The B&V Blog

Our blog is intended to act as a resource for anyone wondering how to approach their project, or to get a design question answered. From our perspective, architecture and design shouldn’t be an exclusive club full of people using esoteric jargon and wearing only black. The blog is written for you, not for us. 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.

B&V Retreat 2017: Recap and a Competition-Winning Recipe

Board & Vellum Company Retreat 2017 – Company Group Photo
For the 2017 B&V Company Strategic Planning Retreat, we packed up and hauled off to camp at Rasar State Park. Even through sickness and rain, we not only set out our 5 and 10-year goals, but we wrapped up the day with an Iron Chef competition. And bonus, we’re sharing one of the winning recipes with you!

Mentoring with Anecdotes vs. Creating a Culture of Trust

Mentoring with Anecdotes vs. Creating a Culture of Trust – Having fun at the company retreat.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received? Jeff Pelletier looks back to his first design job, and finds that great mentorship doesn’t always come in the form of sharing pre-packaged nuggets of wisdom. Sometimes, it’s about trusting and empowering young employees, and Jeff’s been paying it forward ever since.

Questions to Ask an Architect in an Interview: Advice for Clients

Questions to Ask an Architect in an Interview – Talking with Potential Clients About Architecture
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!

Introducing, Zack!

Canoeing with the Kids – Introducing Zack Thomas – Board & Vellum
It's time to "Meet a B&V'er" again! Say hi to Zack, who (with teammate Derek) launched Board & Vellum's landscape architecture studio. Zack, a licensed Landscape Architect, loves traveling the world with his sketchbook. Whether urban, rural, or natural, he thrives on exploring new places and meeting the people who shape and inhabit them.

Imagining the Future of Architecture

Future of Architecture – Looking at architecture in a crystal ball.
What does the future of architecture look like? Will we toss out everything and be living and working in an entirely different system? Or, will the field evolve more gradually? Board & Vellum principal, Jeff Pelletier, looks 20 years ahead to explore how – and where – the profession may evolve in the years to come.

All Together Now: Integrated Design at Board & Vellum

Integrated Design at Board & Vellum
The benefit of an integrated practice like Board & Vellum, which offers architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture, is that all the projects we work on get better – even if they don’t involve all the disciplines. Here, B&V principal Jeff Pelletier explains why.

Evolution of the Third Place

Photo of a '50s diner. – Third Place Evolution – Board & Vellum
Third Places have evolved over centuries, from the tea houses of the Jin Dynasty, to Central Perk of '90s fame, to our current, caffeinated Wi-Fi hotspots. But it's not caffeinated beverages (or Wi-Fi) that creates a successful space. So, what is it? Explore the common evolutionary thread in this latest installation about Third Places.

Designing a House into a Home

Designing a House Into a Home – Sketching over schematic floor plans at Board & Vellum.
Emotion and personalization turn a house into a home, and when you're talking about designing your living space, this is incredibly important. Read about how our design process at Board & Vellum helps us make the leap from a great design (that is still just a house) to a home that our clients will love.

Advice for Young Architects: A Recap from the AIA Seattle Young Architects/Women in Design Happy Hour

Advice to Young Architects – Recap from the Young Architects Forum at Board & Vellum
Fresh from hosting a successful and lively Young Architects Forum Happy Hour at Board & Vellum, Jeff Pelletier recaps his speech on the theme of "Chance," offering advice to young architects who dream of what to do and where to go next in their career.

B&V Celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women's Day – B&V Women – Board & Vellum
Board & Vellum is composed of 11 women out 24 total team members, so it's no joke that stuff just wouldn't get done without us. But, B&V has long been an advocate for equality, no matter your gender. From work/life balance and benefits, to our culture of respect, we run a collaborative office bringing us all up together.

Chances in an Unconventional Workplace

Young Architects Forum Happy Hour at Board & Vellum
B&V will host the AIA Seattle Young Architects Forum / Women in Design Happy Hour on Thursday, March 9th. Read why this year's happy hour series theme, "Leave It To Chance," resonates with our firm.

Introducing, Derek!

Introducing Derek Reeves! – Meet a B&V'er – Board & Vellum
It's Meet a B&V'er time again, and this time, it's Derek: part one of two for Board & Vellum's budding (tee hee) landscape architecture studio. Derek is a self-proclaimed "Plant Geek" and spends his spare time hanging out with his family, enjoying the great outdoors, and shooting awesome drone footage.

Third Places Count

Third Places Count – Coffee Cup Cheers
Maybe you've heard the term "Third Place" lately, but aren't sure what it means? Well, we here at Board & Vellum love us a good Third Place, and our own Charles Fadem is here to walk you through what Third Places are, why they matter, and what it takes to make a good one.

Should You Pick Your Architect Based on Style or Service?

Should You Pick Your Architect Based on Style or Service? – Board & Vellum Designs in Many Styles to Suit the Context and Client
When searching for an architect, should you pick one based on the architect's style or base on the type of service they provide? As it so often happens: it depends! But, not to worry, Jeff Pelletier breaks it down into pros and cons for each scenario so you can start off your search well-informed.

Night School 02.17: Authenticity in Design

Authenticity in Design: Monadnock Building Floor Plans – Board & Vellum Night School
What does authentic design mean to you? What makes a space look, feel, or be authentic? Join a lively discussion about it over some drinks and snacks with us on February 16th at 6 p.m. at Board & Vellum's Below Grade event space, as we kick off the 2017 Night School "school year" with a discussion on authenticity.

B&V’s “By Others” Gallery 02.09: Etta Lilienthal

Etta Lilienthal at By Others Gallery, Board & Vellum
Capitol Hill Art Walk is coming up, and Board & Vellum is hosting a brand new show by Etta Lilienthal. Read our Q&A and get to know the artist ahead of the February 9th opening reception for standstill, a site-specific installation in our public gallery space, “By Others.”

Introducing, Sandy!

Introducing, Sandy Wolf! – Sandy poses with a "Sandy" sign. – Meet a B&V'er – Board & Vellum
It's that time again! Time to introduce you to another new B&V'er, Sandy Wolf. Sandy hails from Ohio, and came to Seattle after attending Auburn University where she spent her final year as a member of the renowned design-build program, the Rural Studio.

On the Boards: Alki Midcentury Remodel

Existing Exterior at the Alki Midcentury Remodel – Board & Vellum
Ever wondered how projects go from start to finish at Board & Vellum? You're in luck: this month we are kicking off a new series where we follow a project the whole way. The first project in the series is the Alki Midcentury Remodel, so join us to read about how it evolves!

Introducing, Monika!

Introducing, Monika Shreves! – Monika and Conor Take a Selfie at Pike Place Market in Seattle
It's been a busy year for B&V, especially in terms of growing our team. We're long overdue in introducing the newest member of our Interior Design studio: Monika Shreves. Monika worked with fellow B&V'er Charles Fadem before we recruited her, too, to make the trek over from the east coast to join us in Seattle.

2016 Highlights and Year in Review

2016 Year in Review – Board & Vellum: Group Shot Pointing
It's that time of year again: time for the Jeff's year-end review! Some awesome things happened in the world of Board & Vellum in this busy and exciting 2016. Now, as the year wraps up, check out the mix of business and personal highlights, and we'll all toast to great new things to come!