Marre Design Group Blog
Posted Thu, 11 Sep 14 15:05:37 -0600Part of the services we offer at Marre Design include not only the designs and drawings for the large scale architecutre of the house, but also the details like millwork, cabinets and built-ins that that truly make a home one-of-a-kind. Storage is always an issue for home owners especially in a market where larger land parcels come at a premium. Storage options like built-ins help maximize every inch of space by making organization a no-brainer. Having a residential architect plan built-ins into your custom home design from the beginning can help create beautiful and practical spaces without needing a painful renovation in the future. Here are ways to work custom built-ins in to 5 different rooms of your house.
5) Living RoomOne of the easiest places to incorporate built-ins is in the living room. It can work well as an overall design feature enhancing the space not only for storage purposes but to display favourite collectibles like books, statues or vases. Using the area underneath the stairs is also a great way to utilize space that otherwise would be wasted.
4) KitchenA kitchen naturally comes with ample room for storage spaces. So, why not have your residential architect plan to efficiently maximize the space to the best of their expert design ability? As there are a ton of utensils, endless amounts of cookware, and plenty of electronic appliances to find homes for - all might we add coming in a variety of odd shapes and sizes - it can never hurt to have too much kitchen storage space. Work a kitchen island into your design for an extra area to prepare food on with the added benefit of cupboards underneath for storage of wine or dishware. Also consider adding cupboards on top of your main cabinets. Use them to display special dishware like fine china. If it does go unused, the back lighting of these glass covered cupboards lend a warm ambience to the popular common area.
3) Entrance or Mud RoomUtitlize the entrance area by having your residential architect build an adjoining mudroom or built-ins for storage of boots, coats and winter wear (which, unfortunately is seemingly like it won't have to remain hidden for much longer here in Calgary). An added bench makes dressing and undressing multiple layers a breeze.
2) BedroomWhether it's built-in storage via a window seat, walk in closet or even around or under the bed, the bedroom is a great place to not only store but hide storage spaces when executed well. Residential architects can offer clever tricks to provide spaces with ample storage that won't make the space look disheveled.
1) OfficeAn office or den is naturally accompanied by a ton of electronics or office supplies that, if not stored properly can looking untidy. Ask your residential architect to design a space that effortlessly takes care of your office storage needs.
All of the built-ins included in this post are designs by Marre Design Group. If any of these spaces catch your eye or you would like a consultation to maximize the space in your custom home, we'd love to help. Contact us today.
Posted Fri, 18 Jul 14 10:51:06 -0600
A pergola is a very versatile option that a custom home planner or architect can help you incorporate into your backyard or landscaping. It is particularly a smart choice for a city like Calgary where we encounter long winters with a lot of heavy snow. You can also get creative with this structure by using different materials or incorporating add-ons like plant boxes or curtains.
This is a great option for those looking for a larger investment in an outdoor space. An addition like this can increase the square footage of your Calgary home, thus increasing the value. Be sure to consult an architect or custom home planner as there will be engineering elements that need to be blueprinted by a professional to ensure the safety and longevity of the structure.
If you are looking for something more subtle, there are many options for creating lounging spaces or seating areas that a custom home architect or planner can easily help you design. Collect some photos of spaces that suit your style and communicate clearly with your architect what you would like the outcome to look like. Even the slightest rearragnement or addition can completely change the look of an outdoor area and enhance your backyard space.
Gazebos are beautiful for events or staging more of a formal space for sitting or dining. It is still a structure that is best built by consulting a professional architect or home planner who can also help you design the entire space around it ensuring you maximize your outdoor area.
Articulate your personal style and get the most out of your backyard this summer. Contact us at Marre Design Group and let us help you translate your backyard entertaining ideas into concrete solutions.
Posted Thu, 10 Jul 14 14:38:36 -0600
The summer is a wonderful time to make alterations around your Calgary home whether it’s a quick fix like getting rid of old junk or more invasive, like a renovation. If you’ve been itching to change the look of your kitchen or re-design your bathroom, a custom home planner or architect in Calgary can help. Here are some areas of your home to focus on for a remodel to add more value to your Calgary property.
Consider having a custom home planner or architect help you design an open floor plan. It’s important to get a professional architect involved as this could include knocking down a wall or two. It can make a room look much larger and more spacious. It also creates a greater atmosphere for entertaining which is what a kitchen is all about; sharing great food and conversation with the people you love.
