Fine Design, West: Brewster McLeod Architects

A clear understanding of each client's needs and the individual character of their home distinguishes this Colorado firm and ensures repeat customers

June 27, 2016
Brewster McLeod Architects is Professional Remodeler's 2016 Market Leader for fine design, West.

Brewster McLeod Architects' Jamie McLeod has created one of Colorado’s most sought-after luxury residential architectural firms, known for harmoniously incorporating its designs into nature-filled landscapes. Photo: courtesy Brewster McLeod Architects

Brewster McLeod Architects

Aspen, Colo.

President: Jamie L. Brewster McLeod

 

Jamie McLeod loves her clients. She loves her boutique firm that includes offices in Telluride and Aspen. But more than anything, she loves designing beautiful homes that bring happiness to the people who will live there. Together with a tight-knit staff of architects and project coordinators, McLeod has created one of Colorado’s most sought-after architectural firms. She prides herself on affecting clients spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

“We are a small firm and we focus entirely on beautiful designs that reflect the true lifestyles of our clients,” she says. “That’s why we only take on three or four projects a year. Some of our projects last up to five years.”

One of the talents that Brewster McLeod Architects brings to every project is a thorough understanding of each client and the individual character of their homes. “We spend a great deal of time getting to know our clients,” McLeod says. “In many cases, this is their second, third, fourth, or even fifth home. We want our work to be different and we want the process to be fun.” 

Designing high-end homes means that McLeod must gain a deep understanding of how the house will work. Her designs are a true reflection of each family. If the home will be used to host grandchildren, McLeod and her team work to create unique spaces for that experience. If only two people occupy the house, McLeod’s design will create a feeling of intimacy, even with 15,000 square feet of living space.

“We never want to make our designs feel overwhelming,” she says. “We really try to make the house function as a full living environment. We do this by highlighting sunshine, views, and even the materials.” 

This classic, rustic home is located on Highlands Mountain in Aspen, Colo. Jamie McLeod used repeated angular shapes and warm-toned stone to accentuate the dramatic mountain setting. Photo: courtesy Brewster McLeod Architects

Takeaways for Other Remodelers

McLeod maintains that the only way to really make a difference and to impress clients at the highest level is to get into their lives. “You really have to understand the client at a deep level ... to know how they live and use the home,” she says.

Excelling in one aspect of your business—perhaps through more education or certifications, or by paying close attention to detail—will help create a clear differentiator for the client, she says. Additionally, McLeod is an avid reader who is often inspired by magazines that cover a wide range of topics, including design. Other influences come from traveling. “It’s important to travel as much as possible with an eye for how other countries and cultures design and build,” she says. 

A more modern design pays subtle tribute to the region’s wood cabins. Photo: courtesy Brewster McLeod Architects

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