Imbue Design's philosophy about architecture and process for designing custom moderns homes and commercial spaces.

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Everything that is ever designed begins with the same exciting and essential process: discovering a project’s unique design parameters.  These are the regulating ideas that inform all the decisions that are made throughout the design process.  They can be needs, site opportunities, government regulation, climate, furry friends, culture, budget, time, sustainability, unreasonable phobias, secret obsessions, etc. 

For us, the most critical design parameters are generated by you, the project’s inhabitants, and the place in which the project is sited.  All other design parameters, though vital, are subservient to these.  Ultimately, the way you experience place through everyday activities, and the way that place influences your daily life is the meaning that makes a building a work of architecture and makes a house a home.  Every client and every site is a unique combination that demands a singular design.

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There is an infinite number of interpretations for any given set of design parameters.  But at the end of the day, there is only one design that is executed.  In order to better understand the interpretation best suited to you, each of the three partners at Imbue produces a distinct, initial proposal for the client to review.  The three proposals are presented in the form of scalable floor plans, 3D renders, and 3D models.  By intentionally varying the aesthetic, layout, complexity, and square footage of each proposal we’re able to establish a broad spectrum of possibilities for you to consider.  With your feedback we can pinpoint your position along this spectrum of aesthetics and lifestyles to produce a fourth and final schematic.  The client-tailored schematic design is just the beginning point for the rest of the project’s development.

Rick's Bear Architecture


Throughout the entirety of each project, all three principals are actively engaged.  We are the design team.  No lackies here.  However, as amazing as we’d like to believe we are, we know that real genius is the result of multiple experts combining their experience and knowledge to create something of substance.

Early in the design’s development we begin an interdisciplinary collaboration with the construction team, engineers, consultants, and permitting authorities to map out the most effective strategies that maintain design integrity, financial goals, timeliness, and ultimate success.  Establishing preliminary structural options, cost estimates, code requirements, and sustainability goals at this stage help to mitigate unwelcome surprises later on.


Often referred to as plans or blueprints, construction documents contain all the information required by: permitting authorities, to issue a building permit; lenders, to establish appraisal value; and the contractor, to bid and construct the project.  

Working closely with the construction team and consultants we produce the project’s technical plans, drawings, details, and specifications.  We submit them to the permitting bodies and negotiate the necessary permits.  Finally, we assist the general contractor in pulling building permits, procuring bids, and fielding questions.  Permit in hand, the general contractor sinks a shovel into the ground and construction begins.

House Plans Framing


By contract, we're on site at several key milestones of construction.  By nature, we're there much more often.  After all, we grew up pushing brooms and swinging hammers.

During construction we continue our collaboration with the contractor and the trades to answer questions, observe that construction is going according to plan, finalize details, resolve issues, keep the client informed, and verify fabricator shop drawings.

At this stage we also like to indulge in  a little grade school nostalgia by taking clients on various field trips to ogle fixtures, appliances, lighting, cabinetry, and finishes that may have not already been specified.  When commissioned to do so, we'll even make furniture, dinnerware, bedding, linen, and art selections.

We're with the project from design conception to the housewarming party [as prestigeous guests of honor, of course].  We'll bring the baked brie.

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