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  • Writer's pictureAlyce Lopez


Updated: Sep 1, 2023

We love the design process. There are so many details and each one is just as important as the other. But one of the most beautiful parts about design is collaboration! We love working with engineers, architects, general contractors and trades. Today we are introducing you to local architect group Good Times Creative Design (GTC Design). GTC is well known for their role in San Diego restaurant design including everyone's favorite steakhouse, Rare Society.

Photo courtesy GTC Design, captured by Haley Hill Photography

GTC worked on all 5 Rare Society locations. They completed the remodel of the flagship University Heights location in 2019. Since then GTC has led the tenant improvements and design for Rare Society - Solana Beach, Santa Barbara, Mill Creek, and San Clemente.

We sat down with Interior Coordinator, Amanda Shirk and Maxeen Gomez, Director of Operations at GTC Design to get some juicy details that we think will be helpful in tackling your next project!

What is the first step a homeowner should take when considering a home renovation? "The first step a homeowner should take when considering a home renovation is to carefully assess their needs and goals for the project. This includes evaluating what aspects of their home they would like to improve or change, whether it's updating outdated features, creating more functional spaces, or enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. Additionally, it can be beneficial to consult with professionals such as architects, interior designers, or contractors to gather expert advice and insights."

What is the primary role of an architect on a residential project? "Architects play a key role in residential projects, focusing on designing and overseeing the construction of functional and visually appealing homes that meet the client's expectations. The design team begins by creating a vision for the project, taking into consideration factors like the client's needs, existing site conditions, local building regulations, and budget. Detailed drawings, plans, and specifications are developed to guide the construction team. Architects collaborate with homeowners, contractors, engineers, and interior designers to ensure smooth progress and achieve project goals. They also ensure compliance with building codes and tackle technical challenges during construction."

Photo courtesy GTC Design, captured by Haley Hill Photography

What additional tasks and services does an architect provide in a residential setting? "Apart from designing and overseeing construction, residential architects offer a range of services to homeowners. These include developing concepts, analyzing sites, space planning, coordinating interior design, selecting materials, obtaining permits and approvals, managing budgets and schedules, and coordinating with contractors and subcontractors. Architects also ensure compliance with building codes and regulations."

What are the benefits to working with an interior designer? "Collaborating with an interior designer brings numerous advantages to a home project. Firstly, interior designers excel at creating harmonious and visually appealing spaces. With their expertise in color schemes, furniture arrangements, and finishes, they can significantly elevate the overall look and atmosphere of a home. They stay up-to-date with current design trends, materials, and products, ensuring that the space remains stylish and contemporary. Moreover, interior designers are skilled at optimizing room functionality and space planning, maximizing available space and creating efficient layouts. They often have established networks of trusted suppliers, vendors, and contractors, streamlining the selection and procurement of furnishings, fixtures, and other design elements. By overseeing the entire design process, from concept development to final implementation, interior designers save homeowners time and effort, resulting in a professionally designed and personalized home."

Photo courtesy GTC Design, captured by Haley Hill Photography

How does an architectural firm collaborate with an interior designer? "An architectural firm and interior designer collaborate closely throughout a project by aligning on the design concept, coordinating space planning and layout, selecting materials and finishes, maintaining open communication, and overseeing the construction and implementation of the design. This collaborative approach ensures a seamless integration of architectural and interior design elements, resulting in a cohesive and well-executed project."

How does an architect collaborate with other trades on a residential project? "Architects on a residential project collaborate with various trades to bring the design to fruition. They work alongside contractors and construction teams to ensure that the design is accurately implemented. Architects closely coordinate with structural engineers to guarantee the structural integrity of the project. They collaborate with electricians and plumbers to seamlessly integrate electrical and plumbing systems into the design. Throughout the process, architects maintain open communication, share detailed plans and specifications, and oversee the project's execution. This ensures that all trades work together harmoniously, translating the design vision into a reality."

Photo courtesy GTC Design, captured by Haley Hill Photography

GTC recently completed Rare Society in San Clemente and we are sharing the scoop!

"We are excited to share our design process for the Rare Society location in San Clemente. We combined the elegance of a traditional Las Vegas steakhouse with the relaxed atmosphere of a southern California beach town, we have created a harmonious space. Inspired by mid-century modern design, the decor features clean lines, organic shapes, and deep colors. We made sure that the attention to detail shines through custom light and millwork fixtures, while maintaining the brand's arched motifs, brass materials, and tin tiles. We are particularly proud of the all-gold Private Dining Room, offering a truly dazzling experience for special occasions, as well as the custom light fixture that is the centerpiece of the space. San Clemente embodies our commitment to crafting unique, sophisticated, and inviting spaces that honor both the brand's identity and the location's distinct character." -Amanda Shirk, Interior Coordinator.

Now, the question you're all wondering, what should we order on the menu?

Don't worry, we asked and here's the GTC scoop!

"The associate board (all wagyu cuts), wood-fired broccolini, miso glazed carrots, Parker house rolls, lamb lollipops, wood-grilled artichoke and the shrimp cocktail."

You can learn more about the team at GTC Design on their website. Project photos courtesy GTC Design, captured by Haley Hill Photography

If you're interested in remodeling your home, we would love to chat. You can book a complimentary discovery call here to learn more.

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