Will the coronavirus pandemic impact construction prices? Learn more about this complicated question.
Advice for Young Architects
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Ask an Architect
Commercial Office
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Firm Culture
Going Green
Historic Preservation
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Landscape Architecture
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Other Tangents
Retail
Seattle Design Community
Third Places
Custom Residential, Interior Design

Three Ways to Create a Relaxing Bedroom

Bedrooms are a popular place to make changes when updating your home. From a primary suite to kids’ rooms to a guest bedroom, everyone deserves a restful and calming place to unwind. Here, we walk you through three simple ways to create a relaxing bedroom you'll want to hang out in — awake or asleep.

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Custom Residential, Going Green

Going the Extra Mile for an Unusual Addition

Living in a log cabin just might be one of the more sustainable things you can do. If you’re a city-dweller, you might never get the chance to do so unless you’re like one of our scrappy clients who saved a log cabin by attaching it to their home as an addition.

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Custom Residential

Questions to Ask Yourself About Building a Second-Story Addition

Adding a second story to your home can be a great solution when you want to stay in your house but need more space. Once you’ve decided to build up, though, the decision-making isn’t done. What questions should you be asking yourself before you commit to a second-story addition?

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Ask an Architect

What It’s Like Working with an Architect

When you see an architect portrayed on television or in the movies, they’re either totally unrelatable, wildly eccentric creative-types, or in all black, mingling at a cocktail party as if they would rather be anywhere else. Inevitably, these characters have egos so big they barely fit in the frame. But what’s it like working with real-life architects?

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Historic Preservation, Interior Design

Matching a Historic Feel with Modern Materials

How authentic does something really need to be? When you remodel a historic home, or just love a lived-in look, it can be difficult to determine when (and how) to make a new object or material look original. Here, we’ve laid out a few rules of thumb to follow if you’re ever in this predicament yourself.

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Other Tangents

What Is A Ranch?

Ranches conjure up all sorts of imagery in our imaginations. But when it comes down to designing one, what are we really talking about? It’s more than just the land, and it’s more than just the built structures — it is the symbiotic relationship between the two, and cultivating that requires careful exploration and design.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Marshall Ling!

Help us welcome Marshall, joining Board & Vellum's Multifamily Studio. With years of experience in development and an in-depth understanding of the Seattle market, Marshall is excited to bring his expertise back into the world of architecture. In his free time, Marshall enjoys working on his passion project - his cabin in Eastern Washington.

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Ask an Architect

What Different Line Types in Architecture & Design Drawings Mean

Thick lines, thin lines, lines with short or long dashes (or both!) — if you don’t speak the language of all these line types, an architecture or design drawing can be pretty mystifying. This primer on design drawing linework will give you a starter toolkit so you can tell what you’re looking at.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Peter Altier!

Meet Peter Altier, joining Board & Vellum’s Interior Design team. Peter fell in love with architecture and design as a child, but his path to it as a career wasn't a straight line. Fortunately, his passion never waned. When he's not designing, Peter stays busy cooking, fixing up his house, and hanging with his pup, Finn.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

Remodeling Your Brick House

What should you consider when remodeling a brick house? Sure, brick is just another conventional building material, but remodeling a brick home presents some unique design challenges. Here’s what to look out for and think about when you’re considering a remodeling a house made of brick.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

Ten Things to Consider When Buying a Home You Want to Remodel

What if the new home you’re considering most definitely isn’t your dream home? There’s a lot an architect can do to help you achieve your dreams but not every dream is achievable in every home. Before jumping into a huge investment, check out our top ten things to know before purchasing a home you want to remodel.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

Should You Build Up, Down, or Out When Adding Space to Your Home?

Knowing where to build an addition to your home can be an agonizing decision. And not understanding the impact your decision might have on the construction process (and your wallet) can make it doubly stressful. An architect can help you understand the best solution for your situation and help you move forward.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Juliana Hom!

Meet Juliana Hom, joining Board & Vellum’s Site Design team after earning her Master of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington. Juliana hails from San Francisco, but she’s fallen in love with Seattle’s lush greenery and access to nature. Out of the office, she loves to capture her travels via hand sketching.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Abbas Rachaman!

Say hello to Abbas, who is joining our Residential Studio, with an interior design focus. Besides his font of knowledge of plumbing fixtures after years in the kitchen and bath design industry (pun intended?), Abbas brings a buoyant cheer to his interactions and loves collaborating closely with clients.

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Ask an Architect, Retail

Immediate Solutions for Socially Distant Retail

It has been a tough road for small businesses over the last few months dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. For those small businesses fighting to stay in business, the opportunity to pivot and re-open in some form is upon us. Facing this daunting challenge, where do you even start? This post is for you.

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Commercial Office

The Rebirth of the American Workplace

Recommendations and trends in commercial office design shift in response to cultural norms, technology, and working styles. Following the 2020 pandemic, how might the design of commercial offices adapt this time? On the spectrum from open office concept, through vast fields of cubicles, to private offices, where will we land?

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Interior Design, Retail, Third Places

The Personalized Hospitality Experience

Before Covid-19 shifted our world, personalized hospitality experiences, like private dining rooms and by-appointment-only shopping, were considered luxuries reserved only for an elite few. But, with social distancing recommendations in place — driven first by necessity and later by comfort — it’s possible some of these once-elite experiences become more common. Here’s a look at how some of this could evolve.

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Commercial Office, Interior Design, Retail, Third Places

Commercial Design in the Age of Social Distancing

As commercial spaces slowly re-open, businesses and clientele have to take extra precautions because these spaces were designed to operate in a pre-pandemic world. This post is part of a series on how design for commercial spaces may evolve due to the Covid-19 pandemic, either by requirement or by cultural shift.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Yi-Chun Lin!

