Dwellings: How the pros live

An architect and interior designer show how to D-I-Y
Photos by Mark Steelman
Architect Gordon Hall's home at Greenfield Lake Park.

An architect and an interior designer opened up their homes to us. Each of these homeowners built, renovated and decorated their living spaces themselves. Both a labor of love and a continuous work-in-progress, these homes epitomize the D-I-Y (do it yourself) lifestyle.

An architect

Nature inspired architect Gordon Hall to design and build his 1,900-square-foot home at Greenfield Lake Park. The house is a quiet, light oasis with clean lines and no clutter.

“Aesthetic-wise, I like for things to be elegant and simple,” Hall said.

To achieve this, the compact house has about 24 cabinets that keep everything from books to toothpaste out of view.

“I will opt for storage over wall space,” he said. “When you’re designing for small spaces, look for overlapping areas for storage.” For example, he built a coffee table on wheels that doubles as a fully-stocked mini-bar.

“[But,] photos are a problem,” he said. To resolve this issue, he’s in the process of digitizing his old photos.

No window treatments block the surrounding greenery. And, no lamps clutter the open floor plan. “Natural light carries us most of the day,” he said.

Tip: Make every space count, like living on a boat. Ask yourself, what is the item and where does it go? 

 Architect Gordon Hall's Greenfield Lake home













 A designer

Pottery Barn interior designer Chris Gore bought his Grace Street house with his partner Matthew TenHuisen for $40,000 in 1996 after it had suffered severe damage from a fire. The couple restored the house themselves. After pouring years of sweat equity into the three-level house, it’s now appraised at $750,000.

Interior designer Chris Gore and partner Matthew TenHuisen in their historic downtown home.


Tip: This spring, the interior color trend is calming and soothing tones such as sea foam blue, grey and smoke. 


Gore re-designs and refreshes various rooms about every six months changing color palettes and fixtures.


Tip: For a new look, change accessories and pictures. All of the artwork on their walls are framed original black and white photographs Gore took in cities around the world.




Chris Gore and Matthew TenHuisen show the home details they built.