Custom Home Design Michigan

CBI Design Professionals Shines Bright at 2023 BALA Awards!


We are thrilled to share some exciting news from CBI Design Professionals! At the prestigious 2023 Best in American Living Awards (BALA), our team walked away with top honors in not one, not two, but three distinguished categories!

The BALA Awards are a beacon of recognition in the world of architecture and design, celebrating outstanding creativity, craftsmanship, and vision. We are humbled and honored to have been acknowledged in the Specialty Project, Design Detail, and Historic Preservation/Restoration categories

In the Specialty Project category, CBI Design Professionals clinched the Platinum distinction for our exceptional focus on a single space dedicated to a specific function within a home. Our team poured boundless creativity and ingenuity into crafting a foyer space that redefines luxury living. From seamlessly integrating the character of a 100-year-old home to seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor elements, our foyer design invites nature into the living space while maintaining the timeless charm of the residence.

Historic Preservation Architecture Firms

Our commitment to preserving architectural heritage was recognized with the prestigious Silver award in the Historic Preservation/Restoration category. By meticulously honoring the character and integrity of historic structures, we breathed new life into a cherished architectural gem, ensuring its legacy endures for generations to come.

birmingham mi, dedicated, commitment, birmingham, oakland county, personalized service, authentic period detailsFurthermore, our dedication to flawless craftsmanship and attention to detail earned us the Gold award in the Design Detail category. Our expertise in architectural detailing was showcased through the exquisite ceiling design in a luxury condominium foyer. With a suspended groin vault ceiling, we aimed to create a captivating entryway that exudes sophistication and charm, setting a new standard for architectural elegance.

“We are immensely proud to receive these prestigious awards from the Best in American Living Awards 2023. This recognition is a testament to the dedication and talent of our exceptional team. At CBI Design Professionals and Integrated Architectural Interiors, we strive to push the boundaries of architectural excellence while honoring the rich heritage of our past. These awards inspire us to continue delivering exceptional design solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations and enrich the communities we serve.” – Robert Clarke, Co-Founder and President

At CBI Design Professionals, we are committed to shaping environments that inspire and endure. With a diverse portfolio spanning residential, commercial, and institutional projects, we remain at the forefront of architectural innovation and excellence. As we look ahead, we are excited to continue our journey of creating spaces that elevate experiences and leave a lasting legacy.

Historic preservation architecture

Historic Preservation Architecture

A Detroit Historic District Project by CBI Design Professionals

Detroit, a city steeped in history and distinctive neighborhoods, provides a unique canvas for architectural masterpieces. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through an inspirational journey where a client, supported by the architectural prowess of CBI Design Professionals, acquired a property in the historic Detroit neighborhood Indian Village, to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. This venture not only rekindled family bonds but also led to a remarkable architectural endeavor.

historic preservation architect

Navigating Historic Design Regulations

One of the principal challenges in reimagining a property in Detroit’s historic neighborhoods is navigating the stringent review and approval process overseen by the Historic District Commission (HDC). The HDC plays a pivotal role in preserving the city’s architectural heritage by ensuring that new constructions align with the district’s character and principles of design. These principles encompass elements such as height, proportion, rhythm, materials, colors, textures, and the scale of the façade, all of which are integral to preserving the historical integrity of these neighborhoods.

Materials, windows, height, and massing are all significant topics in HDC’s evaluation process. To meet these criteria, CBI Design Professionals conducted extensive massing studies to determine the height and volume of the proposed home concerning neighboring structures.

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Balancing Tradition with Modern Needs

The client’s vision for their new home presented a unique challenge. They aspired to incorporate modern amenities, such as a first-floor primary suite and an attached garage, into the home’s design. These additions would significantly increase the overall footprint, a departure from the typical footprints in the neighborhood, which remain consistent from the first to the second floor.

To preserve the historical charm while accommodating the client’s needs, CBI Design Professionals made several strategic adjustments. First, they decided to remove the third garage bay and instead created a separate detached garage in the rear yard. This not only maintained the historical streetscape but also enhanced practicality.

Second, the roof design was meticulously reconfigured. The roofs on either side of the house were adjusted to emphasize the central massing, aligning with the rhythm and scale guidelines mandated by the HDC. This thoughtful approach allowed for a seamless integration of the new structure with the existing architectural landscape.

Historic preservation architecture MI

Preserving Community Heritage

An elm tree on the property held special significance for the community. The challenge was to preserve this tree while planning the driveway. Through careful consideration and a dedication to community preservation, CBI Design Professionals situated the driveway at a distance that protected the cherished elm tree, ensuring its continued place in the neighborhood’s historical tapestry.

