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.

Advice for Young Architects
Arts & Culture
Ask an Architect
Commercial Office
Custom Residential
Events
Firm Culture
Going Green
Historic Preservation
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Multi-Family Residential
News
Other Tangents
Retail
Seattle Design Community
Third Places
 
Firm Culture

Introducing, Jill!

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.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Jackie!

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.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: Late Autumn in the Pacific Northwest

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.

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Arts & Culture, Events

Work by Claire Showalter in the “By Others” Gallery at Board & Vellum

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.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Interior Design

Cheap Design Tricks for Your Home Improvement Project

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.

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Custom Residential, Going Green, Interior Design

Six Easy Sustainable Design Options to Consider for your Next Home Remodel

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.

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Interior Design

Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating: What’s the Difference?

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.

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

Ask an Architect: Highlights from The B&V Blog

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!

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Morgan!

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.”

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

Five Ways to Design for Entertaining

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.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: Early Autumn in the Pacific Northwest

Even though the Pacific Northwest is known for its eternal greenery (Hello, Emerald City!), we do still have plenty of beautiful fall colors. Here are three of our favorites, from trees to sedums that thrive in our northwest climate and will brighten up your fall day.

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Interior Design

Is Custom Furniture or Wallpaper Worth It?

Is custom furniture or other custom interiors items, like wallpaper or art, worth it? We think so! And, the price of these items is really not as scary as you think, sometimes, it’s even less than the pieces from large manufacturers, and with better quality. Here are some basics on custom furniture and more.

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Ask an Architect

Are Architects “Experts”?

Are architects experts? No. But we are fantastic creative problem solvers and we eagerly learn from our mistakes. You might say, we are experts and recognizing the mistakes we’ve made in the past, and making a point of doing better. Here are five lessons we’ve learned to be an expert at avoiding.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Hyrel!

Meet, Hyrel, our latest, new, B&V'er! Hyrel joins our interior design studio, bringing nearly a decade of experience in high-end residential design. She’s also loves to cook for friends, arrange flowers, and even takes part in a weekly dog swim club.

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Advice for Young Architects

How To Design For Others

Unless you are an architect guided only by your own ego, you need to learn how to design for others. Your clients will be unique individuals who may have needs and preferences that are completely foreign to you. Here are some tips to hone your skills at understanding the needs of people unlike you.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Michael!

Say hi to Michael, the latest addition to our landscape and site design studio. Michael is another B&V’er hailing from outside Chicago (we have a few!), but he has been in Seattle for the last six years, with San Francisco before that. Out of the office, it’s not unlikely that he’ll be in the mountains.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now, In August: Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas may be well-known, but did you there are a variety of different types? From the aptly-named ‘Incrediball’ to even a climbing version (really!) — here a the details on a few of our favorites, recommendations on where to plant them, and how to make sure they get what the need to be a champ bloomer.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Christopher!

You know what time it is? Time to say hello to another new B&V’er! Meet Christopher, a licensed architect with over twenty years of experience on projects ranging from zoos to historic preservation to affordable housing. His passion for architecture is underpinned with a love of world travel and photography.

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Advice for Young Architects

Career Path of an Architect (And, Beyond)

What are you going to be when you grow up? Does it come as a surprise that a lot of architects wonder this constantly? The education and on-the-job training that the architectural profession requires trains you for all sorts of other professions that require creative problem-solving. So, what are you going to be?

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Arts & Culture, Events

Work by Claudia Hollander-Lucas in the “By Others” Gallery at Board & Vellum

The Capitol Hill Art Walk is coming up again, and here at Board & Vellum’s By Others gallery, we are hosting a show by artist Claudia Hollender-Lucas. Read our Q&A with her to learn a little about her work and her process ahead of the August 9th opening reception.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: Moon Gardens in July

How much do you love a moon garden? When designing your landscape, don’t forget you can plan not only for the experience of the garden in the day time, but also the late night hours! These blooming plants are great candidates for a beautiful (and great smelling) night garden.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Kaysie!

It’s new B&V’er time! Say hello to Kaysie, a licensed architect, who is returning home to the Pacific Northwest from a stint in southern California. Kaysie is a strong advocate for architects and designers to keep learning, not only in the context of continuing education, but with an active attention to the world around them.

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Other Tangents

Use Your Words (Even When You Can’t)

Even in a profession where we quite literally draw pictures to communicate, words are incredibly important, too. Use them carefully, and precisely to get the job done right, and don’t forget that words can communicate very differently if they are said out loud versus written down, and there’s a time and place for both.

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Firm Culture, News

Five Ways You Can Create Great Work Culture

At the end of June, we attended the 2018 Seattle Magazine's Best 100 Companies to Work for Event, in the top 10 for small business for the third year! We are excited, of course, but it takes a lot of work to create work culture like this. Here are 5 ways we help cultivate our work culture.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: June in Seattle

June in Seattle is also known as “Juneuary,” thanks to our famously rainy early summers. But there are still plenty of flowers to enjoy at this time of year, and you could argue they look even better glistening with raindrops. Read on to learn about the Japanese Snowbell, the Pacific Mock Orange, and Creeping Honeysuckle.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Hailey Mackay!

It‘s time to say hello to a new B&V’er in the landscape and site design studio: Hailey Mackay! Hailey grew up inhabiting both the urban and rural environments of the Pacific Northwest, and the experience of balancing those contexts to informs her work today.

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Other Tangents

Channeling Experience: Storytelling in the Spaces We Design

Although we humans have invented new ways of sharing knowledge beyond the sharing of stories to one other over the firepit, storytelling is a key part of our culture. (Who doesn’t love a good story?) But beyond the stories we tell out loud, there is storytelling in spaces we design, too.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

What’s Harder: Designing a New House or Remodeling an Existing Home?

Remodeling vs building new: is one harder than the other? It’s very difficult to compare the two, as it’s not apples to apples. While they do share some of the same approaches, they are different challenges that require careful thought. Here are a few of the things to keep in mind when remodeling your home.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: In Seattle, Dogwood Trees!

Are you wondering: “What are those trees blooming in late spring, with large flowers in shades of pink or white?” They might be dogwoods, a powerhouse of landscape design that has a number of great cultivars and varieties. Here are a few of our favorite dogwood varieties, along with some details about their care and preferences.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Kimber!

It’s time to meet another new B&V’er! Say hello to Kimber, a licensed architect who joined us in February 2018. Kimber has called Seattle home for two decades and loves both the city and the beautiful Pacific Northwest geography that surrounds us.

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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!

Ask an Architect

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!

Ask an Architect, Landscape Architecture

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.

Get in touch.
Seattle Business Magazine Best Companies to Work For 2018: Board & Vellum

In the Top 10 for small business for the 3rd year in a row!

Best of Houzz 2018 – Board & Vellum

Recognized for “Design” & “Service” for the 5th year!

LEED Certified in White

Our team includes LEED-accredited professionals.

Certified Passive House Consultant in White

Principal Jeff Pelletier is Passive House certified.

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

Honoring companies that lead in promoting equality.

Board & Vellum on PSBJ's WA's Best Workplaces List for 4th Year!

Ranked for the 4th year in a row as a great place to work!