Design

Party barn, Texas style

I spent Memorial Day weekend at my husband’s family reunion out in central Texas, which is mostly ranch land.  Our gracious host, a true-bred Texan who owns and operates a cattle business out of Indian Hills Ranch, has the coolest barn I have ever seen.  On the outside, it’s just a red metal building that is pretty common on ranches.  However, the inside is no ordinary barn.  This is a party barn.  It is set-up to host a big crowd and make them feel welcome.  When you step through the doors, you know you are going to have a good time....

You spec me to buy that?

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on the designs for a spec house in Houston and another in a new development in Austin.  “Spec” is short for “speculative” and the term “spec house” refers to a custom house designed and built based on speculating what a potential buyer, looking in a particular neighborhood and price point, would want in their house.  Stick to the bare minimum, and they will buy the other house; add all the bells and whistles, and you bust your budget.  The key is to find that sweet spot and a design that people will fall in love with.  They are custom in that...

Custom residences on Kiawah Island, SC – House Tour

Kiawah Island in South Carolina is a private barrier island surrounded by the ocean and vast salt marshes, known for its golf courses and multi-million dollar mansions.  I had the opportunity to tour some fabulous custom homes (designed by architects) during the AIA CRAN 2014 symposium and would like to share my pictures in a series of posts.  Alas, the pictures are not that great as they were taken in a hurry with my phone.  Not to mention, it was a cloudy rainy day, not ideal for great photography.  Better pictures are available on the architect’s websites, which I will link...