Improve your remodel experience with Houzz

 

HOW HOUZZ CAN IMPROVE YOUR REMODEL EXPERIENCE

Houzz logoI’ll just come out and say it. Yes indeedy, Houzz is yet another niche social media site competing for your attention amidst the din of a sometimes annoyingly-saturated market.

But Houzz is different. I promise it’s worth your time, because it can actually improve your design, build, or remodel experience.

At its core, Houzz is a visual online community giving members pretty much everything they need to improve their homes. Featuring luscious interior and exterior home photos, articles written by industry professionals, and an active and helpful user forum, Houzz provides design inspiration, project advice, product information, and professional reviews, all set in a beautiful, easy-to-use format. You can use Houzz on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.  And it’s FREE!

Houzz is so useful, I encourage all my new clients to create an account, or in the world of Houzz, an ‘Ideabook,’ to help guide me in working on their project. Here’s why: without quality visual aids, there are common key junctures in a design process where the communication between you and your service provider can become… shall we say… a bit murky.

But by using 3D renderings, made even more precise by effective use of Houzz’s resources, you can transform the process of planning your building or remodeling project into an enjoyable and exciting activity that saves you money… money that you can then invest in better quality products and design, not waste because of miscommunication.

Let’s explore the value of Houzz.

What EXACTLY is French provincial, anyhow?

photo of French chateau

Was this what you meant by “French provincial”?

Let’s say, for example, you want a style to be “warm contemporary,” “lakeside cottage,” or “French provincial.”  While each of these descriptions suggests a particular look, there is lots of interpretive wiggle room. You can try to describe colors, provide intricate descriptions of pattern and textile preferences, and explain the type of flooring that you find attractive. But without specific visual examples, all these verbal descriptions will go through the subjective human filter of your designer or decorator. He or she, in turn, may present you with a collection of fabric swatches, floor samples, and colors derived from your descriptions, all prettily arranged together.  Looking attractive on a board is one thing, but will you like how these elements look when they are installed into your real life space?

Houzz gives you concrete visual examples. You can pick and choose pictures of specific elements, fabrics, textures, color schemes, and group them together any way you want, adding notes about what you do and don’t like in each image. Then when you give these elements to me, I can use them to put together an entire room so you can see how everything will look before it’s contracted and built.

Discover Something You Didn’t Even Know Was Possible

How would you feel if you discovered something really cool after your remodel project wrapped up? Don’t be a victim of lost opportunity. With more than 1,500,000 product ratings by industry professionals, Houzz is a grand central station to ideas, concepts, and possibilities that you may not even know existed. With Houzz, you can be a visionary and creatively play with design without big worries about cost. If you want to see how a product, design idea, or creative solution would look in your project, simply find it on Houzz, share it with me, and I’ll work it into your rendering. Of course another option is to fly to Las Vegas to browse the International Builder’s Show, but Houzz is a lot more practical for most people!

Research Your Service Providers

Anyone can use Houzz’s Find a Pro service to research a variety of design and remodel professionals in their area. Over 2 million professionals are listed, along with reviews and rankings from previous clients. For example, my professional profile can be seen here.

Best of Houzz 2014 badgeHouzz gives annual awards for professionals who excel. Castleview 3D recently earned The Best of Houzz 2014 for Service. This means Castleview 3D was rated at the highest level for client satisfaction by the Houzz community!

Have Fun

On Houzz, you’re in good company! As a member of the Houzz community you can ask questions and read input from interior and exterior design professionals and other community members (homeowners and design enthusiasts).

The best part is what you can do with the advice you receive. As a 3D renderer, I help my clients have fun by taking away the mystery and anxiety of a home remodel and replacing it with confidence, convenience, and discovery. Why not try out an entirely different color or style of furniture? You can see the results as they would actually appear in your home. You’ll never be left wondering “what if” again!

Houzz has proven to be a very valuable tool for my work with clients. But you don’t need a 3D renderer to get started on Houzz. Jump in!  Have fun!  You never know, perhaps you’ll find just the idea you need to spark a design change of your own!


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International Builders Show Spotlight

 

VEGAS, BABY!  THE 2014 INTERNATIONAL BUILDERS SHOW

Builders-Show-signThis year’s International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas wrapped up last week. Primarily targeting building industry professionals, IBS 2014 was co-located for the first time this year with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), offering a combined 1,700 exhibitors for an eye-popping, idea-expanding experience for more than 75,000 attendees from across the globe. The International Window Coverings Expo was also located on another floor of the same conference center.

