Rustic Zen Shed

Rustic Zen Shed

Rustic Zen Shed

The Rustic Zen Shed was originally a woodshed/ tool shed located in rural Oregon.  It contained all the usual oil stains, dust, and grime but was recently built so the structure was still in pretty good shape.  The owners fell in love with the building right away.  They decided that this was where they should spend much of their time while a new residence is designed and constructed.

The space was designed to accommodate, reading, exercising, napping, and crafting.  The owners felt that, “Light & Height” were 2 of the most important features.  As a result we choose to spend more time and energy on this structure as opposed to the existing adjacent 1920’s cabin with very low ceilings.  The original cabin still provides the necessary cooking and bathing facilities while the majority of their time is spent here, and you can see why!

Rustic Zen Shed-2

French doors and windows were added to allow lots of natural daylight.  ABX plywood was added for rigidity.  The build-out conceals framing for the doors and windows as well as the wiring added for outlets and lights.

Rustic Zen Shed-3

There is no insulation in the floor, ceiling, or walls and in some locations you can see daylight thru the cracks in the walls.  A heat pump was added to condition the space which is augmented by a wood burning stove.  The floors were sanded down, refinished, and a rope was inserted into the cracks between the floor boards.


Before and After Photos, What do you think?

Boutique Hotel-2
Boutique Hotel Design by Q Sterry.

I’m having way too much fun!!!

This is a proposal for the exterior upgrades to an existing boutique hotel in a great location. Its a confidential project so I cant disclose it’s city or location, but can say this this represents a tremendous upgrade to the existing hotel!

This design proposal features a covered drop-off area with cocktail patio and lounge above. It also features new concrete column supported covered balconies at 1/2 of the south facing rooms as well as new siding, and a new covered secondary entrance.

The existing parapets have be renovated to give the building a more current aesthetic.  Coupled with the added covered balconies and concrete columns providing additional depth and texture, the building becomes much more attractive.

Inspired Design = Inspired living.

Architectural Intern

Project Manager / CAD Drafter / Potential Partner Wanted 

Are you an Architectural Intern? Tired of the Old 9-5? Don’t want to be chained to a Cubicle? Want more flexibility and control? Wand a bigger stake in the company you represent?

Q Sterry – Inspired Architecture, LLC is a Commercial & Residential Architectural business in Eugene Oregon area experiencing continued success and growth. Providing top notch design services with honesty and integrity in Oregon, Washington & Montana.

Currently seeking an inspired Architectural Intern with a minimum of 2 years of professional experience.

The following skills are required:

• 2 years of Professional experience
• Accredited degree in Architecture
• Proficiency in AutoCAD
• Effective communication skills
• Able to receive constructive criticism with an open and receptive mind
• Continuously seeks knowledge
• Advanced understanding of how buildings are constructed
• Basic understanding of Commercial & or Residential codes
• Must like dogs

The following skills are highly prized but not required:

• Proficiency in REVIT, SKETCHUP, and PHOTOSHOP
• Interest in business management
• Desire to become Licensed
• Desire to find, secure, and serve new clients
• Construction experience
• Well established community presence
• Sense of humor
• Social life and hobbies outside of architecture

Those possessing the following attributes need not apply:

• Those who believe, “Architect” = financial security
• Know-it-alls

All options are on the table for the right applicant. Compensation, title, and pats-on-the-back according to experience and performance

Please be prepared to show examples of your work and provide references.
Pay is negotiable upon experience, qualifications, and final arrangements, but qualified applicants should expect to start between $20 — $50/ hour. If you’re interested but do not meet all of the criteria above, don’t fret, we might be able to find a mutually beneficial compromise! Let’s grow together!


Commercial Interior Renovation

Commercial Interior Renovation

Life Cycle Bike Shop

This is and animated 3D layout and design provided for the Commercial Interior Renovation of the Life Cycle Bike shop at 1733 Pearl st. Suite B, Eugene Oregon.


This design was whipped-out for the great guys at the Life Cycle Bike shop.  We decided that the majority of the bicycle mechanic work should occur downstairs in the basement freeing up primary ground floor space for the display of top-notch bikes and gear. The mezzanine level will be stocked entirely with awesome bikes as well as the bicycle fitting area. bike clothes an gear will be displayed under the mezzanine in a darker and more intimate setting and the dressing room will be tucked in underneath the stairs.

We are looking to install some great display lighting throughout the space as well as some amped-up music and videos. We’ve added a lounging couch with a great views, and plan to have additional hang-out space in the basement for those of us who like to talk shop with the great mechanics they have on staff.

There will still be a quick adjustment/ flat repair station at the top of the stairs, and should always be someone around to carry the bikes up and down the stairs sop that the customers never have to.

I have really enjoyed all of my interactions with the great people at this wonderful bike shop.  These guys really know their bikes! If you ride mountain bikes, road bikes, or cruisers in the Eugene or Springfield area, you owe it to yourself to get to know some of the great people at Life Cycle Bike Shop.

