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Home Design

Where do you get your home design ideas?


This Home Design guest post was written by my friend and architect Dan Broggi.

Dan is the Director of Design at


db2ARCHitecture based out of Wakefield, Massachusetts.


While Rob recuperates from his surgery, he asked if I could write a blog post from an architect’s perspective. I thought it would be fun to answer a question that clients and builders ask a lot:

“Where do you get your Home Design ideas?”

During the greatest expansion period in the U.S. of the mid-nineteenth century, architectural pattern books guided builders. Architects would provide the designs for these books and would educate the public about current design trends or building techniques. See this website for an excellent article.

Contemporary builders have many resources for good design; magazines, home shows, television programs, and the internet. The only problem is this can be too much information and difficult to understand. One must also be careful because these media are usually trying to sell a product instead of offering proper guidance.

Faithful readers of Rob’s blog will notice that he occasionally collaborates with an architect or designer on larger jobs. Through these collaborations he has developed an eye for good design.

For most of the smaller jobs, he can sense if something feels right or wrong while he’s building it. If he’s unsure of how to do something, his first resource can be scanning the project’s neighborhood to see if the specific detail can be borrowed from another building, or adjusted to meet the need.

Salesmen at the local lumber yard and information provided by building product manufacturers are other resources I’ve seen him use.

As a professional architect, clients expect a higher level of design than they can usually find themselves. To accomplish this, I have developed a network of resources that I can use to remain educated on the latest trends. The first is books. An old boss, Andres Duany, once told me “The difference between a good designer and a bad one is the size of their library”!

Most bookstores have Architecture sections, but good ones are hard to find. (This is the reason why most of your architect friends go to New York a lot!).

Another resource is attending seminars and design lectures. We are fortunate to live near Boston with many universities that have architecture programs. These schools hire the best architects in the world and the general public can go see them lecture – FOR FREE!! You can ask them questions, have a free glass of wine, while being surrounded by a room full of architects. You’d be surprised how much design advice you can probably get from an architect that has had a glass of wine!

My latest resource is the internet. I scan a series of blogs, like Rob’s, and use Facebook and Twitter. It is important to categorize different searches in order to be efficient. It’s amazing how much is out there if you figure out how to use it!

Dan Broggi can be reached at:
16 Mt Pleasant Avenue
Wakefield, MA 01880
telephone 617.901.0494


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