Dress for Success Career Center is complete!

Dec 16, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

We attended the open house for the new Career Center at Dress for Success Oregon, where we helped with the design.  The space felt warm and welcoming, which meant we achieved our goal of creating a space (out of a former tattoo parlor!) that is both a refuge and a source of inspiration for everyone who walks in.

It was also wonderful to see how the space accommodated a large crowd.  There is a small kitchen (see the dark cabinets in the back of the image above), so the staff can prepare meals for their patrons, who often eat dinner while they are attending evening classes.

It was an honor to be a part of this project, both for the people worked with, and also the people our design will serve.  It will be exciting to see how the space gets used over time!  All photos by Ingersoll Photography.

Topics: Projects

Neilson Street Kitchen Featured on Houzz!

Dec 10, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

The Neilson Street Residence kitchen was featured in a Houzz article called “Kitchen Color: 15 Ravishing Red Backsplashes”.  We frequently use Hakatai tile in our projects, and this Crimson Blend (one of their standard blended mosaic tiles) provides a nice, textural accent.  It matches the red cord on the Caravaggio pendants, which are also lovely!

New project photos in upcoming website launch – sneak peek

Dec 4, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

We are VERY close to launching our new website, and can’t wait to share it with you.  In the mean time, here is an image of a guest house in Berkeley, California, from our recent photo shoot with Mariko Reed.  Stay tuned for more!

Topics: Projects

Eichler remodel – coming together

Nov 19, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

The windows and doors are in, and the fireplace is about to be skimmed with a plaster coating to match the adjacent CMU walls.  With the new butterfly roof and painted ceiling, it feels brighter and more spacious.  We’re excited about finishing the living areas and moving right into phase 2 – a dramatic transformation of the master suite!

Topics: Projects

Photo shoot!

Nov 14, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

We had a wonderful time shooting with our photographer Mariko Reed last week. It was a beautiful day, and we captured several nice shots from two recent projects in the East Bay.

We didn’t have a chance to take a lot of “behind-the-scenes” shots, but managed to get one on the iphone right before we finished for the day – here is a sneak peek!

Topics: Office, Projects

Coming soon: our NEW website!

Nov 7, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

We're working on a fresh update to our website, and we can hardly wait to share it with you!   It will have many new features, including:

  • two brand new projects with stunning photographs by Mariko Reed
  • easy navigation, including the ability to sort images by use and room type
  • a user-friendly site design that can also be viewed on mobile devices

Kristin Beadle of Beadle Design and Paul Irving of Insite Web Publishing are our amazing collaborators in this endeavor.  In addition to working magic on our website, their recent online collaborations include redesign of NanaWall with Tolleson, and redesign of Impact Magazine by OfficeMax Workplace Interiors with Bader Rutter.  They are in the final months of a two-year project to create Columbia Gorge Community College's online campus. We are so excited to be working these amazing professionals, who bring so much talent and expertise to the project.  Thanks to them, our new website will be more aligned with our design philosophy and aesthetic.  So exciting!

Topics: Office

Collaborations: Bill Harrison, structural engineer

Oct 14, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

We wouldn’t be where we are today without Bill: structural engineer, collaborator, supporter, and friend.

We have been working with Bill Harrison of Sarah Leong Consulting Engineers since we started our practice in 2003.  In fact, Hiromi has done projects with him since her days at Sutton Suzuki Architects, so they have known each other for almost 15 years!

And there is a reason we still work together after all these years.  Bill is intelligent, prompt, and thorough in his engineering services.  But what really distinguishes him is his creativity, and ability to understand our design intent.  Instead of applying prescriptive structural solutions, Bill will work with us to find options that best fit the design.

The best collaborations are the ones where our collective ideas make the project better than we imagined, and Bill does just that.  Thank you, Bill!

Featured on Houzz: Brew a Café Look at Home

Sep 30, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

The Novak Residence kitchen has been featured again on Houzz, in an article called "Brew a Café Look at Home".  The indoor-outdoor feel of sidewalk cafes is pretty special, and that's exactly what we tried to recreate in this kitchen remodel.  We know the owners love that space, too!

Topics: Press, Projects

Client Collaborations: Layout and flow

Sep 10, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

Our proudest and most successful designs are a product of true collaboration between us and the client.  When the client can articulate their needs and wants, and we, in turn, can respond to those needs with a design solution that incorporates function and aesthetics, it’s like magic.  And we really can’t do it on our own; an open, trusting, and design-savvy client is the key to a successful design solution.


This kitchen used to be in a small, enclosed room.  The owners wanted an open kitchen, a place that can be the hub of family activity.  By adding a family room to the rear of the house, the kitchen really opened up and the whole house flowed better.


The owners for this home wanted to use their existing space more effectively, while finding better storage and flow overall.  By converting the rear breakfast area into a mud room, the family gained a useful back entrance, and kitchen became more defined.


While designing a two-bedroom two-bath addition to this house, the owners expressed interest in a "book nook" - a multi-purpose niche for relaxing.  By making the nook large enough for a futon, it also doubles as an extra bed for guests.  I love this idea of creating a space that is neither public (living room, dining room) nor private (bedroom).  And it doesn't need to be big!


It's hard to believe that there was only a 2'-6" wide opening between the dining room and kitchen when we started this project.  The owners are wonderful cooks and wanted to really open up to the kitchen and the back yard.  There are a series of small moves - oversizing the wall opening, extending the kitchen cabinets into the dining room, placing a large bifold window at the end - that helps make this kitchen feel spacious and open. See our previous post for more client collaborations!

Novak kitchen is featured again on Houzz!

Sep 3, 2013 by Hiromi Ogawa

The Novak Residence kitchen has a lot of sweet moments, but we get a lot of inquiries about the rubber flooring in particular.  It's commonly used in commercial applications, but we like the look and feel in homes, too.  We've done several kitchens with rubber flooring, and have even used them as a kitchen backsplash!  You can read the Houzz article (which features other kitchen flooring solutions), or see before and after photos of the project.

Topics: Press, Projects