As president of Sunny- fields, Kitchen and Bath, Design Build, a division of Delbert Adams Construction Group, Brandon Jones knows about building and renovating houses. But the Yale MFA, trained as a painter and printmaker, speaks as knowledgeably about impressionism as he does about I-beams. His artistic aesthetic has proven to be a perfect complement to the design process over the last 14 years, giving as much or as little aid to clients as they want.
“Many of our clients have tremendous ability to identify a vision and communicate it. Others do not or simply don’t trust themselves when they begin. Our job is to discover the client’s sensibilities and build a vision around them,” he says.
Whether he’s leading the design or just offering an assist, Brandon’s eye makes all the difference.
WHAT OR WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE/INSPIRATION ON YOUR DESIGN STYLE?
Beginning in my early teens, I created paintings and sculpture and studied with artists. Painting and sculpture vocabulary finds its way into my
design discussions every day. Com- posing a canvas and creating an ar- chitectural space are similar endeav- ors. We identify the concept, we rough-in form, we find mass and color, and we work until we find a harmonious result.
IF SOMEONE IS STARTING WITH AN EMPTY LIVING ROOM, WHAT IS THE FIRST DESIGN ELEMENT YOU WOULD SUGGEST?
Great spaces are built for lifestyle, not vice-versa. Begin by putting peo- ple in the space. Soon enough you will begin to consider practicalities. The way you live in your home drives the concept before anything.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Finding the balance between the creative process and business-level demands is a challenge in our industry. Human creativity doesn’t always play nicely with deadlines and budgets. How- ever, we are responsible for navigat- ing fluently through design innovation, practical considerations, and finan- cial implications simultaneously.
BEST NEW TREND YOU HAVE OBSERVED LATELY?
Instead of turning to the fan deck for the color palette, people are inter-
ested in finding color through direct application of materials like zinc and raw steel, limestone and slate, plaster and leather. A key factor in this is an appreciation of the beauty that de- rives from the change of materials with use over time. We are entering a period when people are willing to lift demands for the “forever finish” and allow materials to “live.” As a sculptor at heart, I love this development.
We do projects from a few hundred dollars to multiple millions. The old joke is, no matter the size of the budget, it is never enough! The se- cret is to identify your budget at the beginning, share that with your de- sign professional, and create a plan with that budget in mind. It can be difficult for clients to speak to their budget before they get started with a design process, but everyone has an idea what they can (or want to) invest. The design and construction specialists are much better equipped to help you navigate through the process when the financial objec- tives are understood and shared by the whole team.
FENG SHUI — YES OR NO?
I am a big believer in the impact ob- jects and color have on psychology. You need go no further than our great art museums in Baltimore and Wash- ington, D.C. to see paintings, from Gauguin to Rothko, that show how color alone can influence our emo- tional response. Some of the writ- ings on Feng Shui can feel far reach- ing, but there are principles of it that play into our design and construction every day.
Sunnyfields Kitchen and Bath is located on Falls Road. To learn more about Sunnyfields, Kitchen and Bath, Design Build, a division of Delbert Adams Construction, please visit dacgllcom.
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