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Founded In Designs That Reflect Function, Scale And Proportion. Simplicity Honest Design To Be A Good Design It Must Work. Thoughtfully Crafted The Right Materials For The Right Purpose.

David Sutphen Design

As an architectural designer, I am inspired by a comment I once received: “thoughtfully crafted”. I believe a home should provide a simple, living environment – thoughtfully crafted with quality materials. My vision with respect to human scale, material selection and function are necessary to create the image, detailed drawings and a working budget. My experience in building supports me when communicating the design intent with the builder.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

Architectural Design

Solving Problems With Simple Solutions

When designing a new home there are timeless patterns found in older homes that can be used as a template. Honest design blends material selection with function. There are very few accents or trends unless they are a working part of the space. Architectural design is not interior decorating – that can be left for others.

Material Design

Time Tested Materials That Endure

Together, strength and beauty of a structure creates integrity. What a building has inside its walls is as important as what is seen. In many cases, what is seen in a DSD design is the structural members. Build with durable materials and time-tested installation techniques. Built to last; is beauty.

Functional Design

Simplicity, Utility And Honesty

Function is more than the placement of rooms, halls, stairs and the flow of living. Beauty is a function – created by proper scale and proportion. Size and location of windows, doors, porches and roof are critical. Prioritizing the aesthetic effects with the function of living spaces when executed correctly – looks anonymous.

“Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition.”

– Freeman Thomas

David Sutphen

David Sutphen, founder of DSD, has been at this for many years and it’s evident, with each opportunity, that passion fuels his work. This passion was formed at an early age when David found a  carpenter’s pencil on the construction site of their family’s new home in 1963.

With that, he drew a log cabin for a school project and wrote a report on the importance of “the home”. When the Sutphen family home was completed, David’s father built a small barn and set up a shop. Here, David learned woodworking and in high school excelled in mechanical drawing.

Today, quietly, but with purpose, David continues to provide homeowners with creative, functional designs and well-executed craftsmanship.

The DSD Journal

Raze or Restore

Raze Or Restore?

Early in my career, one of the first projects of any size offered to Southfen, was to renovate an old framed and clapboard house in White Hall, MD. The Owners weren’t sure if the cost of a restoration would be too expensive versus tearing it down and building new. I have to admit knocking it...
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John Brown Butchery

In scenic Shawan Valley, just west of Hunt Valley, stands an historic structure that has served the valley as various food venues and services since the 1930s. The original John Brown’s Store was a mercantile and the residence of the business owner. Today, John Brown General and Butchery serves a diverse selection of fresh meats,...
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Restored Log Cabin

Gustav Stickley, noted furniture manufacturer, design leader and chief promoter of the American Craftsman style, believed “there are elements of intrinsic beauty in the simplification of a house built on the log cabin idea.” Stickley would be proud of a new home built in Sparks, MD that “envelops” a log cabin – preserved and restored...
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  • We would like to express our sincere appreciation for all of your time, interest and passion in helping us design the renovations to our house to reflect our lifestyle and improve our quality of life. Your experience, creativity, integrity and thoroughness made the renovation process fun and exciting.

    Ketch and Michelle Secor
  • You listened to our needs and concerns, and paid attention to all the details in the project. Most of all you cared about us and how the renovation affected our daily living. You designed the renovation according to our needs without compromising the contemporary design of the house – we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

    Angela and Bill Class
  • David Sutphen’s innate artistic ability, coupled with his skills as a fine furniture maker and architectural designer, have given him an eye for detail and an appreciation of craft. Over the past decade, they’ve completed several projects for me, and each one was approached with professionalism and a can-do attitude. The process was an open and collaborative one, which allowed each person’s expertise to play a part, resulting in the best possible outcome.

    Suzanne Forte
  • David and his team did an exceptional job helping us complete the partial renovation of our 100 year old barn. David was particularly strong helping to figure out the design of the post and beam system we needed so that the end product was consistent with the look and feel of our old home. I was thoroughly impressed with the work. Communication from start to finish was also excellent.

    Dara Hewat
  • I cannot speak highly enough of Dave Sutphen. Ten years after we built our house we were ready for a significant expansion / renovation. We had an architect help with plans for years but there was just something missing. We met with Dave to bid the plans. We told him the look we were seeking and he agreed that the plans didn’t get us there. He redesigned the whole thing and we were thrilled with the plan. The only thing better than the plan was the end result.

    Jay Young
  • David is a gifted designer and builder with a genuine appreciation for older and historic properties. We are finishing up our second project – the first was a total restoration of a 3 bedroom, 2 bath cottage. We are currently finishing a major kitchen-family room renovation. His attention to detail and commitment to complement existing older components make them a perfect partner.

    Raymond Bank
  • We did a large project with Dave – a complete restoration to an old stone house. The project included an addition to the existing structure and the design work was perfect – fitting with the old house. It was a most enjoyable experience.. We have had Dave return for a number of projects over the years and each time we have had the same excellent results.

    Judy Spencer
  • David Sutphen walked us through the concept and planning to the construction and design portions of each phase. His knowledge of and experience with unique materials helped us create a beautiful solution to several problems we had been having. He coordinated the delivery of products and the scheduling of contractors and vendors to produce an efficient timeline. The beautiful new space now reflects their skilled handiwork.

    Catherine and David
  • David has invaluable experience, along with a terrific eye, for period details that create a historical and cozy home. David along with his team are a stupendous group to work with. You will be in good hands when you hire him to help design and build a project. You can trust their integrity to be of the highest level.

    Sarah Eastman