In this first installment of "A Client Perspective" we speak to Eric, an LA-based creative director who has selected Neil Denari to design an addition to his family's home. This is not just a typical add-on, however; it is an extension of his "Family Brand".
Your decision to hire Neil Denari to design your home addition suggests that you have an appreciation for non-traditional, ultra-modern architecture. Can you explain how you selected your architect?
We found our architect Neil Denari because our middle kid wears glasses. And when your kid wears glasses, you have to buy several pairs and have them adjusted often.
This is why my family has spent a lot of time in L.A. Eyeworks @ 7386 Beverly Blvd. We all love that building. It's beautiful. It's witty. It's fun to look at, to walk into, to lounge inside of. (It also has a pink bathroom!)
LA Eyeworks, by Neil Denari
The first time I stepped into L.A. Eyeworks I thought: “Well, this is designed by a genius.” I especially loved how the building did so many tricks, so effortlessly, in such a small space. It also made me feel slightly drunk in spots... and very calm, throughout.
So when we were looking to remodel our 3-bedroom, mid-century modern home (where we've lived for the last sixteen years), I turned to the internet to search for an architect.
Figuring I had nothing to lose, I googled, found Neil's website and emailed him a big, sloppy, fan letter. It must've worked, because he responded. Soon after, we met, talked about the project, and discovered we had similar interests (a shared passion for “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” for example).
But the truth is: My family and I lucked out big time. Building an NMDA house is a life adventure, and a dream come true.
Please describe the concept of "Family Brand". How will the architecture respond to this concept?
I make my living as a creative director at an entertainment advertising agency. I'm always thinking about branding, product positioning, and creative solutions that stay “on message.” So I decided to apply a similar process to our home remodel (which I call The Happy New House).
Has the rest of your family become involved in the project?
The entire family is VERY involved in the project. In fact, NMDA treats the kids as co-clients. They've had regular meetings; confer on bedroom design choices; etc. Regrettably, though, my wife and I seem to be the only ones writing the checks.
As the owner of a rare Denari built project, you may find the occasional architecture fanatic hiding out in your bushes with a zoom lens. What will they get - the hose or a beer?
Building this house has proved to be a fantastic adventure (except for the check-writing part). We've already met many new, amazing people along the way. I'm confident we'll be meeting many more.
For more information about The Happy New House, or to follow the construction process go to The Happy New House website .