Do you want to upgrade your master bathroom or add another half-bath to your house? Bathrooms are a great investment for holding their value, especially in Calgary’s hot market. His and her sinks, a spacious standing shower or a clawfoot tub are some fun ideas for completely remodelling your master bath while with some work, a decent sized closet can be transformed into an added half-bath. Adding an extra window or skylight are options for bringing in more light and creating the illusion of space. Also, if you’re environmentally conscious, be sure to talk to your custom home planner or architect about incorporating this into the design.
There are so many different options for building a custom patio or deck. An added bonus? It increases your house’s square footage at a fraction of the cost of adding on a room. Once you choose where you would like the new addition, consult with a custom home planner or architect to design a special space true to how you and your family will use it. Consider what you will primary be using the space for and make a list of your desired features. Do you want something closer to a sunroom with skylights or are you looking for an outdoor area complete with a built-in fire pit?
Also take into account the landscaping that will frame your outdoor patio or deck. Maybe you’d like to add garden boxes as an enhancement or incorporate the landscaping into the entire design. An architect can really help pull all the elements together into an aesthetically pleasing, cohesive design.
If you’re looking to dive into renovations this summer and would like to consult a custom home planner or architect about the design, we’d love to help! Contact us at Marre Design Group and let us help you add the most value to your home.
Posted Thu, 03 Jul 14 14:09:58 -0600
A past client of ours Wilf Kautz, reviewed us on Houzz and spoke of our Principal Tom Chute saying:
Tom Chute of Marre Design Group is one of the best in the industry. His wealth of experience speaks for itself when you find your envisioned dream home come to fruition. Tom’s deep passion for architecture is prevalent in the keen attention to detail he pays to every aspect of his drafting. Numerous companies worked on various elements of my house and everyone from the framer to the window manufacturer commented on how the supreme level of quality in Tom’s work made their jobs almost effortless. They had never seen such a breadth of intricacies in a house where no details in the prints or drafts were missed."
Tom is a professional at fully understanding his clients’ needs to better execute and fulfil their vision. I am extremely happy with the work of Tom Chute and would highly recommend him to anyone looking to build a beautiful, custom home.
As Wilf mentioned, one of the thing that sets us apart in the industry (and from other custom home designers or residentials architects) is the detail in our drawings. Specifically, our section custom home drawings - have a look for yourself.
The detail of our custom home drawing distinguishes us. Having such detailed drawings also makes it exceptionally easier for contractors and tradespeople to build your custom home exactly to spec.
When you're choosing your custom home designer or your residential architect, look at their drawings and see the difference in details for yourself.
Posted Wed, 25 Jun 14 14:11:07 -0600There is a unique charm that comes with building a custom home, especially here in Calgary. Although the architect or planner has a say in what logistically will work, the client's needs and wants
are the jumping off point for ideas and bringing a concept to life. If you are planning to build a custom home in Calgary, take a look at our 5 favourite Pinterest boards to spark some inspiration for lovely designs.
5. 'For the Home' by Anne Reczka
4. 'Home' by AdoreBeauty
3. 'Kitchen Ideas' by Jaclyn Bell
2. 'Backyard + Patio' by Morgan Huffman
1. 'Staircases' by House Beautiful Magazine
|You don't have to have the largest, grandest house on the block to make a statement. If the interior elements are chosen carefully, you can build character through feature pieces to create a truly unique design and one-of-a-kind home. Staircases, for instance are an underrated feature that can completely change the look of a house. Take a look at some of these pins and consider asking your architect or planner to help you implement a custom staircase.
After you compile the ideas for your custom home, it's time to find a residential architect or custom home planner in Calgary to help you in the design-build process of your home. We at Marre Design Group are based in Calgary and uniquely tailor each and every design to each client's lifestyle. Contact us, we would love to help you design your next custom project.
Posted Thu, 19 Jun 14 15:34:20 -0600
From city infills to large acreages, we have planned and designed custom homes suited to the unique needs and visions of our clients. Choosing an experienced custom home designer or planner can help rectify "wants" with what is realistically possible for the alotted space and budget. Here are some special features from a beautiful custom home we designed which was recently completed for a Rockyview Acreage just outside of Calgary.
The Mud Room and Entry Way
You enter this traditional home by way of a strong, dark wood door and warm tiled entrance. A long hall lined with hardwood floors and finished with crown mouldings leads into the rest of the house. The custom designed mud room, just off the entrance, offers plenty of storage space with cabinets, drawers, shelving and hooks. The small window also brightens the room contrasting the dark bench wood and tiled floors.
The kitchen is an absolute marvel with many different attributes to highlight. The same hardwood flooring continues into the kitchen as it meets a dark wood, custom designed island with beautiful ornate accents. Stainless steel fixtures, fridge and range hood add a modern touch to this traditional kitchen. The light fixtures by contrast, echoe a rustic touch. Custom designed and built cabinets line the kitchen with illuminated cupboards around the top, uniquely finished with glass doors to allow the light to shine through. This custom detail adds to the overall warmth of the inviting kitchen. The grey and cream speckled granite counters cohesively pull in all the hues unifying the kitchen's colour palette.
