Remodeling and Home Design
AOME Office

“Working with a principal, one who is open to collaboration, that is a definite advantage of working with AOME. It was very impressive that principals did the primary work on our project, working with an elite firm like AOME you do get the benefit of visibility with principals.”

The owner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

To explore the principal’s individual profiles click on their names above. Back to Profile Page

 

The following are testimonial statements from a variety of satisfied clients and contractors that work regularly with AOME Architects, all in their own words…

"We loved working with AOME in designing our family home. They were always professional, fun to work with, and excellent listeners. It still amazes me how they were able to take our descriptions of how we wanted our home to function and feel, and turn that into reality. We have lived in our home for almost two years, and could not be happier with the way the spaces work for our family of six, which includes four small children and an attorney who operates from a home office. Despite the large size of our home, visitors frequently comment on how warm and welcoming the space is, which is something that was very important to us during the design process. This was our first experience working with architects on a project of this size, and we could not be happier with our decision to work with AOME. They were excellent guides, were patient and helpful as we considered various options, and made the process exciting and accessible. We would recommend AOME a thousand times over."
Sharon
The homeowner, Kristen D. from her review of AOME on Houzz.com

"[Elster's profile says,] 'With his practiced approach, designing your own custom home should be one of the most positive experiences of your life.'

That absolutely has been true of building this home… I can't imagine that you've had many—or perhaps any—clients who have enjoyed their homes more than I. It has been a joy to live in for the entire 22 years that I've been here. As I've told many friends I will never have another home that fits me so well, or gives as much satisfaction. Thanks again for all your work—I have never seen a house, regardless of the price, that I would rather live in."
Sharon
The homeowner, Sharon Van Heuit, from a letter telling us she had to move from the home we designed for her

“I can’t believe all the things [AOME] does for us and the incredible detail you think about for so little fee! How do you do it! You sure get your money’s worth in my opinion!”
The homeowner, Carolyn, quoted during a construction meeting and again in a more recent interview

"I feel almost guilty; I feel like we got a lot of bang for the buck. I think you guys put a tremendous time and effort into a project. I would not want to see what it looked like on an hourly basis! People are very concerned with the fees up front, we were certainly that way. You saved us a lot of money and we got so much. Great, great value." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“AOME is an extremely talented and professional team that takes the custom home process to a higher level. Their beautiful designs and precise drawings allow the customer's vision to be perfected. There is always at least one principal involved throughout the entire process, giving a level of professionalism and continuity that makes the project a success.”
— Jeff Christopherson Stonecreek Homes

“AOME’s detailed construction documents and specific knowledge of municipal building requirements helped us avoid costly changes and potential project delays.”
— Ken Head, Principal, Schultz Miller Inc.

"We have friends who work with architects we all know and whom we've also interviewed. One who does lovely work is just a difficult person to work with. Another one does beautiful work but is less focused on the details and mechanics… but if you're somebody like me, you wouldn't know what to ask them for. I would say [AOME's] commitment to the process has to be one of the best… you really are focused on the hidden details and there from beginning to end, dedicated all the way through." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"I would argue that you are expensive because you are good, if not the best.
Being "house" people, we have seen designs from dozens of publicly
recognized "top" architects and you guys are by far, in our opinion (of
course that is due to our design style match), the leaders of the local
industry…"
— Mark Holmes, homeowner from a recent letter to AOME

"In conclusion and for now, you gentlemen listen well, very well. The initial drawings capture very well the combination of rustic and contemporary styles. I imagine myself walking through the interior and I cannot determine whether I am in North Bend, Brussels or Chicago. I thought that would be an impossible concept to capture on a first approach, but you gentlemen made it look to be duck soup. There is obviously much, much more to do, to consider and to achieve, but it much more than meets our expectations. We can’t wait!"
—The Homeowner, Bob Bumb, from a letter to AOME

"The level of access to principals is huge. Extremely helpful during the construction phase. Plus even though Mark was the lead, I feel like we know all of the partners. It really feels like a family." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"Ninety Nine percent of the time you deal with a principal." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"The way in which AOME handled the zoning questions was amazing. It was outstanding! We had difficult impervious surface challenges… AOME handled it beautifully and we got through very quickly, the variance didn't even slow us down. And Randy and I didn't have to do anything with it." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"Though my fundamental purpose was to build a house that would suit and please me, I nevertheless do enjoy the invariable exclamations of delight from first-time visitors."
The Homeowner, Kathleen Sharon Van Heuit from a letter to AOME

" I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and satisfaction with the working rela­tionship that has been established between Sagmoen Builders, Inc. and AOME.
We have … worked on a variety of projects together and the at­tributes of [Olason and Elster] and your staff are many. Your talent and creativity in design from conception to comple­tion, including the finest details, is outstanding. In addition, another factor and maybe the most impor­tant, is your ability to communicate with all parties involved – from homeowner to contractor and the many people in between. In large custom residential projects, it is imperative that the architect handle questions and concerns to the satis­faction of many parties. While this is not always an easy task, AOME ranks far above other offices with whom I have been involved. The response time from your office when a question arises is always prompt and does not create unnecessary delays in the construction process.
All of these factors, and many more, contribute to a real ‘team effort' feeling and approach, that must be present for the successful comple­tion of a custom residence.
Thank your for your efforts and I look forward to our continuing out­standing relationship.
Sincerely,"
— Rick Sagmoen, President Sagmoen Builders, Inc.

