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Meet Bob McGraw of McGraw Architect in Orange County, Laguna Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bob McGraw.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Bob. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and got my degree from Pratt Institute. I worked in New York City for several years and then moved to Woodstock, New York and built my house by hand and became the local building inspector. After 5 years of small town, woodsy life, I moved to Aspen where I worked for several firms designing many exciting projects for various colorful clients. While there, I worked with special attention to and interest in passive solar gain systems for heating and cooling and other environmentally forward systems. 30 years ago, I moved to Laguna Beach and established my practice designing custom homes and remodels and small to mid-sized commercial projects with clients such as Mother’s Market and Wild Oats. In both my commercial practice and my residential one, I have often been involved with restoring historic buildings and yet my personal aesthetic is contemporary and practical, providing functional beauty and comfort for my clients using environmentally sensitive solutions.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Is there such a thing as a smooth road? In my early years, as I moved from the East to the West Coast. the struggle was to re-establish my reputation – Woodstock, Aspen, then Laguna Beach. That goes with any business or career. No surprise. There are certainly ongoing struggles built into this profession specifically. For me, it is almost always a struggle to gain the confidence of my clients. Nine out of ten clients are really in need of an education about how this process works. As they gain an understanding their confidence in me and their project grows. But It is kind of like a recurring nightmare for me. Finding and securing projects for which I have a real passion is also an ongoing struggle. This profession is intricately bound to the ups and downs of the economy. Some of my most interesting and challenging projects have crashed right along with the stock market.

Please tell us about McGraw Architect.
My firm specializes in personal service and attention to detail. We work our clients carefully, hearing their ideas, encouraging and educating them to make good decisions with regard to their projects. This is a very important factor in building spaces that actually enhance our client’s lives. We are careful to lead them to inspire. functional, enduring homes. Working in Southern California we have a special mandate to protect the environment and the state and local regulations are strict and many. We are scrupulous in our work with the city and state governmental agencies and lead our clients through the sometimes baffling bureaucratic maze from design through permitting. On the aesthetic end of the discussion, we are known for functional space planning and innovative solutions using thoughtfully sourced materials to design contemporary classics, from homes to hotels, that will take us into the future.

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