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Interior Design

Creating a Color-Blocked Kitchen

Color-blocking isn’t just for clothes — you can color-block your kitchen cabinets, too. But, it’s not about following a trend, it’s actually something we see in a variety of incarnations to suit different design styles, spaces, and moods.

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Commercial Office, Retail, Third Places

Creating Intentional Interactions Through Design

When we’re designing spaces like coffee shops, bars, offices, and even yards, it’s key to create a space where people can have casual and occasional interactions. Here’s a little about how we go about designing spaces that promote interaction between strangers.

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Custom Residential

Is Exterior Shading Right for My Home?

Though still more common in Europe, we are finally starting to catch up across the pond, as it is becoming more common to add exterior shading to homes. The science is sound, and there are plenty of clear benefits. So how do you decide what type of exterior shading system would be great for your home?

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Arts & Culture, Events

Works by Daniel Ash & Julianna Karr in the “By Others” Gallery at Board & Vellum

Ready for a new show in the By Others gallery? We’ve been on hold for construction, but we are back! For November’s Capitol Hill Art Walk, we are hosting works by two artists: Daniel Ash and Julianna Karr. Read their artist statements, here, ahead of the November 14th opening reception.

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Events

Public Life Study: Professional People-Watching!

Join us! With the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and the Seattle Department of Transportation, B&V is collaborating on “Public Life Counts!” — a public life study of how our community uses public spaces. Data collected will inform an equitable and holistic planning process to shape active, safe, and well-connected public spaces on Capitol Hill.

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Retail, Third Places

Are Loud Restaurants Really Worth It?

There are certainly reasons why some chefs and restaurant owners prefer a loud space. And, some restaurant patrons enjoy it, too, at least for a little while. Here are a few reasons why loud restaurants exist and a few ways we could make them a little quieter, while still keeping a business profitable.

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Commercial Office, Interior Design

Creating a Healthier Office Space

Fortunately, trends in office space design have moved beyond fields of cubicles and row after row of fluorescent lighting. Skylights and lush green walls are popular, but even if you can’t incorporate holistic design options like these to support a healthier space, there are plenty of smaller moves you can make to create a healthy office.

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Interior Design

Mudroom Must-Haves

Mudrooms are a very common request from our clients whose homes don’t already feature one, as they can ease the coming-and-going process, especially for busy families. Hear from our interior design team about their recommendations for mudrooms that will not only meet your needs but excite.

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Custom Residential

Designing for Fire

Gathering around a fire is an ancient human activity that maintains its magnetic attraction, even now. As a feature that so viscerally attracts us and so often is the backdrop of our favorite memories, why not design more than one location in your home or yard where you can encourage the comfort of a fire.

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Multifamily Residential

Why Special Amenities Are the X-Factor in Multifamily Design

In this extremely competitive rental and condo market, even atypical, outside-the-box amenity spaces can’t be counted on to elevate a property over the steep competition, especially if they feel tacked on as a bonus. It takes a cohesive design story tying the whole building together to truly stand out.

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Commercial Office

Private Offices vs. “Open Office” Concepts for Workspaces

Over the years, the popular (and researched) opinions about what makes for an ideal workspace have shifted from recommending private offices, to semi-private, to the so-called “open office” concepts, and back. But, different types of workspaces are ideal for different types of companies, based on budget, type of work, company culture, and more.

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Landscape Architecture

Why Should You Hire a Certified Arborist?

The proper care of trees is crucial to their health and to the safety of the people enjoying them. The relationship between trees, people, and the structures we build requires a managed balance. Certified Arborists play a key role in all this; explore how in this conversation with our in-house certified arborist, Hailey Mackay.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

How To Pay For, Or Finance, a New Custom Home

Whether modern or traditional, a custom home can be designed to meet your family’s needs. You’ve just got to find a way to pay for it! Here is a look at a few of the options available for paying for — or financing — the construction of a new custom home.

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Going Green, Interior Design

Sustainable Bedding Options for Your Home

Many of us are making an effort to live our lives with a critical eye on our environmental impact. Building homes following sustainable practices is incredibly important, but don’t forget to also give that attention to the materials and products you put inside it. This primer on sustainable bedding options can get you started.