"My initial meet­ing with Dennis Marsh and Mark Anderson was lengthy and reward­ing. I felt that I was being sensitively listened to — the copy of their notes taken at that meeting supports that — and that they under­stood what I wanted… and I hadn't laughed so much in a long time."
The homeowner, Kathleen Sharon Van Heuit from a letter to AOME

"While going through very significant increases in scope, AOME remained mindful of the project's big picture. They integrated the additions with the rest of the project, so at completion, the house had a balanced feel."
Owen Roberts, principal, Owen Roberts Group

"At the end of the day the client has to trust. I think that you and AOME are of extremely high integrity, I think you are more involved in your projects than your contract requires you to be by an order of magnitude. You take tremendous pride in your work, you develop close relationships with your clients… that's how you do business." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“Working with a principal, one who is open to collaboration, that is a definite advantage of working with AOME. It was very impressive that principals did the primary work on our project, working with an elite firm like AOME you do get the benefit of visibility with principals.”
The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"I wish to express to you my gratitude for the architectural work your firm did on the recent recon­struction of my home. Working with [Mark Olason] and … Mark Elster, was a sin­cere pleasure. It was a difficult project for my wife and I to undertake but thanks to you we were able to accomplish all we had planned. I know that without your architectural knowledge, design ex­perience and artistic insight our project would not have come to­gether as magnificently as it did.
When in the future we need any additional architectural work done we are sure you will be the one we use. We will also recommend you to anyone we find in need of an architect. If at any time you would like to use us as a reference, please feel free to have anyone contact us about our satisfaction with your firm and we will by happy to dis­cuss it with them."

— The homeowner, Pat Obert in a letter to AOME

"During a fundraiser we hosted for a state senator, the mountains were out, the sunset was spectacular and the flow of guests inside and out was perfection. It was an enchanting evening, and we overheard many guests raving about the beauty of our home. It reminded us just how grateful we are for the wonderful thought and care that AOME put into our home."
— The homeowner, Chris Perry, quoted during and interview for Seattle Homes and Lifestyles

"When an architect can meet the needs of the client in a competent, businesslike, and elegant fashion, like I have seen with AOME, clients choose to involve them in subsequent projects."
— Owen Roberts, principal, Owen Roberts Group

"As we were finally moving in it dawned on me, 'OK It's perfect, but what happens when you use the sink or need the heat or the other stuff that makes it all work?' That part is designed beautifully too! Everything is phenomenal! That's important, the house works well too. Even the structure is so sound that it was silent during our first big storm.
There was seamless interaction between AOME, the contractor and our interior designer. The whole team really respected each other and traded off beautifully. There was no ego on anybody's part, it was very collaborative." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"Going with the Architect's [recommended] builder is actually an asset. A real plus. It is really helpful when they're in sync and looking out for the same thing." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“Accessibility at AOME is phenomenal really, it was never an issue about getting hold of a principal, not once in the two to three years we worked with Mark — thinking about that in the context of today is really quite amazing. You sure get your money’s worth in my opinion.
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"I also want to tell you once again how much we enjoyed working with you on the Perry project. You did a wonderful job of designing a house that, despite its enormous size, it is very comfortable and livable. Congratulations on a job well done.  We look forward to having the possibility of working with you sometime soon on another project.
Best Regards,
"
Tom Carter Allied Marble Incorporated

"AOME's investment in technology is really helpful. Those CAD three dimensional images you do are really helpful." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“AOME’s structure of four principals is unique, there were more resources available here. Because of the four partners, AOME has a higher level of expertise that we had access to. The shear weight of expertise at AOME is invaluable — I don’t think we could’ve pulled our project off with the more typical architect. AOME has more great minds to work with, that’s got to be a big plus.”
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"The experienced principles at AOME have a hands-on approach that allows us to quickly resolve the problems that inevitably arise during complex projects."
Owen Roberts, principal, Owen Roberts Group

"Our home has one of the most livable floor plans I've ever seen or been in. We love it. It is a particular feature of this home that blows people away. You took us to other spaces to compare and get a comfort level for how things were going to be." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"I am continually delighted with my home. The firm, including Project Architect Mark Elster, did an excellent job of producing a design, which incor­porated my desires and needs, but went far beyond that, aesthetically and practically. I have seen few houses with as much ar­chitectural interest and charm; and mine works so well for day-to-day living. I was particularly impressed with their handling of pro­por­tion and scale. They were sensitive to my financial limitations, and the builders appreciated the firm's ability and willingness to listen to and deal with their construction concerns. And I was also pleased, on a human level, with the way they dealt with the inevitable glitches."
The Homeowner, Kathleen Sharon Van Heuit from a letter to AOME

