Online versions of our monthly newsletter mailings from Stillwater Dwellings™. Check back for updates.

Stillwater Newsletter – February 2015


Flexible Building Systems

Although there are Stillwater Dwellings plans with up to 3000 square feet of living area,  a growing number of clients are looking to build even larger homes–up to 5,000 sq.ft or more.   Our flexible systems provide many options for this trend toward larger custom homes. 
One of the benefits of the Stillwater building system is that it can be adapted for homes of just about any size without getting into the excessive costs of one-off contractor built custom homes.  The same design templates and details used in our 2325 sq. ft. sd133 can be used in the 5,000 square foot custom plan shown in the renderings above. Structured design systems and uniform construction details are some of the many tools Stillwater uses to make contemporary homes available to a wide range of tastes and budgets.   
As always, we would like to hear about your home ideas –  big or small.  
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email to start your Stillwater journey.

Building on a Legacy

6335b68c-5236-43dd-833a-8ce1895cb126Art is influenced by what came before, as each generation builds on the last. Today’s modern residential architecture can be traced to visionaries such as Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius. Their clean uncluttered designs, generous use of glass, and blending of inside and outside spaces heavily influence today’s modern architecture.
It’s interesting to see the impact of these masters on mid century modern design and on today’s contemporary homes.
See below for modern architecture events. 

Modernism Week Palm Springs 
Modern Home Tours 
LA Conservancy 
Matthew Stannard, CEO and Founder
Read Matthew’s Blog 

Stillwater Newsletter – January 2015


New Look for an Oregon Home

When Peter and Rebecca Gadd ordered their Stillwater Dwellings home in early 2014, they were on a tight schedule. They were moving their family back to their home state of Oregon and planning to build on land southeast of Portland–and they wanted to move in by the end of the year!  
sd221-web-basicStillwater’s team was up for the challenge. The Gadds selected an sd 221 plan with three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths 2034 square feet of floor space and dramatic 21′ high first floor ceilings. They made only minor changes to the floor plan. Because of the orientation of the home, and the height of the structure, the homeowners took full advantage of the model’s distinctive window “brow” treatment to provide shade and rain protection.
The home shipped in September and construction went quickly.  We’re pleased to say the home is nearly finished and the Gadds plan to move in later this month —  just a couple of weeks beyond their target completion date. 
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email to start your Stillwater journey.

The Stillwater Difference

We founded Stillwater Dwellings because we believe contemporary, architect- designed homes should be available, affordable and achievable for more people.  
  • We developed systems and processes  to reduce the complexity and stress of custom home building.
  • Our library of more that 20 smart  and flexible floor plans allows for creating a design just for you.
  • Our team of talented, people oriented, professionals  guide you through  the planning, design and building process.
We would love to hear your home design ideas and discuss how we can help bring them to life.  
All the best to you and yours in 2015. 
Matthew Stannard, CEO and Founder
Read Matthew’s Blog 

Stillwater Newsletter – December 2014

Architecture and Technology

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is not new to the architectural world. It’s been around, in one form or another, since the 1970’s. As with all technology it’s sophistication has grown exponentially. However, even with its incredible power, CAD still can’t automatically create exciting new designs or find the right plan to take advantage of the unique characteristics of a building site. That takes an experienced architect’s eye.
While Stillwater Dwellings uses the latest 3D CAD systems to produce plans and engineering specifications, all designs begin with a pen in the designer’s hand. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater Dwellings founder and chief architect, starts his designs with a series of hand drawn sketches. Once the spaces are sketched out and defined, the drawings are translated into digital form and construction documents produced.
The illustration above is an x-ray rendering, a 3D CAD technique sometimes used at Stillwater to view the spacial relationships between living areas. This particular home is currently in design for a customer in Northern California.
As always, we would love to hear your ideas about designing your own home.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email to start your Stillwater journey.

Thanks for a Great Year!

