Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Puzzle of Designing a Custom Home: He Wants, She Wants, We Want -- What's An Architect to Do?????

I've discovered that architect Jeremy
Sommer is good at challenges.  With the discipline of his classic architecture training and experience, his vision and creativity to take advantage of natural amenities with a complex design on a tight homesite, and the patience of a saint with an easy-going personality, Jeremy (Sommer Design Studio) was the perfect choice to design a custom home for me and Bruce at East Beach.

Our homesite is located on 24th Bay Street in East Beach, about three lots back on the block.  With the right design, we hoped to capture some views of the Chesapeake Bay from the first- and second-floor front porches  -- even if just a sliver.

Across the street from our homesite is a beautiful stand of Live Oak trees on a linear park  (thank you +Mike Watkins for your masterful land plan).  The trees are illuminated at night.  As someone who works from home, I hoped that Jeremy could figure out a way that I could enjoy the view of the trees from my office. Bruce and I also wanted Jeremy to maintain the view of the trees from our kitchen and living room, too.  That's not too much to ask, right???

Add to the SHE WANTS list were a vaulted ceiling with exposed trusses, tons of light with multiple dormers, and a back screened porch and garden courtyard that would expand the open living area for entertaining and relaxation.

On the HE WANTS list, Bruce needed a spot for his office work where he wouldn't have to worry about Monica's neat streak.  Most importantly, he wanted a family and friend gathering space that would accommodate their combined family of six kids and five (almost six) grandkids. AND, Bruce wasn't ready to give up the pool table from his soon-to-be-over bachelor days, so the house would need to have a room big enough for a pool table and lounge area. (Smells like a man cave to me!)

PhotoThe WE WANT list included having privacy, a rental apartment that could be used for income upon retirement (or earlier!), and bedrooms for family and guests.  Also, having room for a third car and for our little dog Beau Beau to run were important, too.

Jeremy worked tirelessly on the plan and Bruce and I couldn't be more excited!  Bruce and I LOVE the design and feel that Jeremy hit a home run in addressing the SHE WANTS, HE WANTS, and WE WANTS.  Jeremy's thoughtful design resulted in a home that will be comfortable, welcoming, and very livable for our active lifestyle.  THANK YOU JEREMY!!!    Take a look and see what you think.


  1. Wow! Your new house is going to be absolutely perfect and it sounds like your architect had quite the project on his hands. I can't wait to see all of the Monica/Bruce wishes come to fruition. Keep sharing!

    1. Thanks, April. Can't wait for you and Tim to visit next summer!