May
26

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams - Air VentWhy does it take so much time to design a commercial air diffuser? While commercial air diffusers maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature, humidity level and air circulation, in the case of a home fashion retailer, these necessary elements also need to be visually appealing, or as much as possible, fade from view.

The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ Natick location, a high-end home furnishings store for designers, combined branding elements, intentional design, and code requirements.  The team was challenged to meet requirements by designing a vent system that circulates comfortable air in this high ceilinged space while blending with the store’s aesthetic.

The solution required attention to detail and a close working relationship with the Mechanical Engineer.  We started with the overall store design: the Company’s corporate guidelines included niches framed by large-scale side jambs and overhead headers; often including a sofa, accessories and artwork, all accented by a painted wall.  We then determined the minimum venting requirements and scaled it up to align perfectly with the outer edges of the niche jambs. This included the precise spacing of the grilles so that the white fin is in perfect rhythm with the opening. The finished product is well-intended and high-functioning while preserving the familiar look and feel of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ in-store experience.

To learn more about our commercial design services, contact Leah at leah@slocumhalldesign.com or call us at 617.744.6399.

Feb
13

3-d images3D Modeling is a tool used by Architects and Designers as a fast and affordable way to represent a project accurately. For homeowners, it provides true-to-life images of their design that, until that point, could only be imagined.

When a design professional works on your new home, renovation or addition, typically, Plans and Elevations are provided telling you how big it is, and where and how it sits on your site. They are 2-dimensional, single line drawings that show the metrics of your project and provide some idea of how it will look. 3D modeling shows clients a more complete visual story; it’s a polished and interactive visual representation of the final product. Any changes or alternate views can be made easily to the 3D image.

There are many 3D modeling tools available. We like Google Sketch-Up. In the hands of a design professional, it gives our clients the opportunity to imagine what life will be like in their new space.

Contact Slocum Hall Design Group for more information and to discuss your project.

Oct
08

Modernizing century-old heating systems

Modernizing century-old heating systems

Our project on Bellevue Street, Newton was originally built in 1876 and substantially modified in 1895 to become the gilded age mansion it is today. For all intents and purposes the home was built with all the modern conveniences of that era. All the skylights and windows were fully operational to take advantage of its perch atop a hill. Heating a home of this size with high ceilings is certainly a challenge. But the behavior of heated air has never changed, thus the spaces were made comfortable for all seasons. The home is now being brought into this, its second full century, using modern heating and cooling systems seamlessly integrated into the structure of the home as to not impact its aesthetic value.

The home was originally heated with a gravity fed, steam system.  The convector boxes which were mounted under the floors of the Main Level Rooms provided heat to the formal spaces.  In an effort to preserve the pristine oak floors, original to the house, we have installed an under-mount radiant heating system to take the place of the less efficient convector units, maintaining the historic, brass grilles of the convector units as supply vents for the chilled air.  The bedrooms and bathrooms on the second and third floors that previously used the gravity fed steam system on a loop to radiators has been replaced with dual boiler units and a system of heated water that now circulates to the secondary bedrooms, which maintain their original radiators adorned with new soapstone tops.  All the newly renovated bathrooms on the upper floors as well as the Master Suite have been retrofitted with radiant floor heating to maximize thermal comfort.  The bigger challenge we were faced with was to provide chilled air to the nearly fourteen thousand square feet of finished space.

Ducted cooled air will be supplied to each room through discretely located ducts. The eave space of the third floor houses nine air handler units; these provide ducted air to spaces on the second floor of the house, while all the air handlers for the Main Level are located discretely throughout the Lower Level.  The previously unfinished basement has been converted into additional family living space; we removed the existing concrete slab of the basement and installed under-slab radiant heating, allowing for a reduction in the vertical chases through the historic home.

The large outdoor condenser unit for the homes air conditioning is cleverly tucked under a stone terrace and is hidden from view with period inspired ironwork that allows for optimum air flow.  Be sure your neighborhood power supply is appropriate for the system being specified.

