An interview with Douglas VanderHorn


Your houses are all distinct and gorgeous. What is something you would love to try on your next project that you have not done before?

We are currently designing a modern style home, and I look forward to detailing the interior millwork.  I plan to use a lot of sculptural white surfaces but warm things up with washed oak floors and ceiling details.


What would you do for a client who wants a quiet place to retreat? 

Many of our clients need that. Different people like different spaces, so for some we design a paneled den far from the kitchen, others like a wine bar in the lower level and some like a luxurious bathroom with a view and space for a comfy chair.


Any consistent requests that are being made that you find are worth sharing?

We are finding that some people don’t want a living room that they almost never use. People would rather have a large library as a more intimate place to entertain a small group.


What is a common denominator that your clients seem to have?

Good Taste!



What are some features that are worth splurging on when there are restraints?

Our front doors are always special. It’s true what they say about first impressions. It’s also a good idea to buy good windows, you will appreciate when they work well for a long time, and they are too hard to upgrade later.


Is there anything you should skip?

Ornate anything.


You often work on large scale projects, what do you keep in mind when you design the overall living space to not feel cold?

I find that even large spaces are comfortable when they are beautifully detailed.  Most of our rooms have great moldings, paneling and dramatic windows and doorways


For more information on Douglas VanderHorn Architects go to DouglasVanderhorn


Start typing and press Enter to search