If you are looking for help in designing or planning a custom home in or around Calgary, we would love to hear from you and discuss your project. Contact us at Marre Design Group so we can start planning your dream home.
Posted Mon, 09 Jun 14 09:51:00 -0600
Whether you're starting a project from scratch or you're looking to do a rennovation, having the right residential architect or home planner absolutely takes the stress off of you.
We designed and built this Crescent Heights home in Calgary. Starting from a hole in the ground and a set of archictural renderings, you can see how piece by piece this home came together.
We pride ourselves in creatind some of the most highly-detailed renderings in the industry - that attention to detail ensures that every contractor, from the framers to the finishing carpenters, know exactly how your home should be built. When you choose Marre Design Group as your and have us design your home, we help take the stress off of you.
The plans we provide (like those we featured in a previous blog post about residential architecture renderings) are highly detailed - some of the best in the industry - so from concept to execution, you'll know exactly what your home will look like. While any architect can simply put together a house plan, we as a specialized residential planning & design group bring our vast knowledge of home design as well as a undstanding of home architecture fundamentals to ensure that your home can be built exactly to spec.
So contact us today and we'll help you through the process today!
Posted Thu, 05 Jun 14 11:50:25 -0600
You’ve decided you are going to need a residential architect or home planning firm for the depth of the construction designs and alterations that are needed for a renovation or building a completely new house. However, picking the right residential architect or design firm that is highly experienced, listens to your needs and pays keen attention in making the blueprints so the construction of the project runs smoothly can be tricky. Here are some ways to ensure you pick the best residential architect.
Ask for Referrals
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out who people loved working with, and more importantly, who they didn’t. You’re more likely to hear about friends' and family’s negative experiences than their positive ones, which can be just as helpful. Find out which residential architect or design firm they chose for a renovation or building project and what their experience was like. This is the best way to start weeding out the nightmare architects, and building a list of outstanding potentials.
If people that are close to you haven’t had any experience with residential architects, or, you want to do some more research on your own, hop online. Google is a great starting point to find all the general information about the residential architect. Search targeted social media sites like Houzz which specialize in showcasing residential architects among other home-building related industry people.
Houzz has an easy to navigate platform where you can view past projects the prospective residential architect has worked on. They also have a wonderful review function where everyone from past clients to tradespeople to contractors can leave reviews about their experience in working with the architect. The chances are, the more (positive) reviews you see, the more the residential architect takes pride in building and fostering lasting relationships. This is a kind of architect you are looking for especially considering the length of some building projects.
Look at the Portfolios
If you’ve chosen a few prospective residential architects, set up an interview where you can peruse their portfolios. Ask to see a few different past projects they have worked on and look for similar architectural elements that you are envisioning for your own project. Ask to speak to clients they've worked with. This is also a great time to ask them questions; anything from how many projects they currently have in progress to how they handled themselves when projects ran into problems. Also finding out if they have preferred builders or contractors they work with can be helpful down the line when your house is ready for construction.It can be tough but ensure you find a residential architect or design firm that you are confident will be easy to communicate with, will execute your project according to your needs and will deliver top quality service. We at Marre Design Group pride ourselves on such attributes and are always looking for exciting projects to work on. Contact us to be a part of designing your next patio renovation or custom home. We’d love to work with you!
Posted Thu, 05 Jun 14 11:26:15 -0600
Whether you’re looking to make some major renovations to your existing home or you are considering building a brand new dream house, hiring an architect is an option that many consider, but may not completely understand the depth of the role they play. Here is what a residential architect actually does and how they can help you efficiently build your dream home.
1) Schematic designs
In this preliminary stage, the residential architect provides rough sketches that encompass the general layout, size, and appearance of the house. They take into account the client’s essential needs, budget, ideas and typically do a site analysis.This is the initial phase where there is a lot of room for discussion to find out what you do and don’t like. Changes can be made more easily and effectively in this phase so ensure communication with your residential architect is clear and you both understand your vision. A few different concepts may be offered.
2) Design Development
This is where the residential architect’s rough sketches are turned into a more defined model of the house. Usually a 3D software program is used to accurately design the architecture of the house adding floor plans, roof design as well as smaller details that add character to the house and bring the envisioned concept to life. The professional renderings from the residential architect will let you see exactly what your house will look like when it is complete.