Life Cycle Bike Shop – (541) 686-2994

Quince A. Sterry, Assoc AIA
Cell: 541.517.3737

Retroactive Building Permit

Retroactive Permit

Retroactive Building Permit

UPDATE:  Q Sterry – Inspired Architecture, LLC is no longer performing these services.

Well intentioned homeowners often begin working on their homes without a clear understanding about the type of improvements that will require a building permit. Weather they are trying to add a simple custom design element, or something larger like a full-blown remodel or addition, it is always recommended to have a preliminary discussion with a local City or County Planner, (or other design professional/ Architect).

Here is a typical scenario. A homeowner completes a construction project on their home without permit. Everything seems fine until they decide to sell their home. A competent Real Estate agent listing the house discovers a discrepancy between previous listing information and the current listing or appraisal information. This may be anything from an additional bathroom or bedroom to an increase in Square footage. The agent searches City and/or County records and determines that the work has not been properly permitted. The discrepancy is brought to the attention of the homeowner who says, “I didn’t know I needed a permit for that!”. Conventional lending may not be available to a prospective buyer once the unpermitted work comes to light, and the Real Estate Agent is required to disclose this information to any prospective buyer.

Fortunately there is hope! At the City of Eugene in Oregon, City Planners and building officials take a cooperative and reasonable approach to retroactively permitting these projects once they are properly documented. All retroactive building permits are unique and will likely generate their own list of items that will need to be modified in order for the new structure or components to pass inspections. Documents must be drawn, and sometimes structural Engineering is required.

If the unpermitted work was constructed to current standards it won’t be too difficult to document and permit the work, but a certain amount of demolition may be required to verify and document all of the components used. If the construction was substandard, some demolition and reconstruction may be required in order to bring the structure and it’s components up to compliance with minimum code requirements. Sometimes code requirements can’t be met due to the construction methods employed, but this does not always result in demolition as the City is usually very helpful in finding a reasonable cooperative solution. Life-Safety code requirements are NEVER, (and should never be) compromised.

Designing with Trees

Heating and Cooling Costs at your home

Shade Tree-2

A great way to control heating and cooling costs at your home is thru the use of Deciduous trees on the south side of the building. Many people think of trees in terms of the shade they provide, but a great advantage of deciduous trees is that they loose their leaves in the fall allowing the low winter sun angles to penetrate the house.

This is especially important in this climate (the greater Northwest) as we spend much more energy heating our homes than cooling them.

The diagram above illustrates this point well and was borrowed from EnergyWise House. For more in depth discussion on the topic please visit,

Evergreen Trees – Be Thoughtful

Lets face it, this is Oregon and we love our signature Evergreen Trees, but are they appropriate in your yard?

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees give us Oregonians a sense of pride, they can be enormous, majestic, older than our great-great grandparents, and they clean the air we breathe. But where are they most appropriate?

I often notice sapling fir/ cedar trees planted in people’s yards.  These trees will grow to be very tall and most people don’t fully understand the potential consequences of this.

In this climate we spend more energy heating our homes than cooling them.  Evergreen’s are called that because they do not loose their leaves, (AKA needles).  For this reason, planting evergreens to the south of our homes will cut-off the ability to absorb thermal gain from the sun during the winter’s low sun angles.  Planting these trees to the North will certainly impact your neighbor’s solar access. In fact, many of these trees grow to be so tall that they will inevitably cut-off much of you and your neighbor’s solar access no matter where you plant them on your property. If you absolutely must plant and evergreen near your house, a location west of the home will provide the greatest cooling effect with the least negative impact to thermal gain in the winter.  Be careful not to plant too close to the house, as the root structure can actually lift a home’s foundation as it grows, creating a myriad of structural problems.


For optimal passive Heating/ Cooling of our homes here in the Great Northwest, steer away from designing with large evergreens trees while within city limits.  If you choose to plant a large evergreen, Keep it on the West side of the home but please be mindful of the species you are planting, it’s size, life-span, and its effect on you and your neighbors.  Think about the shading effect on the ground, do you think you may like to plant a garden someday?  And please be courteous, how will this impact your neighbor? Will their view, garden, or solar access be impacted by your tree?

Code Changes add Complexity

Secondary Dwelling Units

The City of Eugene has revised the Residential Code concerning SDUs, ( Secondary Dwelling Units ). Secondary Dwelling Units, otherwise known as as, Guest Houses, Mother-In-Law Apartments, Granny-Flats or Studio Apartments are sill allowed in most zones but all are limited in size. The new code restrictions add complexity and cost while the size limitations are being reduced. The building height is being reduced in relation to the property line. The total footprint of the structure allowed is now limited depending on the acreage of the property. These are just some of the new limitations placed on secondary dwelling units where they are allowed.
If you or somebody you know is considering creating or constructing Secondary Dwelling Units, it is advised to discuss the project with an experienced design professional like Q Sterry. The Oregon Residential Specialty code and the Eugene Land Use Code dictate the size and location of these structures.

Lets talk about it!
Your answers are just a phone call away!