The Great Importance of Curb Appeal!

*Best of Houzz 2014!!!*

I have been voted *Best of Houzz 2014* for Client Satisfaction!  I am SO honored!

A press release is on its way!

The Alternative Architect

I never thought of myself as an ‘alternative architect’ until a dear friend recently referred to me as such.  It made me stop and think hard about what he really meant.  The term ‘alternative’ to me resembles people and ideas quite different than the main-stream… such as skateboarders and alternative music; or birkenstock clad feet and dreadlocked hair; or someone who walks the path less, or even least, travelled.  The latter describes me best.

The more I thought about it, the more I became willing to embrace the idea that I am, in fact, an alternative architect.  The plain fact is that I do not stick to the norm because that’s just not who I am.  It’s something I’ve always known and even celebrated internally but for some reason I never merged that self-acceptance into my career.  And all it took was one small, off-the-cuff comment.  Isn’t it amazing how things work out like that?

That one simple comment has inspired me, can you tell?  I am inspired to be me!

I am the kind of designer who…

  • LOVES historical architecture.  It pains me to mess with a building’s original character by adding on if it can be avoided.
  • sometimes pretends to be Indiana Jane.  I am a total nerd about architectural salvage and constantly think about ways to use various items from the past in new designs.
  • appreciates clever use of materials in creative ways that do not hint of being pretentious.
  • believes excess is way over-rated.  Live efficiently, productively and with only what you really need.  If you haven’t used it or worn it in the past year, you probably don’t need it, and therefore you don’t need space to store it!
  • refuses to increase my overhead so that I am free to provide for my clients’ project needs without worrying about going over a company budget for time spent.

Wow!  That feels good!

Thank you, Michael, for being such a good and wise friend!

Now, on to new and exciting, beautiful things in 2014, including a new consultation service in locating architectural salvage materials for your next project!

“Small space doesn’t mean small style. In fact, limited square footage often leads to more thoughtful, efficient and savvy decorating.” -Apartment

I know I should be writing about something festive since it’s December. For some reason, however, I’ve been on a real kick of finding great organization solutions for small spaces.  Perhaps it’s because I live in a very small space myself with my larger-than-average family.  And Christmas time always means squeezing in a little tighter to make room for the tree, stockings, gifts and decorations.  Oh, I’m not complaining.  I LOVE Christmas!  At our house, though, it always sparks thought for finding better uses of what little space we have.

If you live in a cozy, small space too, check out Apartment Therapy online for some very smart ideas.  What a wonderful resource!

Choosing A Kitchen Countertop

Choosing A Kitchen Countertop

Very often I am asked for a recommendation on a kitchen counter material.  The materials, styles and prices vary widely, so it’s not a quick and easy thing to answer.  This article by offers some very helpful information on the subject with some lovely photos to boot!

It’s Not Just About Looks

Wait a minute, did I just say that? Of course it about looks! But, it’s also about feeling. Have you ever noticed that spaces evoke feelings? Usually it’s the smallest, indiscreet details that create the mood of a space.

For example, have you ever noticed what a difference window and door trim makes in a room? How about crown moulding? Trim details such as these can make or break a renovation.

How about shadows and lines, textures and shapes, balance of color and placement of decor? When assembled well, all of these factors blend together to create a harmonic space in which people love to be.

When I was in design school one of the required courses was freehand drawing. We had to draw such things as pinecones and kitchen utensils and feet. What the heck did that have to do with architecture? I thought the professor was a little tapped, to be honest. But, towards the end of the course, I realized that I was noticing more and more design details, important details that really affected the sense of a space.

Then came the “wax on wax off” aha moment. The smallest elements really count! Pay attention to them! They deserve to be noticed.

P.S. I also learned that I can draw a mean ice cream scoop. 😉

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