"We still think about the splendid time we had building Sharon's house. You did a perfect job creating this house with all its details that makes it into a home of a special kind. It was also an extraordinary experience working together with AOME on this project.
The design for the Van Heuit Residence is the best and ‘prettiest’ house we’ve built."
— Wolfgang and Guenter Mack

"AOME worked with us to cut square footage, created efficiencies that cut several hundred thousand dollars out of the design before we broke ground. We really felt AOME was a partner in making sure we hit the budget. All of the beautiful trim and molding is stunning… You were very budget conscious about how you approached all that. I felt you really respected what we wanted to do." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"I can’t believe how many things you think about while designing, the attention to detail is really amazing. You seem to think of everything!"

— Brenda, the homeowner during a recent design meeting

"One of the many things I appreciate about AOME vs. other firms—the distinguishing difference—isn't only the level of talent and creativity, but absolutely the willingness to work with your client. The reason this gorgeous home came in on budget is we did a lot of work and a lot of changes on paper ahead of time. So we had no changes once we went to construction, it was all thought out… AOME was willing to keep going till we got it right for us." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"I've worked with AOME in some very challenging jurisdictions. Their accuracy, thoroughness and professionalism affectively circumvent the barriers that seem to occur in those cities."
Owen Roberts, principal, Owen Roberts Group

"AOME's investment in technology is really helpful. Those CAD three dimensional images you do are really helpful." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“AOME built my dream house, what else is there to say? A truly remarkable experience, I don’t miss a day when I think about how beautiful my house is… I see something new in it every day, it’s almost like a painting — it’s my creative outlet, my artistic expression, it really means so much to me.”
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"My kid's really have emotional reactions to the spaces in the house. Michael says he loves the house once a week out of the blue. Lauren loves her bedroom. Randy and I love our bedroom. What's the number one space? The outdoor terrace everyone loves it." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"It is indeed a pleasure to write this letter! Often you hear of horror stories when relating to home-building experiences. Kathy and I can't tell one of those stories! In every instance, your firm was cooperative, responsive and easy to work with. The end result is the home of our dreams! Every day seems like we are on vacation. In short, if we can ever help you regarding a reference, please feel free to use our name.
Sincerely,"
Dick Lea, Jr.

"We don’t need visitors to enjoy the guesthouse, sometimes we wander down from the main house just to savor a glass of wine or watch the sunset — we love spending time in this place so much."
The homeowner, Laurie Oki, quoted during an interview for Seattle Homes and Lifestyles

“I love the way AOME weaved all these subtle things into the house that make it so livable, beautiful, and interesting — I’m never bored by it and I feel very very lucky.”
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"During construction AOME's principle strength is how well they work with the construction team. On every complex project, as construction progresses, the details and products begin to interrelate and inevitably some are inharmonious. There are tradeoffs to be considered and judgment calls that need to be made. With AOME all of these conditions are worked through with the contractor and solved as a team, in a timely and efficient way. This type of professionalism from the architect helps the contractor keep a project on-time and on-budget."
Owen Roberts, principal, Owen Roberts Group

"How could AOME improve? Wow, I have to think. We were extremely happy, I can't think of anything where I thought, 'Gee I wish they did this better or knew that better.'" The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“Our house continues to get even better with time and grows on you as opposed to something you start picking apart.”
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"AOME has four senior principals, and you do utilize your collective talents and strengths and I did feel like every one of you was engaged in my project. That's pretty unusual." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“AOME helped me understand why I like some things. I had all these pictures [and ideas], but couldn’t figure out the commonalities —but AOME knew — they put together what I couldn’t in my own mind.”
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"This must be your most successful project. I don’t see how you could have done it any better. Everything went so smoothly with the design, the construction, and no cost or schedule surprises. And we just love living here every day."
The homeowner, Mike Murray, quoted during an interview for Seattle Homes and Lifestyles

"People who come to our home love it and are blown away by it. Every time people are here, they kind of sigh, and want to check in and stay. The house is very welcoming and very people friendly." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

“AOME was consistently able to drill down and get to the essence of what we needed to do. You were very good guides, in cutting out extraneous noise, saying, “This is where you need to focus, and these are the logical choices base on [the goals] you’ve told us.”
— The homeowner, Carolyn, during a recent interview

"Clients always experience a certain level of anxiety because of the shear volume of decisions that need to be made during a custom project. AOME's thoroughness and great communication skills create a comfortable atmosphere where our clients can make decisions with confidence."
Owen Roberts, principal, Owen Roberts Group

"We've entertained 200 people at the house. I've had a seventy person sit-down dinner. It was easy for the caterers. We could have had more." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview

"I don't think I'm an easy client. My inability to articulate certain things would frustrate some people. You never showed that frustrated and were always constructive." The homeowner, Lea Anne, quoted during a recent interview