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How we work

Our design process is high-touch and highly participatory. As our client, you are an essential member of our team from day one. 


At Motif, we believe the best designs are born from the best teams, and ours is no exception. From the very beginning of your project, we will rely on you to share your sense of style, personality, and vision for how your home’s spaces will be used. We encourage you to explore your creativity, imagine the impossible, and be inspired by the process. 


And we will be right beside you the whole way, guiding you through the design process to help you envision a space that both grounds you and lifts your spirits.


Our friendly, co-creative approach to the design process gives you the freedom to explore your own personal style for your project, making the journey just as individual and unique as the end result. 

Our 3 Step Process

01. Collaborate

02. Design

03. Build

We believe in an open, active collaboration design process between clients, contractors, and architects. We truly believe all voices in the co-creative process are equally valued, as fresh perspectives, collective ownership, and open minds are the key to creating innovative and purposeful spaces. Together, we can push the boundaries of what is possible so that we create something greater than the sum of our individual skills.

Our design approach is simple, ensuring precision and execution with the end goal in mind. Your bespoke space will be designed to enhance your life, not just functionally, but aesthetically and emotionally too.
We know that custom residential projects are highly personal and require big decisions. And when it comes to your home, every detail matters. That's why we're committed to guiding you through every step of the way, to help you make informed decisions to ensure each element of the design reflects your personality, style, and functionality requirements. 

We are highly skilled and passionate about crafting individual design visions into drawings. One of the many benefits of Motif’s unique skill set is that we also have the ability to draw construction builds. In the future, we will be increasing our design-build services to take on these additional. Stay tuned for an update.  

Don't worry,
we got your back each step of the way.

We believe open and active communication throughout the design process is essential. Exceptional designs always begin with the first conversation with our clients and continue until occupation of their new space. Even before the first line is drawn, we listen deeply to our client's desires, taking the time to understand their lifestyles, to deliver remarkable and innovative design possibilities to each project. 


Taking the first steps to design your new home or space may seem challenging. We specialize in working with clients that have never worked with an architect previously. Working with our smaller team reduces tension and helps foster creativity and vision development. 

Most of our clients do not have prior experience with architects... We believe working with a smaller team, reduces tension and helps promote creativity. 

Our Roadmap Explained

01. Collaborate

Our first step in the design process is carrying out a comprehensive analysis of the physical and emotional landscape of the project. Logistical planning and documentation are preceded by a complete assessment of how to maximize the space’s potential and fulfil our client’s vision. Our best work comes from a genuine understanding of the limitations, and any possible obstacles, and a clear understanding of all relevant timelines and budgets.

 

We enthusiastically approach every project knowing it is an opportunity to enhance the connection between people and place. We investigate the unique characteristics of each site to truly understand and reframe meaning, ensuring our approach is grounded in respect and an authentic understanding of place.

 

Through our rigorous and holistic process, we can – together with our clients - discover unexplored solutions.

1.1 Consultation

Our initial engagement is a chance to gather information about you, your project, what you’re seeking.  

 

This give us both a chance to figure out whether we would be a good fit for each other.

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1.2 Visit the Site

Generally to get a better perspective of it’s surroundings, to ascertain site conditions, topography, obstacles, ground conditions, orientation and vegetation especially on neighboring sites that may impact on your proposed design.

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1.3 Draft Proposal

Together we’ll define our scope of services and fee, including any additional services.

We pride ourselves on how transparent and simple our proposals are. Once were all on the same playing, we will formally submit our agreement.

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1.4 Project Initiation

Signing our proposal / agreement and submitting a retainer payment... kicks off the project. 

 

We also discuss payment methods and any modifications needed to the design schedule.

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Now that we all on the same page, were ready to move on to the next step! In other words, the fun stuff.. 
STEP 01
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02. Design

We begin the design journey with you: listening, learning and understanding your desires and lifestyle.

We value our client’s full participation in the design and development process, with each custom design unfolding in real time through our vibrant and collaborative discussions. With our significant industry experience, supportive team of reputable designers, and consultants, we approach each new home with a clear goal in mind: creating the most extraordinary home possible.

 

Through our collaborative approach, we work with you to give life to your vision, address your needs, and manage any challenges. The end result: a functional and aesthetically beautiful design concept that’s inspired by its people, landscape and utility. Perfectly suited to you not just now, but also into the future.

We’ll provide you with a complete design package in an easy-to-understand way without confusion. The final design package allows you to confidently move forward in the process knowing your design concept is clear and confirmed.

At Motif, we pride ourselves on making this formidable stage of your project stress-free and exciting. Our unique combined skillset allows our clients to not only receive a custom modern design for their project but also work with a design expert. These combined skills are an economical approach to future-proofing the designs from potential build issues.

