How Architects Play a Key Role with Designing Interiors of Their Buildings

Architects have always played a key role in designing the interiors of their buildings.  And for some architects little has changed today.  I find a surprising perception among many people that the architect designs the building shell and exterior and everything inside is the work of an interior designer.  In reality, in most buildings the architect plays a key role on the interior, sometimes working with an interior designer, and sometimes working alone.Read More

Exceeding Client Expectations on Interiors Through Collaboration

As architects, we have the opportunity and good fortune to be involved in a variety of design projects.  We work with many clients who have different requirements, challenges, and expectations.  Our challenge is to exceed those expectations while creating delightful and beautiful...Read More

Urban Green: Achieving a Bold House Number

The Urban Green project by Eric Odor made front page of Houzz this week for a defining attribute of this home, its house number. This typical front facing exterior fixture was made prominent with some extra attention to detail and design. The simple elegance of form and material made Urban...Read More

Architecture 101: So You Want To Be An Architect?

Every fall I speak to a classroom of students at Jefferson High School for their annual career day. I’ve taken to calling it my So You Want To Be An Architect? talk. It begins with this image and a question: Is this architecture? I became enamored with this little outbuilding a decade...Read More

Thinking outside the (dumpster) box to get the Goods . . . of ReUse.

Good for your Design, Good for the Environment, and Good for the Economy. I love finding synergies between my passions for beautiful design, sustainability and helping people. To this end, today I want to share some ideas that I hope inspire more ReUse in residential architecture. Good...Read More

Beauty. . . The Unquantified Sustainable Design Strategy

With my interest in quantifying “green-ness,” which in part comes with my involvement with MN GreenStar, I find it interesting to explore the sustainable attributes of beauty in architecture. Can beauty be quantified? Most humans are hard wired to cherish and preserve those things...Read More

The Challenge of Keeping Old Cabin Charm When Remodeling

Photographer: Cheryl Koralik Cabin remodels and additions are as varied as the many existing structures at the lake or in the forrest. This creates a  plethora of client goals and constraining budgets. One frequent challenge is what to do with charming old log cabins. These structures...Read More

Minimize Old House Kitchen Costs

Kitchens are generally the most expensive room in any house.  So it may seem a bit surprising that they are typically the most remodeled.  No room has been more affected by changing notions and technology than the kitchen.  And since for most people the kitchen is the center of...Read More

What You May Not Know About Building Or Remodeling On Water Part 2

In the first installment basic information gathering was covered. I want to add a couple of possible setbacks I missed that can come into play such as wetlands, flood planes and easements. Now you are ready to begin thinking about what you can do within your zoning limitations. I thought case studies would be a good way for you to understand how the process can work. Here are two projects on Wisconsin lakes.Read More

How to Give a Brand New Cabin a Weathered 100 Year Old Look

We started with a chunk of Western Red Cedar for a project we were working on starting in 2008. One of the goals for the project was to make the house look 100 years old as soon as it was built. We heard of a product called Lifetime.  We ordered a sample and applied it to a portion of our...Read More

Cabin Colors

I’m in favor of creating a little more color in this world. Nature gives us so many great examples, the intense yellow of an Oriole, the soft pink of the lady Slipper, or the majestic blue of a flax field in bloom. A decade ago a friend asked what color her cabin front door should be as...Read More


We all click on and watch an occasional TED talk now and then. They are like popcorn when you are hungry for little inspiration. I’m most often captured by the talks given by scientists and by teachers, people who are revealing the world as it is and also as they dream it could be. On...Read More