The story of this Detroit property is more than just a narrative of architectural adaptation; it’s a heartwarming account of a family’s desire to be close to their loved ones while respecting the historical fabric of a community. With the guidance and innovative solutions provided by CBI Design Professionals, challenges were met with grace and ingenuity. This project exemplifies how modern living can seamlessly harmonize with the past, serving as a testament to the preservation of family bonds and the city’s rich history.

In Detroit’s historic districts, every brick and tree has a story to tell. With a deep respect for the past and a vision for the future, new chapters are authored, and history lives on – a testament to the creative partnership between the client and CBI Design Professionals.

historic preservation architect

histroic preservation architecture firm MI

historic preservation architect firm MI

historic preservation architect mi

Historic preservation architecture MI

histroic preservation architecture firm

Residential Architecture Firm

Unleashing the Power of Architectural Expertise:

The Benefits of Hiring an Architect

Embarking on a construction or renovation project requires careful planning and expert guidance. That’s where hiring an architect comes in. An architect’s professional knowledge and creative vision can elevate your project to new heights, providing you with innovative solutions and a seamless journey from concept to completion.

luxury home architect


  1. Architects are trained to explore multiple solutions to design challenges, often providing unanticipated options. These solutions will be unique for your project.
  2. Architects have experience in many construction methods- providing a range of options
  3. Architects have long standing relationships with contractors, trades, and suppliers.
  4. Experienced Architects can guide their clients through the very complicated process of design and construction for a variety of projects.
  5. Architects have experience balancing the value versus expense of your project to provide guidance on how different techniques benefit your project.
  6. Architects are trained to help you visualize your project prior to construction through 3-D modeling, sketches, and other visualization techniques. We enjoy bringing your dream project to life.
  7. Architects will act as a coordinator of multiple allied professionals which may be needed on your project.
  8. Architects will help coordinate the extensive amount of information needed by contractors to ensure your project is executed accurately and smoothly

Residential Architecture Firm

When it comes to turning your architectural dreams into reality, hiring an architect can make all the difference. Their expertise, creativity, and dedication to providing exceptional design solutions are invaluable throughout the project. Experience the transformative benefits of architectural expertise by working with a reputable architect firm like CBI Design Professionals. Invest in the power of architectural vision and watch your project flourish!

Big Rapids Residential Architecture

10 Questions to Ask an Architect

Questions to ask an Architect Before Starting a Project 

Big Rapids Residential Architecture

1. What services do you offer ie: Interior Design, Engineering Services, 3-D Modeling, etc
2. How long have you been in the business? How much of your business is of the project type you
are anticipating?
3. How does your design process work? Do you typically have a preferred style?

Residential Architecture Firm

4. Do you provide design services for the entire state of Michigan? Can you work in other states?
5. Who will be my direct point of contact, and will they be my point of contact throughout the
project? Who will design my project?
6. Are there any builders, contractors, or other resources you would recommend for my project?Residential Architect

7. How do you charge for services?
8. How do you manage the budget and timeline for projects?
9. How do you handle challenges during the design process and are there additional costs
associated when things change?’
10. What is your role in the construction process, and do you oversee the project’s construction?

Lake Leelanau Residential Architecture

CBI: Gold Award Winner

2022 Best in American Living Gold Award Winner


CBI Design Professionals is the most recent recipient of the BALA 2022 One-of-a-Kind Custom Home (2,001–3,000 sq.ft.) Gold award. BALA is the premier awards program that spotlights the best residential designs in the building industry. The awards were presented during the recent International Builders Show.

Luxury residential design is a specialty of CBI Design Professionals. The newly built home that earned this group such a prestigious award is on the shores of Lake Leelanau and features wrap-around porches, a hidden boat house, a private hot tub terrace, and more. 

The design of the lake house architecture is intentionally meant to pay homage to bygone eras where traditional wood detailing was a feature in and of itself. Every room in the award-winning home has a view of the water but still affords plenty of privacy as well. 

Residential Architecure Firm Lake Leelanau

Designed to complement the local cottage vernacular, the lakeside home is an idyllic representation of CBI Design Professionals’ commitment to respecting local character while simultaneously achieving customized functional appeal.

As elite custom residential architects, CBI Design Professionals insisted on using locally sourced materials, including wood materials and stone, whenever possible for the project. 

These materials are also part of the historical vernacular of homes along Lake Leelanau. The natural, local materials add to the home’s charm and its ability to nestle right into its surroundings. The builder for the project was Burkholder Construction.

CBI Design Professionals was founded by Robert Clarke, who serves as the company president. Established in 1989, the firm has managed elite projects that include residential, educational, commercial, and religious properties. 

Along with the 2022 One-of-a-Kind Custom Home Gold BALA Award and dozens of others, a few of the additional recent awards earned by CBI Design Professionals include 3rd place in the Large Remodel category, 3rd place for the Addition Project category, and 3rd place for the Historic Renovation Restoration category for the Detroit Design Awards.


