Today we met with “Architect B” – our second in-person interview of the week. We chose this firm because they’re a smaller firm (2 people) who designed a beautiful shingle home that I greatly admired online. After speaking with the owner of the firm on the phone a few months back, we really made a great connection and meeting in person was a must. He’s located down in Vancouver, WA and prior to us going down there on Wednesday, he was actually up in our area for a family party. I had given him the address to our property and he went and checked it out on his own time. That gave him a great background for the conversations about our home.
Upon arriving in Vancouver, we met up with the two of them and all hopped in one car. The owner took us for a tour to see the exterior of a few homes that he designed around the area and we even got to go into two of them! One of the homes which they dubbed “The Hamptons” was the same one that I admired from seeing the photos online. It’s simply a gorgeous shingle-style home – styled quite coastal and very relaxing. An open living rooms leads to an expansive outdoor living space complete with a garden, covered bbq and built-in outdoor firepit. The interior of the house had among other things, two kitchen islands, which we adored, a beautiful sunroom, and a “guys” bonus-space with a hidden theater. To get into the theatre you had to push in one of the rocks on the fireplace…very cool!
The Hamptons shingle style exterior
The two-story great room with a beachy coastal vibe
Double islands in the kitchen is great for prep & serving
With the push of a rock, the hidden media room appears
After touring “The Hamptons”, we toured the second home “The Georgian”. This home was very open although a bit more traditional in styling. But the view couldn’t be beat – 180-degree view of the Columbia River. A few key rooms that caught my attention were the large white kitchen (again with two islands) with gray quartzite countertops, a beautiful laundry room with ample room for folding and hanging clothes, and the first floor master bedroom with gorgeous trim work and hardwood flooring. Both of the homes had previously been featured in the regional Parade of Homes when they were built…and I can see why. The attention to detail in design and construction was exquisite.
The kitchen was the most beautiful room in The Georgian
Gorgeous gray quartzite countertops in the kitchen
More than enough folding and hanging space in the laundry room
As we were on our home tour, we talked in great length about designing homes, our style, their background and what we were looking for in a home. We also really discussed their process in designing a home. We came to realize that they were truly interested in making each home they design fit the needs of the clients. This became apparent after both talking with Architect B and talking with the homeowner of The Georgian. One thing that really resonated with both Joel and me was when Architect B said that they keep tweaking the home plan until each and every space is perfect…until it can be tweaked no longer. We really liked that. We want to make sure that we’re going to love every inch that we build, without unusable space or oddly shaped spaces.
After our tour we went back to their office and spoke for over an hour about what we were specifically looking for in a house. We went through a laundry list of things that we wanted, the number of rooms, how we wanted the rooms to feel, the typical activities in each room, etc. We were able to show examples of spaces that resonate with us (thank you Pinterest), as well as show floor plan ideas that I had been working on. It was really great. They were truly interested in what we wanted to get out of our home design.
After our full day with Architect B, Joel and I went to the Parade of Homes which was just a few miles away. This year, the homes were all builder stock homes (not custom homes) and after touring The Hamptons and The Georgian you could really see a difference in the quality of the materials as well as the awkwardness of some of these room shapes, sizes & layouts. One home caught our attention – it was called “The Nantucket”. The floorplan wasn’t anything spectacular, but it had a great entryway & staircase. I also liked the outdoor covered bbq area with vaulted wood ceilings. We might have to steal a few of those ideas for ourselves 😉
Gray shingle exterior on The Nantucket
Open great room with a beautiful built-in
All in all, we had a pretty great day down in Vancouver, and we had a lot to talk about on the way home!