This has been the best year ever for Stillwater Dwellings. Next year should be even better, with our talented staff busy working on plans for homes that will be delivered in the spring. We formed the company to bring contemporary architectural design to more people–and with your support we’re doing just that.
Thanks for a great year! All of us at Stillwater Dwellings wish you the very best in 2015!
Matthew Stannard

Stillwater Newsletter – November 2014

Kitchens are Holiday Hubs

Less than 50 years ago North American homes had small kitchens, formal dining rooms and living rooms, and no family room. How things have changed! Many contemporary designers have eliminated the formal dining areas, scaled down or done away with living rooms, and opened the kitchen and family room into a blended “great room”.
This design trend bows to reality—everyone congregates in the kitchen. It’s the first stop for kids coming home from school, friends dropping by for coffee, and family members in town for the holidays. The kitchen is not just a place to cook, it’s the heart of today’s home.
The photo above shows a Stillwater sd133 with a blended kitchen / dinning / family room which opens through 9′ tall sliding doors to a beautiful deck for outdoor entertaining.
What is your ideal kitchen? Stillwater Dwellings would like to help build your home around it.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email to start your Stillwater journey.

Napa HouseHoliday Research

As you think about your ideal home design, use the holiday season as a research lab. Observe how your family uses your current home and think about what works and what doesn’t work for family gatherings. What are the most popular spaces, and conversely what areas are rarely used? Take notes and ask opinions.
Helpful design idea links:

Stillwater Newsletter – October 2014


Colorado Contemporary

We recently received an email from a client building a Stillwater Dwellings home in the community of Cedaredge, Colorado. Their home, a model sd121 takes advantage of a beautiful view of the surrounding valley and the San Juan Mountains beyond.   
The homeowners, Vicky and Richard Nunamaker, chose Stillwater after an exhaustive search of local builders and prefab providers.  Ultimately their choice came down to the design that best fit their tastes and building site.

Recently Richard Nunamaker shared a great story, “Vicky had foot surgery 5 weeks ago and is still recovering.  About five days ago she wanted to see the progress on the house so I took her out there along with our daughter, Rachel.  Vicky went through the main entry door and eventually made it out to the living room. When she stood in front of the vast opening that looks out to the San Juan Mountains she began to cry…..not just light sobbing, but really crying.  When Rachel asked what was wrong she said “I just can’t believe how unbelievably beautiful all this is!  It’s a dream come true!”. 
The Nunamakers are the reason Stillwater Dwellings was founded–to give more people the ability to experience the joys of contemporary design.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email to start your Stillwater journey.

A Remarkable Building Material

As an architect, I could specify a wide variety of contemporary building materials in my homes.  But only one is totally sustainable, never rusts,  is flexible enough to shift as structures settle,  does not expand and contract with the seasons,  is energy efficient,  is both a structural and finishing material, is easy to work with and repair, and is totally recyclable.  Of course I’m talking about wood.

It’s almost a magical material.  Trees takes energy from the sun, and carbon dioxide from the air and converts them into a totally natural, renewable and recyclable product.  Wood building materials continue to evolve.

Read the full story in Matthew’s Blog

Stillwater Newsletter – September 2014


Concept Homes

Looking ahead.

Automotive designers push the limits when developing their vision of the future. Maybe you’ve been to an auto show and seen “concept cars” in person. Although the designs are often radical, and years ahead of their time, elements introduced in concept cars are often incorporated in future production models.
At Stillwater Dwellings our architects are encouraged to explore the future of contemporary prefab homes. (See the concept home above.) As with automotive design, many of the ideas they envision (often at the encouragement of our very creative clients) end up in new Stillwater Dwellings’ plans.
Tell us about your future home ideas. We would love to help you realize them in your own custom Stillwater Dwellings prefabricated home.
Regards, Kaveh Khatibloo, Stillwater Dwellings LLC
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email –

Building in 2015?

