Our blog is a resource for anyone wondering how to approach their project, get a design question answered, or just get a peek inside the world of Board & Vellum. From how we collaborate with you on a project, to our approachable and practical thoughts on design, along with a sprinkling of other fun things we’re up to, use this blog as a resource to help your project move along.
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In honor of Earth Day, let’s talk about a crucial part of our global ecosystem that needs our help: bees. How can you help? Lots of ways! Read on for a few to get you started, including how you can support bees in your garden, or even from a tiny balcony.Read more.
Just like interior spaces, beautiful details are what help exterior spaces shine. To help illustrate, this post is a narrated tour of a project near and dear to us — just imagine it as if you are over for a summer party, and getting your first tour of this urban yard.Read more.
Not everyone can Marie Kondo all their extra stuff away — sometimes, you just need a little extra storage space, and we don’t mean you should go rent a storage unit. Here are ten ways to maximize the space you already have in your home to find additional (or previously under-utilized) space for storage.Read more.
We spend a third of our lives asleep in our bedrooms, and that time is incredibly important to our health and wellbeing. To make sure you are getting the most out of your bedroom, here are some Feng Shui practices you can implement to improve the energy in your bedroom.Read more.
It‘s time to meet a new B&V’er: Christina Sanchez! Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Christina caught the travel bug young: first traveling the US with her family, then abroad on her own. Beyond the sheer delight of it, her travels also inform her desire to harness architecture as a catalyst for positive change in the world.Read more.
Reducing stress with good design is a thing, we promise. Even if you can’t put your finger on it, sloppy design causes stress. But well-designed spaces make you feel good, often without you realizing. Our goal as architects and designers, is to create those spaces that you love to be in, stress free.Read more.
Are you daydreaming about new light fixtures? You will be soon! We asked our team of interior designers what light fixtures they are currently swooning over. Check out each their responses in this post for some great designers, studios, and manufacturers out there who are making some beautiful fixtures you’ll love to see.Read more.
Are you hoping for a residential feel — that "homey" comfort — in your commercial space? You aren’t alone! Spaces that capture that homey feeling draw people in, and can help people feel more comfortable and relaxed in your establishment. How do you pull it off? Here are our top ten design elements to make it happen.Read more.
It’s definitely starting to feel like spring, even if we know there’s more rain around the corner. Early spring flowers are emerging, marking the start of the beautiful seasonal change, leaving winter behind. Read on to learn about three of our favorite early-blooming powerhouses: cornelian cherry, manzanita, and crocus.Read more.
People assume that green building, or using sustainable practices, will cost them more money. But, while some upfront costs may be higher, often, the long-term costs are lower. Here are five approachable and sustainable ideas you can explore to help make your home healthier for you and your family while being better for the environment.Read more.
Does an architect or designer advocate for your interests or for theirs? We believe your design team should advocate for you. That doesn't mean just being a "yes man" — it means working with you to design the best path forward. Here are a few areas we can especially help by being your advocate.Read more.
Estimating the budget for redoing your yard doesn’t have to be just a finger in the air, and a simple cost-per-square-foot estimate won't quite get you there, either. We recommend using your home’s value as a starting point. Here is a quick guide for what you can hope to build at different budget levels.Read more.
Just because it seems like there is enough space in your attic to be converted into a finished room, doesn’t mean it’s actually a good idea to try it. Most of the time, it turns out to be unfeasible, and here are the four main reasons why we usually don’t see these projects move forward.Read more.
Say hello to Taylor, a landscape architect joining our team at Board & Vellum. Taylor has a deep curiosity for the environment and its complex systems, both natural and social. When he is not in the office, he is likely exploring in the mountains or people-watching at the park.Read more.
House plants can be a great improvement to an interior space — here are seven reasons why you'll benefit from including them as part of the interior design of your space, and it's not just for aesthetics.Read more.
Always dreamed of quitting your 9-5 job and opening your own coffee shop? Or perhaps looking to spruce up your existing quaint café? Look no further! Here are ten key design elements you won't want to forget, taking your Third Place’s design to the next level and encourage your clientele to linger.Read more.
In winter landscapes, there are certainly fewer blooms, but fortunately, even dormant plants can offer visual interest. Contrasting winter colors in the landscape often come from other elements of the plant, such as the bark. These three plants are some of the ones we’ve enjoyed seeing shining through the snowy weather.Read more.
Of course, materials play a large role in interior design, and their impact on the sustainability of a project cannot be ignored. So, how do you select sustainable materials that live up to your requirements? Here is a quick guide for what to look for, including material makeup, material source, manufacturing processes, and third-party certifications.Read more.
Do you have to hire an architect or designer in the same geographic area as your project? No. But, that being said, there some crucial things to know and consider if you go this route. Here are answers to common questions we get about working with out-of-town clients or non-local design teams.Read more.
Commercial Office, Custom Residential, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Multi-Family Residential, Retail
Can you visualize a space from floor plans as if you were in it yourself? Don’t worry, most people can’t, and that sometimes makes it hard to communicate design ideas. Virtual reality can help with that — we can spin up a VR model so you can experience it as close to real as it gets.Read more.
We have a brand new show at Board & Vellum’s By Others gallery: ceramic sculpture and watercolors by Jon-Eric Schafer. Join us for the opening at the Capitol Hill Art Walk, February 14th, 6-9 PM. For a teaser, read our Q&A with him to learn a little about his work.Read more.
Are you interested in Feng Shui but don’t know where to begin? We now offer Feng Shui consultations at Board & Vellum, either stand-alone, or in coordination with a larger project. Here are the five components that make up a Feng Shui consultation, so you can go in with eyes wide open.Read more.
