Inventive. Responsive. Hands on. When we commit to a project, design is only the beginning: we are there when our ideas become real.
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Our process is intimate, exacting, collaborative. From concept to completion, we guide all projects through all stages of development.

Assessing Your Needs

Assessing Your Needs

First step: We meet you where you are. Vacant lot or vintage home, Michael Howells will come to you for an initial consultation, at no charge.

Our goals:

  • look, listen, and learn (seeing your space helps us assess if we can help)
  • determine your goals and priorities
  • understand your budget
  • convey who we are in person

Next steps: We send a proposal. If it feels like a good mutual fit, we enter into a contract, then move into the design phase.

Design + Documentation

Design + Documentation

For renovations, we first measure your existing space and follow up with a drafted plan. For new construction, we gather site information and present a rendering of the design concept. In both cases, your goals, tastes, and values deeply inform and inspire the solutions we propose. Once we have your feedback, we incorporate changes to the design and develop it further, moving from conceptual design to detailed large-scale drawings. We design every aspect of the building—including cabinetry and trim—to fractions of an inch.

We also present a curated palette of materials, finishes, and fixtures for your consideration. For those who want to accompany Michael on his adventures to stone yards and tile vendors, be prepared to stop for lunch!

Permitting + Pricing

Permitting + Pricing

We submit your plans to the city/county. Simultaneously, we solicit pricing from qualified general contractors on your behalf.

A note on general contractors: We like to recommend contractors we trust, but we do not engage in what is sometimes termed a “design-build” or in-house relationship with contractors. This means no divided loyalties or potential conflict of interest. Simply put, if you work with us, we work only for you.

Construction Administration

Construction Administration

You choose a contractor, construction begins, and we are there for you every step of the way.

We believe the designer's presence during construction is crucial. We monitor your project closely, with regular site visits. We are also on call for you and the builder to ensure rigorous adherence to the documentation, solve problems, represent your concerns, and take as much stress off you as possible. Building or renovating a home is an intricate process. Michael Howells' extensive experience and proactive client advocacy means a meticulous result.