Here’s why you care: with its hot trends, new products, and futuristic concepts, the IBS can give you fantastic insight and inspiration for your next project. This is true whether you’re a building industry professional (designers, architects, builders, 3D renderers, K&B professionals, etc.) or a regular person dreaming about what your current home space can accomplish… or how your next dream shelter will look and function.

Concepts Made Real

The New American Home is a concept home built especially for the show in a Las Vegas development. Reminiscent of the contemporary elevations so beautifully crafted in Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie home architectural style, the New American Home delivers a modern interpretation of the classic ranch, set in a contemporary style home with stunning desert view. Sleek lines softened with natural materials and a layout that seamlessly blends the indoors and out, this home boasts functionality and design meant for today’s multigenerational family and forward-thinking lifestyle.

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The New American Home 2014

What’s exceptionally buzz-worthy about the home is its commitment to sustainability, universal design (an elegant term for aging in place), and contemporary styling. Take a virtual tour by clicking here.

Hot New Trends & Products

International-Builders-Show-exhibitor-floorWhere to begin? With 1,700 exhibitors and numerous educational sessions, new trends and products were evident everywhere. Businesses of all sorts love to do mashups of their favorites so I thought I’d share a few with you:

  • Let’s start with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) — the host of the show — and their “best of” winners. Categories include the best products in home technology, kitchen and bath, indoor living, outdoor living, window & door, most innovative building, and their coveted “Best in Show.” Get details, winners, and manufacturer links by clicking here.
  • A sustainable product roundup from Green Building & Design Magazine gets excited over products ranging from reflective shingles to zero volatile organic compound (VOC) paint.
  • Here’s what impressed the LA Times.
  • A video from the Wall Street Journal highlights ribbon fireplaces, cabinets made of lighter colored metals, and an all-in-one range with seven (yes, seven!) components including a steam oven, convection oven, and warming drawer.

Products weren’t the only thing trending. There were dozens of educational sessions each day that ranged from feeding designers’ and homeowners’ dreams to down-to-earth practical advice for builders and contractors. Some of the sessions on my show planner included:

  • “Evoking Buyers’ Emotions through Home Design”
  • “Love Living in Your Kitchen”
  • “Design Trends for 2014 & Beyond”
  • “Survey Says: Home Trends & Buyer Preferences” (valuable information to keep home improvement investments in step with what’s marketable).
  • “High Performance by Design: 12 Design Tips to Transform Any House Plan”

Creating the Future

Dreamers, builders, designers, and imaginations of all shapes and sizes are welcome at the IBS. Sometimes, it’s neither practical nor possible to build a tangible, real-life, three-dimensional prototype of a product or design idea. This is where 3D renderings take center stage.  If you feed someone like myself the concept, I can create a true-to-life image so your concept comes to life.

I was especially looking forward to visiting one particular exhibit at IBS because one of my 3D renderings was being used as the booth backdrop. Well-known lighting experts Kichler Lighting wanted to show off the emotion, beauty, and ambiance their lighting fixtures and products could create in a home. But how could they demonstrate a house full of lighting style in an exhibit floor booth? Kichler’s solution was to have me create a detailed rendering of a home, cutaway to reveal the interior, showcasing Kichler Lighting both inside and out. They used the image, blown up to 8’ x 8’, as the backdrop for their booth. It was designed to capture attention and instantly help other design professionals visualize Kichler products in their own creative inspirations.

Cutaway house - 3D model and rendering created by CastleView 3D for Kichler Lighting.

Cutaway house – 3D model and rendering created by CastleView 3D for Kichler Lighting. (click for larger view)

Over the years, I’ve helped many other professionals and companies convey their ideas and products for commercial purposes using 3D renderings, including this concept created for a Seattle builder for a home show last year. The result is an innovative, eye-catching, and effective way to capture the attention of the businesses’ prospective customers.  As for the IBS, it was certainly exciting to know that this technology is being embraced as a way to visualize and create the future of tomorrow’s design.

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So, has this information about IBS helped whet your appetite for the show? Are we on for IBS 2015? Next year’s show will be in Las Vegas from January 20–22, 2015, and will once again be partnered with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. Show registration opens September 2, 2014. Let’s go to Vegas, baby!

