this and that

Hello, Fall! Hello, blog!

For the past few months I’ve been meaning to finish a blog post about how we kept cool during the record-breaking summer we had. And well, I should have known better – anytime I go about a lengthy and somewhat technical post it always involves more time than I have to spare. But alas, now it’s October so maybe we’ll save that blog post for next spring? Ok? Cool. (If you want a little teaser I’ll leave you with some keywords: exterior solar shades, skylight shades, portable a/c and giant attic fan. And for the most part, it worked! And we didn’t have to shell out $$$$ to have a standard a/c unit installed! I give Kyle all the credit for masterminding this one!)

Moving on.

We actually have quite a few specific Studio Zerbey updates to share, but we thought it might be best to first dust off the cobwebs and share some quick general updates.

+ studio zerbey: our firm continues to keep us busy and 2015 has been exciting in that many of our first projects are now wrapping up construction. Although we’ve been making periodic updates to our Studio Zerbey website, we plan on also posting some photos of completed work (both new houses and remodels) on the blog in the weeks and months to come. We recently invested in a new digital camera set-up and Kyle spent some time earlier this month traveling to California, Alaska and the Olympic Peninsula to photograph projects and then to Montana to photograph our mixed-use project and help coordinate a photoshoot for our Montana Creekside Residence.

A few teaser shots…

Studio Zerbey Architects - Alaska Surf Shack-2b
Alaska Surf Shack – photo credit: Kyle Zerbey

Montana Creekside Residence (collaboration between Studio Zerbey and Balance Associates) – photo credit: Steve Keating

Missoula Mixed-Use Remodel – photo credit: Kyle Zerbey

+ chezerbey remodel: remember in this post when I said someone needed to stage an intervention if we weren’t done with the basement by the time our permit expired (again) in November of 2015? Haha. Ha. Yeah, we’re still working on that. If we could wave our magic wand and hire a contractor to come in and finish it we probably would – but that seems unrealistic and a coordination headache since we’ve already purchased almost everything (Oh, you’re looking for what? It’s around here…somewhere.) We just need to get it done and honestly I think it seems more overwhelming than it really is. Although it will be great to have those spaces finished, the project just isn’t exciting as say…our backyard office/shop space.


Speaking of which, we haven’t done anything with that yet either. Kyle put together some preliminary pricing earlier this year and the cost of running new plumbing alone (plus a lovely usage surcharge that the city tacks on) made it cost prohibitive. It’s also pretty clear that we don’t have the time to DIY it like we could have before we had two kids and our own business so we’re trying to figure out a design solution where we could offer some sweat equity but afford to hire out a bulk of the work. So, we’re now looking at options that don’t include a second story. Although it would be amazing to have the studio apartment component we’re just not sure the payback period would make sense for us. What we do know is that we’re anxious to get our office out of the house in the not-too-distant future. Truth be told, it is starting to feel a wee bit cramped in here but that freeing up our two office spaces for other uses will give everyone a bit more breathing room. So, we’ll keep you updated on that.

+ birthdays and anniversaries: In our family, we like to cram all the celebrations into a two-month span. Avery and Kyle had birthdays in late July and early August and in the last few weeks we celebrated my 35th birthday, Lillian’s 1st birthday and our 10-year anniversary! I know, how did that happen?



lillian 1st birthday-3

I realize we don’t post much here about Lillian like we did with Avery (sorry, Lil!) but she really is such a sweet kid. And although she’s not the super sleeper that her sister was (and still is!), she’s so easy-going and happy 95% of the time that it’s hard to complain. These days, she’s close to walking and is getting into all of Avery’s toys. Watching those two together (and with Bailey) is a significant source of entertainment for us.

+ work-life balance: starting this month we have a new childcare/preschool schedule that has both girls out of the house four mornings a week. It’s only been a few weeks but we really like the new arrangement. We’ve had a series of nannies in the past and although I was often surprised how well we were able to all coexist in our small space, having a quiet house is reallllly nice. Getting out of the house to do pick-ups also provides a nice mid-day break and keeps us from getting too stir crazy. In the afternoons, we’re back in our offices during nap time but we try to keep our schedules a bit more flexible than so one parent can take over if someone (ahem, Lillian) wakes up early. She’s transitioning down to one nap and although it feels a bit early, I’m also looking forward to getting into a groove with our schedules that will stay consistent for the next year (years? I hope they both nap till kindergarten!).


