My name is Diane and I am an architect. Architecture for me started out as a fascination with home. In sixth grade I had an art project where I had to design a house and it propelled me into exploring the concept of house and home (perfect timing too as I was doing a lot of babysitting). This exploration has come full circle after more than 30 years of working on a variety of architecture projects and the exploration continues…
As humans on this planet we have to create the place we live in. We have to make our home. Unlike other animals who use the earth as their home or shelter. Our homes are our shelters, but they are so much more because we too are so much more and do so much more. And it isn’t just about living, it is about life.
Our personal environment can assist our life in many ways. The home is more than just a place to put your stuff. Think back to your childhood… maybe when you were ten years old. What type of home did you live in? Did you share a bedroom with a sibling or did you have your own room? Was there a secret hiding spot where you went to be alone or did you have a favorite play area?
Now look at the house you are currently living in. How much of it is similar to the house your grew up in? Maybe there are differences and no similarities? But most important… how do you feel?
Is your house a home?
One of my favorite architects, LeCorbusier said: “The home should be the treasure chest of living.” I would rephrase it to say, “Your home is your treasure chest for life.”
As an architect who has seen many houses and what it takes to create a home, the difference between a house and a home is that in a home the spaces support you and how you live your life.
Again, our homes are our shelters, but they are so much more because we too are so much more and do so much more with our lives.
It is the more that I am interested in. What more do you need in your home?
Do you love to cook and your kitchen is too small? Do you need more space?
When family comes over is there enough room at the table for everyone? Or is that same table where everyone can sit to eat being used for a sewing project or your kid’s art homework?
Often times there are simple solutions for creating more space and creating the spaces you need for all the activities, events and hobbies in your life.
Since we are all different our homes too are all different so there are no one size fits all home design solutions. Check out my services page to read a few stories and maybe your problem fits within one of the solutions.
A sixth grade art project to design a home is what opened the doors for me to a new world, the world of architecture. I didn’t know what it was called at the time, but I knew that I loved drawing floor plans and with graph paper that my father gave me I would go baby sitting and after the kids were asleep I would draw the floor plans of the homes I was in.
Later I would see an interesting house and imagine what it looked like inside and draw the floor plan. I collected the “homes for sale” magazines and would find homes with interesting features and add them into my floor plan designs. This continued on for years and my stack of graph paper grew.
Ninth grade I petitioned to take the mechanical drafting class. It was open only to boys, but I asked and was allowed to take the class. In high school there was an architectural drafting class and since I had taken the mechanical drafting class I could sign up for it. It was of course my favorite class and by this time I had a drafting table set up in the basement so I could keep on dreaming and designing.
Late spring of my junior year in high school I had a fight with my mother. She wanted me to continue working at the day camp that I had worked at for the previous five summers and I wanted to sit around and do nothing all summer… just like my friends. At the heat of the argument she said to me, if you think you want to be an architect, then why don’t you go and work for one?! So I did!
I didn’t even have my driver’s license and got a job working for an architect in the next town. I did get my driver’s license pretty fast and enjoyed the freedom of driving and making money. I worked and learned a lot that summer and continued working for that architect part time during my senior year in high school while also playing varsity volleyball, basketball and soccer. Soccer was my main love and I also played soccer on the weekends and was a referee for little kids soccer games. Looking back I wonder how did I ever get my homework done?
I applied early decision to Syracuse University and was accepted. College was very different and I continued working for various architects on the side, during breaks, and summers except when I went to Florence, Italy for a semester. After five years I received a Bachelor of Architecture degree, a pre-professional degree. I could have gone on to get my masters, but my goal was to work the required three years as an intern and then take the licensing exam to become a registered architect.
After college I worked for seven years at a high end residential firm in Chappaqua, New York where the homes I worked on were for very wealthy clients all over the United States, of whom I had never heard of until I found a Fortune 500 magazine and recognized the names as they were some of the wealthiest people in the U.S.
While working in Chappaqua I became a licensed architect and I met and married an architect who was working for I. M. Pei in New York City. He introduced me to Feng Shui as all his projects were in Asia and they had to work with Feng Shui consultants and principles. This sparked a major interest in me that has continued on to this day.
We had an opportunity to hit the reset button on our new life together by designing a custom home in Tucson so we moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1995 and started our firm, Krebs Carhuff Architects. It was an exciting time as we had a wide variety of architectural projects throughout Arizona and our business grew and was very successful.
Twenty years later the reset button was hit again as my now ex-husband/ex-business partner took over Krebs Carhuff Architects (it has a new name) and I am regrouping with a focus on residential architecture with my new business Renovate to Create. While the focus is on home design; “renovating to create based on how you live your life”, this concept comes into play for any environment that you occupy.
I discovered the book Sacred Space written by Denise Linn also in 1995 when I first moved to Arizona. I have had almost twenty years to explore the concepts of sacred space and Feng Shui and all of these concepts have led me to studying with Denise Linn and becoming a life coach. I am now weaving the two together. Your home is all about your life and to live your life to its full potential your home needs to support you.
Currently my home life is being supported by living in an old Joesler. Josia Joesler was a well known architect in Tucson who designed homes between 1930 and 1960. I happened upon this unique rental and am enjoying living in a unique mid-century home during a new century as it is enhancing the quality and serenity of my life.
My teenage son is enjoying the Joesler home too as he photographs sunsets and wild life while exploring the property, but only in between designing sneakers or cars (and homework). He has his own “little house” which is perfect because he can listen to all the music he wants, really loud, while I work, read, write, paint, do pottery, cuddle with my kitties and dream.