Say hello to Yi-Chun, joining the B&V team in our Residential, Commercial, and Multifamily studios. Motivated by curiosity to connect culture, environment and human experience through design, Yi-Chun’s generalist experience is expressed through a range of project typologies. An avid reader, seeker of metaphors and food enthusiast, she revels finding beauty in simplicity.

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Arts & Culture

An Art Walk Sneak Peek: Works by Frank Ching

During the current pandemic crisis, we aren’t currently able to host in-person events in our By Others gallery at the Board & Vellum office on Capitol Hill in Seattle. But, that doesn’t at all mean we aren’t super excited about this one! To tide you over, please enjoy this preview of works by Frank Ching.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Gabriel Vargas!

Say hello to Gabriel, our latest addition to the B&V team! Gabriel recently moved back to Seattle from a stint in Miami and is thrilled to be home in the Pacific Northwest. Beyond his passion for architecture — especially residential architecture — he loves to play soccer, eat great food, and dance Salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha, Bachata, and Merengue.

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Ask an Architect

Surprises That Come Up During Construction

As much as you may want a surprise-free construction experience, there’s no way around it: there will be surprises. In fact, the surprises that come up during construction can be on the crazy or amazing side, so we thought it would be fun to highlight some real examples our team has experienced.

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Custom Residential

Ways to Open Up an Old House

Old homes are often compartmentalized: broken up into separate rooms, rather than the “open plans” of modern homes. So what can you do if you’d like more connected spaces? Here are some ways you can create a more open feel in an older home, without sacrificing a traditional look.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Danica Davis!

Meet Danica Davis, who joins the Board & Vellum team as a member of our Residential Studio. Danica has known she wanted to be an architect since a young age and has consistently been inspired by the question of what makes a space feel like home.

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Ask an Architect, Commercial Office, Custom Residential, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Multifamily Residential

Will The Coronavirus Impact Construction Prices?

The impact of the coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic is incredibly vast. As we try to plan for how this will impact our businesses, how the cost of construction could change is a common — and key — question. Here are some of the factors that could play a role in pushing the cost of construction either up or down.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

Helpful Features in a Home for Hunkering Down

Last week, I wrote about the little things in my house driving me nuts now that I spend all my time at home while we all work on flattening the curve of this pandemic. It’s natural to analyze and find fault in things, but there are also so many things that I am currently grateful for in my house, like these.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

Small Remodel Regrets in a Home Renovation

When you are planning to remodel your kitchen, do you want a single or double oven? A one-basin sink or a double-basin? Now, think again. And, remodel regrets aren't limited to the kitchen, here are some remodel regrets from an architect’s own home renovation.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Logan Kimbrel!

Learn all about the latest addition to the B&V team, Logan Kimbrel. In his words, he likes “boards, bikes, beers, whiskeys, seafood, sandwiches, and things that go fast.” But also, of course, architecture and design, and he’s thrilled to join the Residential Studio here at Board & Vellum.

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Other Tangents

Top 5 Tips for Working From Home

So, you’re working from home. Maybe you’ve been part of a remote team for a while, or maybe this is your first foray into the world of telecommuting. Either way, Board & Vellum’s got your back with our Top 5 tips for working from home.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

How To Set Up Your Space to Work from Home

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.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Ben Wolk!

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.

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Interior Design

Three Ways to Add Some “Wow” to Your Walls

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.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Katie Söderlind!

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.

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Commercial Office, Retail, Third Places

5 Things You Need to Know About Opening Your First Commercial Space

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.

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Arts & Culture, Events

Works by Morgan Welch & Donal Murphy in the “By Others” Gallery at Board & Vellum

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.

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Interior Design

Creating a Color-Blocked Kitchen

Color-blocking isn’t just for clothes — you can color-block your kitchen cabinets, too. But, it’s not about following a trend, it’s actually something we see in a variety of incarnations to suit different design styles, spaces, and moods.

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Commercial Office, Retail, Third Places

Creating Intentional Interactions Through Design

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.

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Custom Residential

Is Exterior Shading Right for My Home?

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?

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Arts & Culture, Events

Works by Daniel Ash & Julianna Karr in the “By Others” Gallery at Board & Vellum

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.

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Events

Public Life Study: Professional People-Watching!

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.

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Retail, Third Places

Are Loud Restaurants Really Worth It?

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.

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Commercial Office, Interior Design

Creating a Healthier Office Space

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.

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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 at an interview. – Board & Vellum

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.

Questions to Ask a Landscape Architect or Site Design Team in an Interview – Board & Vellum

Questions to Ask a Landscape Architect or Site Design Team in an Interview

What should you ask a landscape architect you are interviewing? From design to fee, to timeline and more, here are ten questions you should ask before you hire.

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.

Get in touch.
Board & Vellum makes Seattle Business magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington 2019.

On the list for small business for the 4th year in a row!

Board & Vellum wins 2020 Best of Houzz awards in the Design & Service categories.

Recognized for “Design” & “Service” for the 7th year!

LEED Certified in White

Our team includes LEED-accredited professionals.

Certified Passive House Consultant in White

Our team includes certified Passive House consultants.

NGLCC Certified as LGBT Business Enterprise – Board & Vellum Recognition

A Certified LGBT Business Enterprise Since 2016.

PSBJ’s Top 25 LGBTQ-Owned Businesses 2016 in White

Honoring companies that lead in promoting equality.