2 weeks and counting…..


My Belleville client can’t sleep at night in anticipation…….

His move in date is within two weeks, and the last of the interior details are nearly complete.  Here are a few progress photos from last week.  The metal spiral stair is in place and has proven to be a real show piece!



It’s Worth The Drive To Belleville


It’s Monday, and I have a cold.  I’m writing this post from under my duvet where I intend to stay for most of the day.  The art rental I’ve coordinated is installing all day tomorrow so I need to be tipity top by 9am!  No sense wasting prefectly good work hours when I have a laptop and wifi though!  You can start feeling a little sorry fo me now if you like……ok, on to the post.

In my previous post I mentioned the martini lounge I’m working on.  It’s on Main Street in downtown Belleville.  The landlord has a real love for the historic buildings that line the downtown streets, and takes his time to ensure they are restored and modernized properly.  We are in the early stages right now.  You can see from the photos that there is still a bit of the infrastructure itself to be completed before we can begin with our interior build-out. 

Over the next few weeks YDF will be working on Design Development and Project Set Up

Design Development includes a thorough site review and base drawing file update to ensure accuracy.  Once the Auto CAD file is up to date, we begin with some basic planning.  Allocate the area needed for the kitchen, washrooms, storage and circulation, then plan in the bars and surrounding lounge seating areas, transitional dance floor and hostess area for evenings.  There will also be an office and staff area to be planned on the second floor.

In tandemwith this initial planning, we wil be securing the mechanical and electrical engineers and any additional consultants required.

By mid to late January the team will all be in place and ready to have a sit down with the landlord to iron out who is responsible for what.  Questions like, “who is responsible for plumbing rough-in?”.  and “How does everyone define rough-in?” 

Sometimes the landlord presumes he will run supply and drainage and cap them in the locations you require.  This makes our portion of the build-out faster and cheaper.  Other landlords will simply bring the city supply from the street to one termination point and the tenant must do all the runs within their budget.  These types of questions need to be asked and answered within the lease to ensure there are no surprises or costs.  A simple miscommunication on a job like this could mean in excess of $20,000.00 on mechanical alone that comes out of the tenants pocket.  Not to mention the time these extras take.  

I’ve given you a basic plumbing scenario – but, there is the electrical supply, run and upgrade if required, appropriate fire separation from one floor to the next, HVAC (heating and cooling), building facade and signage, landscaping, permiting, approved work hours, does the landlord only allow union labour (yes this can and does happen!)  All of these represent hidden costs and time delays.

I can’t say it enough – hire a professional to manage this process!  The fee you pay them will save you time and money again and again.  Not to mention stress…..

Well, now that I’ve ranted about all the potential issues…..let me show you some pretty pictures.  These are of the yet to be named lounge, and give you a sampling of what a stunning raw space I get to work with. 

The perimeter walls are the original limestone.  The rear of the main floor lounge will be a wall of glazed doors, opening to the patio.  The patio is partially covered by the overhanging second floor above, and extends to the boardwalk at the water.  Honestly, I could put one long table with some white linens and candles and this would be one of the most beautiful spaces I’ve seen.  Of course they expect it to be a bit more finished….clients can be so demanding.

I’ve begun collecting images of inspiration spaces and potential furniture and finishes.  I can’t wait to share a bit – but the client hasn’t seen anything yet, so I best let them see before all of you….  




How does Your Designer Friend fill her days…these days

I continue to work on the site completion daily.  I’m admittedly overwhelmed at just how much time is involved in the backend setup.  I’ve had my suppliers for months now, but never imagined that would be the easy part of this process!

The site structure is complete and has been for quite a while.  The site designer is completing the launch page and a few more specialized pages for uploading information to me and such.  As this project has evolved there have been many late night ideas and 2 am note pad scribbles.  The site will be launched in the next 3 weeks, however what is to come over the next year will be pretty remarkable.  The main problem I have right now is too many ideas and not enough time.  Not a bad position to be in and from where I sit nothing but an optimistic future ahead!

I had intended on focusing on the site alone until it’s up and running, however when the phone is ringing and people need a Designer Friend, I must oblidge…

Here is YDF’s Current Project Lineup

Martini Lounge – Belleville, ON     Complete Design and Project Management for an upscale martini lounge.  To meet the needs of Prince Edward County and Belleville’s demand for an urban, chic retreat, this water front lounge in historic downtown Belleville will be opening May 2009.

Park Hyatt Hotel – Toronto, ON   The Park Hyatt is currently completing renovations and leasing improvements in their commercial tower. 

Loft Kitchen – Toronto, ON    A complete kitchen renovation and redesign in a converted residential loft in downtown Toronto

Loft Design – Toronto, ON   Design consultation, finish selection, lighting and furniture coordination in a stunning 3 level downtown residential loft conversion.

Kitchen Design + Design Consultation – Belleville, ON   A complete kitchen design, lighting and finish consultation for a new construction home.

Union Restaurant – Toronto, ON Construction and Design consulting services for an opening soon restaurant on Ossington Street

Corporate Art Consultation – Toronto, ON   Art selection, coordination and installation for a complete corporate rental program in a 2 floor 20,000 sq ft office

Check back over the next few weeks for project photos and progress.

Visit   www.designerfriend.ca   January 2009 for all of your design needs!


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