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Arts & Culture, Events, Seattle Design Community

DIY Urbanism

Every year, communities come together to take back parking-spot-sized parcels of the street, transforming them into pedestrian-centric installations. Though PARK(ing) Day lasts mere hours, other forms of tactical urbanism exist globally in various degrees of permanence, engaging and influencing the evolution of communities, public space, and informing the relationship between an urban environment its inhabitants.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Andrea!

Say hi to Andrea, our most recent addition to the B&V team! Adding to our collection of UO grads, Andrea joins us with experience on multifamily, custom residential, and commercial projects. Also, she owns a 35' sailboat — when you’re done asking her design questions, ask her where she likes to sail on a sunny weekend!

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Multifamily Residential

Why Corridors in Multifamily Buildings Are Worth It

Corridors in multifamily buildings are often overlooked, considered areas to pinch the budget to save money for ”more glamorous” amenities, but it’s actually well worth it to invest in the design of a building’s corridors, not only from the perspective of the residents but from the perspective of the developer.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

Should I Dig Out My Basement?

Digging out your basement seems like an attractive solution to gaining more useable space in your home, but it’s complicated to do and can be quite expensive. These are a series of questions you should consider when weighing whether or not to excavate the basement in your home.

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Landscape Architecture

Creating Vibrant Layers in Your Garden

Layered planting doesn’t have to be complex and, if done correctly, layering can reduce your garden maintenance and increase the time you spend actually enjoying your garden. From the ground plane to the backdrop, you can create your own luscious, layered garden by following these simple concepts.

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Retail

Branding Through Storytelling in Commercial Design

Storytelling is an integral part of humanity: our individual and communal lives are built on stories. When it comes to a brand, a well-told, authentic story reflected in a physical space is incredibly impactful. But, what does that mean and where do you start in the design process?

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Interior Design

Great Reasons to Add a Built-In Bench to Your Project

When we say, “built-ins“ — do you think cabinets and bookshelves? A lot of people do, but one of our favorite types of built-ins is a built-in bench — here’s why, in the words of a few of Board & Vellum’s interior designers.

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Custom Residential, Going Green

Designing a Sustainable Remodel

Designing a high-performance new home is straight-forward and time-tested. Designing a high-performance remodel can be a bit more complex and nuanced. Here are areas in which to focus your efforts so you can maximize the sustainable impact of your project, remodeling your space into a beautiful and high-performing home.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Danie!

Meet Danie, the latest addition to B&V’s interiors team. Danie hails from the Midwest, most recently from Chicago. In “fun facts you don’t hear often” — she grew up with a Christmas tree farm as a backyard! Now surrounded by the giant trees of the Pacific Northwest, when she’s not designing interiors, she loves the outdoors.

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Arts & Culture

Architects in the Music World

The general public may know more about musicians than about architects; after all, it’s a lot easier to share a song far and wide than a building. But, both are both creative fields, so it may come as no surprise how much crossover there is between them.

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Ask an Architect

How To Know If Your Contractor is Doing a Good Job

As much as we may want it to be, nothing is perfect. Whether remodeling or building new, and regardless of how well-recommended your contractor is, unknown challenges will arise with your project. But, this is a navigable process, especially if you keep these tips in mind.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Interior Design

Do I Have Space for a Kitchen Island? (And Other Kitchen Island Questions)

Contrary to what you might read elsewhere, you can actually fit a kitchen island into a tighter space — you just have to design for it. Here are the details to keep in mind, as well as questions you’ll need to answer whether or not you have a small space to work with.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: Golden Summer, Rain or Shine

What do Golden Rain Tree, Cone Flower, and Thyme have in common? They can all bring lovely golden colors to your landscape. Learn more about the virtues of these three plants and why you may find them to be the perfect addition in your garden.

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Going Green

Questions To Ask About Sustainability

Board & Vellum’s first employee is starting off on a new adventure. As a farewell blog post, he asked people around the office about something really important to him: what questions they ask themselves — and think others should ask — about sustainability in terms of homes, landscapes, and workplaces.

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Custom Residential

Spec Home vs. Semi-Custom Home vs. Custom Home

When designing a new home, it’s important to understand the level of service you’ll need to get the particular quality of new home you’re hoping for. From a spec home, to a semi-custom home, to a fully custom home — here are the differences between the levels of service and the quality of the end result.

