Bad Mentor, Good Mentor

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get — Forrest Gump. My friend, Forrest, refers to the unexpected disappointment of finding a jelly core in your chocolate bite instead of a coveted caramel. Choosing your favorite chocolate from the box was an anxious adventure until chocolate manufacturer’s published a legend to distinguish the jelly (bad) from the caramel (good). Like searching for the chocolate in an unmarked box, your mentor search can prove equally precarious. On the outside they may look alike but will your mentor be chewy caramel goodness or wretched jelly sludge? Selecting a mentor doesn’t have to be a calculated risk. Setting your expectations and research can separate the good mentor experience from the bad. read more →

Advice List — From K thru Architect

Advice is like noise. Some of it is good like gentle music, children’s laughter or a targeted whisper, but some of it is bad like heavy traffic, guttural shrieks or angry voices. A discriminating ear successfully separates the good noise from bad. Judgement, however, is more subjective and requires conscious thought to distinguish between good and bad. In the absence of an unconditional advice-authority, I defer to Robert Fulghum, the author of All I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten. Robert conceived an advice list some scholars declare is the most comprehensive human behavior recipe so I adopted this slightly redacted version of the All-I-Needed-I-Learned-in-Kindergarten advice for working with an architect. read more →

Dear Future Architects — Remember Then

A time capsule is a treasure left today for a generation tomorrow.
–It’s insight…
–it’s artifact…
–it’s knowledge…
–it’s history…

All of us either intentionally or inadvertently leaves a footprint for the next generation to follow. If I can’t be here 100 or 200 years from now to share my hope for future architects of the world here’s what I hope they remember… read more →

Kitchen Design — Stages Trump Triangle

The triangle. It’s a spectacular shape. It’s strong, efficient and aesthetic. Think of the real and virtual triangles you encounter everyday…yield signs, trusses, diagrams, fractals, games, love, kitchens…kitchens? Of course, countless kitchen diagrams identify an optimum kitchen work triangle between the fridge, sink and oven. There’s no denying those are critical work centers in every kitchen; however, an efficient working triangle doesn’t automatically create a well-designed kitchen. read more →

03 Aug 2014
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Remodel Your Home – Remodel Your Life

One thing is for sure the only certainty in life is change. If you don’t like the weather, wait and it will change. You just dyed your hair a trendy new color, but it will change. You’re late for work and sitting in traffic at a red light, but it will change. You have a tight youthful body, but it will change. You have your life the way you want it, but it will change too. When you remodel your home it’s because you want to change something about it, but home remodeling is a better opportunity to change something about your life! read more →

30 Apr 2010
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Architect or Aspirin? — Common Design Headaches

I love what I do — designing personalized homes. It’s a daunting but fulfilling challenge to help families design unique living spaces. You love what I do too and that’s why I see an increasing number of your plans during owner-architect interviews. You share hand sketches, grid paper layouts, magazine overlays, photographs and computer renditions. Admit it, being your own designer is sexy and you want to say, “I did it!”, but despite how inspiring and creative your plans are, they often lack design coherence and include expensive mistakes. Your sketches, layouts, overlays and programs are good ways to start, but they are a poor way to finish a design unless you have the insight and skills to make a design work. To all you design cavaliers who want to try their hand at home design, I appreciate your effort and ingenuity, but please avoid these common design headaches. read more →

31 Mar 2010
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Owner As Installer – Should You Help Build It?

You’re a DITY…I’m a DITY…we’re all DITY. Pick up that hammer and join the DITY (Do-It-Yourself) world. Admit it, you’ve fallen victim to the DITY-movement. Frequent DITY shows on HGTV inspire you to build your own project. Instructional U-Tube videos empowered you to remodel your kitchen. The sheer number of home improvement stores, shows and helpful U-Tube videos inspired many owners to build IT themselves. read more →

05 Feb 2010
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Owner As Builder – Should you Build It?

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Do friends call your wall in China, “great”; your arch in France “triumphal” and your tower in Paris an “eye-ful”? Do friends mock you because you built your own computer, car or man cave? Are you the envy of the neighbors because all your home improvement projects are better than glossy magazine photos? If this is true, you’re obviously skilled so why not build your own home? Building your own home is a challenge, but may be more manageable than you think. read more →

08 Dec 2009
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