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[NOTE:  Today's post was intended to be a review of my visit to the 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas.   Unfortunately, my trip was cancelled at the last minute due to weather-related difficulties.  This would have been my first visit to the IBS, so of course I'm disappointed that it didn't happen.  So instead I decided to highlight all the things I was looking forward to.  And now maybe you, like me, can start planning to attend next year's show.]


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3D Chocolate Printing

3D CHOCOLATE PRINTING HAS ARRIVED!

3D chocolate printing

3D chocolate printer — spell checker not included! Luckily you can just eat your mistakes.

Valentine’s Day and chocolate treats are practically synonymous with each other. And in the world of chocolate treats there is no greater master than Willy Wonka and his marvelous, magical chocolate factory. Who can forget dreaming (and drooling) over the possibilities of “Television-Chocolate” from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

“Just imagine… when I start using this across the country… you’ll be sitting at home watching television and suddenly a commercial will flash onto the screen and a voice will say, ‘Eat Wonka’s chocolates! They’re the best in the world! If you don’t believe us, try one for yourself—now!’

And you simply reach out and take one! But wait, you may be thinking, that’s all fine for make-believe. What about an actual, tangible creator of chocolate possibilities? My friend, you are in the right place. This blog is about life in the third dimension. Chocolate television has arrived.

OK, almost. Instead of a television screen, you use a computer screen. And instead of relying on someone else’s vision, you create your own designs on a computer and reproduce them physically in three dimensional form, entirely out of chocolate. Think of it as a practical application of 3D printing for chocolate lovers.

In 3D printing technology, a printer builds up successive layers of material to create a three dimensional form.  3D printing (or Additive Layer Manufacturing – ALM) describes a host of technologies that are used to fabricate physical objects directly from CAD data sources.  In 3D chocolate printing, chocolate is melted, tempered, and deposited in a 2D cross-section on a substrate, like a printer printing a 2D image onto paper. The substrate is then lowered by one layer’s thickness and the deposition process repeats. Layer-by-layer, a solid 3D chocolate product is formed, defined by the 3D computer design.

Led by the University of Exeter and funded as part of the Research Council UK Cross-Research Council Programme – Digital Economy, the chocolate 3D printer was conceived and constructed as an experiment to eventually let consumers both design their own product and select their own materials. Chocolate was chosen as a test material because it is relatively inexpensive, readily available, and non-hazardous.

However, chocolate is a fussy substance that demands precise heating and cooling temperatures. If the printer runs too hot, the chocolate will become dry and crumbly. Too cool and it won’t move through the printer into the three dimensional form.  But the researchers happily point out that there is little waste because mistakes are simply eaten!

keep-calm-and-eat-3d-chocolate

 

How can you get your taste buds on this 3D confection? Hershey’s is currently developing a way to bring it to consumers. 3D printed chocolate wedding cake topper selfies, anyone?  Perhaps a marriage proposal spelled out in chocolate? How about giving your sweetie a chocolate self-portrait for Valentine’s Day? (“Don’t bite my head off!”)

Here’s a quick video showing the UK-based manufacturer Choc Edge‘s chocolate printer in action.  The printers sell for £2,888 (about $4,750 US). So obviously chocolate printers are not for everybody yet, but maybe soon.

Here’s a link to more details and a video on the early development of the chocolate 3D printer.

As a 3D renderer and confirmed chocoholic, it’s fun to imagine the possibilities. Maybe I can give my clients a 3D chocolate rendering of the new home they’re building! Now that would be a sweet start to a project — or give new meaning to the phrase “sweetening the deal”!


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3D renderings from an architect?

IS IT REASONABLE TO EXPECT AN ARCHITECT TO PROVIDE COMPUTER RENDERINGS OF REMODEL IDEAS?

confused-image

Recently, I received an inquiry from a reader asking whether it was reasonable to expect architects to provide computer renderings of remodel ideas. My short answer is… yes and no.

Let’s walk through this important question from the perspectives of everyone involved.

The Client

When you’re the client, you are handing over large quantities of your money and time to an individual to perform a professional service for you: design a living space that fits your budget, your lifestyle, and your tastes. Let’s stop for a moment. Notice how the word “you” or “your” was used seven times in the preceding sentence. That’s because YOU are the single most important individual in this project. You are the paying customer.

