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REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW

Interview with Architectural Designer Gary Nance, Founder of Gary Nance Design from Indianapolis

Each architectural designer has a different area of expertise. Gary Nance has been designing custom homes for over 30 years by focusing on to understand the wishes of his clients. I talked with Architectural Designer Gary Nance about his career and the details of custom homes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Gary Nance

Gary Nance - Photo by Eduardo Pena

REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW

by Meryem Aksoy

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We all want to live in our own dream house. For this, the house must meet all our requests and reflect us. At this point, the professionals who will design this house come into play. They organize meetings to understand the demands of their clients and then synthesize the information they receive and design dream houses. Gary Nance is an architectural designer who knows the importance of establishing the right communication with his clients while designing their custom houses. I talked with Architectural Designer Gary Nance, to learn more detailed information about his career and his projects.

Gary, how did you decide to pursue a career in architectural design? What inspired you?

I knew I wanted to design homes since I was little. I would always play with stacking blocks as a kid designing buildings, homes, etc.

Before talking about Gary Nance Design, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Gary Nance?

I started out working construction every summer in high school to put myself through college. I’m dyslexic & had a really hard time in school so a lot of my teachers told me I would never be able to achieve my dreams, which made me want to pursue them even more. When I got my driver’s license I would drive for miles & miles on weekends to look at different architectural landmarks. I would park in front of buildings, parks, statues, & just start sketching them. My hockey coach was a prominent builder in town & he saw my sketches so he started having me draw home plans for local builders. Those plans & working construction during summers helped me pay for college.

Gary Nance Design

Gary Nance Design - Photo by Don Daugherty and Elevated Imaging

How did you decide to establish your own firm? Could you tell us about Gary Nance Design and your team?

I was in the creative department with a commercial design firm for my first real job in Chicago. When my wife & I moved to Indianapolis I decided to pursue my own firm while focusing mainly on residential projects. My daughter Taylor started working for me about 5 years ago to help push my presence on social media & we worked well together so she started fulltime about a year later. The clients love her. She’s tough though! It’s great to work with someone who can pretty much read your mind & handle things when I’m traveling for projects.

How could you define your architectural design approach?

I think having a background in commercial design helps me layout floor plans in a realistic way. You can always have a great design but making sure it is functional for the client is key. I always tell my clients more pictures, stories, you tell me the better. What inspires them. I want to create a place where they are living in their vision.

Gary Nance Design

Gary Nance Design - Photo by Don Daugherty and Elevated Imaging

What type of projects does Gary Nance Design specialize in? What type of services do you offer to your clients?

I cater more to custom homes, but my services depend on what the client is wanting. I will be at the job site meetings, coordinating with the interior designer, lighting specialist, stone suppliers, etc.

What are the advantages of being an architectural designer whose designs has featured in notable magazines?

I am very fortunate to have my projects published. I think one of the main advantages are showing a client how much each project is truly a team effort. For example, a recently completed lake home in Northern Michigan was published in the Nov/Dec 2018 issue of Traditional Home with Tom Stringer & Jill Brecheisen. Tom Stringer of Tom Stringer & Design Partners is located in Chicago, Jill Brecheisen of Kitchens By Design is in Michigan, I am in Indianapolis & our client was in Florida yet we made this a great project that our client loves!

Gary Nance Design

Gary Nance Design - Photo by Don Daugherty and Elevated Imaging

Where is the most popular location for new residential projects in Indianapolis? How could you describe the architectural culture of Indianapolis?

Downtown Indianapolis is making great strides in residential, commercial & landscape projects. I think the architectural culture is all about the amazing artists we had & have in Indy. From modern office buildings surrounding our Soldiers and Sailors monument to fresh designs in Mass Ave.

Could you briefly explain to us the process of a residential project?

For me, I have an initial meeting with my clients to find out what they like, dislike & get a good feel of what exactly they want for their project. We then have design meetings where it’s just me, the clients, sketch paper & my pencil. We work through revisions of their plans to get a final set turned into construction documents. Each step is a different phase in the process. Making sure we meet regularly with the interior designers, kitchen designers, the builder, audio/visual, & everyone involved.

Do you offer turnkey projects to abroad customer? At which steps should your client have to be next to you after the first moment of the project?

I have not been involved in any turnkey projects. After the first moment of the project, my involvement depends on the client. I am usually there during the entire process up until move-in day.

Gary Nance Design

Gary Nance Design - Photo by Don Daugherty and Elevated Imaging

How many months does it take to complete an average residential project?

Some clients have timelines they want to complete right away while others might take their time. I’ve had projects completed in 6-7 months & some have taken up to 3 years. It’s solely based on the individual’s needs but typically after the design process, the building process is pretty straight forward.

What are the most important factors that affect the project cost?

Square footage, materials, appliances, really anything can affect the cost. I think it’s vital to focus on the most important factors in a home before filling it with expensive materials. There are ways to make sure your client gets everything they want while being cost effective. You just have to stick to their budget & make it work.

Gary Nance Design

Gary Nance Design - Photo by Don Daugherty and Elevated Imaging

You have lots of completed and in-progress projects. Could you tell us about them? Which one is your favorite?

I have been designing homes for over 30 years & you know you’ve been doing this for a long time when you start tearing down your own designs! A recent project though has a great backstory. I designed the original home about 25 years ago. When my son was in high school, the girl he was dating (who is now his wife) moved into the home with her family. Fast forward to 5 years ago I am in a design meeting with a new client who shows me the plans for a house they bought & want to do a teardown. I look at the address & realize it was my daughter-in-law’s family home that I designed way back when. We tore it down to make a slick modern transitional home for a great couple. Recently The Premier Group who was key in this project won CEDIA’s 2018 Best Integrated Home of the Year! It was amazing to see a project I had such a history with making such an impact!

In your opinion, what is the relation between Low Budget - Short Project Time - High Quality? Is it possible to combine all in one project?

I think it’ s possible to combine everything. You just need to have a good game plan in front of you.

Gary Nance Design

Gary Nance Design - Photo by Don Daugherty and Elevated Imaging

What is the best advice you have received, and what advice would you give to young designers?

I think the best advice is to remain true to yourself & those around you. I always tell young designers; I know technology is a great thing & it does obviously have its value & purpose in design but you still need to be able to sketch. No client wants to be in a meeting & watch their designer staring at a computer screen. They want to see you sketching their dream home. I remember when 3D plans started making a splash I showed a client a 3D image of her home. She looked at it, looked at me & said “What is this? I’m paying you for your left hand.” Being able to use technology is important but you need to be able to make it through a meeting with just a pencil & paper.

How can our readers follow you and your projects?

Gary Nance Design is on Facebook, Instagram & Houzz. There is also my website that is currently under construction at www.garynancedesign.com

What is coming up next for you?

Focusing on my product line Gary Nance Collection of custom hardware, light fixtures & stair spindles. We debuted at High Point in 2017 but got busy with projects so we took a hiatus for a while until we could really focus but we are eager to get back with fresh new designs!

Thank you Gary for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of Gary Nance Design





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