Modern Home Builder - Fall 2017 - 57
says John Forehand, president. "It's a real honor to work with our
clients who put a lot of trust in us and I'm most proud of working
with the team and building the best homes we can."
Orren Pickell Building Group is a one-stop design/build firm
specializing in custom-built luxury homes and remodeling projects
throughout Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. The company self-performs a majority of the work, including kitchen, bath,
cabinetry, carpentry and home maintenance.
"As the owner, I'm trying to continually get better at what we
do," Pickell says. "I'm trying to get much better at designing and
building homes that are headache-free, beautiful and stand the test
of time. I'm working at trying to make it a more fun process for
people who don't need to do this - they don't need to build a
house, but are doing it because it's entertainment. I'm trying to get
better and be more entertaining."
BUILT TO LAST
Orren Pickell Design Group is focused on building homes that
have longevity. "We have been thinking about that a lot in terms
of details," Forehand says. "Maybe it's not all about the bells and
whistles but materials that are going to last."
When building a new home, Forehand says his inspiration comes
from architects like Howard Van Doren Shaw who built homes in
the 1920s on Chicago's North Shore, which consists of many affluent suburbs north of the city. "We try to take some of those inspirations into our new homes, whether they are traditional or contemporary homes," he adds. "That time in Chicago on the North
Shore has some of the greatest architecture ever put together."
The company also gives its clients a little homework. Each
homeowner is given a wish list to consider what is most important
and is asked to bring in dozens of pictures. "My inspiration personally comes from asking the client to do that homework," Pickell
says. "Some of the pictures they bring in are things we have done in
the past and I look for similarities and patterns in the photos. We
go through what they are looking for in their life, what the floor
plan should look like and the views we will have on the site."
In terms of really unique pieces, one homeowner is a chemist
and the company used a chemical hood for the bar to create a labyrinth. The barstools are models of a virus. Another homeowner has
a vast art collection and likes to change out the pieces regularly.
Orren Pickell Building Group created a gallery in the lower level
of the home and is developing a hassle-free way for the artwork to
Fall 2017 www.mhb-magazine.com