We had the best experience working with Karen- she took all our ideas and made them come to life- even better than we imagined. She was helpful and thorough and walked us through all the steps. I would highly recommend her to anyone.
Several years ago we hired Karen to build a 3 season sunroom off the kitchen/dining area in place of a large deck. The sunroom she designed surpassed our expectations! She designed a room that has become the favorite in our home; almost replacing our living and dining rooms. With the outdoor shading, gas heating and cross ventilation we actually use it almost daily year round. We have now hired Karen to design a custom home for us which she is currently working on. Karen is wonderful to work with. She listens carefully to our ideas as well as adds her own suggestions in designs as well as materials. She works hard to optimize everything that is important for us: views, privacy, work flow, storage, square footage, as well as designed rooms to accommodate art work and furniture. She is incredibly efficient and readily available. She provides interior design and material ideas, important quotes needed for budgeting and manages the entire design process, including the landscape designer, submittals and builder. Karen is known to stay involved and readily available even as the architectural process has been completed and the home is being built, something that our builder considered very helpful. I would highly recommend Karen Smuland as an architect for both smaller projects as well as custom homes.
I am a building contractor and have had the privilege to work with Karen on several projects in the past few years. I have been so very pleased not only with the outcome but with how smooth the entire process went. Her ability to understand what I want and then to design a beautiful home has made us a successful team. I am again, happy to say Karen is currently in the process of designing another home for my company, G.A. Vendrame.
I am writing this letter to tell you just how much we appreciate your effort in the planning of my daughter’s family home. As you know, I have been in the design/build industry in Canada for most of my life and have worked with, and for, several architects over the years. It seems to me that, too often, the projects end up being a monument to the architect with little or no regard for the desires of the customer. In your case, we have been totally impressed with how hard you have tried to capture the concepts that [my daughter and son-in-law] have put forward. You have then integrated them into a very professional plan and, all the while, kept in mind their budget restraints. I am very happy with the way the project has taken shape and feel that the completed project is going to be a wonderful place for their family to live and grow. I can’t find one thing that doesn’t seem exactly right for them. Should you ever want a referral, I would be happy to talk to anyone on your behalf. You are exactly what an architect should be.
Karen, was the first architect we have ever used. She understood our needs and always kept us on track making sure our house flowed from outside to the inside. She met with us throughout the whole build process and was on site multiple times a week, ensuring everything was completed as designed.
We hired Karen to design our house. We would highly recommend her to create a custom home. She listened to our needs, helped us come in on budget, and delivered our dream home on schedule. She is no amateur and it shows in the details.
I have photographed Karen's work over the span of a few years now, and I must say, as an architectural photographer, getting to work on the canvas Karen has laid down is nothing short of a delicious treat. Her talent and designs are stunning - conveying equal beauty as functionality, always with total consideration in all aspects to the people who will ultimately inhabit the space. As far as architects go in the Bend/Central Oregon area, Karen is second to none, and to hire her is really only doing yourself a favor.
Karen Smuland skillfully designed an incredible Custom Home that we built for clients on Cottonwood Lake in Wasilla, Alaska. With southern daylight during Alaska's winter being minimal, and the lake and mountain views facing due North, this project, in my opinion, required a true talent to bring together. Karen's services included not just the design of a Custom Home but also the master Site Plan, which integrated the 3,300 sf home, the detached private airplane hanger, the 1,200 foot airstrip, the courtyard, the lake, sunlight and views! I might add that we typically draft our own home plans in-house! But what I witnessed in Karen's work was a true eye opener, as her level of expertise is truly beyond our scope of experience. Karen is a true professional and very talented in her field. These clients knew this house was going to be unique and special, and they wanted it done right the first time. Without a doubt, Karen was instrumental in making it happen! Thank you!
-Steven Wirtanen, 2013