"I'll pay you $100 bucks to get rid of this." Steve said, pointing at a sofa in the hallway outside my front door. I was just home from work and covered in drywall detritus. I found out later that Steve was a self made millionaire - started by selling cold cuts to mom and pop stores in Boyle Heights. Now the owner of the apartment building were I was living, next to the beach in Venice CA, and he needed my help. That's how this project simply started one evening in L.A..
Demolishing that one couch, which a tenant had left behind for him, led me to a plethora of unique opportunities. Steve liked the fact that I did what I said I was going to do. That was his main thing. His credo. He'd say, "Do what you said you're going to do and your life will change." Over and over. He became my mentor after I disappeared that piece of furniture for him.
"I need a deck built at my place. Can you do it?" was his next query and request soon there after. I said, "Absolutely! What kind of budget do I have to work with?" I never did get a direct answer. Instead I was grilled for an hour on a side street in Venice in his customized Mercedes. Then driven to a greasy spoon for lunch and interrogated for two more hours. It turned out to be a type of interview of sorts. Steve was an (Erhard Seminars Training) EST program graduate and - in retrospect - the attempted breaking down of my ego was how he did business. Eventually I was given carte blanche for the design of 'The Desk' after obviously passing the test.
What Steve probably didn't realize at the time was that I was fresh out of the Army from a particularly harsh and physiologically demanding tour of duty and any brain "enlightening" techniques gleaned from a quasi-spiritual leader paled in comparison to what I had already been through in basic training alone no less. Notwithstanding, I knew I was a good designer, I knew that I could build and this became a phenomenal opportunity. The next day I took measurements and started deigning and figuring.
Bare in mind that I was trying to keep costs down but with Steve it was always, "I like that, can you do some special lighting?..." and, "by the way, I have a sauna that I want installed. It needs to be fixed too.", and "I want a barbecue with a sink. With hot water. Can you do that?"
"Oh, yes I can!" I would exclaim with confidence and unbridled enthusiasm. And indeed, I delivered!
This little project lasted three months, ten weeks longer than what I had initially planned for. But it was spectacular when finally completed. I did all the work except for the bending of the neon tubes that I took so much care in designing and which were so very wrong when (name withheld out of courtesy but every body knows who he is) finally delivered them two weeks late. But you've got to roll with it, n'est pas?
The location is atop a three story condo in Marina Del Rey CA, a block from the beach. Ergo, the thematic water elements in the design.