Residential Architecture firm lake leelanau

Residential Architecture Firm Big Rapids

Top 3 Reasons to Hire Luxury Architects

One of the highlights of our business is talking with prospective luxury residential clients about plans.

Sometimes it’s designing and bringing to completion a new luxury home for discerning clients. Other times it’s discussing a major renovation or remodel of a historic luxury property.

From the planning process to overseeing and managing the actual construction, projects like these can be daunting. Before they talk with us, prospective clients often wonder, where do we begin?

And that’s to say nothing about the considerable budgets luxury residential construction entail.

We’ve found during these conversations that three reasons for hiring luxury architects come up time and again. Let’s take a look at each of these considerations.

Luxury Residential Architects Michigan

Turning Dreams into Stunning Reality

As architects of luxury residences for more than 30 years, we take clients’ needs and dreams and turn them into reality. The end result is a functional, beautiful home that suits the site.

From our initial discussions, we begin to develop preliminary plans that meet the clients’ criteria. Is sustainability important? Is accessibility important?

If it’s an existing home, are there historical factors to be considered and referenced? Is the design well suited to the site?

Drawing on our years of experience, we are able to offer solutions the client may not have considered. We ensure that there is consistency in design down to the smallest details.

In the end, the project should seamlessly blend beauty, utility, and economy.

Overseeing the Project from Start to Finish

With any major luxury residential project, it’s a long journey from dream to plans to reality. Zoning, feasibility studies, contracts, permitting requirements, materials sourcing, scheduling, the list goes on and on.

Most clients have neither the time nor the experience to manage the project’s complexities on a day-to-day basis. Clients wonder where to begin. That’s where we step in.

We’re known for working with builders and contractors on behalf of our clients throughout the build process. Our office collaborates with the entire design and construction team, keeping the project running on track.

The Bottom Line: Budget

Before we first talk, every client has a budget in mind. As experienced architects, we incorporate and source materials and solutions that can work within a client’s budget.

By working closely with builders and contractors we trust, we can help avoid costly surprises and delays. Keeping the project running smoothly and on time is critical to staying within budget. 

luxury residential design

A Final Word on Luxury Architects

Over our years working with luxury home clients, we’ve found that the reasons clients choose us for their project boils down to three primary things.

Our portfolio of stunning projects shows our ability to guide the clients’ dreams from initial discussions to breathtaking reality.

Managing a long and complex build process takes proven expertise. On project after project, we’ve shown our management skills.

We bring added value and cost savings to every project with our hard-earned knowledge and relationships.

We’d love to sit down with you to explore how, as your luxury architects, we can turn your dreams into reality. Contact Us Today to start the process!

Residential Architecture Bloomfield Township

CBI Recognized with Top Honors

Luxury Residential Design

Building a Custom Lake House

For this Lake House project, we incorporate the natural surroundings in our design process. The home optimizes sweeping lake views and natural light to create a natural, calm experience.

Simple but striking design elements are built into multiple aspects of the home, such as the wall of built-ins and the fireplace, adding just the right amount of character to the living area while keeping a focus on the natural light and lake views. While a home suspension cable staircase in the middle of the home, creating contrast in design elements.

Luxury Residential Design

A Spring Transformation

Spring has us in a transformative mood!

For this adaptive re-use project in Hillsdale, Michigan, we converted a carriage house that certainly had seen better days, into a multi-family residence.

Though our updates were extensive, it was important for us and the client that the historical character of the original structure be preserved. The end result could not have been better, and the client could not have been more pleased. 

If there are two things we adore, one is an adaptive re-use project that gives new life to a historic



building and the other is a happy client.

Considering an adaptive re-use project for a historical building? Give us a call today!

Luxury Residential Design

Working Virtually Amid the Pandemic

As we began this expansion of a family cottage for a former client the COVID-19 pandemic began, putting the world on hold for some time. On the beautiful lakeshore of Lake Erie on Pointe Pelee Island in Ontario, Canada, this cottage has been inaccessible to us (and our client!) for the duration of the project. But, just because the process is virtual, does not mean work had to stop. 

We originally did a few quick doodles over a picture for them to show how the character of a new screen porch could look. We gradually have worked with the builder on the island to develop details of how to actually build that character. Along the way the project has expanded to replace the windows, deck, and create sunscreen trellises across the lakeside,” says Robert Clarke on the challenges of working virtually. “No one could cross the border to see how it really is coming together!”  

It is a challengbut we are getting through it and the builder has been great with sending us updated images throughout the process.

The owner is very anxious to go see and experience the new space and all its character. Hopefully, for this summer things will be clear and the home will be ready for enjoyment. We must say, the views across the lake have made it all worth the wait.