2015 Highlights and Year in Review

By Jeff Pelletier
December 22, 2015

You may think that a year-end recap is definitely a cliché, but it gives a wonderful sense of accomplishment to step back and look at all that happened in the preceding year. Quite frankly, it has been another ridiculous and amazing year and it sets the whole Board & Vellum team up for an awesome start to our fifth year in business. While it seems like 2014 was a tipping point, 2015 felt like we were strapped to a rocket powered sled. We stayed on the track the whole time but WOW what a ride.

Here’s a random collection of my favorite highlights for this year including some previews for what's in store for 2016:

  1. The team continued to grow and we jumped from 12 to 16 with another 3 more slated to start early in 2016. Exciting stuff! I constantly feel honored to be surrounded by such talented, friendly, and dedicated people. Meet Hayley, Rachel, Patrick, and Renée.

    We're missing a few people in this photo, but I just love our faces.

  2. On the family front, my boys continued to grow into awesome little kids. Kellen turned 3 and “little” Zachary is now an active toddler running around and making everyone smile. It is exhausting but pretty damn amazing.

    Awesome family photos by Stacey Atkin Photography.

  3. In VERY exciting news, especially given our current crowded office, we’ve signed a lease for a new space that quadruples our size. The build-out starts right in January and once completed, we’ll be moving into a space that we can use for public events, host installations for local artists, offer meeting space to non-profits, and work in a space that inspires us. Plus, free parking for our clients and it's only two blocks from our current space. We are SO EXCITED.

    This is a super early look at the new space.

  4. There was this little bit of attention involving a LEGO room. You may have heard about it in a few ABC, Daily Dot, CNET, and a bunch of other places. Check out the original video on Houzz.

  5. BuildDirect honored me as one of the 15 Best Architects in Seattle. Not only was I included in a list of pretty damn talented people, I was even the top voted person for quite a while until Leah Martin roared in with more votes! Leah, of course, is an awesome person and a friend, and I’ll be sure to harass her when we next have lunch. In the meantime, you’re welcome to keep voting for me as a point of pride!

  6. Houzz also did a great video on my house, the Seattle Box, which you can check out here.

  7. Speaking of LEGO, LEGO Magazine also interviewed me for one of their recent issues which had been a goal of mine since I was about 5! Check it out here.

  8. I got to present the Ballard Locks Residence with Hammer & Hand at the 2015 Green Building Slam. It was inspiring to be featured among such wonderful and innovative projects.

  9. We rolled out a great series of events called Board & Vellum Night School. We had two events open to the public hoping to start a great dialogue over issues of design and livability and hope to have many more in 2016. Check out our recaps HERE and HERE.

    We're always your advocate for pointing at the camera.

  10. I started contributing some blog posts to the #ArchiTalk series of blog posts written by a collection of Architects around the country. Take a look at some of my initial posts: An Architect's OCD Guide to Thanksgiving, Ten Tips when Faced with a Challenging Project, and How Architects Can Be Model Citizens. And, be sure to check out the links at the bottom for lots of other great reading.

  11. I was nominated as one of HGTV Fresh Faces of Design for two projects. It was fun to be involved in this voting process and while I didn’t win, I ended up near the top for Ada’s Technical Books and Café. Thank you to everyone who voted and supported me!

  12. We had a great time helping support the 15th Avenue East Merchants Association Street Fair. We set up a great outdoor living room (thanks FLOR for the awesome carpet!) and got to meet a lot of our neighbors.

    Part of our crew at the street fair.

  13. The Urban Farmhouse was featured in the Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine. Gorgeous photography helped highlight this wonderful home for even more amazing clients.

  14. We continued to focus our blog on giving away helpful information. I’m not writing this for other architects, I’m writing this to help our clients. Take a look for some tips on how long a remodel should take, what a second story addition might cost, how much hiring an architect costs, finding a contractor, and even some design elements to watch out for.

  15. The Ballard Locks Residence became our first Built Green Certified Project! Check out the sustainable features of this great project and some of the photo highlights.

  16. The firm really settled into a nicely organized structure, which has enabled us to run smoothly. We dedicate a lot of time to ensuring that the behind-the-scenes bits run well so that client time can be as effective as possible. Everyone’s contribution to the firm allows us to focus on our clients, while still growing our internal knowledge base.

    To celebrate our goals, we even made a "believe" post with a cat. Because, obviously...

  17. I presented with Model Remodel the sustainability features of Ada’s Technical Books in a Pechu Kucha-style event celebrating Earth Day.

  18. Seattle Met Magazine featured me in their July issue as one of their guests at the “Perfect Party”. I even got an awesome caricature.

  19. We were honored as one of Washington State’s Best Workplaces by Puget Sound Business Journal. We were the only Architecture / Design firm honored. Honestly, out of everything I’ve accomplished in starting this company, this was the biggest highlight. I love coming to work and I love working with a great group of people who feel the same. The awards ceremony at Safeco Field was certainly a career high point.

  20. Premier Builder featured Board & Vellum with a cover story about our firm and the work that we do.

Wow. So that was a crazy year. The whole team here at Board & Vellum thanks you for making our jobs so fun. We love getting to work with such amazing people inside and outside of our office, and we look forward to an even more fantastic 2016.

Would you like to read more from the team?

If you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoy writing it, that just makes our day! You might also enjoy a few of the related posts below. And, if there is a topic that you wish we would cover, let us know!


A Year in Review: Looking Back at 2017

Jeff Pelletier looks back on 2017 in his annual Year in Review blog post. From fun family times, to fun times at work, 2017 was a year to remember. So many things happened, but here are 10 highlights that leave us excited for what’s coming up in the new year.

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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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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!

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

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