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Custom Residential

Fireplace Options For Your Home

If you’re considering adding a fireplace to your home or restoring an existing fireplace, the options may seem overwhelming. There are many things to consider, like aesthetic goals, ambiance, and sustainability. Luckily, we've assembled this essential guide on fireplaces to help you decide what’s right for you.

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Landscape Architecture

The Value of Hiring a Landscape Architect

Are you unsure if your project requires a landscape architect? Spoiler: it likely does. Landscape architects can help you gain a deeper understanding of your site, its composition, limitations, and areas of opportunity. If your project touches the soil, it's ideal to include a landscape architect early in the design process.

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Custom Residential, Historic & Traditional

Navigating Updates to Historic Homes

Are you curious about updating your landmarked home, or your home within a historic district? What kinds of considerations do you need to keep in mind? Is there anything you can’t do? What about things you have to do? These questions might seem overwhelming, but don't worry! We’re here to help.

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Custom Residential, Historic & Traditional

Updating Historic Homes Through Compatibility and Differentiation

When it comes to updating historic homes, there are a lot of routes you can take. Many approaches to designing remodels and additions of historic homes seek to balance two concepts: compatibility and differentiation. Let’s explore what these concepts mean and how do they play out in design.

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Custom Residential, Historic & Traditional

Landmarks vs. Historic Districts vs. Historic Homes

Do you have an older home and ever wondered whether it’s “historic?” There are a lot of phrases thrown around to describe different types of older homes, but what do they mean? And what does it mean if they apply to your home? Here, we dive into the world of historic homes!

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Multifamily & Mixed-Use

Transforming Empty Office Buildings into Housing

In the wake of changing work dynamics after the pandemic, empty office buildings are a common sight. Meanwhile, the need is dire for more housing in the city. Many are seeing this as an opportunity to solve two problems at once, and a sustainable solution for urban living to boot.

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Custom Residential

Smart Home Technology at Laurelhurst Storybook Residence

You've heard about smart home technology, but what does it actually look like in action? Kim Olsson from Beemer Smart Home took us on a tour through the Laurelhurst Storybook Residence, which utilizes a number of smart home technologies to elevate key spaces and improve day-to-day life in the home.

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Custom Residential

The Advantages of Smart Home Technology

Are you curious about smart home technology and how it can improve your daily life? We spoke with Kim Olsson of Beemer Smart Home to learn about the core benefits of smart home technology and how it can enhance and transform your household.

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Commercial

Warm Shell vs. Cold Shell Commercial Spaces

If you're in the market for a commercial space for your business, you might be familiar with the terms ‘cold shell’ and ‘warm shell.’ But what to do these terms mean? And what considerations should you take into account when choosing a warm shell vs. a cold shell commercial space? We break it down here.

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Commercial

Why Your Project Needs a Commercial Test Fit

You’ve search around and found a great location for you business. Now what? How do you know whether the space will suite your needs, fit what you need to fit, and be comfortable and accessible to your employees, clients, or guests? Enter, the Commercial Test Fit.

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Commercial

The Importance of Universal Design in Commercial Spaces

When it comes to design, finding ways to create accessible and enjoyable experiences for all is of the utmost importance. This is especially true in commercial, retail, and office spaces, where we hope to make everyone feel welcome. The tools Universal Design and Inclusive Design give us can help us get there.

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Commercial, Interior Design, Third Places

Elements of Great Café Design

Think about your favorite café. What stands out to you? When it comes to designing amazing café spaces, there’s a lot to consider, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Here, we break down the basic elements every café should include to achieve a great design that elevates your brand and your customers love.

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Interior Design

Vintage Shopping for Your Design Project

Vintage pieces can elevate your space by adding unique and personal flourishes. If you’re looking to incorporate vintage accessories, antique furniture, or second hand lighting into the design of your home or space, here are a few pointers to help you get started – and stay on track – on your next shopping trip.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

Five Simple Bathroom Upgrades

Bored with your basic bathroom? We spend more time in our bathrooms than we realize. At Board & Vellum, we believe bathrooms are all about self-care – they’re an important space where you’ll consistently begin and end your days. Love your space more with these five simple bathroom upgrades.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture

Must-Have Spaces for Kids

Designing spaces for your little ones can be fun — but it can also be a challenge to create a space that can withstand their growth, needs, and ever-changing interests. Here are some unique, must-have kid’s spaces that will give your child their own room to grow.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

Five Ways to Enliven Nooks & Niches

Do you have a small, awkward space in your home you just aren’t sure what to do with? With a little creativity, you can turn even the most cramped nook or niche into a spot that delights you. Here are some of our favorite ways to make the most of those small spaces.

