My custom home and remodeling design blog is my way of sharing my ideas about good design with you. I hope you’ll find something useful for your new home or remodeling project here. Need more advice? Drop me a line and I’ll help in any way I can.

contemporary home office

Energy Efficient Home Design

If you’re not yet giving much thought to how much energy your new house is going to use, and how much it’s going to waste, then it’s time you started thinking about energy efficient home design.

It should be one of your top priorities – if for no other reason than your own pocketbook.

Energy used for heating and cooling homes is going to continue to get more expensive and as we’ve seen recently, world politics can quickly and dramatically affect your access to cheap energy.

What’s The Best Kind of Stone To Use On Your House?

My clients and I talk a lot about the materials we’ll use on the outside of their homes, especially windows, siding, roofing, brick, and exterior stone veneer.

Stone in particular is a frequent topic, because while everyone knows what stone looks like, they aren’t often aware of the wide variety of stone types and colors, and don’t always know “real” stone from “cultured” stone – something that can impact the design of a home from the very beginning.

How To Safely Store A Valuable Car When There’s No More Room In The Garage

I bought my first car when I was fifteen years old.  My dad had it dragged back to our garage, and I spent the next year – until I was old enough to drive – taking the car apart, fixing it, and eventually putting it back together again. But since the garage attached to our suburban home held only two cars (and we didn’t have a car storage lift), that meant someone’s car had to stay outside.

That arrangement probably won’t work at your house, but if you’ve got more cars than garages, what can you do?

The Difference Between “Symmetry” and “Balance” in Home Design

My clients occasionally ask me for symmetrical home designs. Sometimes that’s because they appreciate the elegance of symmetry, and sometimes it’s because symmetry is easier to understand.

Symmetry is found in all kinds of artistic composition, but so is asymmetry. What’s more important is balance – balance between the colors in a painting, the elements of architectural design, or the lines of a popular song.

I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to write a song, but I can’t help but notice some similarities between what I hear in music and what I see in architecture.

colonial home office attic remodel

5 Ideas for Built-ins for Your Home Office

A big home office used to be a fairly common room in the homes I’ve designed, back when “working from home” required a separate, private room. It had doors to close it off from the rest of the house and lots of home office built ins.

That’s not the norm these days – with laptops, tablets, and home networking in most houses, Mom and Dad can get work done from almost any room.

But the home office hasn’t disappeared completely…it’s just taking up a lot less space.  Sometimes it’s a much smaller room, and sometimes it’s a wall of custom built-in cabinets and shelves, like the ones in these RTA projects:

When Is A Design Trend Not A Trend?

A client of ours called the other day to tell us she’d just returned from the local “Street of Dreams” (also called the Street of New Homes, New Home Show, Home Parade, or something similar depending on where you are), and said she had a few new thoughts about the home design we’re working on with her. She wanted to talk about the latest home design trends.

Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s bad, but generally, we don’t recommend that our clients make a habit of visiting home shows for design ideas.

Great Ideas for Custom Built-in Bookshelves

I clearly remember everyone talking about a “paperless society” a few decades ago.  It was the dawn of the “digital era”, and all the buzz was about how email and digital documents would soon almost completely replace printing anything on paper. Digital documents have certainly become a preferred method of data transfer for many of us (how many emails do you send and receive every day?) but there’s still plenty of paper around – so we still need built in bookshelf ideas.  Some things, it seems, just don’t work quite right in a digital format.