While living in Orange County we purchased a "fixer upper" in Pebble Beach to serve as our retirement home. After leasing out the home for a few years we finally embarked on the project - complete demolition down to the studs, structural upgrades, building a stair tower to connect two floors previously accessible only from the exterior, removing walls to create an open light filled space, and more... All on a difficult steep lot in Pebble Beach.
SAS design ideas, design details, use of color and lighting were all on point and exactly what this tired, old sixties relic needed. Sally Anne developed a creative scheme for a light filled stair tower/office to connect the floors and open up the great room. She worked to maximize our views and enhance the exterior elevations with the creative use of redwood, corrugated steel siding, and stucco. As we were still living in Orange County during the renovation, Sally Anne coordinated with the contractor and assorted approval agencies and kept things on track. Her design scheme, materials selection, and thoughtful attention to detail has given us a modern and thoroughly enjoyable home in the forest.
We hired SAS to help design some much needed additions to our home to accommodate our growing family. Although we were on a very tight budget, and had some very specific needs, Sally Anne was able to get the design down to exactly what we needed, and what we could redesign to get the biggest bang for our buck. The interior redesign completely changed the look and feel of he home, making it much more functional than it was before (we love the new pantry, and everyone who's seen it, loves it too). She helped guide us throughout the entire process, which was completely foreign to us, always available to answer the multitude of questions we had along the way. All in all an excellent experience, and would highly recommend to anyone.
By sheer luck we received a postcard in mail from Smith Architectural Studio last year when we were confused on where and how to start our home remodeling project. The home had too many small rooms and the flow of the home was completely non existent. My wife and I met Sally Anne after few days and explain our vision of how we want our home to be. Our main objective was to have a great room and bathroom configuration which will serve my wife and I along with two kids and powder room. Sally Anne came up with a design which excelled our expectations. Sally Anne also oversaw the construction and helped us pick the final finishes of the house. Sally Anne is also a pleasure to work with and understands how nerve racking home remodel is for the owner and she patiently guided us through this process. We highly recommend her.
First, we were asking the County for an exemption which meant fighting the good fight. This can be an exhausting process for a creative person but Sally Ann was undaunted. We submitted and re-submitted as necessary for the permits. She provided all the information, details, plot drawings, attended hearings without complaints or extra costs. She knew what to expect and budgeted the time and process correctly and familiarized herself with what the County's objections would be so we could enter the meetings prepared.
She drew two concept drawings taking careful consideration to incorporate both our ideas and hers. She had listened well. But, she also took the design one step further and found ways to make our house fit into it environs better. It's unfitting when a house sticks out like a sore thumb which ours did. It was big and boxy and had previously looked like a house that belonged on a flat street in Beverly Hills or Pasadena not the rugged coastline of Monterey County. Internally our house felt oversized and hollow, not very home-like. Neither seemed very befitting of a home in the Carmel Highlands. Sally Ann reconfigured our interior and exterior living spaces to reflect a warm and inviting home. We initially wanted an upstairs deck off our master bedroom along with easy access to the upstairs deck that wouldn't take our guests through our bedroom in order to access it. What she conceived of was not only a deck, but by moving the front door from the center of the house where our front entrance left our guests exposed to the elements (wind, sun and rain) she relocated the front door under the deck thus giving us a beautiful entrance through our new "outdoor" living room created replete with fireplace and ocean views and a covered portico for guests entering in the rain. Brilliant! And that was just the start.
Sally Ann managed to find a place to build a formal dining room in a space that had previously been a hallway thus allowing us to have both a family room and a living room (one of which does not have a tv!) and she reconfigured the kitchen giving us the space to entertain in there....because as everyone knows, guests love to congregate in the kitchen (and we love to cook).
Lastly and this is so so so important: Sally Ann was always available when we needed her. She returned phone calls promptly, she made herself available to come to the house whenever we or our contractor needed to review a plan, issue or new concept. Changes on a construction site occur. Calculations on plans change. Surprises in walls arise when you go through demolition. There is no way around it. Having an architect be available by phone and/or on-site so that the issue can be resolved is huge!!! Sally Ann promptly returned phone calls and always got to the job site within 24 hours when needed.
And here's another thing, contractors and architects don't always get along. They may not respect one another's ideas or configurations. They don't always know each other at the beginning of a job. But, they have to be able to get along. Sally Ann is a master at reading people. Her listening skills are excellent and her follow-thru is immediate. Our contractor said the job would take one year. He was right, but it could not have happened on schedule if we had hired an architect who would take three days to return a call or a week to arrive on the job site. Sally Ann never left us hanging and I applaud her for this. Standing ovation.
Okay, sorry a bit more, there is one other thing. She not only understands the importance of "green" architecture but has led her peers in Monterey County to be pro-active. With us, she looked at wind and weather patterns, from which direction would the wind come? And then she'll ask us questions, if the wind in our neighborhood is coming from the northwest, would we really want a door opening in the face of it? Or since winds often creep past 50 knots per hour, would we want our windows to be crank hinged or sliders, super small details but important ideas when it comes to quality of life things, ease of use and these are not things I would have thought about in the early stages of design but which play an important role in the design of a house.
Smith Architectural Studio (SAS) has was hired to provide all architectural services for a full scale (down to studs) renovation and addition to a Pebble Beach contemporary home (approximately 4000 square feet) originally built in the early Seventies. The renovation involved a major reworking of interior spaces and an office/garage addition while staying true to the original architectural concept for the home. All interior finish was redone, bringing the home out of its 70's funk and into an organic contemporary style.
Multiple concepts were explored during the architectural phase until the final approach was decided upon. SAS provided the full set of plans required for the architectural review, approval, and permitting processes. During the implementation phase of the project, SAS remained involved in the project for architectural oversight and to make several optimizations to the original plan.
M & M
My wife and I hired Smith Architectural to design our new home in Hawaii. Sally-Anne listened to our needs and preferences and produced several designs of which we chose one. She was very careful about positioning the home on the lot to maximize the view, capture the tropical breeze, and make use of the space around it. We love the well thought out lay-out which makes living there a joy. Tons of storage, tall and wide hallways, plugs and lights where you need them. She was very easy to work with, always got plans done in a timely manner, and was always available when contractors had questions. 5 Stars.
Sally Anne was the architect responsible for converting an old one-story very simple home into the dazzling contemporary home shown in the attached photos. She had a remarkable vision as to how this home could be converted into a two story, 5 bedroom home with a roof-top deck enclosed by glass walls and allowing for a view of the ocean via a spiral staircase at the back of the home. The result of her design exceeded our expectations and this home has become the jewel of homes in this neighborhood. We have received several offers to buy the home although we are so pleased with Sally Anne's design that we intend to keep this home for many years. Sally Anne is a very competent architect with great attention to detail and follow through. I can highly recommend her for home remodels and similar projects.
Sally Anne is the consummate professional! As a builder specializing in "Environmentally Responsible Construction", I can really appreciate Sally Anne's novel ideas, designs and solutions. Her talent and design style is well-suited to our Central California Coast and our picky clients.
I have known and worked with Sally Anne for over 20 years, and value her unique and creative solutions, whether it be difficult sites, difficult customers or tight budgets, she always performs. Sally Anne is a master at maximizing space, and taking advantage of every buildable square inch without the home ever feeling over-designed. She constantly delivers, is extremely focused, and I would recommend her highly!