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Have you ever heard that moving a toilet is a budget-busting home improvement? Would it surprise you to learn that we think this is debatable? There’s no doubt that home remodels cost money, but the big-ticket changes might not be what you expect. So what’s really going to impact your project budget?Read more.
Any design project is going to be filled with more decisions than you can anticipate. There’s a balance between understanding how to compromise on things that aren’t as important and prioritize the things that really matter. Here’s what we recommend to help our clients make good choices for their projects without giving up what they love.Read more.
What inspires designers to create beautiful projects? Just like making a fantastic dish to eat, it’s about more than the individual ingredients — it’s about how they all work together! In design, it’s so much more than meeting the basic programmatic needs of our clients. It’s about telling a story.Read more.
If you’re like us, you probably wish your kitchen had just a little bit more space – it’s one of those places where things just seem to pile up with nowhere to go. It may not be an option to actually increase the size of your kitchen, but here are five smaller projects you can invest in to make your kitchen live larger.Read more.
We see all the time how a good and thorough Schematic Pricing set helps us avoid the pitfalls of waiting too long to get an official pricing estimate. Still, we understand how the process can be overwhelming and confusing for clients. We’ve got your back with a list of our dos and don’ts for sailing through pricing like a pro.Read more.
If you’ve started a design project in the last few years, you’ve likely experienced an unfortunate shock when the pricing estimate rolls in. We hate that feeling, just as much as you. Instead of leaving it to chance, we take a different approach to helping our clients navigate the confusing and variable world of construction costs.Read more.
Each year, materials and design styles come in and out of vogue. Sometimes, it feels like a game of chance, and other times we can see the changes coming from a mile away. As 2021 dawns, we’re reflecting on what design elements are here for the moment and what’s here to stay.Read more.
It’s a question that comes up fairly often: “Should I hire an architect and a separate general contractor, or hire a design-build firm as a one-stop-shop to both design and build my space?” There are pros and cons to each; but, before we jump in, let’s pause for a moment and take this conversation more slowly.Read more.
Who says yards are just for summer? Here at Board & Vellum, we believe your outdoor spaces should be beautiful, functional, and awesome to hang out in no matter the season or weather. With a few special considerations, you can have an outdoor living space that's comfortable all year long — rain or shine.Read more.
We think embracing the outdoors is key to fully enjoying the winter season. If you live in Seattle, you might be scratching your head. Enjoying the outdoors in all this rain? In short, yes! There’s so much to enjoy this time of year, so take a leaf out of Scandinavia’s book and prepare to get cozy.Read more.
With wildfire season continuing into the late fall and a global pandemic still keeping millions of people indoors, there's a lot going on in the world. Both these natural disasters have brought to the forefront the importance of ventilation for your health: well-designed ventilation in buildings is important to address present and future pandemics, wildfires, and other airborne pollutants.Read more.
Indoor air quality has never been a more pressing or popular target than it is today. With smoke from wildfires all over the West and the continuing global pandemic of COVID-19, many of us are wondering whether our indoor air is safe. The good news is: it can be, with the right systems in place.Read more.
There have been a lot of discussions and varied information on how the built environment affects the spread of COVID-19. Now, we are also seeing more intense wildfires and smoke than we’ve seen in the past decade. With both these environmental issues keeping people indoors, healthy ventilation strategies are more important than ever.Read more.
Designing a home or building is one thing. Designing the work experience of your employees is quite another. But the design mentality we bring to our projects also allows us to adapt and innovate how we operate as a team. Though our firm has evolved over the years, our values have not, guiding us to adopt the philosophy of a high-performance team.Read more.
Toilet options are a frequently asked question around here. Where do you start with so many options on the market? Luckily, our office manager, Katie, was able to pick our interior designers’ brains about everything toilets so you can go into your bathroom remodel with the info you need to pick the option right for you.Read more.
With construction costs rising (and construction budgets feeling the pinch) it’s becoming more and more popular to self-perform at least some of the work on a remodel that might normally be left for a general contractor. Luckily, one of our architects, Kaysie, did just that not too long ago, and she’s sharing her five takeaways from the experience.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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?Read more.
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?Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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?Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Multifamily & Mixed-Use
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.
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.
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.
Or, if chronology isn’t your thing…
Here are a couple of posts to get you started. 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.
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