From being a child drawing with crayons, to present day as an architect, design has always captivated John O’Conner. One step inside the Cabbagetown offices of Basis Design Build, which John owns and operates, and it is clear he was meant to design.
While the projects Basis Design Build handle are very different in nature than the look of the office, the all white space celebrates design, showcases some of the building’s historic lines and as if a blank canvas itself, is the perfect space for design to take place.
Unlike other design firms, Basis Design Build, as the name states, designs and builds. Staff members Edward and Patrick assist John on the journey from concept to completion. Edward notes in school he learned design but not how to bridge and connect the creative ideas with the build stage. This side of the job is something he has learned from John. Today he helps manage the whole process working directly with trades (contractors, electricians etc) to get the job done.
Of course design is more than floor plans, electrical and plumbing, but also furniture and landscape, both of which Basis Design Build tackle as well. Work/meeting tables used on the ground floor of their offices are great examples.
Each table was designed for the peculiar shape of the room. The observant will note that their materials and lines compliment and play off of the lines of the historic building, while still managing to be clean and modern. By designing furniture and landscaping for clients, they ensure a cohesive environment in and around the entire space.
When asked what is the one big design mistake people make, John points to following trends in magazines, which is a big no-no. Instead, he says, when it comes to the bones, focus on timeless and classic design that will last for life. Leave the trend following for accessories you can easily change up.
In order for a project to be successful both John and Edward agree that the client has to want to be part of the team and to learn and be involved. The better the communication between client and design team, the better the outcome. John explains they work very closely with clients to ensure the design carefully reflects how the space will actually be used, not how it might be used. At the end of the day, the two parties often become lifelong friends.
One final note, no matter who you work with, John says ALWAYS get at least three quotes on anything and include as much detail in the quotes as possible.
To learn more about Basis Design Build, please visit their profile.
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