Timeless design can date from the 1700s or from yesterday - we collaborate with our clients create timeless character.
Our design principles
We advocate not so much a specific style but a belief that good design is timeless and every project is as unique as the client. We believe in a holistic approach to design that includes not only architecture but interiors, furniture, lighting and landscape. Along with traditional design services, we help our clients make informed decisions, navigate the approval process and select a contractor that can meet or exceed their expectations. The best work results from this successful collaboration between client, architect and builder.
Our commitment to the environment
World and local events have brought the issues of climate, energy and sustainability quite literally to our front doors. The industry is rapidly catching up to consumer demand and we believe it is important to always consider options that promote sustainable building practices. We encourage clients to take the long view in return on investment and help them make sensible choices that can truly make a difference.
Our appreciation for history
Having worked as a restoration carpenter for many years, I gained an appreciation for the craft of building and wanted to have that knowledge inform my professional career. After graduating with a B.A. in Historic Preservation, I returned to graduate school intent on teaching but realized I would rather practice than lecture. Upon completion of my graduate degree began the long process of professional licensing. My wife (also an architect) and I moved to Annapolis in 2002 and immediately fell in love with the maritime traditions and unique character of this region.
Q&A: some thoughts on design
What’s the biggest misconception people have about an architect?
That we are focused on style. While styling is important, it’s far from the first thing we consider.
What is the first thing an architect considers?
Solving the problem. Every space needs light, it needs to function and it needs to flow. A lot of spaces fail because you’ve got a “hallway” running down the middle of them. If you don’t address how spaces interact, then you’ve failed to really solve the problem.
What are some of the mistakes that clients make?
Being too timid. Often, the moves that will really make a difference involve some significant changes, especially when dealing with an existing layout. This can mean moving walls, changing room functions, even flipping the plan around 180 degrees. Not every design needs this, sometimes small changes can make a huge difference but you’ve got to be prepared to make them. You’ll soon forget about the extra you spent to get the design you really want but you’ll remember the time you wavered everyday.
Second, not choosing the right contractor. Buildings, especially houses, are one of the last handmade items we have in our society. Everyone understands there is a difference between a tailored suit versus one off the rack, a gourmet meal or fast food but are often surprised how much variation there is in cost and quality in the building world. We always try to match clients with the contractor who best shares their goals and vision for the project. There are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of resources going towards a project and a good contractor will help set realistic timetables for decisions, keep on top the budget and the delivery date.
What’s an often-overlooked design element?
Ceilings. I heard an artist once refer to ceilings as the “fifth wall” and its so true. Making an interesting ceiling plane with lighting, beams, color or other architectural elements can really make a project stand out.
What does design mean to you?
I think a lot of good design is the design you don’t notice – the street that moves traffic along, the appliance that does what its supposed to or the room that just feels right when you’re in it. My thesis project in graduate school was about design on multiple scales. I liked designing (and sometimes building) furniture and decorative arts that were custom made to fit the architecture. What it proved to me was that the same thought goes into anything no matter what the size – you’re always trying to optimize function, economy and beauty.