Do you live in a small space? (Or, do you have small spaces in your larger home?) There are all sorts of things you can do to maximize small spaces, to help them “live larger” so-to-speak, so you don’t feel cramped. Here are seven tips to keep in mind.Read more.
Maintaining a small retail business is really hard — you need great marketing, and to get your space in front of a lot of eyes. We say, design your retail space for selfies! If your shop or restaurant looks unique and interesting, your visitors will help market it for you. Here’s how to get started with design.Read more.
Is winter all just chilly, dark, and gloomy? Well, maybe if you don’t know where to look, or where to sniff. Don’t fret, there are some lovely — often overlooked — sights and scents to enjoy in the midwinter landscape, and we’ll explore some of our favorites here: Witch Hazel, Daphne, and Sarcococca (or Sweet Box).Read more.
Judging from the number of sub-par small bathrooms out there leaving you wanting more, it must be hard for some people to design them! It's true, it is tricky to design a great small bathroom, but it is completely doable. Here are ten tips to help you design one that feels just right.Read more.
How old is the practice of Feng Shui? Was it practiced only in China? How has it evolved over the centuries? If you’re wondering these things, and more, read on! Bonus: We also tell you what type of Feng Shui consultation we offer at Board & Vellum.Read more.
Pairing environmentally responsible design with beautiful-designed spaces is very important to us. So, to kick off the near year, we wrote a manifesto declaring the principles we’ll follow to ensure we are doing the best we can to help not only our clients but those who inhabit the spaces and places we create in the future.Read more.
Take a digital walk through this small, urban yard to see just how much fits into this tight, city lot. But first, let’s hear about the story behind how this unique project actually came to be. You may recognize it from the B&V portfolio: The Urban Yard at the Seattle Box.Read more.
Meet Aaron Dorn, a new B&V’er joining our custom residential architecture studio! Aaron is a northwest native from southern Idaho. He carries a love of a family cabin in the woods forward with a fervent belief that our homes should engage with nature to not only shelter but nourish us, even in the city.Read more.
Marissa Lada, an interior designer here at Board & Vellum, is also a Feng Shui consultant. But, what does that mean? What is Feng Shui? What does it do? Well, it’s complicated, so let’s start with the basics in this primer to get you started.Read more.
Winter landscapes can be full of textures and colors, includling blooms! There is a lot to love, but here are three of our favorites for Pacific Northwest winter gardens: Oregon Grape, Setsugekka Camellia, and Golden Sweet Flag. Learn a little about them, how to care for them, and how to feature them in your garden.Read more.
Everyone, say hello to Jill Burdeen! Jill joins our team as a member of the “Neighborhood Studio,” with a special focus on multi-family residential projects. At work, she loves “solving” the site and collaborating to create great spaces. Out of the office, she enjoys adventuring with her daughters, and dreams of opening a candy store.Read more.
It’s that time again, time to meet a new B&V’er! This time, say hi to Jackie, our accounting coordinator. Jackie has been a Seattleite since the age of seven, and out of the office, she’s a big fan of hiking, camping, rock climbing, and recently picked up fly fishing, too.Read more.
As our Pacific Northwest autumn months get darker and darker, it’s easy to feel a little gloomy. But, if you look around, there are actually a lot of beautiful flowers blooming, even in the chill and rain. Here are a few of our favorites to watch in the late autumn season.Read more.
In the mood for some art? Good! The Capitol Hill Art Walk is coming up again, and we are hosting a new artist, Claire Showalter, at Board & Vellum’s By Others gallery. Read our Q&A with her to learn a little about her work and her process ahead of the November 8th opening reception.Read more.
People ask us a lot how they can save money on their home improvement project, and there are plenty of great tricks that suit smaller budgets. (Spoiler Alert: You still need good design.) Here are ten cheap design tricks that will help you get that extra ”oomph” out of your budget.Read more.
Sustainable design doesn’t mean you have to have solar panels, reuse your water, or have a green roof. There are plenty of smaller efforts you can take that can have a positive impact both on your carbon footprint and your budget. Here are six sustainable design options to get you started.Read more.
What is the difference between interior design and interior decorating? For starters, it's more than picking out pillows. There are a lot of misconceptions about these two roles, but it’s important to understand the difference before you hire someone to help you with your space. Here are the details and some common misconceptions.Read more.
Ask an Architect, Commercial Office, Custom Residential, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Retail
Our blog has always been a way for us to pull back the curtain on what we do as architects and designers: to advocate for our clients and help anyone learn a bit more about how we do things. This is a collection of highlights from the past few years, all in one place!Read more.
Say hello to, Morgan, our latest addition to the B&V team! Morgan left life on the east coast to join us here on the west coast. Beyond architecture, she is fluent in Mandarin, and loves spending time on the water: canoeing, swimming, but especially rowing, which she considers “her sport.”Read more.
Do you love to entertain? Here are five ways you can design for entertaining: tips for features you may want to design into your space to make your life as a host easier, more fun, and to help your home support the social events you enjoy planning and hosting.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
When you are interviewing architects, interior designers, or landscape architects for your project, how do you know what to ask? A good personality fit makes any project better, but don't leave it with that – come to the table prepared with these important questions to help you ensure you find the architect you're searching for!
Questions to Ask a Landscape Architect or Site Design Team in an Interview
When you are looking into hiring a landscape architect or a site design team, even if you’ve been through the process before, make sure you ask these important ten questions. From design process, to fee structure, to timeline, and more, we lay it out for you so you can jump into your project well-informed.
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.