T. Garth Brown
About T. Garth Brown
Regional Award Winner
Q&A with T. Garth Brown
I find design inspiration from almost anything: history, experiences, observations, and materials, as well as from within the context of each project. Each project provides a unique opportunity of some kind that may not have existed in other projects, and these opportunities can be found in existing materials, the history of the structure or site, the needs and desires of the client, the vernacular architecture of the area, or through a strong design concept. Typically, design inspiration for a project is found from several of these things. I also find inspiration by studying what others have done in the past and are doing currently, and finding ways to both explore and push the limits within my own designs whenever possible.
How do you approach the design process?
I prefer to begin the design process by defining the scope of the project, as well as the overall concept. Once the concept is defined, I like to work quickly through sketches, examining several spatial schemes, then refining the design based on the concept and the needs/desires of the client. Spending a little time during the schematic design phase allows me to explore options that may have been overlooked, while also involving the client in the decision-making process from the very beginning.
How does your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers/architects?
I prefer to create flexible spaces, preferably open and well-lighted, such that the space can be adaptable to its user. Whether designing a new space or a remodel, I am aware of how the materials will influence the space through both look and feel. I believe that my preferred aesthetic is to create open and clean spaces, while at the same time providing complexity through simple gestures, strong materials and clean details.
What is the greatest value you provide your client?
The greatest value I provide to my clients is personal attention to every aspect of the project as needed. I prefer to work on my projects from the beginning to the end, providing guidance and attention to details to make each project custom for the client. Involving the client in each step of the design process allows the client to feel ownership of the finished product.
What are some of the current design trends?
I like to think that a current design trend is to create an open and flexible kitchen that can function beyond the tradition use of the room, as well as being occupied by all members of the household and even guests. While a kitchen does not necessarily need to be large, it does need to remain open to the other rooms of the house. Regardless of style, I believe this is the most common trend, sometimes to the extent that the kitchen appliances can be “hidden” within cabinets and drawers in an attempt to make the kitchen feel more comfortable as a room. In many ways, the opposite approach of exposing the appliances and kitchenware can also be seen as a way of bringing the kitchen into the house and getting rid of the boundaries between the private and public functions of the home.
Where do you see kitchen design going in the next 5 years?
I believe that kitchen design, no matter what style, will continue trending toward open and flexible spaces, blending the original function of the kitchen with the secondary use as a gathering space. Despite the significance of the television and the family room, the kitchen is becoming the “hearth” of today’s home.