Raising the Architectural Bar
Three local homebuilders elevating metro housing’s appeal
Photographer Carli Wentworth
Kenyon and Brandi Woods
Three local homebuilders venture beyond cookie-cutter designs with an appreciation for architectural diversity, elevating the landscape of the metro into something pretty special.
Crafting an Example
Kenyon and Brandi Woods, owners of Authentic Custom Homes, have been building in the Oklahoma City metro area (and environs such as Piedmont and Yukon) for a decade, and have made a name for themselves as builders who can both specialize in a niche – such as the Craftsman-influenced style they’ve helped to revive – yet still adapt to a customer’s vision.
“We do quite a bit of Craftsman, but we have a wide range of styles we work with,” says Kenyon.
With stone and wood exteriors, clean lines, big columns and spacious front porches, the Craftsman style provides an alternative to the typical brick homes favored in Oklahoma, while still employing a traditional feel. In other words, it’s a good way to stand out while blending into a more traditionally styled neighborhood.
In addition to providing custom design to Oklahoma home-seekers, the Woods also hope to promote high standards for builders in the state. As the recently named president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, Kenyon is committed to leading by example in this area.
“I hope that our legacy will be that we were approachable,” Kenyon says. “That we did things the right way, and people trusted what we did.” He’s a certified professional builder – a certification obtained through the state and professional associations – and Brandi emphasizes that those looking to build a home need to consider their builder’s credentials.
“It’s important for people to understand that not all builders have that,” Brandi says. “It’s not a requirement in the state of Oklahoma – but it’s something to look for when hiring a builder.”
Award-winning certified professional builder and past president of both COHBA and the State Professional Home Builders Association, Jeff Click has become one of the leading creators of contemporary and modern homes in Oklahoma since beginning his career in 1998.
Jeff Click Homes’ mission statement includes the goal of embodying style and exemplifying innovation – while creating a valuable experience for the homeowner – and the testimonials from satisfied customers and the multiple awards his designs have won are evidence that his mission is being accomplished.
He admits that his own personal taste leans towards the contemporary, and that influence has shaped his company’s bent, but he also points to a dearth of good modern design in Oklahoma as a reason to focus on this style.
“I grew up in Oklahoma City,” Jeff says. “And this wasn’t a common taste – contemporary and modern.”
A fondness for forward thinking – technological progress, specifically – is partially responsible for his preference, and his client base.
“I come from a software development background,” Jeff says, “So my marketing approach was very much Internet-based, even before that became a big thing – I was actually the first builder in Oklahoma to have a website. So, I think that may have led to my clientele being younger, or at least tech savvy. Generally, they had a thirst for something a little different than the traditional style.”
Old World Wonder
For 16 years, Anders and Terry Carlson have been providing Oklahoma with a unique home design opportunity through their company, AC Dwellings … a touch of Old World style.
Originally hailing from Sweden, Anders specializes in meshing European timelessness with American lifestyles in his artfully created homes, and he is also certified with COHBA as a professional home builder. His reputation is one of a hands-on flexibility, and while his roots are a great source of inspiration for any Okie who wants a touch of something different, Terry is quick to point out that their talents are always at the service of the client.
“Swedish style is a light palette and we have done a few Swedish Gustavian interiors,” Terry says, “But we actually do any style our clients want; Traditional, Transitional/Modern, French, English and everything between.”
“We have lived in Europe and also travel there frequently, so we are very familiar with the authenticity that you find abroad. Many of our clients love the details found in architecture found in England and France, for instance.”
From cottages to manor-style houses, they bring a variety to their craft that has few rivals, and Terry insists that this artistic adaptability is one of the biggest assets they have to offer to potential clients.
“We truly try to find classic and timeless designs that our clients will love,” Terry says, “And we execute that style down to every last detail.”
What is a Certified Professional Builder?
Oklahoma home builders are not required to be licensed by the state, but in the early 2000s, a voluntary program was instituted that provides a regulatory set of practices that builders can follow in order to ensure a method of providing high quality homebuilding. Through the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, builders commit to providing workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, adhere to code standards and also attend ongoing education classes. Seeking out a Certified Professional Builder when you begin the process of building a home can be one way of knowing that certain standards will be followed in the process.