Napa HouseBy home building standards, 2015 is almost here. Stillwater Dwellings prefabricated systems and structured design development speed up the building process.  Let’s talk about your plans. 
Visit our website to view our catalog of custom floor plans.
See more photos

Stillwater Newsletter – May 2014

New Napa Home Blends Indoor and Outdoor Living

We recently photographed a beautiful Stillwater home in Napa, California. The home will be used as a guest house upon the completion of another Stillwater home on the same property. The second home is currently in the design stage and will be completed next year.
The homeowner selected a modified sd121 floor plan with about 1100 square feet of living area and then did a beautiful job of blending inside and outside living spaces with a thoughtfully designed landscape and hardscape plan.
A recent note from the happy homeowner:
“I just spent a week with my family up in Napa, and somehow we found room for nine people between the house and the barn. The compliments never stopped coming over the home, the design, the ergonomics, and how welcoming the house looked when eating outside and looking back at the glow coming through the glass wall.
So, before the next time we chat I just wanted to say thank you for envisioning, creating then delivering to the finish line such a beautiful home. Let me know how I can help you as a Stillwater evangelist.”
View Photos
To learn more about Stillwater Dwellings prefab homes, call 800-691-7302 or contact

dwell_dod_192_99Stillwater will be at Dwell on Design

Dwell on Design is by far the leading design show in America. We’ll be there and hope you’ll stop by and say hello. (Booth 738)

Stillwater Newsletter – April 2014


Harmonizing Your Home’s Design and Building Site

If you’re like most people you’re considering a custom home because you want more control over the design of your floor plan and the look and feel of your house. You also want your home’s design takes full advantage of the topography of your building site, the geographic orientation of your lot, and the characteristics of your local environment.
In a northern climates, orienting your home to take advantage of the lower winter arc of the sun can dramatically brighten your home in the colder winter months. When building in an exposed Southwestern U.S. location, the orientation of your home and the sun, takes on an entirely different context.
During the Stillwater Dwellings design process an architect visits your building site, and develops a detailed site plan. The architect fine tunes your home plans to take advantage of your sites physical attributes, seasonal variations and wind and weather patterns. Every Stillwater Dwellings prefabricated home is customized to meet your personal needs and to fit your building site and micro- climate.
To learn more about Stillwater Dwellings prefab homes, call 800-691-7302 or contact

Stillwater Newsletter – March 2014

The Journey From Midcentury Modern to Twenty-first Century Contemporary

All art forms are influenced by current social and political forces and what came before. Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in the evolution of residential architecture from the post-World War II Midcentury Modern trend, to today’s contemporary home designs.
After the war there was pent-up demand for housing and a cadre of talented young architects—particularly in Southern California—waiting for the opportunity. What became known as Midcentury Modern architecture was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement of the 1920’s and the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe and Le Cobusier. Defined by open floor plans, clean lines, generous use of glass, a blending of inside and outside living spaces, and the use of new materials, the Midcentury Modern aesthetic set the tone for today’s contemporary homes.
Stillwater Dwellings embraces this heritage and brings contemporary prefab residential design to a new level of sophistication and practical livability.
To learn more about Stillwater Dwellings prefab homes, call 800-691-7302 or contact
Click here or here to learn more about Midcentury Modern design.

Online Design Seminar, April 23, 4 pm & 7 pm (PDT)

Stillwater Dwellings Online Design Seminar takes the mystery out of building a custom home. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder, will introduce his design philosophy and the process used to assure plans meet each each clients personal preferences.  Kaveh Khatabloo, Chief Sales Officer, will detail Stillwater’s three phase planning and production process.
The formal presentations will be followed by time for questions and answers.
RSVP via email to 4PM (PDT) Webinar
RSVP via email to 7PM (PDT) Webinar

Stillwater Newsletter – February 2014


At Stillwater—We Encourage Customization.

