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Meet CW Design Works: A Design-Build Firm Inspired by the Natural and Cultural Tapestry of the South

A reading nook with a garden view, a kitchen for gathering generations, a master suite oriented to the morning sun - everyone begins the construction or renovation process with an idea of what makes a house feel like home. Sometimes the idea is concrete, but often it’s abstract, a feeling you just know when you feel it, a feeling of peace, vitality, or nostalgia.

In 2018, we founded Calvin Wright Design Works, a residential design-build firm with the mission of translating these ideas to a built environment that honors the client’s sense of home and encourages a rich engagement with life.

What is Design-Build?

Great residential design is a collaborative process between client and designer, an exercise in listening, learning, and lending expertise on the spatial patterns that form a rich built environment. Our team begins every project with a discovery process, exploring the client’s ideas and the ideas not yet considered.

Should we plan for aging family members? Future children? Four-legged friends? What are the client’s favorite built spaces and why? Are they rejuvenated by congregation or solitude? Lofty light-filled spaces or cozy wood-lined dens?

The knowledge gained in this discovery process informs each design decision as the practical matters of program, site factors, budget, and regional considerations are layered to design a home that tells each client’s unique story. That home design is transcribed to a roll of drawings, technically precise but incapable of conveying the oral history of the process, like the knowledge that a floor-to-ceiling window was designed to bring the comfort of prospect and refuge to an aging retriever, the name of that dog, and a true understanding of his importance to the client (even if he steals the snacks from your bag at every design meeting).

Design-Build versus Design-Bid-Build

Obstacles surface in every renovation or construction process. Those obstacles may be related to material sourcing, unknown site limitations, or unforeseen budget concerns. In the traditional design-bid-build format, much of the essential knowledge gained in the design process gets lost in translation as decisions and changes are inevitably made in the field. The more romantic aspects of design intent may get lost in the shuffle of construction execution.

In our model, the designer is the builder, a single individual leading each project phase from daydreaming to move-in day, through the integrated delivery of architectural and construction services. Each decision about practical matters like lumber orders and electrical layouts is made by a team leader who is accountable to the initial vision for the project.

Designing and Building in the South

We live and work in Upstate South Carolina, where we are energized daily by Greenville’s growing urban landscape and the intimate scale of communities like Easley and Traveler’s Rest. We find sanctuary in the lush mountain forests from Highlands and Cashiers to Brevard and Cedar Mountain. We find fellowship on the shores of Lakes Keowee and Jocassee. We are renewed by the birdsong of South Carolina’s marshy shores. We enjoy working in the landscapes that inspire us to offer exceptional residential design services and top-tier construction services in Western North Carolina and throughout South Carolina.

Let's Connect

We love meeting new people, hearing their stories, and unpacking their dreams for the perfect home. Reach out, and let’s start exploring the possibilities!

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