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Custom Residential

Five Ways to Create an Amazing Home Bar

Home bars are a great addition for anyone who loves to host or experiment with new drink recipes. From small and flexible to big and built-in, if you’re wondering where to start or what’s possible, we’ve compiled five ideas to help get you started, no matter your budget or space.

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Landscape Architecture

Steps of the Landscape & Site Design Process

So, you want to update the exterior of your home. Maybe the plants are all wrong or you want an outdoor kitchen. Or maybe you’re hoping for an even bigger impact. Whatever your goals, the site design process at Board & Vellum is designed to support you every step of the way.

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Building Green

What To Consider When Future-Proofing Your Home

How long do you plan to stay in your current home? If you’re considering staying in it through your golden years, you’ll want to start thinking about future-proofing. Confused? Don’t worry! Here, we’ll walk you through the four basic principles to follow when you’re planning to age in place.

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Commercial, Custom Residential, Interior Design, Multifamily & Mixed-Use

Our 2023 Interior Design Forecast

Trying to stay ahead of the design-trend curve? Us too. And for good reason! There are so many beautiful trends having and about to have their moment – not just ”for now,“ but as lasting elements of beautiful design. Our 2023 Interior Design Forecast is here to help you get to know upcoming trends you’ll love.

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Custom Residential, Interior Design

Five Kitchen Island Must-Haves

If you’re adding an island to your kitchen, you might be wondering what details are essential to achieving a functional space that’s a delight to use and also looks great. We’ve got you covered with five of our favorite must-have details for every kitchen island.

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Building Green

The Wonders of Cork as a Sustainable Material

Would it surprise you to learn that cork is a beautiful, sustainable material with many applications as an interior and exterior finish? This spring, Terry Phelan had the opportunity to witness a cork oak harvest firsthand and now shares the wonders of this product with you!

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Interior Design

How to Design to a Concept Instead of a Theme

Concept vs. Theme. Maybe you’ve never thought about the difference between these approaches to design. Maybe you didn’t even realize they were related to design! The difference is subtle, but being able to tell them apart could be what keeps you from taking your design vision to an unpleasant extreme.

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The Business of Design

Community Engagement at Board & Vellum

Giving back to the community has been part of Board & Vellum’s DNA from the beginning. Our commitment to community building led to one of our major 2022 initiatives: developing our Community Engagement Manifesto to help organize our company’s and employees’ charitable efforts.

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Commercial, Custom Residential, Interior Design

How a Designer Can Help You Navigate Lead Times

Product lead times can play a major role in the success of your project and, these days, they’re longer and less predictable than ever. If you’ve been frustrated trying to find a product in stock and on your timeline, we feel you. And we have some simple ways to help you overcome these challenges.

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Interior Design

Our FF&E Procurement Process

When it comes to acquiring your project’s FF&E, the process might seem confusing and complicated. But it doesn’t have to be! Sure, it’s complex, but we can help you get there. With the right team and interior designer at your side, the FF&E procurement process can be simple — even fun!

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Interior Design

What is FF&E Procurement?

If you’re working with an interior designer, you may be wondering how you’re going to acquire all the amazing items they’re helping you select for your space. We have the answer: FF&E Procurement. It’s one of the many ways we work to help you get the most out of your project!

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Interior Design

How an Interior Designer Can Help During Construction

Watching your project come together during construction can be exciting and also stressful. As interior designers, our work isn't done just because your contractor is finally on site. There are many ways we can continue to support you and your project during construction to make sure it comes out just as you imagined.

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Landscape Architecture

Four Must-Haves for Summertime Get-Togethers

With holiday weekends and summer gatherings starting in earnest, you may be thinking more about what your outdoor space needs to be comfortable for you, your family, and your guests to enjoy. Never fear! It doesn’t take much to take your outdoor space from good to great in preparation for your next get-together.

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Interior Design

Steps of the Interior Design Process

The popularity of home renovation shows can make the interior design process appear easier than ever. Would it surprise you to learn that what goes on behind the scenes is a completely different story? Don’t fret — equipped with a clear understanding of the process, you can navigate each phase with ease!

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Building Green

The Inherent Sustainability of Small Dwellings

In the ever-evolving world of sustainable design, finding sustainable ways to live and build can seem like a complicated puzzle to solve. But what if there were an easy way to lower your impact? Turns out, living in a sustainable home may be simpler than you realize — just think small!

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Building Green

Sustainability in Buildings: High-Tech or Low-Tech

If you have sustainability goals for your project, it may be difficult to know whether low-tech, passive strategies are the way to go, or if high-tech solutions are going to better meet your goals. Here, we’ll walk you through when to crunch numbers and when to just follow your gut.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

How to Determine Your Project’s Program

When folks are setting out on a design journey, many, but not all of them, come to us knowing exactly what they want to do with their project. If you’re someone who isn't quite sure, how do you go about figuring out your dream project’s program? And what can we do as designers to help?