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Custom Residential

The Benefits of Building a New Home vs. Remodeling an Old One

Remodeling a home is not always the right call — there are a lot of complicated factors at play (and we’re here to help). If you are wondering about the advantages of building a new home instead of remodeling an old one, here is a quick primer on the advantages of new construction.

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Interior Design

To Buy, or Not to Buy, Knock-Off Furniture

Not everyone can afford to buy a house full of designer furniture. So, do you turn to knock-off pieces instead? (No. Or, not 100% no.) Here’s our philosophy for stretching your furniture budget, planning for longterm, and, all the while, still having somewhere to sit down at the end of the day.

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Multifamily Residential

Why Amenity Spaces in Multifamily Buildings Are Worth It

If an apartment building’s amenity spaces are an afterthought during the design process, they’re going to feel like afterthoughts in someone’s life, too. Uninspired settings are not what today’s city dwellers are looking for. In a competitive market, without well-designed common spaces, your whole building may end up an afterthought to a potential renter.

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Interior Design, Retail

How to Design a Sense of “Home” into your Retail Space

Evoking a sense of “home” in a retail space can be a key factor in getting your customers to not only linger long enough to make a purchase, but to keep them coming back. But creating this type of experience takes more nuance than simply adding a couch — here’s what to consider when planning your space.

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential

Common Bathroom Floor Plans: Rules of Thumb for Layout

There are a few typical floor plans to consider when designing the layout for a bathroom in your house. These eight lessons illustrate the common plan options and describes the advantages and disadvantages of each. Of course, there are always exceptions, and a good designer can find a solution that meets your needs.

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Ask an Architect, Commercial Office, Retail

What Is a Tenant Improvement Allowance?

As a business owner, understanding what a tenant improvement (or TI) allowance is, is essential to inform the choices you’ll make when selecting a new commercial space and negotiating your commercial lease. The TI allowance will also define how much of the cost of your commercial build-out will come out of your pocket.

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Landscape Architecture

What’s Blooming Now: Adding a Little Drama to Your Shade Garden

Three of our favorite plants for giving your shade garden some extra pop are Stewartia, Bear’s Breeches, and Cranesbill. Here’s a little on why we love them, how to help them thrive in your garden, and some ideas for pairing them with other plants.

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Commercial Office, Interior Design, Retail

How Biophillic Design Can Help Your Commercial Space

As humans, we love nature, and studies show that access to nature or natural elements is actually beneficial to our health. As a design theory, this is called biophilic design. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth it to incorporate nature into the design of your commercial spaces.

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Interior Design, Multifamily Residential, Retail

Creative Cost-Saving Tips for Your Commercial Space

Often, design budgets for commercial tenant improvements can be tight. But giving your space that little something extra to excite your clientele is super helpful for bringing in business, and getting your customers to linger. Here are a few creative tips for stretching that dollar further in your commercial space.

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Retail

How Your Neighborhood Can Inform the Design of Your Commercial Space

Neighborhood and community context is important to the success of a retail — or other commercial — space. Here’s how being site-specific can be beneficial to your commercial project and help you make the impact you need to win and retain customers.

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Custom Residential

What to Think About When Designing a Cabin

When designing a cabin, what should you think about? What happens behind-the-scenes during the design process that results in a cabin that simply “feels right”? Read on for a bit of a peek at what guides us when collaborating with clients on a cabin project.

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Multifamily Residential

Are Condos in Seattle Coming Back?

It’s no secret that Seattle has an affordable housing problem — and the lack of condos on the market is one (of many) contributing factors. So, why are there so few condo buildings in Seattle? Read on for some backstory about how we got here, and, hopefully, a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

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Interior Design

Our (Current) Favorite Kitchen Details

This time around on our “B&V Designer Spotlight” series, we asked our interior design team to share their (current) favorite details for kitchens. So, from lighting to cabinets, with a bit about ideas for materials and finishes, read on to learn what’s exciting the team these days.

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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!

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, 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.
Board & Vellum makes Seattle Business magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington 2019.

On the list for small business for the 4th year in a row!

Best of Houzz 2019: Design & Service – Board & Vellum

Recognized for “Design” & “Service” for the 6th year!

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.