Design Details


Patios and Terraces

Filled with furniture or kept minimal with expert handling of space, patios and terraces are important places for entertaining and recreation. Different paving material - slate, brick, concrete, wood - can change the mood and use of the space from formal and stark to casual and rustic. Elevated above the ground or cantilevered from the building, decks and balconies provide unique vantage points. Many are used as small meditation spots, with just a simple chair or two, while others are full-scale living and dining rooms.


Though bound by the walls of the house, well-designed courtyards evoke dual feelings of containment and expansion. While formal courtyards may be used for high-end entertaining, many West Coast homeowners use their courtyards as year-round dining spaces.

Pool Surrounds

The pool is a perfect example of captured nature - a pond of one's own, if you will. There is much more variety of shape and color in today's pools, and equal, if not greater attention is paid to the areas surrounding them.

The Effects of Color

Color is a very personal issue, and one that can elicit some spirited debate among couples. Some people like the whole house to be the same color, while others prefer a darker base and lighter upper section, and still others like it the other way around. But the wonderful thing about color is that it's a relatively easy thing to change. And with the advent of computer-aided design and color modeling, we're able to see the effects of color choices before the paint is applied.

Defining the Entry

Entering is an extraordinarily important part of experiencing a house. If you're not welcomed by the house as you enter, it's difficult to remedy the negative impression once you're inside.

Fireplace Finery

When the focus is on your fireplace, you want it dressed up and looking its best. Your mantel is the perfect place for special treasures - collections, beloved photos, or an impromptu assortment of anything from candles to seashells. Don't forget to pay attention to the wall above and around the fireplace - the ideal canvas for painting a beautiful fireside picture.

Reference Credits

We invite you to check out these wonderful reference books at your local library, they contain lots of useful information about design and architecture. We thank the authors for letting us use some of their material to help explain the building and design process.

"The story of architecture" by Jonathan Glancey

"Creating the not so big house" by Sarah Susanka

"Outdoor rooms" by Julie D. Taylor

"Ideas for great fireplaces" by Cynthia Bix

"Greene & Greene, Creating A Style" by Randell L. Makinson and Thomas A. Heinz

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Schaefer Custom Homes
444 Higuera St. 3rd Floor San Luis Obispo, CA 93401