Advice for Young Architects
Arts & Culture
Ask an Architect
Seattle Design Community
Never worked from home? Setting yourself up for success can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to be productive from a space you’re used to relaxing in. Don’t fret. We’re here to help with some tools for how to turn your cozy pad into an effective office — hold the actual office.Read more.
Meet our latest B&V’er, Ben Wolk! As a Certified Passive House Consultant and building science nerd, he focuses on designing beautiful, comfortable, healthy, and extremely energy-efficient buildings and spaces across the multifamily and single-family sectors. When not obsessing over thermal bridging details, you will find Ben enjoying the outdoors with his wife and dog or dreaming about building a rally car.Read more.
Are you bored with your plain white walls? Or maybe they’re not even plain white, maybe you have a painted accent wall that’s simply not enough of an accent anymore. Whatever it is, here are three options to add some new excitement to your spaces, with wallpaper, tile, and wood wall finish options.Read more.
Meet Katie Söderlind, the newest member of the B&V team, and most likely the first person to welcome you to Board & Vellum, be it by phone, email, or in-person. A lover of the places where high-brow meets low-brow, the dark meets light, and grit meets glamour, she's the umami flavor you didn’t know you needed in your life.Read more.
Especially if it’s your first, opening a commercial space is a big deal and takes no shortage of knowledge or planning to pull off without too much trouble, or too much time lost. Here are five things to keep in mind when taking your new commercial space from concept to doors-open.Read more.
A new show is launching at the By Others gallery! For January’s Capitol Hill Art Walk, we are hosting works by two artists: Morgan Welch (also a B&V’er) and Donal Murphy. Read their artist statements, here, ahead of the January 9th opening reception.Read more.
When we’re designing spaces like coffee shops, bars, offices, and even yards, it’s key to create a space where people can have casual and occasional interactions. Here’s a little about how we go about designing spaces that promote interaction between strangers.Read more.
Though still more common in Europe, we are finally starting to catch up across the pond, as it is becoming more common to add exterior shading to homes. The science is sound, and there are plenty of clear benefits. So how do you decide what type of exterior shading system would be great for your home?Read more.
Ready for a new show in the By Others gallery? We’ve been on hold for construction, but we are back! For November’s Capitol Hill Art Walk, we are hosting works by two artists: Daniel Ash and Julianna Karr. Read their artist statements, here, ahead of the November 14th opening reception.Read more.
Join us! With the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and the Seattle Department of Transportation, B&V is collaborating on “Public Life Counts!” — a public life study of how our community uses public spaces. Data collected will inform an equitable and holistic planning process to shape active, safe, and well-connected public spaces on Capitol Hill.Read more.
There are certainly reasons why some chefs and restaurant owners prefer a loud space. And, some restaurant patrons enjoy it, too, at least for a little while. Here are a few reasons why loud restaurants exist and a few ways we could make them a little quieter, while still keeping a business profitable.Read more.
Fortunately, trends in office space design have moved beyond fields of cubicles and row after row of fluorescent lighting. Skylights and lush green walls are popular, but even if you can’t incorporate holistic design options like these to support a healthier space, there are plenty of smaller moves you can make to create a healthy office.Read more.
Mudrooms are a very common request from our clients whose homes don’t already feature one, as they can ease the coming-and-going process, especially for busy families. Hear from our interior design team about their recommendations for mudrooms that will not only meet your needs but excite.Read more.
Gathering around a fire is an ancient human activity that maintains its magnetic attraction, even now. As a feature that so viscerally attracts us and so often is the backdrop of our favorite memories, why not design more than one location in your home or yard where you can encourage the comfort of a fire.Read more.
In this extremely competitive rental and condo market, even atypical, outside-the-box amenity spaces can’t be counted on to elevate a property over the steep competition, especially if they feel tacked on as a bonus. It takes a cohesive design story tying the whole building together to truly stand out.Read more.
Over the years, the popular (and researched) opinions about what makes for an ideal workspace have shifted from recommending private offices, to semi-private, to the so-called “open office” concepts, and back. But, different types of workspaces are ideal for different types of companies, based on budget, type of work, company culture, and more.Read more.
The proper care of trees is crucial to their health and to the safety of the people enjoying them. The relationship between trees, people, and the structures we build requires a managed balance. Certified Arborists play a key role in all this; explore how in this conversation with our in-house certified arborist, Hailey Mackay.Read more.
Whether modern or traditional, a custom home can be designed to meet your family’s needs. You’ve just got to find a way to pay for it! Here is a look at a few of the options available for paying for — or financing — the construction of a new custom home.Read more.
Many of us are making an effort to live our lives with a critical eye on our environmental impact. Building homes following sustainable practices is incredibly important, but don’t forget to also give that attention to the materials and products you put inside it. This primer on sustainable bedding options can get you started.Read more.
Every year, communities come together to take back parking-spot-sized parcels of the street, transforming them into pedestrian-centric installations. Though PARK(ing) Day lasts mere hours, other forms of tactical urbanism exist globally in various degrees of permanence, engaging and influencing the evolution of communities, public space, and informing the relationship between an urban environment its inhabitants.Read more.
Say hi to Andrea, our most recent addition to the B&V team! Adding to our collection of UO grads, Andrea joins us with experience on multifamily, custom residential, and commercial projects. Also, she owns a 35' sailboat — when you’re done asking her design questions, ask her where she likes to sail on a sunny weekend!Read more.