A reputable architect will pride him or herself on meeting your needs. In order to best understand your vision, a good architect appreciates as much client input as possible. The more precise you can be in describing your lifestyle, tastes, and budget, the better an architect can design a space that meets your needs.

Once your architect develops a design for you, it’s up to them to make sure you thoroughly understand that vision. If you don’t, you must say so. Not everyone has spatial visualization skills and the ability to see a vision from a blueprint or CAD drawing. If a 3D rendering will help you better understand exactly what you can expect for your enormous investment, then it is absolutely reasonable to expect an architect to help you secure a 3D computer rendering of the remodel ideas.  If they don’t provide this service themselves, they should at least be able to point you to someone who can provide it.

It is also reasonable to expect architects to work with 3D renderings that you obtain from a third party if they do not provide the rendering as a part of their own service.

The Architect

To make sure I clearly understood the architects’ perspective on this issue, I asked for opinions in an architecture-related group on LinkedIn that I’m a member of. Answers were fairly polarized, and seemed to depend on whether the architect was using a 3D type of software like Chief Architect to create their plans versus using more traditional 2D CAD or hand-drawn plans.

One architect said, “With software that works in 3D, the 3D views are not a large cost to me. I am able to create most 3D visuals with the click of a button. These are not idealized renderings. They are enough to get the ideas across when 2D can’t. I can and do raise my base fee. I market this as my advanced approach to doing business. And since it is included, I am not as quickly seen by clients as ‘nickel and diming’ them for every little thing (their words, not mine).”

Another designer commented, “I include 3D renderings in all my plans. I don’t see why you can’t. It tells the whole story of the project and basically it is already there for the most part. So why not include them!? As far as prints [blueprints and line elevations], I usually give 2-3 sets with my price and more at their expense.”

Others were open-minded about working with 3D renderings but didn’t feel any responsibility to provide them. This is an honest and fair position, as it is not yet standard practice for architects to use software that creates 3D renderings, so to provide them for clients means an additional cost in time, money, and scope for the architect. The legal interpretation of today’s reasonable ‘Standard of Care’ for architects does not require the use of 3D.

However, 3D technology will continue to have an effect on the architectural industry’s definition of a reasonable ‘standard of care’ for architects when working with clients. As more clients request 3D renderings and gravitate to those architects who do provide them, I believe that there will eventually be a paradigm shift in standard accepted practices. Remember, at one point blueprints and CAD drawings were not considered standard practice, but today all architects factor these into their general rates.  However, it is probably NOT reasonable at this point to expect to receive 3D renderings at no additional cost, since the architect or designer incurs extra costs for creating them.

The 3D Renderer

3D renderings are excellent tools for communicating ideas, as well as a smart project cost containment strategy for both clients and architects. Until the accepted paradigm makes providing 3D renderings a standard architectural practice, clients will often need to take the initiative to ask for them. If you don’t see it spelled out in your contract, the safest bet is to assume it is NOT part of the package the architect is offering.

But if your architect doesn’t do 3D, that doesn’t mean you need to go without renderings! Ask your architect if he or she would consider contracting these out, or ask for recommendations so you can find and work directly with a specialized 3D rendering service provider yourself.  A good 3D renderer should be able to create a 3D model and high-quality renderings from the standard plans or blueprints prepared by any architect.

If the price your architect quotes you for providing 3D renderings seems prohibitively high, even for such a valuable service, you are certainly free to shop around for a better price.  Just remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for.”  As with so many things, the cheapest price isn’t usually the best choice.

blindfold-guyIn my experience, many clients swear that their investment in obtaining 3D renderings is the best money they spent on the whole project, in terms of time and money saved and headaches averted. I’ve never heard anyone say,

“3D renderings? Oh, no thanks—I prefer to be completely surprised when I’m spending thousands of dollars!”

IN SUMMARY

Remember, a good architect will want to create a positive experience with you. Don’t hesitate to ask about 3D renderings. Your architect will appreciate you being up front with your concerns so that he or she can address them before you move too deeply into a project. This clear communication is a recipe for peace-of-mind and a successful outcome for everyone.


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Three apps for choosing paint colors

Have you ever tried a new color in your home that looked enticing on the palette card but not so great on your walls? Or maybe you’re nervous about straying away from white because you don’t want to risk an eye-catching color that isn’t what you thought?

Help is here! Read on to enjoy the fun and convenience of bringing the perfect color into your home.