2.1 Site Planning & Code Analysis

We analyze components of the project as they relate to the project requirements.

 

This includes analysis of the site, program, budget, and massing. We strategize about the project location, size, relationship, and configuration of spaces, presented in various organizational schemes to better understand what’s possible and what works.

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2.2 Programming & Preliminary Design

Using your responses to a Pre-Design questionnaire, we synthesize your answers and ideas into a cohesive Project Brief & Program document.

 

Arguably one of the most important tasks - this feedback gets to the heart of what you aim to create and summarizes your overarching goals, design intentions, and motivations for the overall project. 

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2.3 Schematic Design Process

We collect and use all the information learned in the Pre-Design phase and create a design that begins to conceptualize the project to meet your project goals.

 

Using 2d and 3d exhibits, we refine the design based on your feedback and develop a concept design that is cohesive, thoughtful, and specific to you. 

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2.4 Design Development
and Preliminary Pricing

Design Development is where we focus on the smaller details of the home. Wall, roof, and floor assemblies for the building envelope including insulation strategies are defined, as is the structural system and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing strategies.

 

During this phase, we also focus on the “look” of the home. Materials including siding, roofing, doors, windows, lighting, cabinetry, counters, hardware, fixtures, tile, flooring, color schemes, and all other finishing details are discussed. This is generally done in 1-2 exterior meetings and 2-3 interior meetings with drawings, mood boards, samples, and 3d views.

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2.5 Consultant & Construction Review

A majority our our projects require sub-consultant engineers. This may include civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, septic and audio / visual engineering. 

Depending on the agreement - we will either manage sub-consultants or offer assistance with coordination, including collaboration with land rights lawyers. 

As an added service, we offer extended support for partnering contractors, vendors, suppliers and permit expeditors. 

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2.6 Construction Documentation

In the Construction Documents phase, we draw highly detailed plans and specify everything in the project so that the General Contractor can price the design and build the project. Naturally, major revisions at this point could result in additional services.

 

Detailed drawings show various relationships between materials, aesthetic details, and coordination information for the various trades. Schedules and specifications document products, types, quantities, and performance criteria of various components of the project.

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Now that we all on the same page, were ready to move on to the next step! In other words, the fun stuff.. 
STEP 02
STEP 03
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03. Build

We love the process of building. And we want to help you enjoy it, too

With our passion for construction and the people who make it happen, we aim to facilitate an organized and positive experience throughout the construction phase of every project.

At Motif, we offer architectural design services. In the near future, we will be expanding our business into the construction industry, offering complete Design and Build services. These all-in-house services will allow Motif to provide design and construction services as a turnkey product.

In the meantime, we have hand selected and partnered with master builders and collaborate with them at every step of the building process. Our greatest strengths lie in our relationships with our building and construction team. We are confident in their ability to consistently build quality work, interpret design intent, and adhere to scheduling and invoicing.

3.1 Permitting

Building and planning approval is typically required for new homes and major renovations and addition.  Building permits are issued when structures are designed in accordance with the building codes and all other applicable codes and ordinances, to ensure the safety of the structure. The review time necessary for approvals is completely dependent on the local jurisdiction and can vary depending on intake load.

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3.2 Bidding

Selecting a General Contractor can occur before, during, or after Construction Documents are complete. Most cases - earlier the better. 

 

We always like to work collaboratively with General Contractors as we design our projects and suggest getting a Contractor on board during the design phase to assist in cost estimating and addressing constructability concerns.

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3.3 Administration

Construction for a new build home typically takes 7-12 months but can take more time based on the size, complexity, and location of the project. Once the project is underway, we typically make site visits every other week to ensure that the design intent of the drawings is being upheld. In addition, we are available by phone and email to troubleshoot any questions that arise during the construction process.

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3.4 Closeout

At project closeout, we offer to assist the owner with punch list items (depending on our agreement) and various tasks to push the project across the finish line. We work with a local photographers and video producers to help capture your finished project. 

Motif also offers branding services to help publish your project, including graphic artiest and professional copywriters.

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GET STARTED
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That all it takes.

It's really that easy.
Are you ready to get started? 

Our services at Motif cover all aspects of residential design, from concept to completion. This includes designing your project, developing permit documents, or generating site studies. We can assist you with all, or part of your project, to help you create a stunning, functional space.

We are excited to hear about your future plans and would love to assist you to bring your vision to life. Call us today for a phone consultation. 
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Lets have fun too!

Now that we’ve gotten all of the difficult parts behind us, let’s have some fun too!  Designing your home should be an exciting and fun process. The relationship between an architect and client is the most important part of the design process, and you should focus on finding an architect that you feel you can trust.

 

With an ego-free team.. who's love humor, the occasional glass of wine and packed with country charm... We try to make the design process entertaining and most importantly - educational.

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