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Building Green

What Kind of Sustainable Home is Most “You”?

Sustainable homes come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re thinking of upgrading your home with more sustainable options or are building a new home altogether, it’s worth considering your sustainability priorities and what type of sustainable home will best meet them. So, what kind of sustainable home best suits you?

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Ask an Architect

How To Update a Short-Term Rental Property

As schedules remain flexible and more folks are able to work from anywhere, there has been a huge surge in the short-term rental market. The pandemic has fueled a strong desire for individuals and families to get away from their everyday life and into something new, so let's talk through what it takes to get a property ready for renters.

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Custom Residential

Tips For Entertaining In Small Spaces

Is the size of your space holding you back from throwing the dinner party of your dreams? We say, “Throw the dang party!” You don’t need a huge home to have a great party! We’ll give you the push you need to embrace your space of any size for entertaining.

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Landscape Architecture

Your Guide To Raised Beds & Container Gardens

We’re digging deep into everything you need to know about adding raised beds or a container garden to your outdoor space. And what about edible plants? A popular choice for raised beds and containers, let’s talk about how to make the most out of your space to grow exactly what you want.

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Landscape Architecture

Five Things To Consider With Composite Decking

Thinking about building or rebuilding your deck? Maybe you’re looking at all the material options and feeling a little overwhelmed? If you’re considering composite decking as one of your options, let’s talk about some of the things you might want to mull over as you make your decision.

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Building Green, Civic, Landscape Architecture

Sustainability in Park Design

In the Pacific Northwest, the heat is literally on. Last summer, we experienced record-breaking heat in Seattle and, in Washington State, we recently adopted the Climate Commitment Act that requires a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution to net zero by 2050. Can investing in sustainable park infrastructure help us meet those goals?

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Landscape Architecture

Recent Trends In Outdoor Spaces

Have you noticed a lot of people updating their yards recently? We certainly have. There are a lot of reasons why, but probably most important has been the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic and the way it changed our relationship with the outdoors. Let's explore some of the influencing factors behind all these updates and what we’re seeing as a result.

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News

Teaming Up: A Message From Terry Phelan

As a leader in sustainable and green design, Terry has dedicated her 30-plus-year career to finding ways to expand the deep green space. As her retirement approaches, Terry is looking forward to continuing to focus on educating the public and mentoring the next generation of designers to carry on the amazing work she and Living Shelter have started.

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News

Teaming Up: A Message From Jeff Pelletier

When the opportunity to advance our plans to expand our green and sustainable practice arose, it was too good to pass up. We feel fortunate to welcome Living Shelter Architects to our team — a dedicated group of designers whose mission and values align so well with our own. Sometimes, things just fit!

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Building Green, News

Living Shelter Architects and Board & Vellum Join Forces

We’ve been keeping a secret, but it’s for a good reason, and we’re pleased to finally get to share! We’ve always been dedicated to bringing our clients the best we have to offer in our services, approach, and design philosophy. Now with Living Shelter Architects joining the team, we’re excited to be able to provide even more to our community.

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Ask an Architect

How An Architect Can Help Before You Buy A House

Ever heard of someone buying a house only to learn their big remodel dreams aren’t possible? The competitive real estate market can add pressure to buying a home before you have the full picture. That’s where we come in! An architect can help you understand the potential of a house before you even make an offer.

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Building Green

The Basics of Building & Material Reuse

You may be familiar with the idea of building reuse in design, but did you know “reuse” actually covers a wide range of project types and approaches? While each type is unique, and some might lend themselves better to certain project types, each kind is integral to sustainable building and design practices.

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The Business of Design

Why I’m a Generalist Architect

Many architects and designers choose to specialize in a specific sector or focus on a single project type. That’s awesome and necessary, but it’s not Jeff. His journey as a generalist architect is why providing out-of-the-box services is part of Board & Vellum’s DNA, and it’s what keeps him dedicated to design of all kinds.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

What Really Adds Cost To Your Home Remodel?

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?

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Custom Residential

Five Design Priorities for Your Home

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.

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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 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, 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 receives Just label from the International Living Future Institute, a voluntary reporting tool for social justice and equity indicators in the workplace.

Achieved a Just label from the International Living Future Institute in 2023.

Board & Vellum is honored to be a Gray Awards Finalist for landscape design, earning the recognition for the rooftop garden at the Lucille on Roosevelt.

Honored as a finalist for residential landscape design.

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.