We are thrilled that J. Schwartz Design has once again been recognized as Best of HOUZZ 2016 for Client Satisfaction – two years in a row for this honor!
HOUZZ, the “go to” authority for residential architecture and interior design excellence, has recognized our firm with the designation. This recognition means a great deal to me personally, because delighting our clients is why we do what we do. We are in one of the most personal service professions and your happiness with our process and product means everything.
We’re grateful that JSD client, Marc Mansell, has agreed to share his HOUZZ testimonial. Marc superbly captures how we value and interact with our clients.
Project Date: September 2015
Project Price Range: more than $100,000
“A few years ago, Jacinda and I engaged J. Schwartz Design to help us design additions for our 1930s cape in Shrewsbury. Our primary focus for “hiring the right architect” was chemistry. We wanted to find an architect that shared the same passion and enthusiasm for our home as we did. We wanted an architect that would collaborate to help us achieve our vision, not one that would impose solely their ideas on our home. We wanted an architect that would respect the setting and the traditional style of our existing home, while helping us to create our new spaces. We found the right architecture firm when we found J. Schwartz Design.
From the very first conversations over the phone to the first meetings at our home, we could tell that we were on the right track. Jeff Schwartz and Dimiter Kostov connected not only with our project, but also with our family. They wanted to know us – to know how we lived, what was important to us in terms of living spaces, what we enjoyed about our home and what we wanted to improve. The collaboration during the design phase was at first overwhelming, but nonetheless invigorating. We had a number of boundary conditions to design within, whether the constraints of building on waterfront property or our desired budget. Their backgrounds include interior design, and we talked as much about how the spaces might feel and look as we did the layout of the plan views. They also learned that we loved outdoor living, and they helped us to tie our design into the landscape of the site.
Jeff and Dimiter said that they felt obligated to push the boundaries of our own design sense — and they did — but never with ego, and always to a better final solution for us. They were always patient and accessible, and were always accepting if we said, “We don’t care for that idea.” We learned a lot about design through the process, and we learned a lot about ourselves that made for a wonderful design.
In the end, I can honestly say that few days pass where I don’t see and reflect on the painstaking details in the design that make our home special. It’s a home of which Jacinda and I are proud, and we are grateful that Jeff and Dimiter share that pride. They are high quality, genuine and authentic people, and we value them not only as professionals, but more importantly as enduring friends. We wholeheartedly recommend J. Schwartz Design.”
The Mansell’s were a joy to work with! Their heartfelt endorsement means everything to the J. Schwartz Design team.
A warm and enthusiastic “I’m back” to all J.Schwartz Design clients, colleagues and friends. Many of you who follow our blog may have been wondering why these posts stopped in January–nine months ago. Last Friday’s (10/23) Boston Globe has a front page story that explains it all. Get out your tissues if you love dogs, and even me.
It’s been a voyage I could never have predicted nor prepared for, but I’m blessed and grateful to be back with all of you, doing what my colleagues and I love to do. Read on and we’ll keep posting from now on! Can’t wait to reconnect with many of you in the coming weeks and months, and our team is more than ready to serve your architecture and interior design needs. Please call me to catch up at (617) 584-1295. I’d love to hear your voices…
Boston Globe Article
J. Schwartz Design is proud to resume our Design New England Magazine campaign in the upcoming January/ February Kitchens and Baths Issue. I wanted to take you behind the scenes with our creative team to see how the ideas percolate and come together. Rather than feature one kitchen or one bath in the ad, we thought it would be fun to riff about our clients and envision them enjoying their newly remodeled kitchens and baths.
Our clients are our inspiration for our architecture and interior design projects and nothing is as personal as their enjoyment of their newly created kitchens and baths. Look for our finished Ad in the upcoming January/ February Design New England Magazine Kitchens and Baths issue.
Custom built-in bookshelves and cap molding trims
Vintage Lawrence Peabody Chairs circa 1960
Knoll Fabric in “Poppy”
Wool and Silk Rug by Landry and Arcari
Raphael Soyer Lithograph
I always tell clients that natural light is the one thing their architect cannot manufacture. It is the element though that, through the day and through the seasons, makes a home come alive. It nurtures us and brings us joy. What your architect CAN do, is site a new house or design your addition or renovation to capture the magic of the light you do have available.
It’s the defining element of any successful home.
We love this master shower in progress. Our clients let us spread our wings and let the creativity energy flow. Stay tuned for more on this special master bath.
We have recently worked with colleagues designing a new residence on a steeply pitched site in St. Croix, USVI. Are we ready for Bhutan?
By: Virginia Savage McAlester
Second Edition Knopf 2013
Comments by Jeff Schwartz 11/10/14
Clients often ask me: “What is the style of my house?”
In her book, McAlester has taken pains to document more than fifty styles and their variants over seven historical periods. Here in New England popular styles include, among others:
- Colonial Revival
- Arts and Crafts
- Queen Anne
- Shingle Style
- Farm house
- Greek Revival
- Mid-century modern
- Dutch Colonial
Clients also wonder if a new building or addition ought to hone to the style of the “anchor” home. The answer is: Maybe. Maybe not. If a home is on the National Register of Historic Places, then anything we do to alter it from the outside, should be in keeping with its heritage. And that is what we do in consultation with Historical Commissions from various cities and towns.However, almost all homes do not fall into this category.The style of a new home or addition to an existing home should evolve organically from the client’s program, the site, the neighborhood, the climate and any number of factors.In the end, a home may not be easily slotted into one style or another, but may most appropriately be a hybrid of two or more styles. Ideally, client and architect will create a home that is unique and true to itself.
Marvin, Anderson Pella.
If you are contemplating building a new home or an addition/renovation with high-quality new windows, you no doubt will be considering: Marvin, Anderson and Pella. We have specified them all for clients over the years. We have found that each project is unique. Budgets, aesthetics, functionality – they all come into play when choosing a window manufacturer. In addition, each manufacturer has a series of lines, appropriate to different climate conditions, price points, and finish characteristics, as well as various stock configurations and customizability options. It gets pretty complicated. The best decisions always get made in consultation with the architect, the builder and the client as a team.
This 3D perspective sketch of a proposed Transitional Master Bath Renovation in an 1890 Shingle Style home shows our Architecture and Interior Design skills working beautifully in tandem.
1. A new Gabled Dormer to receive the free standing transitional soaking tub and to bring more light into the space.
2. A private toilet room (not shown) behind the custom vertical cabinetry with built-in shelves.
3. A curb-less, frameless glass shower that fits comfortably under the sloping roofline.
4. Floor treatments that flow organically, breaking up the linearity of the space.
5. An ample two sink vanity with mirrors and sconces shown as well as a vertical cabinet for additional storage.
6. Soft translucent darker panels framing the tub composition and cityscape views beyond.