A weekly meeting with Clients on a residential project, this couple’s 4-story row house.
The wife, a thin brunette of about 45 and her ~ 30yo husband who I thought at first might be her tennis trainer, were 40 min late. She is wearing dark-grey sweats and a purple knit hat, there is dirt under her nails and on a large emerald ring; she speaks in a low, Bacall-sorta voice, slowly, letting the ends of her sentences fade out in the air. The husband resembles a “blond beast” of Aryan yore.
Wife: I have to leave at 2pm, so be concise. And before you start telling me what you’ve done I want to inspire you with my vision. I was not sleeping yesterday…I was dreaming of how beautiful my new house will be…I thought of stars…of palms..of my dressing room. We need to change that clothes rod – nobody needs that deep a closet.
Principal: We have talked about it 3 times and changed the layout 4. We agreed that last time’s change was the final. Let’s remind ourselves why it is the best solution (draws on tissue paper over the plan, explains several options)
W: but I just want it to be pretty! Promise me it will be pretty…
P: Er…sure. Let’s follow the agenda for today. So, 1st, let’s get your feedback on the tile choices for the bike room we found following your direction form last Tuesday; here’s Moroccan glazed tiles you so vividly described…
W, interrupting: I saw swirls! That’s what I saw in my vision yesterday. You need to change those trivial tiles to something swirly…like an eye of a hurricane…and the door must be changed from wrought iron to a glass..I sent you few google pictures…
P: Yes, I got your 5 emails at midnight. Which one of the 10 various doors you like most?
W: Fritzie, which one I liked most?
Husband, suddenly focused: The one like a wooden puzzle with glass peepholes. And don’t forget: I want a punching bag and a hoop hanging from the ceiling in the living room.
W: yes! Isn’t it pretty?
P, to a junior: please make a note of that. -Now, let’s return to agenda. The Japanese soaking tubs you wanted for your top floor bath are not really suitable: they are wood, round, and tall; besides, they will not fit into the door. We’ll need to build a platform and sunk it level, and then to build 2 steps so you can get into the tub. That will require reinforcing the structure with another steel beam…
W: but I want to see the pretty roofs when I am in the tub.Remember, nothing is prettier than a sunset when you feel you can float with the clouds from your waterlily leaf…
Architect: Can we talk about the doors some more? We discussed them the last time and by your instruction we found the perfect pattern for the iron grille; we got three quotes from reputable places, and feel certain..
Wife, interrupting: all doors should be like the one at the entrance! Some could be lower, some taller, some more artistic, you know…But all pretty! I so want them to be…So when people come for my parties they’ll all say Ah, aren’t the doors pretty here, darling – you know? …Get me some cold water. And now you know what I expect and I can’t stay a minute longer – it’s 2pm already. Fritzie?
The firm have done some commercial work in the past for woman’s father, a Very Rich Man, and now he hired us to renovate the property for his youngest daughter.
The work started 3 months ago. A team of 4 (!) people, including the principal of the firm, are involved in the design. The work is still in Design Development phase.
The Father is the one paying for it. He doesn’t like delays and exploded budget. He’s coming to the next week meeting.