design approach

We work from the ground up. We start from the land and the neighborhood, and from our clients' feeling for it. We work in a range of styles, sometimes inventing our own, with the goal of perfectly expressing the fit between the form of the house, its setting, and the needs and desires of those who will live there. Because each client has different needs and each piece of land has something different to say, no two of these houses will be alike.


front porch
Green Building

There's no single way to build, or design, green buildings. Our approach to environmental responsibility is based on simple strategies that also make good financial sense.

  • Right-Sizing. Don't overbuild - make every square foot count. Don't underbuild either. Too small will not last.

  • Spare the landfill. Design for standard sheet material and lumber sizes. Re-use whenever possible.

  • Design for flexibility. Build for tomorrow as well as today. Anticipate changing needs and make intelligent provision for future adaptations.

  • In remodels, re-use what is good. Only make changes that contribute to the overall vision.

  • Approach new materials and techniques with care. Look at the whole picture. Watch for local traditions in building form and materials. You can see what works, what endures.

    Under the roof

  • Design for the local climate. Here in the Carolina Piedmont, catch the breezes when you can, keep the sun at bay in the summer, draw it indoors in winter. Have respect for rain and humidity.
  • Make your home beautiful, so future generations will cherish it.


deerAccessability, Visitability & Aging-in-Place

A well-designed home can accommodate physical disabilities of its residents or guests as easily as their personal idiosyncrasies. Tactile support and guidance for visual impairment; clear sight lines, open planning and visual attention systems for aural impairment; flush thresholds, step-free entries and easy flow patterns for wheelchair use - these are all part of the toolkit.

Many homeowners are looking to the future and planning to "age-in-place". This means living in your home safely, independently and comfortable, regardless of age or disability. To accomplish this, modifications may need to be made to increase access and maneurverability. These modifications range from installation of bath and shower grab bars and adjustment of countertop heights to the creation of a multifunctional first floor bedroom suite.


stairwellFeng Shui

Our buildings should not only serve our physical needs but they should also support us in non-physical ways. Our home should be designed as a place of comfort and emotional security, while the workplace should empower us and give us confidence. To achieve these goals we need a way of identifying and describing how buildings make us feel.

window and lightThe oriental discipline of Feng Shui offers us a comprehensive language of spatial psychology to complement the visual emphasis of western aesthetic theory. Some regard Feng Shui as an essentially mystical study, others find it deeply practical. Whichever approach you take, there seems no doubt that its core insights are profoundly useful in the design process, and we apply these insights whenever possible. We are also happy to work with your personal Feng Shui consultant. While we are not specialist Feng Shui practitioners, we strive to apply these insights wherever possible.