To Stillwater Dwellings clients, smart contemporary design, intelligent use of materials, and the ability to customize are more than important—they are requirements.   Having a home that meets your family’s unique needs and sensibilities is why you decided to build a custom home.   We understand this and have developed a process to help make the home your own.
We encourage you to review the library of more than 20 custom Stillwater prefab designs and floor plans.  Select one or two that have the design and flow you like best and we’ll work with you to fine tune a plan to fit your lifestyle and preferences.
The recently introduced panelized prefab building system allows for greater customization options than Stillwater’s traditional modular building system.  The panelized option is more flexible and often more cost effective, particularly when building on a difficult lot, or when site accessibility may be an issue.
In the coming months Stillwater will be introducing a series of new designs and new floor plans.   Check our website regularly to see the latest.
We look forward to beginning the discussion.  Give us a call and let’s get started.
800-691-7302  |
See all 20+ floor plans

Online Design Seminar March 5, 7-8pm

Stillwater Dwellings Online Design Seminar takes the mystery out of building a custom home. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder, will introduce his design philosophy and the process used to assure plans meet each each clients personal preferences.  Kaveh Khatabloo, Chief Sales Officer, will detail Stillwater’s three phase planning and production process.
The formal presentations will be followed by time for questions and answers.
More information and RSVP
(Webinar hosted by GoToMeeting)

Introducing “Monthly Home Planning” Feature

October and November were busy months at Stillwater. More than 75 people attended Design Seminars in Seattle and San Francisco and over 100 visited Stillwater open houses in Napa and Portland. Thanks to all!
More Seminars and Open Houses are being planned for the first quarter of 2014. Dates and locations are being finalized, and will be posted when set.

Stillwater Newsletter – January 2014


Stillwater Introduces Choice of Two Building Systems  

Clients tell us they’re attracted to Stillwater because of fresh contemporary design, the abundance of natural light, the spacious feel of our floor plans, and the ability to customize.  Of course, many are also attracted by the numerous benefits of prefabricated construction.
Stillwater homes are now available in your choice of two “prefab” building systems—modular and panelized.  The look of the finished home is identical, only the method of construction differs.
Our traditional modular home is fabricated and finished in a climate controlled factory and shipped to your building site in “modules” ready for quick assembly.  In the panelized system all major framing components are fabricated and assembled in a factory and shipped to the building site.  Finishing work is done onsite by a local contractor.
The modular choice provides a nearly completed home shipped to your accessible site.  The panelized system offers more flexibility in shipping, design modifications, and finishing options, plus,  generally, lower total cost.
All Stillwater designs are available in either system.

We look forward to continuing the discussion. Please give us a call or email today.
800-691-7302  |

Attend a Design Seminar

October and November were busy months at Stillwater. More than 75 people attended Design Seminars in Seattle and San Francisco and over 100 visited Stillwater open houses in Napa and Portland. Thanks to all!
More Seminars and Open Houses are being planned for the first quarter of 2014. Dates and locations are being finalized, and will be posted when set.

Stillwater Newsletter – Fall 2013

How Large a Home Do You Really Need?

Everyone contemplating a custom home asks “how big a house do I need?” There are multiple considerations that go into answering this question, besides the most obvious—the budget.
Important elements to consider:
  • The physical limitations of the building site
  • Family members living in the home (small children, teenagers, extended family, etc.)
  • Long term use of the home—now and in the future (family events, aging in place & accessibility)
  • Alternative uses for the space (home office, craft room)
  • The cost of energy in your area
  • Your personal philosophy
At Stillwater we believe your home should compliment your lifestyle–now and in the future. Too large a space wastes materials, resources and money. Too small and reduced scale increases costs. According to architect Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s CEO “All of our 20+ plans are designed to maximize livability and efficiency without adding expensive extra square footage. Many homes feature 12 foot high ceilings and floor to ceiling glass. Innovative and efficient design can make even smaller spaces feel spacious.”
We love to talk about home planning. Call or email us today.
Want to read more about how big is big enough? Below are some helpful links.
How Much Home Do You Really Need?
10 Tips for Smart Home Design

Attend a Design Seminar

Stillwater Design Seminars take the mystery out of building a custom home. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder, will introduce you to his design philosophy and the process to assure plans meet each client’s individual preferences. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers and Stillwater staff will be on hand to meet with you personally.
Western Washington
Saturday, October 19, 2013
12:00 – 2:00PM
San Francisco Area
Saturday, November 2, 2013
10:00AM – 12:00 PM
Locations details and registration
Please call 800-691-7302 with any questions.

