Inventive. Responsive. Hands on. When we commit to a project, design is only the beginning. We are there when our ideas become real.


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. Michael Howells will come to you for an initial consultation, at no charge.

Our goals:

  • look, listen, and learn —from you, and from your house
  • determine your goals and priorities—and assess whether we can help you get where you want to go
  • 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.

Michael Howells is a hands-on residential remodeling architect in Portland, Oregon.

Design + Documentation

Before we design your renovation, we gather information on your site and measuring the existing conditions of your home. Then we draft a plan and work closely together to fine-tune the program and ensure we have covered all your concerns. After we establish the design direction together, we'll present you with highly realistic renderings of the design concept.

Once we have your feedback, we tweak 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. 

Permitting + Pricing

Permitting + Pricing

We are far from done when the drawings are. We solicit pricing from qualified general contractors on your behalf. When it comes to the tedious process of permitting, our clients don't do any legwork. Once you have selected your contractor, we'll work with them to ensure the permit submittal to the city/county goes smoothly. 

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. Home remodeling is an intricate process. Michael Howells' extensive experience and proactive client advocacy means a meticulous result.

Client Testimonial

"Michael was a true project partner in every sense. He encourages his clients to bring their own personalities to the project, and made room for our sentimental objects in a way that a rigid design afficionado would not.” —Laura