Corridors in multifamily buildings are often overlooked, considered areas to pinch the budget to save money for ”more glamorous” amenities, but it’s actually well worth it to invest in the design of a building’s corridors, not only from the perspective of the residents but from the perspective of the developer.Read more.
Digging out your basement seems like an attractive solution to gaining more useable space in your home, but it’s complicated to do and can be quite expensive. These are a series of questions you should consider when weighing whether or not to excavate the basement in your home.Read more.
Layered planting doesn’t have to be complex and, if done correctly, layering can reduce your garden maintenance and increase the time you spend actually enjoying your garden. From the ground plane to the backdrop, you can create your own luscious, layered garden by following these simple concepts.Read more.
Storytelling is an integral part of humanity: our individual and communal lives are built on stories. When it comes to a brand, a well-told, authentic story reflected in a physical space is incredibly impactful. But, what does that mean and where do you start in the design process?Read more.
When we say, “built-ins“ — do you think cabinets and bookshelves? A lot of people do, but one of our favorite types of built-ins is a built-in bench — here’s why, in the words of a few of Board & Vellum’s interior designers.Read more.
Designing a high-performance new home is straight-forward and time-tested. Designing a high-performance remodel can be a bit more complex and nuanced. Here are areas in which to focus your efforts so you can maximize the sustainable impact of your project, remodeling your space into a beautiful and high-performing home.Read more.
Meet Danie, the latest addition to B&V’s interiors team. Danie hails from the Midwest, most recently from Chicago. In “fun facts you don’t hear often” — she grew up with a Christmas tree farm as a backyard! Now surrounded by the giant trees of the Pacific Northwest, when she’s not designing interiors, she loves the outdoors.Read more.
The general public may know more about musicians than about architects; after all, it’s a lot easier to share a song far and wide than a building. But, both are both creative fields, so it may come as no surprise how much crossover there is between them.Read more.
As much as we may want it to be, nothing is perfect. Whether remodeling or building new, and regardless of how well-recommended your contractor is, unknown challenges will arise with your project. But, this is a navigable process, especially if you keep these tips in mind.Read more.
Contrary to what you might read elsewhere, you can actually fit a kitchen island into a tighter space — you just have to design for it. Here are the details to keep in mind, as well as questions you’ll need to answer whether or not you have a small space to work with.Read more.
What do Golden Rain Tree, Cone Flower, and Thyme have in common? They can all bring lovely golden colors to your landscape. Learn more about the virtues of these three plants and why you may find them to be the perfect addition in your garden.Read more.
Board & Vellum’s first employee is starting off on a new adventure. As a farewell blog post, he asked people around the office about something really important to him: what questions they ask themselves — and think others should ask — about sustainability in terms of homes, landscapes, and workplaces.Read more.
When designing a new home, it’s important to understand the level of service you’ll need to get the particular quality of new home you’re hoping for. From a spec home, to a semi-custom home, to a fully custom home — here are the differences between the levels of service and the quality of the end result.Read more.
Remodeling a home is not always the right call — there are a lot of complicated factors at play (and we’re here to help). If you are wondering about the advantages of building a new home instead of remodeling an old one, here is a quick primer on the advantages of new construction.Read more.
Not everyone can afford to buy a house full of designer furniture. So, do you turn to knock-off pieces instead? (No. Or, not 100% no.) Here’s our philosophy for stretching your furniture budget, planning for longterm, and, all the while, still having somewhere to sit down at the end of the day.Read more.
If an apartment building’s amenity spaces are an afterthought during the design process, they’re going to feel like afterthoughts in someone’s life, too. Uninspired settings are not what today’s city dwellers are looking for. In a competitive market, without well-designed common spaces, your whole building may end up an afterthought to a potential renter.Read more.
Evoking a sense of “home” in a retail space can be a key factor in getting your customers to not only linger long enough to make a purchase, but to keep them coming back. But creating this type of experience takes more nuance than simply adding a couch — here’s what to consider when planning your space.Read more.
There are a few typical floor plans to consider when designing the layout for a bathroom in your house. These eight lessons illustrate the common plan options and describes the advantages and disadvantages of each. Of course, there are always exceptions, and a good designer can find a solution that meets your needs.Read more.
As a business owner, understanding what a tenant improvement (or TI) allowance is, is essential to inform the choices you’ll make when selecting a new commercial space and negotiating your commercial lease. The TI allowance will also define how much of the cost of your commercial build-out will come out of your pocket.Read more.
Or, if chronology isn’t your thing…
Here are a couple of our (current) favorite posts. Of course, it’s hard to choose, so feel free to poke around; we hope to have a little something for everyone. And, if you have a burning question you’d like us to cover in a future post, please let us know!
Questions to Ask an Architect in an Interview: Advice for Clients
What should you ask a designer you are interviewing for your project? A good personality fit helps, but to help you hire with confidence, here are ten questions worth asking.
Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?
Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, third places, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.
On the list for small business for the 4th year in a row!
Recognized for “Design” & “Service” for the 7th year!
Our team includes LEED-accredited professionals.
Our team includes certified Passive House consultants.
A Certified LGBT Business Enterprise Since 2016.
Honoring companies that lead in promoting equality.