Exclusive Interview: Ultimate Pirate Ship Bedroom Designer


Last week, people of all ages came into My Modern Met to marvel at a pirate ship bedroom that looked like it belonged at Disneyland. In fact, all you had to do was search Twitter to see what grown adults were saying. Miketruong honestly said, "I'm 23 and yes, I want this." Och_Annie humorously stated, "I love my parents less for not getting my this ultimate pirate ship bedroom. True story." And finally, ekcanoy exclaimed, "This crazy pirate ship bedroom makes the little kid in me have a tantrum. 'I want one! I want one! I want one!'"

More than just an incredible design, the ultimate pirate ship bedroom was the culmination of a father's dream. As the designer Steve Kuhl tells us, "Our client grew up as a repressed type-A child and never really lived the childhood he dreamed of. He had to help support the family from a young age. When he became a father one of his goals was to give his son, Zach, a childhood full of play and adventure. He approached me about designing something special. I conceptualized a few different ideas including a space ship and a race car. Ultimately, the pirate ship ruled the day."

We were able to ask Kuhl a few more questions and he was also gracious enough to share more behind-the-scenes photos including some rough sketch drawings. See it all, below.




How difficult was the process and how long did it take?
The process of designing and building the ship was not unlike many of the challenges we face in our 'normal' line of business; residential remodeling.There was a dream and there was a budget. A good design/build firm works to reconcile the two in the most eloquent way possible. Our in-house designers sought the advice of our carpenters in terms of the structural details. Our carpenters trusted our designers to conjure something challenging. At the end of the day it took about two weeks to design and about four weeks to construct.

What are your primary objectives when creating a room like this?
Our primary objectives are stated above. They are quite simply to get the most project as possible for our clients budget.This is achieved through developing what we hope are smart designs and then subjecting those designs to the scrutiny of the tradesmen that have the talent to make them a reality. This is often a humbling experience for all involved. After putting the designs through the paces (estimating, feasibility studies, value engineering) we present them to the client for approval.




What type of response did you get from the six-year-old kid and his parents?
The response from the six year old was predictably awesome and sincere. Really there aren't many moments in my career where I have seen such glee from a client. Less predictable was the response of the parents, the parents' friends and neighbors (adults). When they entertain the adults invariably end up locking someone in the jail cell or climbing around the ship little a little kid. To me that is fantastic. Architecture should inspire joy in all forms. It's easy to forget how much our built environments affect us. The pirate ship helps people remember.

Kuhl Design Build website

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Tags: Bedroom, Exclusive, Interview:, Pirate, Ship, Ultimate, art, design

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Comment by Alyssa Anda on March 8, 2011 at 2:40pm
I honestly think this is my dream room! :) Steve, you did a fantastic job! You should feel proud :)
Comment by sAm on March 8, 2011 at 10:31am
Such an amazingly well executed plan. Well done!
Comment by Eugene on March 8, 2011 at 9:30am
I love some of the quotes. So funny.

This room has to be one of the coolest ever. Great job, Steve!
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