is unattractive. It's a reasonably-priced job that I made look a lot more expensive through a couple of the tricks and tips I've learned over the years. Even so, it's not something that would make it into my brag file under ordinary circumstances.
Again, there's nothing wrong with it and I'm having an epiphany here. Hold on a minute. I see myself as a high-end designer and in a lot of ways I am. The work that ends up in the file I show prospects is from high five-figure (and more than a few six-figure) jobs. But now that I think about it, I haven't landed anything with a budget that high since the stock market crashed a year ago. The biggest job I have going right now has a budget of $60,000 that's going toward a major kitchen overhaul, a master bath and a significant reworking of the interior walls on the first floor of this house. Two years ago, that job would have had a budget twice what it is now and would have been a significantly more ambitious project.
But it's not two years ago and in this market at least, people are spending less money on home renovations. I'm thrilled for the work and the project I'm describing will most definitely make it into my brag file. But since the bulk of everything I've done for the last year has been more along the $28,000 renovation pictured at the beginning of this post, is my glamor job brag file spooking people? I wonder if I should show off my lower-budget jobs in these troubled times.
Seriously, what do you think? If you were a client interviewing designers, what would you want to see? Is an aspirational portfolio a turn off?