Architecture and Landscape Design
Your home is an intensely personal space. Your life unfolds there. Babies come home from the hospital. Puppies are gated in the kitchen during housebreaking. 90th birthdays are celebrated in the garden. You watch stupid movies in the family room, work on jigsaw puzzles in a snow storm, get bad news. Countless dinners and coffees and nights in bed. Laundry. Sleepovers. Teenagers playing ping pong or Dungeons and Dragons. Band practice, book club, holiday parties and just being still. How will you arrange your space to make the most of all this? We have been there, and we can help you imagine it all.
Most of our work consists of renovations and additions to existing housing stock in eastern Massachusetts. We prefer to work along with the client in the design process, which allows us to help the client realize their vision for their home and allows the client to participate fully in the process. We guide clients through the process of choosing their build team and ideally work closely with the contractor while construction is underway to minimize challenges and stress during that time.
While we are primarily a residential design firm, we also consider the entire property, including inside and outside of the house. The living exterior informs the interior. The wall is a lens through which we perceive the world. Landscape design includes the hardscape and permanent structures of a site as well as the appropriate trees, shrubs and perennial beds. I am especially interested in the landscape during the dark and cold half of the year.
People often ask me what my favorite design style is. Although I appreciate modern architecture and clean lines, I honestly can’t imagine living in a very spare, minimalist, glassed in space- at least not with my 2 dogs, cat, 3 kids and husband with all of our belongings. I like a building that tells me a story, that suggests a story, that allows open spaces for raucous gatherings along with cozy nooks for napping. I love history and considering a building as a reflection of the society that produced it. When it comes to my renovation and addition projects, I defer to the tastes of the clients and the style of their existing house. My concern is in creating an end product that meets their experiential needs. They might want bold architectural moves, they may want their project to meld completely with their existing house, they may want their garrison colonial to transform to a cottage. My job is to make that happen.
How does it actually work?
Practically speaking, for design work and documentation I now use Chief Architect .
This program allows me to draw and document the project in two and three dimensions. My clients and I are enjoying seeing the project develop in three dimensions. I present schematic designs in three dimensions, as in this series of panoramas that illustrates different options for the expansion of a kitchen. Click HERE for Round Me file. I can also create quick renderings of spaces like this
which is in watercolor mode, or like this, combining watercolor with a line drawing. A ray trace rendering gives the most realistic look to the image, as in this view showing a wall opened up between the dining room and kitchen:
During design development we use these models to refine the details. Once we've got a design in place with specifications, we can get a price for the project. If the client wants to put the project out to bid, I meet with the contractors on site and walk them through the project and potential challenges. After a scope and price are determined, the permit set is completed and construction will soon begin. During construction, I am available for construction administration, answering questions and helping to solve issues as they arise.