Project Modern Oak - Site Visits

Recently, I was asked what my perfect work day scenario would look like if I could completely pick and choose. That was a tough question - truth is, there’s not much I would change from my day-to-day work, except being able to manage my work load so clients don’t have to wait as long.

But other than that, the whole mix of time spent in the studio, project meetings, site visits, days spent along side clients, and collaboration with design assistance, and other design professionals, completely fuels me - and makes me excited about each new day. 

Isn’t there some sort of saying about finding your passion, and when you do, you’ll never have to work another day in your life? Well - I found mine! Even after all these years, I never tire of the work.

So what does all this passion chatter have to do with Project Modern Oak? Nothing really, but then everything. I’ll explain -  during the construction phase of design projects, I’m often on the job site for project meetings with clients, contractors and subs. And when I’m there I’m like an excited school girl. It is tremendously rewarding to see a project go from being on paper, to actually being built.


What exactly is my role while I’m on job sites? Essentially I’m there to help with decision making, and problem solving for areas that are best decided in the actual built space.

For instance, with this project it took more stain samples than I even care to admit before we got the cabinet stain just right. The color we were after was something similar to the natural rift-sawn oak that the cabinets were made of. We just needed a stain to enhance the grain, and a clear coat to protect the wood. It turned out to be a beast of a task, but in the end all the samples and patience of both the contractor and painter paid off.

The exterior paint color, though much faster than the cabinet stain color also took some finagling, but once again, the extra effort was worth it in the end.

The wall and ceiling colors were a different story. We nailed that on the first try! SW Accessible Beige at 50% , for the walls and BM Simply White, on the ceilings for the win.

Other areas of problem solving for this project had to do with the orientation of the wood flooring and how to transition the direction with the angles in the house. Same thing was true for the bathroom tiles.

And the list goes on.



There’s a lot I could say about job site visits. I actually love them, but they aren’t always the easiest situation. Sometimes emotions are high - most often its blazing hot, or freezing cold.

Everyone’s goal is to move the project along, and to get their scope of the work done, so they can move on to the next project. So how do I manage myself in those situations? Here’s what I found works best.

  • Stay in my own lane, and by that I mean to stay within my scope of expertise. For instance, I’m not an expert in plumbing. No matter how badly I want something to happen from a design point of view, in the end the plumber makes the call.

  • Listen more than I talk.

  • Be a team player.

  • Recognize and commend those who are working so hard to bring the vision to life.

  • Be a problem solver.

  • Advocate for the clients. They are who I’m working for.

  • Make myself valuable.

Whatever your role, or position is when it comes to construction projects, I wish you the best!

To see more about this project you can go here & here.



Photo Credit: Jaylene Crosby