3) Construction Drawings
Not only are residential architects artists, having the capability to create beautiful architecture, they are technical experts and are able to create blueprints for the house to be built precisely to certain specifications. These blueprints are so detailed, they will be the rubric by which your chosen builder or contractor will follow. No matter who undertakes the construction of the project, if followed properly, the house should turn out exactly the same. The residential architect’s detailed drawings are also compulsory in order to obtain a building permit.
4) Hiring a Builder
When the construction drawings are completed by the residential architect, you are ready to move forward with the project and hire a general contractor or builder. Residential architects usually have good working relationships with preferred contractors or builders. Otherwise, you can choose your own or have the residential architect help you solicit bids from qualified candidates. The residential architect is an important component as they will help prepare bidding documents, be able to answer any specific questions from the builders or negotiate on certain aspects of the project. However, you will always have the final say.
Finally, after all the process and planning, your envisioned dream home will become a reality. However, this can also be a very arduous process especially if there are discrepancies between the residential architect’s drawings and the builder. The residential architect will observe construction from the sidelines and be able to aid in avoiding wrong turns or provide solutions to unforeseen issues that may arise.
The best way to ensure the smoothest sailing from the initial planning to completion of your dream home is to start by hiring an exceptional residential architect. At Marre Design Group, we have a plethora of past projects and experience to draw from and would love to be involved in helping you design and build your dream home. Contact us today and let us help make your dream a reality.
Posted Thu, 29 May 14 10:18:01 -0600
A big question a lot of people ask when looking for custom design when it comes to building a brand new home or making some major renovations on an existing abode is whether or not to hire a residential architect. Some top notch architects' prices can be off-putting at first, leaving some to wonder if the price is really worth it. If you find the right residential architect who knows what they are doing, they are absolutely worth the money - and here is why.
Building Permits and Licences
|The size of the project or renovation is likely to determine whether you should consider a residential architect. When professional plans are required to be drawn up and submitted for approval, hiring a residential architect is the smartest way to go. In addition, if you submit plans that aren't signed and approved by a professional, you will assume full liability for any damages or repairs that need to be made down the line.
Fit, Form and FunctionResidential architects offer a comprehensive service. Starting with the initial consultation, the residential architect will gather every shred of information they need to meet the client's needs, goals and budget while analyzing the site to decide what makes the most sense for the space.
Once the client agrees on a preliminary design from the residential architect, it is developed through 3-D software where a realistic replica is created. This gives the client a much better idea of what their dream home will look like. Finally, the residential architect creates construction drawings (blueprints) so that every aspect of the design - from the framing to the windows - will be implemented precisely to the specifications. An expert residential architect will make these plans so detailed, the builder and subsequent companies contracted to finish all the elements will be able to do their job with ease.
Choosing a Residential Architect or DesignerSo, how do you find the right architect? There is no better way to find an expert than to ask around. If you don't know anyone in your immediate circle that can recommend a residential architect, take to social media.
Specialized sites like Houzz are designed for showcasing top talent in the custom home design and building industry. Houzz offers you the chance to see past projects the prospective residential architect has worked on and reviews on past clients' and builder's experiences in working with them. This is a great starting point to find the perfect fit to design your custom dream home.
If you are looking for a residential designer with a wealth of industry experience, contact us at Marre Design Group. We'd love to be a part of your next project.
Posted Wed, 28 May 14 09:47:06 -0600
Spring is finally here bringing some warm and sunny days to Calgary. After such a miserable winter, you can’t help but want to bask in every minute of the sunshine. What better way to enjoy this wonderful weather than to do it in the comfort of your own home.
When building a custom home, decks and patios may be overlooked especially considering Calgary’s extreme winter temperatures. However, we cannot stress enough how enjoyable it is to have an exquisite space to relax and enjoy the warmer months when they do finally come.Here are some stunning backyard patios and decks to consider that we’ve designed for custom homes to make the most out of our Spring and Summers here in Calgary.
In this particular custom home, we designed a beautiful patio on the third story of the house. The combination of stone flooring, wood panelling and planters along the back railing give a very organic feel to this contemporary custom design. The semi-wall also provides privacy from neighbours for more intimate gatherings.
Are you looking to renovate your backyard and create a beautiful entertaining space for Summer? We'd love to be a part of your project - contact us.
This stunning walkout backyard patio is accessed through the living room and kitchen of this custom built home. It was designed to have two separate spaces for entertaining that could still be used in tandem. On one side you have a custom built roofed patio in cases where the sunlight is too direct or if it happens to rain, while on the side is open allowing for more sun. The patio roof itself is transparent allowing light to illuminate the space while the sliding curtains provide more privacy.
