studio zerbey / plus one

Well, not a lot of dull moments in the Zerbey house lately.

Yup, Studio Zerbey just doubled in size.

When I formed Studio Zerbey, we knew there was the possibility that Kyle and I might join forces at some point and well, here we are! This was certainly a big decision (Kyle had been at his previous firm for over seven years and had strong ties to the people he worked with) and something we gave considerable thought to – weighing the pros and cons, the risks and the advantages.

Initially, we had reservations about working together. Sure, we like each other (a lot, actually) but we also thought it was important to have our individual work lives. Then, during one of those nights when Avery was sleeping peacefully and I was not…it hit me – we’ve been working together for years. The week after our first date (11 years ago!) we teamed up on a studio project and continued the trend throughout school (although sometimes it was swapping help on structures homework for proofreading a Baroque term paper). In the 8 years that we’ve lived in Seattle, we’ve critiqued our portfolios, coached each other through the Architect Registration Exams and most importantly – acted as both architect and general contractor for our home remodel.

We can do this.

Making the decision to be self-employeed small business owners (with a newborn!) was not an easy one, but we feel confident it’s the right one. We’ll have to redefine what our own family/work balance will be, but I love the idea that Kyle will now get to spend more time with Avery. (Bailey, on the other hand, is still confused about the new baby and why he can no longer spend his days sleeping on the off-limits couch.) We know that this next year will be a time of focus and hard work, but we’re no strangers to that lifestyle either.

Kyle has some exciting projects that he designed and is bringing to Studio Zerbey, including a new house in the Mid-Century Modern Hilltop neighborhood east of Seattle:

A new home near Carmel, California:

And (in collaboration with Balance Associates) wrapping up construction for a new home in Missoula, Montana:

Want to see more? Check out the new and improved Studio Zerbey website! (Thank you Anna!)

Finally, a big thank you to everyone in our lives (especially our clients!) for your support and encouragement along the way. Kyle and I are both so excited and motivated about this new adventure and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Studio Zerbey – officially open for business!


35 Responses to “studio zerbey / plus one”

  1. m says:

    Awesome! I started working at home this year again and it took some setup to get the desk/office area up to speed. I moved away from craning my neck on a laptop, getting a good chair & even allowing for a standing position. I’m curious to see that progress for y’all now too.. how other fields do their computer-work.

  2. Anna @ D16 says:

    “Sure, we like each other (a lot, actually)”

    You guys make me laugh. Congratulations on this huge step! I have complete faith in you both to turn this venture into something greatβ€”not just professionally, but personally as well. And just wait until Avery can take over all of your billing! πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Anna! And we can’t say thanks enough for you amazing work on our websites. Not only are they well designed and implemented but the process in working with you has been exceptional. You’re a pro.

    • Lauren says:

      Seriously! It won’t be long before she’ll be organizing the material sample library. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks Anna and thank you for helping to make it all happen!

  3. katie says:

    congrats! i’ve been looking through your portfolio, you all have done some amazing projects!

  4. Marlena says:

    Congratulations! A true family endeavor, with baby in town.

  5. hjc says:

    Congratulations! At least you know your new business partner is a hard-worker and incredibly talented. Seems like a good match! As the wife of a self-employed engineer, I wish you all the best (find yourself a great accountant, bookkeeper and some catastrophic healthcare insurance!).

  6. Janna says:

    Wow! Congratulations on Kyle joining in, I have no doubt the two of you will make this a successful venture, what fun!! I thought about commenting on your 1201 Boulder post. I am a structural engineer and that kind of small bungalow remodel is my favorite type of project! I love to problem solve with creative architects :). And I love your style! Mixing modern with the old makes for such a great look. My husband and I have completely remodeled our 1936 house, although in a more traditional design with a hint of modern (we are no architects). :). So, after seeing your post today I knew I should comment, I live in Missoula and am very aware of the house Kyle designed as I work frequently with the builder! So fun to know you are involved. I have been reading your blog for about a year, and it is getting better and better, love it! We have a son who just turned 6 with a new baby boy due in February. So am filling enjoying the perfect mix of small house remodel, architect-ese, and babyness!!! Congratulations again on the wonderful new venture!