And that, in a nutshell, is what we’ve been up to. Although we had a good (and LONG!) summer, we’re both looking forward to a new season and a new schedule. And I don’t want to jinx it, but maybe more blogging too? I don’t mind being an optimist.


27 Responses to “this and that”

  1. Ron says:

    Congrats on the lovely family, glad to see everybody and everything progressing.

    I’ve learned that STARTING the project is generally the hardest part of the whole process. Just have to wade in there.


  2. Keep blogging! You are a wonderful writer and architect and from the looks of those two adorable children, a great parent.

  3. Laura C says:

    You two do beautiful work. Love all your projects. If I ever win the lottery…

  4. Joel says:

    I’ve read your blog for awhile but wanted to comment and say great work! I love the aesthetic of the surf shack so much that I’d learn how to surf just to have one. And the Montana residence is superb! Is that deck cantilevered off it’s own fireplace? Brilliant! At any rate, very nice, keep up the good work!

  5. You’ve just gotta put your foot down and say enough’s enough, we’re finishing this basement now!

    A bit easier said than done, I know πŸ˜‰

    • Kyle Zerbey says:

      yes, we’ve said that a few times:) We keep thinking that our Studio Zerbey workload will slow down at some point and we and then take that down time to do some remodeling. I think over the holiday break we’ll give some serious thought to how we’ll finally finish the basement bathroom and laundry room!

  6. Can we talk about Avery’s outfit? I would legitimately wear that.

    • Kyle Zerbey says:

      she is actually laying out her own outfits in the morning on the carpet in their room and then talking out loud about what she thinks about her arrangement and then most often makes changes, sometimes encouraged by us, such as the time when she tried to match navy pants to a non-matching navy shirt.

  7. Claire says:

    It’s been a while… I can’t wait for an update! Have you done anything with the basement yet?! πŸ™‚

  8. Barb says:

    This is starting to feel like another favorite blog that ceases to exist. Such terrific content gone, no explanation. I guess that’s the way of the world now. So sorry to see you gone.

  9. Marc says:

    Wow, love your work! Good luck with the basement, my wife has been nagging for two years for me to finish our basement. Just don’t get the time to get round to it.


  10. Tyler says:

    Can’t wait for more updates from Studio Zerbey! I love your professional portfolio (that Alaskan home is unreal!) and am hoping you share updates on your latest work. You’ve got a fan in Boston!

    • Hi Tyler, thanks! We do have some new projects under way that we haven’t posted yet including a Pacific Northwest beach house and a new home on Oahu….

  11. Atiyya says:

    Hi, just checking in to see if you are okay. My favourite blog has been on mute for the longest time now …

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks, we are ok. πŸ™‚ We have just been busy with our business and two kids. Which means we also haven’t been going much on the house! But hopefully that will change soon…

  12. Lynn says:


    I liked your remodel of your house, but does your dog really like to eat with his head bent under the pull out tray? Just curious because I love that idea with the dish!


    • Lauren says:

      Hi Lynn, this arrangement has worked well for our dog and his size. It probably just depends on each dog. He also eats in about 15 seconds so isn’t spending a lot of time there. πŸ™‚

  13. Steven says:

    Although it has been exactly one year since the last post, I still haven’t given up on this blog :). Im still hoping that one day there will a be fresh, crispy post welcoming me on this site. Im interpreting the long silence as a message that your business is flourishing and that you spend the rest of the time on familiy time. Keep up the good work!

    • Lauren says:

      Haha, thanks Steven! Doing a new blog post has been on my to-do list for well…a year now. You’re correct in that we are just super busy with work and family right now. We also haven’t done any major projects on the house so there hasn’t been a lot to blog about. We do plan on blogging again eventually…we’ll just call this a hiatus. πŸ™‚

  14. Belinda says:

    You have such adorable kids! can’t wait for an update on your basement, though. haha

  15. Katja says:

    I just saw that it is the 10th year of Chezerby.
    Happy Anniversary!
    Looking forward to read some news about your projects and house…


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