Posted Tue, 20 May 14 10:03:24 -0600
We've designed some beautiful, high-end custom homes for Calgary's inner city. These infill homes were thoughtfully designed to be spacious and luxurious while offering thoughtful practicalities.
Here's just a few of our completed infill projects.
The Crescent Heights Show Home
Built in the inner-city community of Crescent Heights in Calgary, this beautiful home has 3 above grade levels and a basement. The space is thoughtfully used.
The top most level was made to be a spacious media room.
In the below-grade level, we designed a cozy multi-purpose room. The built in cabinets and counter make for the perfect downstairs mini bar complete with convenient space for a wine cooler just below the counter.
Interested in checking out the entire house? Well, we've posted photos of the project on Houzz - so check it out!
The Alexander Crescent Home
Another project we've featured on Houzz, this custom infill home also in Calgary's Crescent Heights area incredibly spacious and filled with beautiful custom cabinetry throughout the house, including the incredible walk-in closets and spacious kitchen.
Mount Pleasant Infill
This lovely infill home was built on an older lot. We designed the home to give the feel of spaciousness - with high ceilings in the larger living area and open spaces throughout the home. We also incorporated natural elements in the home including a beautiful stone fireplace. You can see more of this beautiful infill on our Houzz page.
Interested in having your inner-city home redesigned? Looking to develop and infill of your own? We'd love to help - just contact us!
Posted Thu, 15 May 14 10:28:23 -0600
We recently completed an exhaustive set of exterior renderings as well as a set of floor plans for a custom residential custom home project here in Calgary, AB. With the main floor sitting at nearly 2000 square feet and an upper level at approximately 1500 square feet, we embarked on creating an incredible 2.5 bathroom, 3 bedroom home for our client.
The exterior offers incredible architectural features including a steepled roof, a stone exterior, and chiminy. We've also planned for a lovely 93 square foot covered upper level balcony, a spacious 191 square foot covered deck and a 100 square foot attached balcony, perfect for outdoor entertaining.
On the main level, the combined open area of the kitchen, dining nook and living room makes year-round hosting a breeze. There's also the thoughtful details like a powder room, a mud room for the side enterance, a cozy home office and a proper dining room which can also serve as a flex room at the front of the home. The spacious livingroom sits at nearly 400 square feet and features a built-in custom TV cabinet and a 48" wood burning mansory fireplace. The kitchen is beautifully designed, featuring a 36" gas range, a built in oven, a centre island with flush bar seating for 4 and a functional work triangle.
The upper level features an approximately 250 square foot master suite (featuring a relaxing sitting area, a 36" gas fireplace with a TV above) and a luxurious home spa featuring a free standing spa tub and luxurious tile shower with rain head shower built in. In the other two bedrooms, both feature walk in closets and ample space for queen sized beds. There's also a tiny room just off the upstairs main bath for the Home Automation Media Centre - the perfect addition to the modern home.
Keep your eyes peeled on this blog and on our Houzz page for photos of this project when it's complete.
Whether you're looking to embark on a renovation project and need a designer or planner, or if you simply need you need the best architectural renderings for your custom home project, we can help - just contact us and we'll be happy take on your project.
Posted Wed, 07 May 14 13:03:28 -0600
We recently completed this gorgeous home in Coopers Crossing in Airdre (10 minutes north of Calgary, AB). Let's have a look some of the features we love about this beautiful custom home.
From the beautiful natural countertops, gorgeous wood floors and island cabinets to the cozy breakfast nook, this kitchen is perfect for a family. With dual sinks and generous cabinet space, this stylish and practical kitchen is thoughtfully laid out.
The Dining Room & Great Room
The custom kitchen leads out to the beautiful dining area which opens up to a spectacular great room. Surrounded by windows, the dining room floods the space with light.
Matching both the grand size as well as the warmth and intimate feel of the open concept space, the fireplace is a beautiful, anchoring focal point.
The Home Office/Study
This study is an exquisite example of gorgeous and practical office design within the home. Custom built with ample storage, a built-in desk and this walk-in library, working from home isn't so daunting in a space like this.
Seating Area, Bathroom & Media Room
There are some other lovely details to this custom-built home. The seating area at the front porch is warm and inviting, the corner-built bathtub in the master bath is luxurious and the media room is the perfect place to hunker down with the family and catch a flick.
This Coopers Crossing home is one we're proud of, but if you'd like to see more of our custom work (including many homes in the Calgary area) be sure to check out our other residential home designs..
Posted Thu, 20 Feb 14 10:10:34 -0700
We at Marre Designs take a great deal of pride in our work. On this blog you'll find features of our recently finished projects, renovation and decoration ideas.