Residential design

Personalized homes. Warm. Welcoming.

Shelter designs custom-built new homes and renovations of existing dwellings — including historic properties.

Regardless of a structure’s age, size or location, one aspect of our design is constant: We place the homeowners’ needs and sensibilities front and center.

We embrace an approach called empathetic design. That means we listen, intently, to the homeowners throughout the process. Our goal is to design living spaces that reflect how people wish to use, move through, and feel within their most precious and personal surroundings.

As a result, we’ve built up an eclectic residential portfolio. Rather than showcase a particular “Shelter” style, these projects represent the broad mix of our clients’ individual preferences and personalities.

Our process

Wondering what happens when you work with Shelter’s architects and designers on your residential project? We’ve got a step-by-step process. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare — and enhance your experience. Learn more >

Sustainable design

We consider design an important tool — one that can save energy, reduce pollution, and empower people to make positive environmental impacts.

Our longstanding commitment

Universal design

We create spaces to suit people of all abilities. Eliminating obstacles benefits everyone — and helps people age in place for as long as possible.

Our inclusive approach

Working from home can be part of the plan

The dividing lines between home and work are blurring. Fortunately, when we design a residence, we have commercial experience to draw from.

Need a home office that promotes comfort and productivity? Or a garage that doubles as a small-scale production line? Our firm’s dual focus — creating both living and business spaces — gives us valuable insights we’ll bring to the table.

Our commercial expertise


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A year of firsts: life as a graduate student & intern

Thoughts from Shelter team member Keely Ashton A balancing act With year one of my two-year Masters of Architecture program…

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Waste not, want not: embracing material reuse in design

Thoughts from Shelter team member Jakob Mahla Is adaptive reuse the answer? It’s no secret that the buildings that surround…

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Can design inspire the return to downtown?

It seems all eyes these days are on the future of metropolitan area downtowns. Office tower occupancy is down. Many…

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