Our design starts with the basics - research, brainstorming, concept development - to determine the overall scope and budget of the project - which we fine-tune throughout the design process - to arrive at a completed design.


Catalog Image - Auburn.jpg

How the Design Grows

Like bringing a camera lens into focus, a good project starts with the rough ideas being put in place and gradually becomes more clear as the design is refined, discussed, and developed. These start off as hand sketches and rough 3D computer models, then progress through 2D CAD layouts and more detailed models, before finally being filled in with the technical details that make them valuable for estimate and construction. At each step of the way we'll meet to fine-tune and provide feedback about the design, making sure the final result is just as we intended. 

Start with the Site

Among the various things that go into a design, many architects consider the site to be the most important characteristic. Clearly, a home on 10 acres of rolling hills in the country is a much different house from an urban-infill house in a historic neighborhood; and there are also the considerations of sun orientation, the presence of views, to proximity of neighbors, and the rise and fall of the land itself. Taking these into consideration is an important first step which helps determine the general proper layout of rooms within the house, form which the design flows.  

This is why I typically start a design by incorporating a site visit into our initial brainstorming and conceptual meeting. We'll meet to go over any design-related materials or notes you may have, including your 'Big List' (discussed at first meeting), and I'll ask as many questions as I can to get your creative thoughts and ideas going.


Once we are satisfied that we have a good goal we're shooting for, we head over to walk the site to see what different ideas we can generate just by being there. We'll take compass readings to determine sunset and sunrise locations throughout the year, see if there are any special views, and see if we can determine some good locations for bedrooms, living room, driveway and garage.

Designing with the Sun

This info I'll take back to my studio where I try to shoot for (among many others) the following layout principle: place the rooms to maximize natural sunlight for the time of day they will be used. For example, the master bedroom might be slightly lit by the glancing rays of the morning sunrise; that way you'll start the day right every morning. Thinking about a breakfast nook? Let's make use of that morning sun so on Sunday mornings you can warm yourself while reading the paper or enjoying a cup of coffee. The living room should open to the kitchen and occupy the bulk of the South side of the home - this is where most time is spent, and where the sun can be most appreciated. Finally, there should be a spot to enjoy the evening rays as they color the sky from yellow to orange, best linked to an outdoor patio where grilling and enjoying the evening go hand in hand with enjoying a beautiful, natural landscape.

Find out more about the steps we'll take along the way...




Services Provided – Residential Design, Programming, Conceptual Design, Construction Drawings, 3D modeling, Project Management

Typical Design Cost – $3,500 - $10,000

Typical Construction Cost, Remodeling – $125k - $350k

Typical Construction Cost, New Construction - $350k - $850k

Specializations – Craftsman, Colonial, Farmhouse, Timber, Prairie, Midcentury

What's Included –  Conceptual Drawings, Construction Drawings, 3D Models and Renderings