As a metro-west Realtor, I have the opportunity to see the work of many local architects. When visiting the open house of a project that Light House Design had recently renovated, I knew that I had found the firm to design my own addition and renovation. Like many older Colonials, our house was spacious yet lacked an adequate kitchen and family room. My husband, a professor, had built a pleasant sitting room off the existing kitchen. David gently suggested that we tear down his handiwork, and replace it with a larger kitchen/breakfast/sitting room, and convert our existing kitchen to a study and back entry.
David carefully studied our existing house and lot, and designed an addition whose exterior mimics the architecture of our existing house, while also making its own design statement. The interior is stunning- a light-filled room with a soft, curved ceiling and meticulous detailing. We were pleased that the kitchen was featured in the Boston Globe Magazine. We were impressed with both David’s design sensibilities and his hands-on knowledge. Our addition has a seemingly impossible structural condition where the entire roof appears to be supported by large glass corner windows. Hidden steel beams and various other tricks allow us to have a room that is more open to the rest of our house than we thought possible.
In addition to being a very talented and creative designer, he is an absolute joy to work with and never imposes his wishes on his clients. In other words, he is very sensitive to what the client wants.We recommend David for any project that requires design creativity, detailing, and construction know-how.
Alison and Alan Schechter
I was originally introduced to David Hornstein by a friend of mine who did some accounting for him. She worked for many architects, and pointed out that David was quite unusual – all his customers liked him! I asked David to design a kitchen addition. My primary requests were that it have a lot of natural light and provide a view of my gardens. I’m glad I gave him a lot of freedom – the design he came up with was far beyond anything I could have imagined. It met my requirements – it’s bright, cheerful, and feels almost like I’m outside in the garden. Yet it’s practical, cozy, fits in nicely with the rest of the house, and is stunningly beautiful. It made my otherwise very average home worthy of a 4-page cover story in Home Magazine!
In 1989 my wife and I purchased and began the planning of extensive renovations on our house at 29 Lawrence Street in the South End of Boston. We hired Light House Design to both design and build the house. The project took almost a year and the highest praise is that, after living there for ten years, we would not have changed anything that David had designed and built.
In 1998 we purchased another house in the South End, a very large, 5000 square foot+, single family home on Union Park that had been previously converted from a nunnery and had been partially renovated by the previous owner. After a review of the situation we inquired if David would be prepared to design a completely new interior for the entire house, from top to bottom, both inside and out. We have been working on this program for three years and are just about completed. David assisted in choosing the general contractor and supervised the project for the entire three year period. This house abounds with unique touches and extraordinary finishes, all of which were designed by David, who also acquired the required materials, some of which were so unique that there was only a single supplier in the US.
The results have again been extraordinary, a testament to David’s design and creative skills, his thorough understanding of materials, and his ability to focus on a complex, major activity for an extended period of time. Even with the stresses and strains of such an extended endeavor, David’s humor, intelligence and people skills have endeared him to us and we are pleased to count him as a real friend as well as an outstanding designer and builder. Please feel free to call us for further comments and we would be pleased to show any potential client of David’s extraordinary examples of his creativity and skills. We can’t recommend David too highly to anyone even thinking of pursuing any sort of design and construction activity.
We would like to recommend David Hornstein as a consultant for any residential construction project. We had hired another architect to design the addition of a second story to part of our home. We contacted Light House Design when we became concerned about the contractor’s work, and were not getting answers from our architect. After his inspection, we were shocked to learn that serious structural mistakes had been made by both the architect and contractor. David studied the contract documents and negotiated a settlement with both parties. The addition was rebuilt to our satisfaction, and everyone left on good terms. We are grateful that there was no litigaton and only minor delays. Of course, we wish we had used David for the original design, but nonetheless recommend him as a second opinion, or to oversee the project. His communication skills, and his detailed construction knowledge, saved our project from disaster!
We hired David to redesign the back portion of our second floor and create a more integrated connection to the third floor of our 18th century Colonial/Federal home. The work included a master suite comprised of a changing room and bath, adding a guest bath and utility room, and the reengineering of a narrow, steep third floor staircase into an open, airy, more integrated solution. David was a pleasure to work with. He brought a unique perspective to our project that blended tradition and non-traditional solutions. We particularly appreciated his attention to detail and his creative problem-solving when faced with the limitiations of an existing structure. David’s respect for the history and architectural integrity of the exterior of our home meant that our renovations not only served our modern needs but remained within the context of the house’s original design.
Stephen & Margie Weil
David was great at the following: (1) figuring out ways to use existing space in creative ways, e.g., where an unused tiny attic could become a play loft for children, (2) dealing with a lot of constraints, e.g., setbacks from septic system, lot line, street, (3) getting approval from the various committees in Lincoln (not easy!), and (4) finding interesting materials, e.g., an exterior cladding from Europe that never needs to be painted and, unlike Hardie Board, won’t chip away to white, insulation for around an existing slab, nail-base solid foam insulation to go over a roof.
Light House Design was the architecture firm I hired for a major house renovation involving knocking down interior walls, adding a four season porch, moving a bathroom, adding a deck and front entryway, as well as new windows, roof, exterior siding, and electrical system. They provided a thoughtful and attractive design in keeping with the style of the house. They listened to our goals and suggestions and often incorporated them in the drawings they created. When they disagreed, they explained why the suggestions were impossible or undesirable. Very attentive to detail, and cost conscious. They were also helpful in providing an objective viewpoint of the contractor’s work.
David Hornstein designed and managed a whole house renovation for us–including a new kitchen, sunroom, mudroom, master bedroom suite and five full bathrooms. Working with David has been a pleasure. He’s done a brilliant job figuring out how to give us everything we wanted within the constraints of our budget. In addition to designing these beautiful and functional spaces for us with the utmost respect for our tastes and desires, David managed the process of finding the builder and helped us choose just the right GC for the job. David also managed the entire project for us which meant that we were able to relax during what could have been a very stressful process–we knew we had his capable eyes overseeing all the work–making sure everything went smoothly and quickly, was exactly the way we wanted it, and was completed with great attention to detail. Not sure how we would have made it through such a large project without his help–thank goodness we found him! We would highly recommend him with no reservations.
I have worked on three of David’s projects, including his own home. As a general contractor and finish carpenter building high-end homes in the Boston area for many years, I have worked for many architects on a wide variety of projects. David is the first one I’ve met who has a thorough understanding of building, including exactly how things should go together. I was skeptical of some of his ideas at first because he does a lot of things differently, but in every case I have been very impressed with the finished product. On his own home I followed his design to create a curving handrail that snaked down two stories of a stair, made from PVC. The finished product looks amazing and was done for very little money. I also worked on a 7000’ project in Newton that was beautifully detailed, including a walnut handrail with a steel bar hidden inside to make it strong without appearing clunky. On a project in Lincoln he designed an aluminum loft ladder that was simple to build but looked very custom. I recommend him to anyone looking for a creative architect that actually knows how things are built.
M. Gomes G&G Contracting
I have worked with David on various projects over the years. He is detailed and innovative in his design and thought process making it a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend him for anyone planning a remodel or home build.
Joe Callahan Callahan Electric