David is a brilliant architect and is well accomplished in residential work. We hired him to renovate the front facade of our house after meeting with several architects who could not come up with any design that met our specific tastes. He came up with a gorgeous design that is modern and yet seamlessly fits in with our neighborhood. We get constant compliments on it. He was punctual and his prices were reasonable. He worked very well with our contractor and represented us favorably on many smaller issues related to the construction. I recommend him highly!
I first met David Hornstein of Light House Design in 2016. At that time my wife and I were considering purchasing a parcel of land in Lincoln, MA. Although both of us had experience buying houses, we had no experience buying land or with building a home.
A friend recommended David to us and so begin an eventual two year relationship. David was helpful in all stages of (what soon became) our house building project, including scouting the land, creating design concepts, helping us through permitting, and eventually overseeing construction.
At the core of our successful relationship was a synergy between the type of house my wife and I wanted, and that David excelled in designing. I would describe the house that we built as modern organic. Although unabashedly modern, consisting of clean lines and lots of glass, it flows along the contour of the land beautifully. And through David's selection of stone, wood, and other materials, it looks warm and inviting.
During the design process David helped make a big project less daunting. He was adept at breaking the entire project into smaller manageable steps and decisions. Working with him from concept to construction never felt overwhelming, and as the primary interface between us and the General Contractor, David was an invaluable source of practical, useful suggestions to keep the project on track.
David Hornstein is an immensely talented and knowledgeable designer. I can not imagine having created the beautiful house that my wife and I now live in without him being the architect and project supervisor. I heartily recommend him for design projects both large and small, particularly those utilizing a modern design style.
I highly recommend David as an architect. In short order, he is talented, highly professional and great to work with. A bit of detail: I recently bought and completed a full renovation for a 1952 mid century modern home on a large wooded lot. David provided the architectural design and assisted with some of the other design elements.
1) He has an extremely good sense of balance and proportion in his design. Our house is beautiful, peaceful and highly "livable" thanks to his vision.
2) he is efficient, direct and clear in his communication; he is also very professional and returns calls and emails very quickly;
3) I am frugal and we were on a budget, and he was sensitive to that throughout the process. He was efficient in the use of HIS time, which I really appreciated.
He has many other qualities to recommend. He is practical, and makes wise decisions when there are trade-offs between options which are inevitable.. He's also been doing this a while, so he can draw on a lot of experience. In short, you are in very competent care with David, and i have only positive things to say about our experience (which is pretty amazing for a full house renovation.)
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 into 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
David Hornstein (Lighthouse Design) has designed and directed the building of three houses for us, including two total rehabs of major buildings. He is extraordinarily smart and knowledgeable, including knowing how materials will react in situ. This is a unique skill for a designer! He is an expert in coming up with cutting-edge solutions to difficult or unusual problems and we have been using him for the last twenty years on such issues - he has never failed us and I would recommend him for any assignment.
Our challenges included transforming a standard traditional house into contemporary style home. A few architects that we interviewed had no idea how to approach the project. David drew us a picture of our new house in the first meeting in 10 minutes. Then he took the house measurements, entered them into an architectural software and produced a computer design of our house renovation. At any stage of the design we were able to see the pictures of the new design or get into 3D viewer and "walk" around the house trying on the new spaces. David helped us to find the right GC. David guided us through the entire construction process, helped managing the billing schedule and controlling the budget. David introduced and designed many interesting details in the house: the new stairs, kitchen, fireplaces, front entrance, doors, windows, trim. He paid attention to every little detail and worked on it. He designed and implemented innovative lighting ideas in the house. David explained all his ideas to the contractors while he was overseeing the construction, frequently visiting the site. He detailed the tile layouts and the plumbing fixtures locations to agree with the layout. David found a kitchen maker who made our challenging kitchen exceptionally well. David always knew the best materials for the task and where to find them for the best price. He is a very professional, knowledgable designer. He is very efficient to resolve any problem or find a competent professional who can do that. We have now our dream house that has a lot of light and space. We are convinced that our house would never be that great without David's work.
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 re-engineering 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 limitations 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
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.
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.
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
David designed a renovation of our house including a kitchen/family room addition, new bath, deck, and reconfiguration of the first floor. We had spent years working on various schemes, but his idea to push out the side, rather than back of our house made perfect sense and created a more spacious plan without encroaching on the backyard. We liked his creativity, professionalism, and sense of humor. We love entertaining in our new space and hanging out in the family room.
David Hornstein (Lighthouse Design) has designed and directed the building of three houses for us, including two total rehabs of major buildings. He is extraordinarily smart and knowledgeable, including knowing how materials will react in situ. This is a unique skill for a designer! He is an expert in coming up with cutting edge solutions to difficult or unusual problems and we have been using him for the last twenty years on such issues - he has never failed us and I would recommend him for any assignment.