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
News
Other Tangents
Retail
Seattle Design Community
Third Places
 
Firm Culture

B&V’ers Toast to What They Love About Working at Board & Vellum

Hey, wondering what’s it like working at Board & Vellum? Well, you’re in luck: in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, B&V’ers took a moment to write down (or draw) what they are thankful for about being part of the team.

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Ask an Architect

Finding That “Eureka!” Moment in the Design Process

Parts of the architectural design process can (and must) be very precise, but there is also a messy, organic part of it. It’s the creative part of the game, and it’s often in that time that we find the “Eureka!” moment in the design process. When you’re working on your design, watch for it!

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Landscape Architecture

Landscape Designer vs. Landscape Architect: What Is The Difference?

Is there a difference between a landscape designer and a landscape architect? (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) So, why would you want to hire one versus the other? Is it all about plants? Or is it more technical? Let’s get into the differences between the services each typically offers, and how that applies to your project.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Chris!

Say aloha to Board & Vellum’s latest team member, Chris Parker! Chris comes to us from Hawaii, by way of Ithaca, New York (a more than 7,000 mile journey!). A licensed architect, Chris is thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest and eager to be a force for good in his newly adopted community.

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Ask an Architect

How To Prepare for Your First Call with an Architect

If you’ve never worked with an architect before, it might be daunting to know what to even ask when you start to research a team that will be the right fit for your project. Here‘s what the process looks like if you reach out to us and we set up a call to chat about your project.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Michelle!

Hey, everyone, say hello to Michelle! Michelle joins our team as Operations Coordinator and will be heading up our new internal education program to keep us all tuned up. She originally hails from Philly – which she loves – but, she is now enamored with the Pacific Northwest, so we are pretty sure we get to keep her.

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Advice for Young Architects

What is the Benefit of Becoming a Licensed Architect?

Becoming a licensed architect is a long and frustrating process (though it is better than it used to be). A lot of people in the architecture field struggle with making the decision to go for it or not. So, is it worth it? Jeff thinks so! Here’s why.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Fabiola!

Meet our new B&V team member, Fabiola Vargas! Fabiola was born in Peru, but moved Seattle as a child. By 12 years old, she already knew she wanted to be an architect. She earned her M.Arch in San Francisco and stayed working a few years, but we are now glad to have her back in Seattle!

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Interior Design

Where Should I Splurge on Design?

Remodeling your home, or building a new one, is an exercise in compromise. There will always be more money you can spend and more things that you want. So, getting the most out of your project involves knowing how to compromise wisely. So, where should you splurge on design?

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Custom Residential

Is My House Ugly? If You Love It, Maybe Not!

When you design houses for a living, sometimes, you end up designing things you think are ugly, but you do it anyway because your clients think it's perfect. It's your house, not ours, and at Board & Vellum, we are here to design a home you love, even if we'd do it differently on our own.

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Ask an Architect, Interior Design

What Type of Dining Room Table Do You Need?

When you’re in the market for a dining room table, where do you start? Would a round one work? Or a built-in banquette? Maybe a kitchen island? Or, an extendable leaf? Use these tips to figure out what type of dining room table is right for how you live in your home.

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Introducing, Marissa Lada! – Meet a B&V'er – Board & Vellum

Visiting Bighorn National Forest.

Firm Culture

Introducing, Marissa!

Meet the latest addition to the B&V team, Marissa Lada! Marissa hails from outside Chicago, and loves her new home in Seattle. She joins our interiors team, and, as a writer of her own blog, looks forward to being a regular contributor to the B&V Blog, too.

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Arts & Culture, News

B&V Radio: A New Podcast from Board & Vellum

Heads up, everyone, Board & Vellum now has a podcast: B&V Radio. Tune in on iTunes or SoundCloud, and listen as hosts Charles and Rachel discuss with guests what it’s like living in Seattle during the city’s exciting, rapid growth.

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Ask an Architect

Why Do You Still Need an Architect After You Have Your Building Permit?

Clients often ask us why they still need an architect once they have a contractor and a building permit. In fact, our continued involvement in your project during construction is so critical that we waive our liability if we aren't a part of it. So, why is that? Let's get into the details! (Pun intended.)

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Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Landscape Architecture

How to Create an Outdoor Space you Love

Sometimes, it takes the quiet moments on a peaceful vacation to remind you of some of the great things back at home. In this case, a trip to Costa Rica reminds Jeff about all the things that come together to create an outdoor room that you love, even in our rainy Seattle weather.

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Ask an Architect, Interior Design

What Height of Stool Do You Need?

What’s the difference between table height, counter height, and bar height stools? What does that mean in inches? You’ll be forever kicking yourself if you buy the wrong height stools, so make sure you follow these rules to get it right so you can still comfortably.

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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.

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Advice for Young Architects

Is Moonlighting Worth It? Probably Not, But We All Try.

We've all been there – when moonlighting on an architecture project seems like a good idea. But most of us who've tried it over the years know: it's just not worth it to wear yourself out working at night on the type of project that just goes more smoothly during business hours.

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Leslie!

Our Landscape Architecture studio is growing! This time on "Meet at B&V'er," say hi to Leslie Batten, Board & Vellum's latest landscape architect. Leslie spends time away from work enjoying the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest: hiking in the mountains, and biking through wine country.

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Firm Culture, News

We’re One of Washington’s Top Places to Work! Join Us?

We are so excited to be honored by Seattle Business magazine as one of Washington's top ten small businesses to work for, for the second year in a row. We all work hard to create and nurture the B&V culture. If that sounds good to you, too, check out our careers page: we're hiring!

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Retail

Why the Ceiling of Retail Spaces Is Important

When you’re planning the displays and layout of your retail space, it’s easy to neglect the ceiling. But, in a market dominated by online shopping, the experience of a physical shop is crucial. If a visitor is interrupted by noticing a neglected area, that can be enough to transport them out of the purchasing mindset.

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Firm Culture

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

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!

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Advice for Young Architects

Mentoring with Anecdotes vs. Creating a Culture of Trust

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.

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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!

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Firm Culture

Introducing, Zack!

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.

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Arts & Culture

Imagining the Future of Architecture

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.

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News

All Together Now: 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.

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Photo of a '50s diner. – Third Place Evolution – Board & Vellum

Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives

Retail, Third Places

Evolution of the Third Place

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.

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Custom Residential

Designing a House into a Home

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.

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Advice for Young Architects, Seattle Design Community

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

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.

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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's 100 Best Places to Work in Washington 2017 Winner

Scored in the Top 10 for small business for 2 years in a row!

Houzz Best of 2017: Design and Service in White

Voted by our clients to win for the 4th consecutive 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.

PSBJ Washington’s Best Workplaces 2017 – Board & Vellum

Ranked for the 3rd year in a row as a great place to work!