We live in architecturally interesting times. Eclecticism reigns and allows a wide range of possibilities for personal expression. I love variety and am happy to let my clients’ wishes set the tone for the home.

My work is varied with maximum livability usually being the focus. I’m happy to not have a set look for projects I’ve designed, The stylistic look of houses I have done has ranged from Craftsman to “beach house” to Mediterranean. From “sleek contemporary” to exuberant neo-Queen Anne and any number of styles and mixes in between.  Often my houses settle into a comfortable sort of vernacular of simple farmhouse shapes with some Cape Cod touches and a few well-considered details. In subdivisions (like Southampton in Benicia) it’s possible to add style to the look of a house while staying within the “language” of the neighborhood. If requested, I’m happy to provide elements such as front porches that invite lingering, picture windows proportioned just right to frame a view, or maybe a comfortable window seat with built-in bookshelves.

I receive a lot of inspiration from the many historical styles found throughout older downtowns and in “pattern books” of the past, especially for details that make a house more comfortable and livable in ways that are sometimes obvious and other times very subtle.

  The Design Process  

My clients and I develop the design together as a team, using a time-tested process that is sometimes methodical and other times fun and full of brainstorming. This highly collaborative process is key to how I work. This easy back and forth exchange of ideas prevents me from having to “sell” my clients on a look or design that doesn’t come from their own priorities. 

Together we explore ways to make the home exceptional within whatever restraints exist (such as space or budget limits.) We do this by meeting every few weeks until we get the design as good as it can be.

We start by creating a comprehensive “wish list” at the first meeting. Subsequent meetings are all about design and sketching. Tracing paper is our good friend during these sessions. Along the way, good ideas accumulate, evolving into better ideas. We share magazine images, discuss budgets, and do things like visit the roof to see where the best views will be from the new second story. After we’ve pursued alternatives, explored tangents, and found the breakthrough ideas that make it all come together, a house, unique in all the world, takes shape on paper.

I then consolidate all our good ideas into a well resolved set of blueprints that homeowners and builders will appreciate for their clarity and thoughtfulness. (Please ask builders that have used my plans about their user-friendly aspects.)

  Making it all Happen  

The design should enrich your lifestyle and do everything else possible to add value to your life. It should create the right flow by being open and roomy in all the right places, cozy in others. Add more style to your house, in any way you want. Place as many key rooms as possible with the best views. Include a home office, if desired. Be adaptable to changing lifestyles. It's not expensive to create dramatic lighting in a few key places using simple methods.

Let's grow your equity, your investment dollar, all the while you get to enjoy living in your new home. Increasing comfort and livability is the key.

With my clients I offer as many ideas and as much good advice as I can, but the client always has the last word. I've been told I'm good at keeping my ego out of the way. Having fussed over my own house in two large remodels, I know what it's like to struggle with decisions that will affect your life for years and years to come.