Portfolio + Projects

Home plans (“blueprints”) now on the menu!

October 29th, 2014 by Mary Schmelzer

Do you need plans (“blueprints”) for your new home?

Are you planning a new home and have a pretty good idea what you want and some ideas of how you want the house to look?

Recognizing that not all people need the same level of design service, VIVUS now offers a plan-creation service for those people who need fewer design options and less-detailed customization.

Your home will be drawn custom for you, with the layout and the look that you want, on your building site. When finished, your plans will allow you to get construction pricing, to secure a building permit, and allow you to make all the selections that will go into the finished project. We work with you to provide a home that is exciting, functional, and attuned to your budget.

Additionally, if there are rooms or details you want to be further customized (built-ins in a great room, or custom-made cabinetry and details in the kitchen) those services can be added to make your new home reflect your style and allow you to get accurate construction pricing including those more-detailed areas.

Find more information here.

Don’t know which level of service you need (home plans vs. highly customized home)? Schedule a meeting and we can help you decide which arrangement better suits your needs.

2014 blueprint graphic

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ArTech Addition is in the Air

August 18th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


Steel was swinging through the air this morning at the Northfield School of Arts and Technology.

Two new teaching studios are taking shape now that the structure is being erected. This summer’s heavy rains delayed the project twice, forcing re-digging of the foundation trenches. That is behind now, and full occupancy of the addition is expected in October.

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May 23rd, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


Our work caught the eye of Redoux Home magazine, which published this project in their March/April 2011 issue.

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Community Action Center Looking Good

February 15th, 2011 by Peter Schmelzer


With our help, the Northfield Community Action Center is getting a face lift!

This is the Clothes Closet’s expanded sales area, with new changing rooms, additional housewares display, new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. It will be more hospitable to guests and more functional for staff, volunteers, and donors.

The Food Shelf is also undergoing some changes. Working closely with staff, we developed a plan that will really help the program both behind the scenes and in daily operational efficiency. We used a graduated color scheme to bring down the apparent height of the space to maintain the corner-grocery feel of the space while providing warehouse-style shelving. Flow will be greatly improved, with a logical arrangement of merchandise, additional cooler and freezer space, and a holding area for up to six pallets at a time.

When construction is complete, stop by and see the new look!

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Porch Addition

November 16th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

Work is underway on a porch addition in rural Northfield. This new room on the existing deck offers an escape from the bugs of summer and wide views of the landscape. An extension of the great room, this new space is already booked for its first sleep-over!

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House Party!

October 28th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

Last week we attended a special celebration at a client’s home. The house turned 100, the owner turned 50 and the remodeling work we designed is complete! What better reason for a party?

It was great to see the faces of the other guests as they toured the remodeled second and third floors. Our design converted the attic into an insulated entertainment room with access to the roof-top, tub and 3/4-bath. On the second floor, we remodeled for a new bathroom and access to the porch via the new butler’s pantry. The homeowners gained both more space to use and more useable space!

Thanks for the good time and good project, Warren and Deborah!

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Small Addition, Large Impact

July 23rd, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

Here is another case of a little addition that accomplishes big things for the homeowner.

This historic home needed a list of improvements on the first floor: an updated kitchen, dining area, laundry area, three-quarter bath, and a back entry that fits the architecture. It also came with a list of challenges: limited site area, finished space above (hinders plumbing routes), and a limited budget.

Our solution added only about 100 square feet of heated space, plus an entry porch. Through creative use of space and spatial definition strategies, we added everything on the owner’s wish list, plus a tiled entry and closet. The owner is very pleased with the results. Here is part of an e-mail I received from them last week:

I’ll have to add that {we} are absolutely delighted with your vision of what could happen in an addition. We keep chuckling about the fact that we came close to having an attached outhouse and now we has a lovely kitchen, laundry area and bath.

Small, carefully planned additions can help your house fit better without breaking the bank. We can help with vision and implementation, and we welcome your call.

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