Our Buildings Tell a Story
Q: When did you become interested in residential architecture?
I have always been interested in creating scenes for life to happen, be it hosting a good dinner party, entertaining people at our cabin on Lake Martin, or designing a personal client home. The most valuable asset we all have is time. I enjoy identifying ideas of “living” in a home, to streamline the mundane to provide our clients more quality time at home for fun things to happen. I have always been an observer and a creator; residential architecture provides a path for my passion to create environments that positively affect how people live.
Q: What is your design philosophy?
My philosophy is based on principles of how to create successful architecture consistently. The process is collaborative with my team and client. At the end of a good project the client, my team and I will all feel as if they have contributed to the design of the project. My multiple interests in edible landscapes edible landscapes, high performance houses, and classical design form the foundation of ideas for every residential project.
Q: Do you have a particular style or preferred materials?
Style is a little superficial for me. I think the choice of style is only partially involved in the overall success of a project. There are always reasons why a design evolves for a project from the context where the house is located, what the client likes and how I can overlay experience to pull it all together.
Q: Of all the projects you have completed, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite projects usually are a combination of a fun client, working with a quality contractor and solving an interesting design problem that it took the team to solve in a clever way. I enjoy checking in years later to see how the clients’ life filled the house and to see if any of the stages we set helped shape their lives. My current favorite project started in 2010 on an “unbuildable lot” in Highlands, NC for a commercial contractor, repeat client and friend. The first task was to figure out how far we could get equipment up the mountain to a building area. The solution involved driving under the garage like a mountain tunnel and up to a parking court that addresses the house entry. The client is a Game of Thrones fan so we both call the house “Castle Black”. Sometimes difficult problems create the most memorable design solutions.
Q: What are some of the biggest design trends you are seeing today?
We are seeing more thought put into the design to create smaller homes that still live big by using spaces in multiple ways. Clients are expanding the living footprint into outdoor spaces. We see combining systems of living spaces like mudrooms, pantries, laundries, pet areas and project rooms. Clients are investing more of their budgets into the home’s features you cannot see like insulation, air sealing and smarter mechanical and ventilation systems.
Q: 30 years from now, what do you think this decade will be remembered for in terms of design style?
I think this decade will be remembered as a point when people started designing homes to keep instead of as simply an investment: a time when the value of a home became more than a bank appraisal, a time when people started to think how they could leverage their biggest investment in their permanent home to provide a permanent ROI beyond money into community stewardship, the creation of energy, perennial food producing landscapes, accommodating multiple generations and producing rental income, a time when the sum of all the functions stacked into the design yielded a return on investment that also produced a place to which created well-lived life.