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Testimonial From Brian Byun

Russ and Wencke designed and managed the build of our new 4000+ sf contemporary custom home for our family. After interviewing many firms, we chose to work with Dotter & Solfjeld as:

  • We liked that we were getting two integrated designers on a home starting from an empty weed lot, where we had broad range of unformed as well as specific ideas. We liked that the two are an experienced team that fully designs and project manages from concept to details, instead of delegating a lot of detailed design to a less experienced project architect.
  • We wanted our unique style/home that reflected our pragmatic and quirky inputs. Because they had worked such a wide range of client projects and vernaculars, we felt they could help us discover our own unique “California Modern” design, not a look alike from their or someone else’s portfolio. We wanted a modern home that could entertain well but also was a livable, warm and functional family home. With some other firms we sensed a tradeoff between the photogenic vs. livable!
  • They were easy to work with on fees and process, and understood where and why we wanted to stay on budget and scope and where/why we wanted to stretch.

Our experience proved out all of the above expectations. We were largely on budget and schedule on the design and permitting (with Russ steadily pushing the project thru a dis-organized County permitting process), and only a few months behind on an aggressive construction schedule. The design outcome was fantastic and non formulaic, and what we wanted and imagined both aesthetically and functionally. Of note is how Russ spent a full summer day observing sightlines and daylight on the lot, which resulted in creative siting, views and and indoor/outdoor layout that we cherish every day.

The overall design iteration–from outside to interior details–was steady, collaborative and easy. The “Eureka” solutions and adjustments came out of fluid brainstorms between the four of us (two architects and two clients), and often the good-humored collaboration extended to our pre-picked contractor & landscape architects.

I’d recommend Dotter & Solfjeld highly. We’d be happy to provide a reference.”

– Brian Byun