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Choosing an architectural style

How to design the custom home of your dreams

At David Small Designs, we believe that a custom home is a reflection of your personal identity, aspirations and architectural preferences.

It’s a space to build memories and thrive. That’s why our custom home design process is built around learning more about you, your family and your daily rhythms.

We ask the questions that help define the exact way your home should function and flow. That includes helping you choose the right architectural style for your home. Whatever your aesthetic tastes, our team is dedicated to delivering an outstanding custom home design experience.

Popular Home Design Styles

David Small Designs creates custom homes in modern, transitional or traditional styles. Our highly-experienced team has the diverse expertise needed to realize your custom home design vision, whatever your architectural leanings.

French Chateau

While few of us will ever have the opportunity to live on one of Burgundy’s grand estates or to call a residence in the Loire Valley home, we can design a custom home in the grand French Chateau tradition. Bringing that architectural vision to life takes experience and careful attention to detail.

Our team has crafted countless homes in the French Chateau style, always customizing our designs to suit clients’ lifestyle needs. By focusing on architectural balance and ensuring the home’s design fits harmoniously with the landscape, our chateau designs are truly unique.

Modern Chateau

Many of us have a passion for both modern and traditional styles of architecture. At David Small Designs, we’ve perfected the art of balancing contrasting architectural schools in a way that serves our clients’ custom home design vision and maintains a sense of aesthetic coherence.

Our Modern Chateau projects are just one example among many. We combine the finer points of grand French architecture with modernity’s functional emphasis and trust in materials to create distinctive custom homes. The aim: creating one-of-a-kind residences that cater to our clients’ lifestyle ambitions.


A custom home is meant as a space to live life and create lasting memories. Nowhere is that more apparent than at a family cottage, the ideal place to spend summer weekends, holiday getaways and relaxing retreats.

Our cottage creations leverage DSD’s signature Natural Modern design approach to connect structures to the surrounding environment. By relying on glass, natural materials and creating spaces that seamlessly connect outside and in, we create statement homes that can be shared across generations.


As the country-rustic aesthetic has grown in popularity in recent years, many families have chosen to design their custom homes in the modern farmhouse style, both in rural and urban settings. The look references the idyllic aspects of country life with a modern twist.

That often means combining steel and glass with natural stone and wood, weaving in the peaked rooflines of traditional farm houses and adding distinctive design elements that add 21st century flare to the completed home. Work with our team to realize your modern farmhouse vision, both with the exterior architectural design and a stunning modern-rustic interior.


Our contemporary designs reference a diverse array of modern styles. A belief in material honesty and dramatic geometric expression inform every one of our creations. Expansive use of glass fills interior spaces with light.

Perhaps most importantly, our contemporary custom homes are crafted with both form and function in mind. We work with our clients to not only create designs that reflect their personal identity, but that are inviting and livable, laying the foundation for them to live life to the fullest.

Planning your home

So, what do you need to think about when building your dream home? It starts with careful planning and attention to detail in several key areas:


Choosing the right property is key.

Whether in a densely-packed city or an idyllic rural setting, the design of your custom home should reflect everything from your property’s sightlines and topography to existing foliage and landscaping. That focus is at the heart of our Natural Modern design philosophy. It’s our way of ensuring that every custom home we build sits in harmony with its natural surroundings.

Lot type

Whether it’s a narrow lot, a corner lot, an estate lot—or any other—all properties have their own unique characteristics.

Your custom home design should reflect the spatial realities of your lot to maximize its architectural appeal, and be properly positioned to maximize everything from daytime light to nighttime coverage to deliver complete privacy.


We understand that it’s only possible to create your dream home if we can satisfy local building regulations. Our architectural design team is committed to producing custom home designs that can obtain local municipal approval for construction.

We take a range of considerations into account such as sightlines, environmental regulatory compliance, building height and setback and conservation-related rules when creating our designs.

Explore our work

See galleries of our custom homes

We hired David Small Designs (DSD) for a new custom home design. We were very pleased with the well-thought-out design process and, of course, the beautiful design. However, what really left a special impression was dealing with a unique Variance complication at the Municipality. The DSD planner, David Brown, who worked with us took a calm but methodical approach to first convince the town planner and eventually the Committee that the Variance was simply a Zoning interpretation issue and should be approved (despite local opposition and very unfavourable precedence). Alas, we won, when I was convinced we would not – and it was, in no small part due to the dedicated work of the DSD planner.

Uwe Roper

We are almost finished with our custom home design and couldn’t be happier about the experience working with David and his talented team. Consistently they have delivered exactly what they said they would, when they said they would. They committed to 6-8 weeks from the start and we are right on target. We live in Colorado and the process working remotely has been seamless. David flew in for our initial meeting which was great to have that personal interaction. For us, like many people however, we are a busy working couple with small children and truly appreciate the speed of having Skype calls. While meeting in person is nice – it takes time out of our busy days to drive to and from. We have the personal interaction “seeing” each other via Skype but do it all much more efficiently. We are thrilled with David and his team, our home design and can’t wait to build and move into our David Small custom home!

Julie W.

We had the pleasure of hiring David Small Designs on three occasions– about ten years ago for a custom home build in Lorne Park; a second time for a sunroom addition; and just recently for a custom cottage design. All three experiences were wildly positive. Each time the designers demonstrated an impressive level of creativity and ingenuity when incorporating our wish list items. Their passion and enthusiasm for our projects were equally matched by their talent and skill. The project managers were responsive, attentive and compassionate. The home in Lorne Park fit like an old pair of blue jeans from the day we moved in. We look forward to building our David Small Design dream cottage soon.

Tina Powell
Modern bungalow with horizontal stone, corner windows and wood soffit.

Interior Design Services

Let the inside of your home be a perfect reflection of your identity.

The interior design of your custom home is just as important as its architectural design. The home’s interior is what you and your family will interact with on a daily basis, shaping your enjoyment for years to come. Our interior design team will work with you to determine everything from colour and material palettes to lighting and décor selections.

Contact a member of our team now to bring your custom home vision to life.