“I have the highest respect for Bruce Donnally’s capabilities as a design architect and manager of a complex design and construction process.  Bruce was unfailing in his sensitivity to our concerns and interests throughout the project. He was creative, flexible, and resourceful in his solutions to design problems and budgetary concerns.  Bruce has a clear and elegant design sensibility, a wonderful sense of materials, and a genuine desire to make the process of design a collaborative relationship between architect and client. He always communicates clearly and effectively with client, contractor, and bureaucrat. Bruce also maintains a calm demeanor even when faced with the frustrations and delays that seem so common in large construction projects.

In short, I would recommend Bruce highly as an architect and would have no hesitation working with him in the future should the opportunity arise.”

—Richard Andrews, former Director, Henry Art Gallery


“Bruce was a student of mine at Yale and became an Associate in our office.  He and I worked very closely together for over twelve years.  I can attest without qualification that he is an outstanding architect.

He is collaborative, passionate, persistent, reliable, and responsible. He is a good listener who appreciates design without preconceptions but with an open, discovery-oriented methodology. I also believe sincerely that given this opportunity, he will commit the kind of energy, time, and dedication that is essential to your vision and aspirations.

I recommend him with enthusiasm and conviction, believing that together you will realize a great house.”

—Charles Gwathmey FAIA, Partner, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects


“It is a pleasure to recommend the architectural services of Bruce Donnally. Attention to detail, knowledge of products and resources, and a strong sense of design and what will work for a particular space are some of the strengths that we feel separate Bruce from others in the field.

As first time renovators, we needed a professional who could act as an educator as well as help us see the potential of our property. Bruce has taken the time to get to know us and our style.  His initial set of drawings blew us away!  So many of our wants and dreams had been incorporated as had things we hadn’t even thought of, but Bruce had been able to extrapolate from our conversations.”

—Jeff and Barrie Merriman


“My husband and I met Bruce Donnally at a low point in our lives.  Our house in Seattle had been gutted after a frozen pipe burst, flooding the house from top to bottom.  We were shocked to see the house, stripped of floors, walls and ceilings.  Where we saw overwhelming damage, Bruce saw unlimited possibility.  Working within a fairly tight budget, Bruce managed to transform a 1980's spec house into a contemporary, sophisticated home.  Bruce is not only creative, he also is firmly grounded in the nuts and bolts of construction, so that an idea is easily translated into a reality. Bruce is resourceful, thorough and open minded. It was a pleasure to work with Bruce who successfully turned our nightmare into a dream come true.”

—Lindy and Richard Levin


“Choosing to work with an architect means that you place importance on the space you live in, visually and practically. It challenges you to really think about how you want to live in that space and in a way, the architect is a guide through that process. With Bruce, we enjoyed not only his breadth of experience but also his delight in the details which you come to appreciate every day.

Bruce has an excellent ability to understand your ideas and transform them into a unique and distinctive design. His practical knowledge of construction enables him to work closely with the contractor to overcome obstacles as they occur and to ensure the execution is of the highest quality. His attitude and sense of humor make him a pleasure to work with and we would love to find another project to collaborate on!”

—Peter Ackroyd & Joan Alworth


“It’s not an easy task designing a remodel for an existing houseboat, where the walls are not square, nothing is level, and space is at a premium. Bruce Donnally was able to turn a fairly average looking houseboat into a remarkably elegant and very livable floating home.  He is a master at planning and at working with contractors, city planners, and the homeowner to make the arduous process of remodeling and building a home not only pleasant, but downright fun.

Most people are quite surprised by the clean, modern design, the beautiful light filled rooms, and the spacious feeling that belies the small spaces. Living areas were created with different ceiling heights, lighting, and beautiful south facing windows that allow daylight to warm the rooms and give visual access to the changing weather. A three-paneled sliding door opens the living room to an outdoor deck, extending the feeling of spaciousness.

The second floor addition includes a master suite with access to a large deck, creating another indoor/outdoor connection year round. This room, completely new to the houseboat, gets all the oohs and ahhs.

I think I am most pleased by the combination of materials chosen, the design that capitalized on the location and the very simple and elegant feeling that one gets on a daily basis living here.”

—Sue Lesser


“The wonderful bathroom you designed for us continues to delight us.  I understand now what you told us at the beginning of the project; enhancement of convenience, beauty and pleasure in everyday activities were a driving force for your design.  It's a distinguishing mark of your work and must be appreciated as much by all of your clients as it is by us.

We returned home on June 1st from two months of travel in Europe.  I'm sure you know the size of some of the bathrooms and showers we encountered from time to time.  If we had a recording of Drew in the shower his first morning home, we could use it as an audio reference for you for future clients!  I hope it feels very satisfying to you to know that after the thrill of "newness" wears off, the room still charms us and pleases us in every way.  Thank you.”

—Joan & Drew Rothrock


“I want to tell you that the musician was extraordinarily pleased with the acoustics and lighting in the house.  He was quite thrilled with how lovely the mandolin projects and sounds with a full house. Specifically, when he saw all the windows he was worried about the sound bouncing back at him, but the wood, the angles, and the height of the ceiling made his instrument just ring!

Also, Barb and Dave were absolutely gushing over the house. They seemed amazed at the complexity and the simplicity. They stayed a long time talking to me about how much they loved the house, and they really didn't get to see all of it.  Barb is an architect and Dave is a structural engineer and they are quite the critics, so you really scored with them.

I love this house, it is absolutely perfect and it makes me so happy that it works so well with concerts here. It looks great with the furniture, but it really comes alive with people and music!”

—Sarah L.