Lance Cerny grew up steeped in architecture and art. He
was influenced by his father, renowned Chicago architect
Jerome Robert Cerny, for whom he worked as a drafter for many
Being around his father provided a wonderful education
in building design. This influence inspired Lance to persue
building design with his own life. He studied architecture
at the University of Virginia and the University
of London. Beginning as a carpenter, he soon found
himself recommending changes to home designs based on his
own knowledge of architecture. It wasn't long before he began
his own design and construction company. Most architects and
building designers do not possess building experience, but
Lance, as a builder, can design projects with the carpenters
in mind, so they are fun to build and surprisingly affordable.
He is also unique in that he feels listening is the
most important component of design. "I ask questions
and listen to the clientwhich is unusual in my business."
he says. Looking is also important, specifically at the historical
aspects of the original structures and the neighborhood.
Lance feels that a sense of proportion and heart are key
elements when it comes to remodeling or building. "Nowadays,
some houses have no sense of proportion. People are often
dwarfed in huge rooms that have no relationship to their occupnts."
He enjoys using salvaged materials and other unique materials.
He recalls salvaging doors from a rail station for one home
and for another project he remembers felling a dead tree,
milling wood from the tree on site and using it inside the
Ultimately, those inside the home must love their environment.
"I want them to fit into their space, to fill out their
own dimensions. I use the word 'respect' a lot. It's a sense