Call or email us today for more information.

Aug
26

Communicating With Your ArchitectWhile many designers and architects can help realize the spatial and visual aspects of your dream home, renovation or addition, having skills in communication, including responsiveness, is key to a successful project. It is what makes the process run smoothly, provides peace of mind and leaves you with a positive memory of the experience – all because it is a project managed correctly.

Yes, communications do sometimes need to be managed. Clearly, at the outset of a project, establishing communication leads to effective decision making. The who, the when and the how become just as important as the what in the context of successful project management. Who should be the point of contact for all groups involved? There are often several additional stakeholders (ie. The home’s many occupants who should be copied on correspondence). How and when become important in regards to your schedule and the pace of the project. Time of day and frequency of communication can be more organic with the use of email, but perhaps you prefer to be contacted by phone or in person, this can all be managed easily once objectives and expectations are clearly stated from the beginning.

Having spent nearly 15 years in commercial Architecture with large-scale projects and corporate clients, I have learned the benefits of effective communication and its positive impact on successful projects. I bring to your project a broad knowledge and deep skill set that will add value to your project and to the process of designing your dream home.

Communication can begin with a phone call. Call or email us today.

Jul
15

Dressing RoomsIn recent years, we have seen the generously sized walk-in-closet, which was the standard in many high-end residential master bedrooms, morph into an entirely new kind of space. A simple 8×10 foot room equipped with shelves and double-tiered rods was previously sufficient for a couples’ clothing storage needs; those times have changed.

The closet of the new millennia is not just intended for the storage of clothing, it is used for so much more. It is a space for women to entertain their guests while artfully displaying their couture gowns, shoes and bags. Spaces generous enough to be a bedroom are outfitted with custom specie hardwood cabinetry and decorated to reflect the style of its occupant.

As the glamorous lives of Hollywood starlets are documented and beamed into our living rooms; their elevated standards of living have become the envy of many women; those not just for your clothes and shoes any longer.

Several of our current projects feature elaborate dressing rooms that perform an array of different functions; while all provide ample storage for clothing, shoes and accessories; some embody unique features custom-tailored to their users. Whether it is a wet bar for cocktail service, a built in espresso machine, a hair blow-out station, an elevated platform with a three-way mirror for dress fittings or a sitting area to entertain guests while preparing for an event; these spaces have become a hub of social activity.

Depending on personal style, these spaces can serve as an art gallery to showcase vintage Chanel or a signed pair of Louboutin’s, or a tranquil Zen-like escape from the hectic life of the modern woman. Either way, the Dressing Room has become the woman’s answer to the man-cave, only the 70” LED television with surround sound and automated chairs has been replaced with Recamier lounges, custom wardrobes and couture.

Looking for a modern day fem den?  Contact us at Slocum Hall Design Group

Jan
17

Getting Personal With Your Design Team

Getting Personal With Your Design Team

Before any plans are drawn for your renovation, addition or a new-build,      sharing your dream starts the process. From that point it only gets more personal.  Helping you realize your vision means understanding some of the intimate details of how you live your life day to day, on special occasions, what’s important to you, and what is not. An architect will be in areas of your home not often shared with people outside your immediate family to take detailed measurements, pictures and other documentation.  This full understanding contributes to an architect’s ability to lay out a space or series of spaces for a successful outcome.

Before you communicate your vision for the perfect bath or describe your family’s habit for eating at the coffee table, it’s important to feel comfortable with your design team.  Trust is crucial when selecting and working with an architect.  You want to be confident that your privacy will be respected and your wishes honored.  The best design teams have thoughtfully considered all of your expectations and even your apprehensions of being in the private spaces of your home to make your vision a reality.

Knowing you and your family’s life, spending time to understand your design aesthetic, and working with you to create functional spaces, are all part of what we do at Slocum Hall.  Get to know us better. After all, designing your home is best when we get personal.