Qualifications and Reviews



My name is Leigh Douglas Johnson.   I became involved with the early homes of our country in 1975 when I moved to Massachusetts, which I did for that very reason. In addition to years of hands on restoration work, I studied under two prominent preservation Architects,  Robert Neiley in Boston, and Robert Mack in Minneapolis.   In 1985 I founded 18th Century Design.  Some of the work I have done since then is illustrated in the Portfolios section.  The variety of projects involving antique and historic homes has given me a solid foundation of expertise, which also applies when I design additions and new homes.  In 1998 I changed the name of my firm to Fine Home Design.  Some of the new home designs I have created which were influenced by antique styles.  Some of my home designs have been more contemporary.   



   In my work, I create designs with the practicality I gained during my work as a restoration and building contractor;  the attention to detail which I honed as a fine craftsman;  and my creativity as a fine artist, all gained over years working in each of  these diciplines.   With this wide background of experience driving my designs, you can be assured of  the quality and comprehensiveness of my complete service.   My designs are created specifically for you, the individual home owner and for your family and in collaboration with you, so that your new home is well suited to your style of living, your plans for the future, and to your particular home site.   If you have an antique home, or want a new home in your preferred style, I will be sensitive to it.   Or, for a new home, I could create an original design that embodies and expresses your personal taste.    I have designed homes in many parts of this country and continue to design for clients in most areas of the United States.



   My willingness and ability to respond to my client’s wishes, as well as my experience in a wide range of architectural styles, climatic conditions, regional and historic influences, give me the ability to satisfy the different programs presented by my clients.  Also I should say that together with my engineers and consultants, I produce highly documented plans.  If you wish, I may be engaged with oversight responsibilities during the construction of your home. 



* Yvette Desmarais wrote:    

Leigh worked with me when I moved from an antique colonial cape to a large center chimney Federal, circa 1780.  He drew up a design to finish out some required work on the cape for stairs and cabinets.  When I bought the Federal house he did a thorough walk through and then prepared plans for making the house more livable without destroying the historic detail,  the beauty and authentic character of the house.  Leigh is able to design for many styles of home in a way that brings out the best of the existing building while providing for the needs of a modern home owner.  His work is done professionally and timely.  I would not hestiate to work with him again.

* Mike Abbott wrote:  

When Leigh recieved a commission to design and draw plans for construction of a new timber framed barn to complete the connected farm building group for an early 18th Century home in New Hampshire, he asked me to put together a team to build the barn with traditional joinery.   The construction went smoothly with the detailed joinery drawn very accurately in his plans. We also did some very sensitive remodeling in the house, creating a new master suite in what had been a large attic space.   The customer was more than satisfied with the design and our construction.   I hired Leigh to design and plan several other restoration and remodeling projects involving antique homes.

* Mike Abbott wrote:

Years after our time in New England, I hired Leigh to design a 5,000 sq foot Custom home in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  The house was to be set on a one acre site with a 2,500 sq foot guest house and a pool. His design included the exterior patio areas, the siting of the house, the approach and drives.  Everything went well during the design process which can be a difficult process.  He responded in a timely manner throughout the process.  My main comment about Leigh was his willingness to get the floor plan just right.  He was also easy to work with and offered a wealth of insight into the building process.   The client was very pleased with Fine Home Design's service, design, and attention to detail. He provided an excellent design and complete set of working drawings ready to go to the city for permitting. 

Doug Erickson wrote:

Leigh did a major redesign of my 1923 house in Minneapolis.  He did a great job of expanding a tiny old bathroom and making a nice walk in closet out of part of an unused porch.  He expanded the bathroom by utilizing the space of two adjacent useless closets.  The finish of the new areas was done to match the details of the existing house.  With his professional plans we had no problem in the permitting process with the city.  He supervised the construction work including hiring the subcontractors.  I am quite pleased with the results of this project and would recommend Leigh to other people who wish to improve their homes and thereby improve their lives.


*Maia Danielson wrote:       

Dear Leigh,   The plans look absolutely beautiful.  Great job.   I can't wait to see it built !