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Architectural Styles of Newburyport Meet Reimagined Interiors

By Mindi Poston Gay, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Mindi is Principal Architectural Designer, Assoc. AIA (American Institute of Architects) and has been practicing architecture and interior design for over 25 years. She’s a graduate of the Boston Architectural College (BAC) with a degree in Architecture and has worked in renowned architectural firms including Payette Associates, EGA Architects, Carpenter & MacNeille Architects, Essex, MA, and TMS Architects. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Design New England Magazine, New England Home Design Magazine, North Shore Magazine, Newburyport Magazine, The Boston Globe, USA Today Home Magazine, as well as Apartment Therapy, Discovery Channel and Planet Green Channel.
MPG Home Design
Architectural Styles, Newburyport, MA

Architectural styles abound in Newburyport. As you drive down High Street you’ll see examples of Cape, Mission, Bungalow, Modern Farm House, Federalist, Mansard, Greek Rival, Mid-Century, Ranch, Colonial and many more. Each style represents a different part of history and design theory.

The diversity of architectural forms is what makes this town so interesting. From timeless to trendy, Newburyport’s charm is linked to the co-existence of architectural styles. Amidst the variety, big changes are afoot. You’ll see changes happening on the outside with new porticos, garage additions, modern window replacements and material/color updates. But even more is happening behind closed doors.

Long ago, rooms were smaller and heavily divided by function. It was common to have separate parlors, dining rooms, and serving quarters – Each space designed for a singular purpose. Today’s family craves more open and flexible living. To achieve this goal, the layout of the inside of a house needs to be reimagined yet still harmonize with the exterior architectural style. Thanks to technology, structural engineering and great architectural design, most homes can be dramatically transformed to better serve a modern lifestyle.

Over the last year, we’ve noticed a common theme in renovation requests. Home owners have consistently asked, “How can I…”

  • Open up the dining or living room space for better flow with the kitchen
  • Improve overall kitchen functionality – get a bigger island, more storage, open shelving
  • Blend indoor with outdoor living – get more windows, views, and light
  • Replace dated trim and molding detail with more modern, simple lines
  • Convert a tired, cluttered bathroom to a more refreshing, spa-like refuge

No matter what the architectural style of your exterior, there are endless possibilities for interior transformations. It’s fun to explore all your options. That’s why we’re fans of dreaming big and then designing across a spectrum of change, from mild to magnificent.

In most cases, the process starts by documenting the existing conditions. Using the latest 3D camera technology, we can capture hundreds of views of an existing floor plan and stitch together a “doll-house” visual model. All key dimensions are then imported into CAD to create a baseline for new designs.

From there the architectural styles are incorporated into multiple schematic designs are developed in both Floor Plan and Elevation views. Computer modeling allows us to depict the design dimensionally to bring it visually to life. Sometimes a single design rises to the surface as the winner. Other times, a mash-up of several designs becomes the new hybrid solution. The selected architectural plan is vetted for feasibility and submitted to contractors for initial bids. When done efficiently, the Schematic Design process can take less than 8 weeks.

Whether it’s an antique Sea Captain’s home, or a conventional ranch, interior home transformations can have a huge impact on day-to-day living without noticeable change to the exterior. Of course, the exterior can be transformed as well, but we’ll save that for another blog!

The result is a better use of space, increased flow, improved views, more storage, less clutter, cleaner lines, and more environmentally friendly materials… Not to mention increased home value in a rising market!

No matter what type of house you live in, there’s a way to adapt the floor plan, wall position, entry ways, staircases and any other structural or non-structural component to improve your lifestyle.  Having an architectural strategy and an architectural plan are the keys to unlocking your home’s true potential.

Want to see the possibilities? We’d be happy to show you how our experienced Newburyport architects can take your home to the next level.

Architectural Drawings: How to Turn Great Ideas into a Buildable Plan

By Mindi Poston Gay, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Mindi is Principal Architectural Designer, Assoc. AIA (American Institute of Architects) and has been practicing architecture and interior design for over 25 years. She’s a graduate of the Boston Architectural College (BAC) with a degree in Architecture and has worked in renowned architectural firms including Payette Associates, EGA Architects, Carpenter & MacNeille Architects, Essex, MA, and TMS Architects. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Design New England Magazine, New England Home Design Magazine, North Shore Magazine, Newburyport Magazine, The Boston Globe, USA Today Home Magazine, as well as Apartment Therapy, Discovery Channel and Planet Green Channel.
MPG Home Design
Architectural Drawings, Newburyport

Architectural drawings are the bridge between your vision and an actual plan that you can use for cost estimation, permitting and construction. Whether it’s a simple bathroom remodel, a kitchen renovation, or a more extensive home addition, design drawings are critical to success.

In technical terms, architectural drawings are a graphical representation using lines and symbols that follow specific protocols based on scale and proportion. In their most complex form, architectural drawings incorporate structural engineering details, electrical plans, framing plans, window & door schedules, and precise measurements for all aspects of construction.

What are the steps to create architectural drawings?

The first step in the design process is to capture the Existing Conditions, sometimes called “as-built” plans. Unless you purchased your home with drawings, the existing conditions need to be documented to create a baseline model. All relevant measurements are imported into a CAD software program. Computer Aided Design (CAD), has replaced hand drafting as an essential way to create, modify, analyze, and optimize the architectural design process.

Once the Existing Conditions have been established, it’s time for Schematic Design. This is a highly conceptual phase dedicated to exploring the overall use of the space, massing, circulation and functional relationships of the project components.

The architectural plans may start “sketchy” until multiple options are refined for comparison. A single design may emerge as the best solution. More often, components from several design options are pulled together to create a hybrid approach.

A complete Schematic Design set includes site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections, and 3D renderings. What was once limited to your imagination is now brought to life both digitally and in print.

Do you really need architectural drawings?

Smaller projects may not require formal construction documentation, however, just about every home design project can benefit from a cursory design exercise. Drawings provide answers about space utilization, materials, flow, light, storage and the connection with new or existing systems.

What’s more, a thorough set of architectural plans gives you what’s needed for both pricing and permitting. By submitting drawings, general contractors know that you’re committed to the project and they’re empowered to provide more accurate estimates to help you determine financial viability.

In the long run, a well-crafted design set saves both time and money by helping you avoid specification “gotchas” and missed opportunities to improve your lifestyle. Almost every client who skips this step in the name of savings, ends up paying more in the end.

If you want to get the most from your construction investment, take the time to have thoughtful architectural drawings created for your project. Set yourself up for success by contacting MPG Home Design, 978-255-1515.

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