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How to Select an Architect – What’s Your Style

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Everyone has a preferred style.  It’s obvious in how we dress, what car we drive, where we vacation or eat out.  Sometimes it can vary and be hard to define, but usually a preferred style or taste will eventually take over and be dominant.

This particularly holds true in how you want to live.  It’s a lot easier to return a suit or dress if it’s not the right fit.  It’s a lot easier to not go back to a vacation spot if it wasn’t exactly what you thought it would be.  It’s obvious what I’m getting at.  It’s not so easy to return a home, so make the right decision to start.   Know your style – define it, believe in it, and set your goal, how you want to  live in it.

And guess what?  It all starts with the selection of the right architect.

Like in every profession, there are specialists that excel and are respected for their specialty.  You would not go to an orthopedic specialist for a heart problem.  It’s the same in Architecture.  When selecting an architect, many architects will tell you they can work in any style, search out the specialist for your particular style – be it traditional, period traditional, transitional, modern or minimalist.  It’s very hard to be a Jack-of-All-Trades; it usually leads to being a master of none.

We at MSA are modernists.  We eat, sleep, breathe, and study Modernism (although for some favorite clients and close friends we have done some traditional work.)  It’s not our specialty, but when we design a traditional residence, we have always added some modern elements which take us in the direction to the transitional side.  The blending of traditional with modern or the modern with more traditional elements can be fun and challenging, while still being creative within the modern philosophy.  We feel our expertise in modernism and understanding of traditional elements can help us be successful in a transitional project, but we look for the more modern elements in the work.  We feel a transitional design with an understanding on the modern aesthetic can be a good direction for a client who is in between and/or a client looking for a more traditional project with some modern overtones.

Our advice when selecting an architect, is to look at the history of the designers you are considering.  Look at projects that span at least five years and look at what you think they excel at.  You will be able to tell by their portfolios which side it is weighted towards – traditional or modern.  Don’t see one project; make sure they have a successful history in your style.  Make sure they carry the details in that style consistently and that especially, in the modern theme, are very creative with these details.  Look at the history of their work and see if it has a timeless quality or is it more an expression of a new trend.  Trends tend to become dated very, very quickly.  Keeping all this in mind, ask yourself this important question … “is the style of this designer the style that I can see living in and will it enhance my lifestyle?”

To be able to review a designer’s work and answer the right question, one of the most important questions that must be resolved before this selection process begins, is, of course, “Do you know your own style?”  We hope you have a better understanding of how to select an architect properly.

Please view our PROJECTS page, and CONTACT us today if you’d like to learn more about our style, and how our modern architectural and interior design projects are carefully crafted to fit each client’s needs.