A Specification Manual, or “Spec Book”, as it’s commonly called, is a document that details the various products, construction materials, designs, and methods that will be used in a project development.
At Carmona Design, we offer a complete approach to spec book creation – from the overall sense and style of the space, through every details of its intended use, to the exact materials and quantities to be purchased. This approach ensures that all aspects are covered, and no detail is left overlooked.
Tammy Carmona’s design experience is an invaluable addition to any development project. Her credentials include: winning the prestigious “Tulip & Pansies” design competition 3 years in a row; designing the entire wedding scene in the Hollywood blockbuster “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”; being chosen by Oprah Winfrey for the exclusive “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list; designing best-selling glassware & decor products for Disney Corporation; creating a custom line of dinnerware for celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay; and much more. Visit our “Press” page for more information.
Tammy’s design skills are bolstered by the Carmona Design team that includes 3D artists, construction and architecture consultants, marketers, and other professionals. Carmona Design is able to accommodate a huge variety of residential and commercial design projects, from single-family homes to large apartment buildings, office and retail spaces, healthcare facilities, and much more.
Why Spec Books?
Spec books are an important part of any major project. They provide a common ground between the architect’s vision of the building itself, the designer’s notion of the interiors, the builder’s timeframe and budget restrictions, and other factors.
Spec books can save time, money, and aggravation. By reviewing the intended use of each space, our design team comes up with the most logical, effective, and sensible ways to create a beautiful and unique environment – without resorting to extreme costs or extraordinary efforts.
What Does A Spec Book Include?
Spec books typically have several sections, each dealing with a different aspect or part of the project. Of course, every project is different, and the size, layout, and details of each book can vary widely, but they generally include:
- Table Of Contents
- Common Spaces
- Unit Layouts
- Individual Spaces (kitchens, bedrooms, etc)
- 3D Renders
- Shopping Lists
- Project Notes / Commentary
We don’t use a “one size fits all” approach – every one of our spec book projects is unique and “handcrafted”.
3D renderings are an important part of many development projects. Once our design team creates the visual environment, our 3D artists get to work turning it into “virtual reality”. We can create a virtually unlimited range of renders – interiors, exteriors, detailed close-ups, custom artwork & logos, and much more.
Our 3D team works with industry-standard solutions such as Revit, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Lumion, Blender, and ZBrush, to accommodate any use-case and level of detail.
So whether we’re making a custom shelving unit for an office, or considering how a modern house will look at night, there is nothing we can’t visualize.
Working closely with the architect and the builder team, our designers consider how the space should look and feel, what kind of people will be using it and how they will be using it.
We consider everything – the placement of appliances, the location of lighting fixtures, ADA and other code requirements to make sure the project will pass inspection, and much more.
We come up with unique, affordable and sensible solutions to a variety of challenges.
A luxury duplex condo with a kitchen on the main floor, and a staircase leading to the bedrooms. Most designers would simply leave the side of the stairs as a blank wall – but our design team came up with a beautiful and attractive use of the space.
Using the space under the stairs “cost nothing” in floorplan terms, but added several unique features sure to attract a potential buyer:
- A 12-bottle wine rack, spacious enough to handle oversized bottles.
- Above the wine rack, a discreet “liquor cabinet” or space to display a decorative object.
- Next to the wine rack, the triangular space is finished with the same material as the main countertop – creating a durable surface that can be used as a mini-bar or another work / display area.
- A cabinet with 4 extra-wide drawers visually extends the counter, and offers storage for even the biggest pans, racks, cutting boards, and other kitchen implements that can be hard to accommodate in the typical 12″-18″ drawers.
- Since the bottom triangle is less convenient for daily use – requires bending down – our idea was to use it as storage for the pet’s food & water bowls, which otherwise tend to get underfoot and stepped on.
Just a little “original thinking”, to generate more potential marketing & selling points.
Custom Lighting & Decor
Lighting is extremely important, and can be used not only to illuminate a space but to create a stunning visual statement.
In this multi-unit residential project, we designed a series of custom light/decor panels, built from commonly available materials.
The upper floor hallways had shorter ceilings than the ground floor, so we “bent” the light panels and made them wrap around to the ceiling. This saved the builder money on chandeliers, while visually “connecting” to the look of the ground-floor hallway. In addition, the wrap-around light minimized the perception of ceiling height and corners, making the hallway feel more spacious than it actually was.
One of the common issues with apartment buildings is under-illumination of hallways, which immediately makes residents feel claustrophobic. By creating an inexpensive but well-considered lighting solution, Carmona Design avoided both problems.
Custom Artwork / Logos / Signage
Not only do we design custom art & logos, but we also have relationships with excellent vendors and manufacturers who can turn these dreams into reality – with great prices and timeframes.
Our technical designers know how to create the exact specifications & blueprints that the manufacturer can use immediately, without any extra adjustments or expense.
Laser-cutting is an excellent way to add a unique and exciting touch to any space – artwork, company logo, building sign, and much more.
As a “one-stop shop”, Carmona Design can accommodate any custom artwork request.
Attention To Details
We don’t just “come up with ideas”. We provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for implementing them, complete with notes, dimensions, and materials.
Some projects feature dozens of different closet sizes – and we figure out the exact shelf & rod solutions for each size group.
Some projects need a little more decoration – we come up with wall art ideas that can be assembled on-site – and provide the exact cut-lines, dimensions, and paint colors.
No matter what part of your project we’re working on, we always deliver the most exact and complete instructions and specifications.
The fewer things are left to chance, the less time & money is wasted.
For a cost-conscious client with a “fix & flip” type project, we avoided the high cost of a custom staircase replacement, by finding and specifying off-the-shelf materials.
Our solution saved thousands of dollars, provided a consistent look throughout the project, and allowed for flexibility with on-site installation and adjustments.
Unlike many other designers, who merely throw in a general idea or a basic example, we provide a complete source for every material used in our project.
With a picture, the name & model, link to the website, and the relevant details, you can be sure that you’re buying the exact item that perfectly fits into the design.
We also calculate the quantities needed, and provide a price calculation, so you can instantly see that the materials fit the budget.
We also do comparison shopping and use our connections with suppliers to get the best price possible.
Our goal is not only to make a beautiful design, but to make sure it gets realized.