The Power of Color

From seasons to food and from places to moods, almost everything evokes a color. Think of winter’s creamy neutrals or sharp icy blues. What about a vibrant sunset on the beach, the rich greens of a forest canopy, or the jeweled colors of summer’s fruits and vegetables?  Colors can rev you up, calm you down, or offer comfort. They heat things up and cool them down.

Given color’s power over our psyche, it’s no surprise that one of the most common pieces of advice for decorating and design is adding a new coat of paint.

It’s easy to be inspired to change your space by changing the color… easy, that is, until you’re standing in the home improvement store faced with a massive wall of tantalizing paint color chips.

Fortunately, technology in the form of easy-to-use apps lends a helping hand in choosing paint colors and deciding which color combinations are right for you and your space.

Here are three apps that I find promising.  All free, these apps are an easy way to find inspiration for your home and have fun with your decorating.

1.  Benjamin Moore Color Capture App

choosing-paint-colors-BM-colorcaptureapp
True to its name, this app lets you capture your inspiration with your smart phone and then match it to one of Benjamin Moore’s collection of more than 3,500 paint colors. Found your dream kitchen color on an orchid while visiting the botanical gardens? No problem. Snap a picture and the app will match it for you. You can share the color with your social network, save pictures and their coordinating colors, and access a full color spectrum wheel. The app is available for iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Download the app and learn more here.

2.   Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap

choosing-paint-colors-sw-colorsnap-app
Sherwin-Williams offers its own version of a color matching app. As you would expect, this one matches your image’s color palette to one of 1,500 of SW’s own paint colors. This app allows you to fine tune and play with saturation, hue, and lightness features. You can also dig up detailed color information such as the RGB and LRV values. This app works on iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. Download and learn more here.

 3.   My Color Guide by Google

choosing-paint-colors-My-Color-Guide
My Color Guide was made with designers in mind. Similar to Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, My Color Guide will match an image taken with your smart phone to one of thousands of available colors. You can create custom palettes and share them with friends and family over email. This one also gives you the RGB values and hexadecimal numbers for precise matching. Download and learn more here. 

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As a 3D rendering professional, it’s great to know that a client can take a picture of their perfect color inspiration and share it with me or use it to specify an exact shade of paint, instead of leaving me guessing about what they had in mind.  Color-picker apps like these, combined with Houzz ideabooks and Pinterest boards (as explained in this post, written shortly before Pinterest hit the big-time), are great ways for people to communicate their design ideas.  This way, we can fine-tune their design in 3D renderings before they invest a dime in materials or contractor fees.

Have you tried any of these apps for choosing paint colors?  Are there any other great mobile apps that you use for home design or decor?


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A fun, creative kitchen remodel

HOW A STRESSFUL KITCHEN REMODEL BECAME CREATIVE AND FUN

Major kitchen overhauls represent a huge investment of time, energy, and trust. Think about it — after carefully poring over and painstakingly selecting paint colors, cupboard styles, flooring options, fixtures, appliances, floor plan layouts, window treatments, etc., you have to trust that your contractors will deliver something that meets your vision.

Sounds stressful, doesn’t it? But there is a way to improve the trust with your contractors and service providers… and consequently free up your energy for a fun, creative kitchen remodel. Recently, a friendly couple discovered first-hand how they could renew their trust in their service providers and embrace the fun in their remodeling project.

A Little Background

When the couple first contacted me, they were in the process of planning a major kitchen overhaul.  They had plans and elevations drawn up by a reputable kitchen designer. But they were getting frustrated  because they just couldn’t visualize the end result from those black-and-white CAD drawings. Luckily, as they were looking through an issue of DesignNY magazine, they saw the write-up about CastleView 3D.  

They sent me a message.

“We are planning a remodel and having difficulty with our plans. The folks doing the kitchen have very limited imaging software and we are having difficulty communicating our wishes. Can you help?”

Why, yes!  Yes, I can help!

Since the couple only lived about 40 minutes away, I got in my car and paid a visit to their home (a rare treat for someone who works virtually with people all over the country).  We talked about what they wanted, I took some photos, and they gave me copies of the plans and elevations prepared by their kitchen designer.