Stillwater Newsletter – April-May 2013

It’s All About Design and Function

Matthew StannardArchitect Matthew Stannard, the CEO and a founder of Stillwater, has spent much of his professional life developing contemporary custom homes for upscale clients– in his birthplace of Wellington, New Zealand, and in Seattle where he spent fourteen years as a senior associate with Olson Sundbert Kundig & Allen. In that time he came to realize that thoughtful design, careful selection of finish materials and fanatical attention to efficiency can make owning a premium contemporary home a reality for many more people.
On Types of Architects
I tend to think of myself as a product designer rather than as architect “sculpting” one-of-a-kind  custom homes.  A  home that works for its owners  requires the right mix of  aesthetics and function.  A product designer pays equal attention to both.  A home should be livable and beautiful—there is no need to compromise.”  
On Founding Stillwater Dwellings
“Today’s custom building industry is extremely fragmented and terribly inefficient.   Custom homes are more complex  with higher end finishes and challenging budgets.  However the process of sourcing materials and construction methods have changed very little in the last fifty years.   I saw firsthand the inefficiencies that come from constructing a complex structure, piece by piece at a challenging site, with weather related delays and numerous on-site changes.  There is a better way. 
 At Stillwater we’re able to oversee the design and construction process from first conversation to move-in day.  Our clients pick from more than 20  floor plans,  choose a finish package and then modify it to fit their needs.  They select the accessories and we build the home in a tightly controlled environment to meet their specifications.  Construction timelines are not affected by weather delays, subcontractors schedules, or last minute changes.  It’s all highly efficient—and very rewarding.” 
Lets talk about your home plans.  Call 800-691-7302  or email

Online Resources

Below is a list of helpful planning sites. –  Game changing site that makes gathering ideas from  web sources easy.  Its a great tool for saving examples of design elements, furnishing, window coverings and everything else that goes into a new home. – Similar to Pintrist but focused only on house design and decorating.  An excellent place to gather ideas and review supplier catalogs –  For those interested in home design from an international perspective.

Stillwater Newsletter – December-January | 2012-2013

Stillwater Newsletter - winter home

Happy New Year

All of us at Stillwater Dwellings wish you the very best in the new year. We’re bullish on 2013, and believe it will be one of the best years to build in nearly a decade There are many reasons for our optimism.
  • The election is finally over and the economy is continuing to show slow but steady growth. (We don’t think congress will let us fall off the fiscal cliff—at least not for long)
  • The housing market is recovering, with prices up in nearly all of our marketing areas.
  • Land prices are relatively low when compared with pre-recession levels.
  • Mortgage interest rates are at or near historic lows.
  • Inflation is virtually non-existent.
If you’re like most Stillwater clients, you’ve been thinking about building a custom home for years. You want a home tailored to your interests, esthetics, values and geography. You’re tired of the many compromises you’ve made with your existing home. It’s time for a home that fits—perfectly.
We believe that designing and building a new prefab home should be exciting and rewarding, not stressful and open ended. For most people building a custom home is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Stillwater’s highly experienced consultants personally guide you through every step of the process—from feasibility study to final assembly on your lot.
All journeys start with a single step, and now’s an ideal time. We urge you to contact us and start the conversation.



Stillwater Dwellings Signature Butterfly Roof

The Stillwater’s Signature “Butterfly Roof”

There is no feature more distinctive than Stillwater Dwelling’s soaring butterfly roof design. The modern soaring roof line is more than an attractive design element, it allows for ceilings heights up to 12′, adding volume—and the ability to add dramatic window-walls blending inside and outside living areas.
In addition, Stillwater’s unique modular building method allows rooms as large as 20′ x 40′ free of any interior support posts ideal for the great room concept.


Stillwater Shopping Tips for a Building Site

Tips on Shopping for a Building Site

Shopping for a building site is a bit different than shopping for an home. Like home shopping there are lots of variables to consider, but some very different.
We found several sites that provide useful tips. Please let us know if you have found others and we’ll add them to the list. – Home Buying and Selling
Mother Earth News – Country Lore: Shopping for Land
Landthink – Finding and Buying the Right Property