    • Janna, Also, I hope you’ll be pleased with the final appearance of that house. We designed it to be low profile from the street, and also to be pleasant when viewed from the nature trail across the creek. the clients and I have gone to great lengths to work with the city of Missoula and with local landscape designers to restore the riparian area with native plantings! going to be so cool. Also did you know that the house has a green roof with native plants grown in the bitteroot valley and solar panels? Okay I’ll stop now.

      • Janna says:

        Yes, I actually think we were involved with the solar panel company and coordinating the connections etc with your people πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Janna,
    What a small world. I love working with Joe and Keith and the clients on the Rattlesnake Creek house. We started design on that house about 4 years ago. It took me almost a year just to work through a number of issues with the planning department regarding steep slope, riparian area, and some other stuff. Do you work with an engineering firm in town or are you on your own? About 10 years ago, when I was at Seattle’s Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Office we worked with both Beaudette for structural and GPD for mechanical. I also have 2 potential new projects coming up in Missoula, so you’ll probably be seeing more of our design work in your home town! Lauren has a number of projects similar to the 1201 boulder that she will be doing so you’ll get to see more ideas on that scale as well. Congrats on the new arrival coming soon, and don’t be shy about commenting πŸ™‚

    • Janna says:

      I am at Beaudette! I did the structural engineering for the Point House for BCJ and am aware of our other projects with them! Yes, what a small world :). Excited to see what your other Missoula projects are! And, I am so happy to hear you have enjoyed working with Joe, he is great! And of course will eagerly look for more of the small scale project info from Lauren.

  8. Matt says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been a fan for some time and it’s nice to see you both out on your own. I did the same right after the birth of my first son, about five years ago. And having a partner is the best. It’s nice to have someone back you up. Please keep posting so I can follow any new projects in the office.

  9. jeannette says:

    this is pretty thrilling. vaya con dios, guys. it was nice to sort of zoom through the zerbey remodel pix on the studio website, with new vistas, for example, from the LR couch looking into the baby’s room. lovely. i didn’t realize the fauxdenza (?) had reflective doors. gorgeous, and the cork floors are really seen to best velvety, quiet, luxurious, advantage. i didn’t realize you two were rivals in class — this is turning into nick and nora. very best wishes.

  10. Jenna(&zeke) says:

    Congratulation you guys!!!! What fantastic news!! We can’t wait to meet Avery! Xox

  11. I’m loving this! Is there any specific types of construction you guys like to work with on new construction?

  12. Tyler says:

    Congrats! I know who to call in 5-8 years when I want to custom build (I am just 3 hours away). Oh and with your new site I have new blog material!

  13. Ruth says:

    This is very exciting news! Best of luck! And, I live right near the Hilltop neighborhood. I’m driving up there tomorrow to see if I can spot and empty lot and watch the progress on this exciting project!

  14. Yolanda at Kosodate Farm says:

    You Zs are so badass! Beautiful work, beautiful site (shout out to Anna!) and beautiful family. I have absolutely loved following your story. The best of luck to you!

  15. Congrats Zerbey’s, I can’t wait to see more Studio Zerbey designs!
    Question: Did the modern shed that Kyle blogged about a while back (and is also featured on the SZ site) ever take shape? I’d love to see how that developed or, if it never went further than the design-stage, I may have a good candidate garage to be transformed next spring πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work and thanks for all the inspiration!


  16. Dana says:

    From reading your blog it seems that Kyle requires constant supervision…will Bailey be joining the firm or continue to perform this role as a volunteer? πŸ˜‰

  17. Catherine says:

    Congrats on the addition of Kyle to the studio, You 2 make a great team, indeed! I look forward to following the projects on your horizon! Next stop for me? Your new website. See you there,


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