DESIGN

    The design process happens in many ways. For many of my clients the first thing that drives design is the budget. Some of my projects have had simple lines, which keep the cost down, but are enhanced by the details. This is an economical way to build and still get something that’s really special.

    Many clients already have good ideas about what they want, but need a little more inspiration, or a better sense of how to customize their wish list to their site. In many cases people get inspired by looking at other projects, either on their own or on a preliminary field trip I offer to tour my projects. It helps to look around a lot, take some pictures, do as much homework and brainstorming about what you need, and what you want before beginning the design discussion.

   I feel that design is a fluid process that grows on itself and usually does not stop until the project is complete. Sometimes it even continues after the project is complete. The hope is that all potential is realized and that after you are done building there are no regrets. Some people feel that everything should be able to be figured out from the drafting table ahead of time. This is often the case, and always the goal, however I feel that new ideas continue to flow and opportunities present themselves once the spaces start to take shape. Views open up and spaces can be customized in small ways that make big differences.

   Generally the right design is achieved when the needs and desires of the client dovetail with their particular site and budget. A collaboration occurs between the collective creativity of the client and the designer in order to create an asthetically pleasing, environmentally sensitive and functionally satisfying project.

   Although I do design many of the projects that I build, I am happy to work with architects and designers, or with a customer’s design. I also have several other capable and talented local designer and architect collegues to whom I refer clients.

STYLE AND USE OF LOCAL MATERIALS

    People who choose to move to the Methow Valley or to have a second home here all seem to have one thing in common; a love and respect for the unique beauty of this place. Amidst the “big picture” beauty of the Methow is the beauty in the elements that make this place amazing. When I first started building here ten years ago I built pretty conventionally and was satisfied with that. Then I started being inspired by some of the characters that have lived here for years. It seems that the longer one lives here the more this place takes up residence in them. I began to see creativity that obviously came from having lived closely in the natural beauty of this inspirational valley.

   Some of my work reflects ideas borrowed and modified by my own sentiments of what looks good. These ideas keep evolving. I’ve never had more fun building than in the last several years. Much of what I use for siding and trim come right out of the local forests. There are many small custom sawmill operations in the valley. Building using custom lumber usually requires more planning ahead, and is sometimes more expense, often less, but I think that the results are more original and interesting in most cases. Cedar has gotten very expensive. This is largely because there isn’t as much of it as their used to be. Pine and fir on the other hand are plentiful, and when used properly every bit as good, and I think prettier. River rock is also plentiful and can be beautifully incorporated in unique and interesting ways into a structure. Stamped concrete has become popular because of it’s organic, natural textures and colors. All of these elements and more have become mainstays in many of my projects and people seem to love to live closer to these more natural elements. I would say that my style is still very “craftsman”, having been influenced by that style so much in my years remodeling older homes in the Seattle area. But it is definitely craftsman with a “Methow rustic” twist.

 

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