More than a Kitchen

As we chatted, it quickly became obvious that they weren’t just remodeling their kitchen — they were actually redesigning the entire main living area of their home. The home had undergone some quirky remodeling before they purchased it.  The kitchen was enclosed by partial walls within a great room with a vaulted ceiling (see photos).  There was an awkward spiral staircase directly inside the main entry which they were planning to replace. They also wanted to give the fireplace wall a makeover by eliminating the stone facing, adding a hearth, and incorporating a Kozy Heat gas fireplace.

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Photo of partially enclosed kitchen area within great room

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Photo of partially enclosed kitchen area looking towards front entry

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Photo of awkward spiral staircase and landing.

The Innovative Vision

This couple loves to cook and entertain.  Their plan was to remove the partial walls surrounding the kitchen and extend the kitchen area across the whole back side of the great room, allowing them to use the entire space to socialize and interact with their guests.  A large center island would be added, as well as cabinet/work areas at each end. They had decided on painted black and white cabinets with custom-made concrete countertops.  The center island was to include a bar-height counter in the general shape of the Nike® “swoosh” logo, with the front covered in sheet metal with rivets. As a final playful touch, they wanted to incorporate a custom bubble tile mural from Mercury Mosaics on the back wall above the stove (similar to this one, inspired by the work of artist Gustav Klimt).

The overall effect was innovative and modern yet filled with creativity and fun!

Using their plans, elevations, and ideas for materials, finishes, appliances, lighting, and decor, I created a detailed 3D model of the space.  Then we worked together through several draft versions to arrive at these final renderings of their new kitchen design (click images to see full-size):

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3D rendering of kitchen remodel plans showing new center island, bubble tile backsplash, and new staircase

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3D rendering of kitchen remodel plans showing new fireplace wall and center island

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3D rendering of kitchen remodel plans showing counters, center island, and new stairs and landing

A WONDERFUL WORKING RELATIONSHIP

My clients were ecstatic to see their ideal kitchen come to life. Once they had a good understanding of the process, they really got into trying out different ideas and finish materials to see how they’d look and whether they would work out as they hoped.

After all, with detailed 3D renderings you are free to play with ideas without the risks of investing piles of time and money!

I received a lovely thank-you note at the completion of the project (as well as a really nice review on my Houzz profile):

I am so very pleased with these photos [renderings]. It has made my kitchen come alive! I will be using these religiously to get through the chaos of the remodel. Thank you so much!

These clients were great to work with because they really discovered the value of 3D renderings in helping them to achieve the exciting, fun kitchen of their dreams. In the end, they knew exactly what they wanted and were able to communicate that vision clearly to their contractors and service providers. It was a win for everyone!

Do you have remodeling plans you’d like to see come to life in 3D?  I’d love to hear from you.


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Another inspiration (#7)

INSPIRING RENDERINGS BY MUHAMMED TAHER

Here’s another entry from my “Inspirations” file.  Every so often, I see examples of amazing 3D renderings that I want to share because I find them so inspirational for my own rendering work.

I first saw today’s inspirational renderings on CGArchitect.com (an inspiring site in itself). What can I say about this rendering by Muhammad Taher, a freelance architect and architectural visualization artist in Alexandria, Egypt, except that it’s stunning and a true inspiration? There are so many things in this image to study and learn from — models, lighting, texturing, staging of the scene, camera settings and placement, and more.  For me, the only element in this rendering that doesn’t work quite as well as the rest is the bouquet of flowers.  Roses? A middle Eastern flower I’m unfamiliar with?  I’m not sure. But it definitely doesn’t spoil the overall effect.

"Master Bedroom" _renderings by Muhammad Taher

Inspirational “Master Bedroom” rendering by Muhammad Taher

Muhammed also does excellent exterior renderings, but I’m particularly partial to his interiors.  Here is another one of my favorites (but truthfully, there are so many, and all so excellent, that it’s hard to choose favorites):

"Moroccan Majlis"_renderings by Muhammad Taher

Inspirational “Moroccan Majlis” rendering by Muhammad Taher

This image of a luxurious sitting room in Doha, Qatar (see the whole series of renderings here), is full of wonderful details and impressive architecture.  Those windows must be 20 feet tall! Muhammed’s work is modeled in 3DS Max and rendered with VRay.

You can see more of Muhammed’s inspiring artistry on his website.  He also has a Facebook page showcasing his recent work.

Sometimes when I see work like this I get discouraged, doubting that I could ever achieve this level of technical and artistic expertise.  But then I remember that it’s always good to have something to aspire to. So I’ll continue to share things that motivate me to keep improving.


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