Principal - Cannon Frank A Design Corporation PC
Areas of Specialty
Cannon Frank mostly designs high-end, custom homes. However, our work includes several restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, office buildings and yachts. We have completed projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Cape Cod, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina and are currently working on a project in Ghana, Africa.
Designer Q&A with John
What is your design philosophy?
You can never redecorate too often!
What led you to this career?
I have always been very fond of architecture and design, so it was a natural move for me to study interior design. In my early years, Angelo Donghia and Arthur Elrod were my two favorite designers.
What has been your favorite project and why?
While I love most of my projects, I prefer those which make me grow and expand my own points of view. For that reason, I can only narrow it down to three. I really love doing different things and having new experiences and these three projects have allowed me to grow and absorb such experiences which now add to my repertoire.
1. A custom 11,000 square-foot log home in Michigan which was designed by my firm and fabricated by a log home fabricator, then finished off by a team of log artisans like no other craftsmen I have ever known.
2. An Italian villa in the western suburbs of Chicago, with a client who was so well informed, he drug me into his world of mythology and legends where we explored that world and brought much of his vision to light. Plus, he loved his collections which is always fun to experience.
3. A current project with a collection of wonderful mid- century antiques, contemporary classics, fine art, and classic and detailed architecture by Marvin Herman and Associates. This project challenged me to teach a client about fine furnishings, the world in which they were created and the artists who created them, all while attempting to design this residence. Rather than a traditional design plan, we designed this home around a collection of antiques and contemporary furnishings as we found and purchased those antiques and factored in their placement and their use.
Tell us about your most challenging project.
When a client can’t make up their mind or has to see every option on earth, they waste such precious time and the project takes on more of a hand-holding approach and stifles what the possibilities really could be. While it is critical they love what they are doing, it is only furniture for God’s sake, not life and death. It saddens me when this happens because clients take the joy out of discovering beautiful things.
What is your design process?
The very first thing I do is listen...to everything...especially during an interview and by the time that interview is over, I know what can and what cannot happen. The overall design is not known, but the outcome is.
From there we usually do our measures, photos, and notes, then proceed to the drawing of the existing floor plans, then develop our concept for the re-distribution of space, or furniture plans, elevations, and whatever is needed to get our viewpoint across to the client during the first presentation.
Once the plan is approved, we do a budget showing two prices: the lowest you can go and what we feel is the average price you will actually pay.
Then we do the scheme and start shopping. There are many steps to be taken depending on the size and complexity of each project, some take a matter of months, some several years, it simple depends on each client and their needs.