What They Say
“I have known Joy for 4 ½ years. She earns her name sake. She is a joy to me. She is an “all possibility” person. Her whole outlook on life is positive. There is always a way to solve a problem. She is a very creative person, a very creative architect.
Our project was not an easy one. We built a “Vastu,” a house that follows the rules of a sacred geometry, according to an ancient system of architecture called Sthapatya Veda from India. The rules are strict and we had to build to a tolerance of ¼”. Joy was peripherally familiar with the system, through a former graduate student who wanted to build a Vastu as a graduate project back in the days when Joy was a professor of architecture at the University of Western Australia. I think many an architect would have been overwhelmed and leery of taking on our challenge. Not Joy. She was honored to be considered and fascinated by the spiritual foundation of the system of architecture.
She studied other Sthapatya Vedic architects. Instead of feeling limited by its strict rules she viewed it as a creative challenge, to express the dreams of her clients creatively within the confines of this strict, spiritual tradition.
This project was also challenging because we, as clients, were extremely hands on. She worked with us, listened to us and incorporated our ideas. She built OUR dream house.
She built us an Arts and Crafts style house, an artisan built house, loaded with architectural details, bringing a feeling of warmth, and value to a structure that might have otherwise been quite cold. She worked with us to incorporate the work of local artists and crafts people, locating craftsmen of exceptional talent to satisfy my artistic needs.
My husband and I have very different needs. She was able to listen to both of us, to satisfy both our needs and still keep it a very enjoyable process.
She found Cregg Sweeney, who was an artisan builder, who had the talent and scope to handle a project of this complexity. And Joy herself is a builder as well as an architect. She understands how a building is put together. She does not just provide the builder with a plan, she provides him with a plan that can be built realistically, and works with him every step of the way.
Joy created an incredible house for us, full of light and beauty, built to environmental standards that exceed LEEDS, built to withstand the nor’easters of the Cape, a house with a wonderful sense of space, warmth and beauty.
Joy built us a home. She built us our dream home.”
“We had the real pleasure of working with Joy as our architect/project manager/interior designer several years ago in the remodeling of our Cape Cod home. She helped us identify and hire a skillful builder and she worked collaboratively with him to make sure the project proceeded smoothly – especially important because we did not live in the area at the time. First and foremost, Joy is truly an artist. She imagines things that you would never think about – things like lighting effects and ways to frame cabinetry or a fireplace. She defines thinking “outside of the box.” At the same time, Joy is great at taking those elements that are most important to you, such as open space, and weaving your priorities into her design. Second, Joy is a great communicator. She is clear, articulate and keeps in contact throughout the building project. Joy is a very upbeat, positive person who brings humor and joy to every interaction. You will want to stay her friend long after the project is completed. Last, Joy is willing and able to assist you with every aspect of your building project. For example, for us she recommended lighting fixtures, faucets and toilets. She also spent time with us looking at tile options and paint color combinations. You trust her so implicitly that you want her advice on many topics. Years later, we continue to marvel at the beauty Joy created in the remodeling of our home. Every person who visits wants to know who helped in its design because it feels so open, warm, and welcoming.”
“We retained Joy Cuming, then of Architects Studio, to design an oceanfront home for us in North Eastham. There was an existing one- story home on the site which was to be demolished with only the existing foundation retained. From our initial meeting, Joy listened to our goals and dreams for a new home and quickly developed a conceptual design that ultimately proved to be very close to the final product. Following this, there was an extraordinary give and take with Joy over the next few months to finalize the details of the design and assure that the exterior of the home blends in well with the neighborhood and environment. Since the site was on the ocean, Joy also worked closely with the conservation commission and made sure that all of their requirements were met and environmental concerns addressed. Joy made sure we were involved in every aspect of the design resulting in a very productive collaboration. This assured that every need was met and every design detail agreed upon. She also coordinated the contractor selection process as well as supervised construction. Her remarkable flair and creativity resulted in a home that is praised by neighbors, and featured in a story by a well know cape cod magazine. Even now each time we are there, we still marvel at the beauty of the home and how well it works for us. As it turns out, selecting Joy to design our home proved to be one of the best decisions we have ever made. “
“Joy is delightful to work with and her design ideas are really stunning – “outside the box,” but not too avant garde. Her staff is terrific as well. We love our totally renovated home, as do all of our friends and neighbors! We wish that we would have been able to afford all of her recommendations – as with most big projects, we sometimes felt that costs were spinning out of control. However, she was willing to work with us to suggest ways to do things more economically, and to tell us when it would NOT be a good idea to go the cheaper route. The results are spectacular.”
“Joy has a wonderful sense of ‘place’ and she really understood the type of room we were trying to create. Her design fits seamlessly with the rest of the house and integrates the features we wanted with thoughtful, practical enhancements we never would have envisioned. She expertly managed the permitting and construction process and we could not be more pleased with the result.”
“With our contemporary house nearing its 20th year, we asked Joy Cuming’s Aline Architecture for guidance on updating the interior. She developed a full plan for the Great Room that comprised a startling new shelving system to display our collection of Inuit sculpture, bold painting of walls and refinishing of floors to a dark sheen, conversion of my office into a classic and comfortable book-lined study, and a totally new look for the kitchen area, with glistening white formica and glass cabinetry. She, her staff and sub-contractors executed this big project flawlessly and without hitches. An all-around beautiful renovation with happy homeowners relishing the new look.”
“ Joy did a masterful job in our Brewster home renovation. During the initial design phase, she displayed an uncanny ability for blending creativity, conceptual flexibility and practicality that greatly helped us to envision the alternate shapes and scopes of our dream house. Joy was an excellent on-time coordinator for many tasks: selecting a contractor/builder; preparing and revising the blueprints; successfully navigating the building permit gauntlets; and collaboratively problem-solving with the builders on-site. As the project neared completion, she was available to assist us in selecting the harmonious finishing touches (e.g., clever ways to hide the HDTV, paint colors and cabinet hardware).
Perhaps the real test of an architect’s skill in renovating a Cape Cod home for a couple entering retirement is the quality of living they experience upon taking occupancy. For us, the result has been a very livable home with plenty of pleasing design elements, sight lines and “away places” for our guests and ourselves. We highly recommend Joy Cuming!”