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Paramount Fine Foods began as a single Middle Eastern restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario and is now the fastest-growing Middle Eastern food chain in Canada. For its recent expansion into the United Kingdom, Paramount enlisted London-based interior design studio Temza along with its senior interior designer Julia Janosa. Using AutoCAD, Janosa and her team were able to complete the project in just three months.
Interior designer Julia Janosa is self-taught, and she learned AutoCAD outside of the classroom from videos produced by one of her university professors. “I learned the basics in under a month,” she recalls. And in less than four years since earning a BA in Interior Design at the University of the Arts London, Hungarian-born Janosa quickly progressed her career to currently managing the design department as a senior interior designer at Temza.
Janosa credits AutoCAD for her fast ascent. “AutoCAD is the common language of the building industry,” she says. “I learned so much just in the first year of professionally working with AutoCAD because I wanted to do things as fast and efficiently as possible.”
At Temza, Janosa’s responsibilities are broad–creating design concepts, sourcing materials, and overlooking the construction team–and AutoCAD allows her to do it all. “I use it for every project to coordinate between engineer, architect, planner, joiner, and all other trades. For me, it's a tool that minimizes mistakes and maximizes the flexibility of the design because it's so easy to create multiple options and amend them quickly.”
The speed gained from using AutoCAD proved to be essential to one of Janosa’s most ambitious commercial projects yet. Already the fastest-growing Middle Eastern food chain in Canada, Paramount Lebanese Kitchen, the quick service brand of Paramount’s different business concepts, needed to rebrand for its debut in the United Kingdom.
“The London market has a different design sensibility and taste,” Janosa says. “The restaurant is in a very central area of London in South Kensington, so it had to be something quite elegant to make an impression.”
In addition to the creative challenge, Janosa was also under a tight deadline with just three months to complete the design and fit-out phases of the project. “Because there was so little time, I skipped hand-drawn sketching and used AutoCAD to create initial drawings already to scale so we could get the drawing packages approved and sent to site faster,” she says.
All designs were not only presented to Paramount’s five-person project management team in London, but also had to be approved by the headquarters based in Ontario. With the five-hour time difference, using AutoCAD was all the more valuable to Janosa. “By using the Block tool to set up each object from the beginning, I could change everything all at the same time if there was a change, which helped review cycles move quickly."
For the open kitchen, the centerpiece of the space, Janosa worked with a manufacturer to make sure the final look and feel of the kitchen blended seamlessly into the design. “They provided us with detailed CAD drawings, so we could easily plot them into our own set of drawings and be sure that the measurements would work out perfectly,” she says.
Inheriting the first set of drawings from the planning architect while needing to coordinate with health and safety and building control officers, as well as a number of subcontractors, Janosa is grateful she uses AutoCAD. “For collaboration, it’s absolutely the best tool,” she says. “We would have the original copy, send them what they need, and they would then work on our AutoCAD drawings and send back what they needed–it was a smooth process.”
Janosa also managed design execution and client expectations for the opening of Paramount Lebanese Kitchen. Providing an accurate design visualization of every detail was critical for stakeholders. “Using AutoCAD to specify the furniture down to the fittings, I can have all the elements in the space drawn up in scale. It was very easy to show the client what the final outcome would look like,” she says.
For interior designers who may be hesitating to attempt learning AutoCAD, Janosa draws from her own experience to share some advice. “Once you get the basics down, it's not that complicated,” she says. “Don't put it off because it is easy to learn, and you get better as you use it more.”
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