Challenge the Standard.

Design With Intent.

Custom Home Designs

Our Approach

Olson Originals is here to provide a one-of-a-kind home. Something to be proud of, alone on an acreage or enhancing the neighborhood it goes into. Each homeowner and building site is unique. These differences in personality and characteristics should be taken advantage of and enhanced.

I strive to assist each homeowner in finding and finetuning their own style. The home should be a reflection of the occupant, not the designer.

Where to Start

Residential Designer vs. Architect vs. Drafting Service –

Many people may not be aware of the differences between a Residential Designer, Architect and Drafting Service. These terms may seem interchangeable but it’s important to know the differences between them in order to find the best fit for you.

A residential designer (as I refer to myself) will design a single-family home, providing the detailed drawings needed to construct the building.  This type of designer should have a full understanding of construction and structure as well as a keen eye for aesthetically pleasing architecture.  Every aspect of the home is designed, from the floorplan to bearing walls and beam locations to roof layout and exterior materials.  This is all done with the intent of each home being unique.  Keep in mind, the term Residential Designer is not regulated.  While this term can be used by anyone comfortable with their abilities, it is up to the prospective client to decipher whether they are a good fit.

When someone mistakenly refers to me as an Architect, I must correct them and dive into the lengthy list of what’s required to become licensed. An Architect (and the title) is regulated by the state. Their professional stamp is required for residential projects over 10,000 square feet and all commercial work. While most architectural firms choose to focus on commercial and large-scale projects, few specialize (or even offer) single family residential design services. Researching a specific Architects portfolio is a must if you so choose this path.

Drafting Services have their own niche market as well. Smaller-scale projects, without the need for suggested design changes, would benefit from this type of service. Drafting Service companies are a more budget friendly option for replicating a residence with little to no alterations.

Sara Olson was incredible to work with.  Her design ideas were in perfect sync with ours and she never tried to push a design or concept into the plan that didn’t match ours.  Her drawings and prints were timely and professionally prepared.  Being out of town buyers, it was important for us to have someone knowledgeable with current city codes and Sara delivered on that note.  We would highly recommend Sara for design and drafting work for personal and commercial projects.

– Bob and Becky Bockrath

Design Process

Tell me your dreams.

A big part of the design process involves getting to know you and your family, your style, how you live in your home and what’s important to you regarding how the home functions. Along with our discussions, inspiration boards and a collection of photos can aid in this process. We’ll visit the building site (along with the builder if one is selected). Site conditions such as slope of the grade, existing landscaping, and orientation of the structure, all play a big part in creating a successful design.

Baby Steps.

Once I understand what you’re looking for I’ll put together your customized floorplan for review. The three-dimensional program will assist you in visualizing the spaces. We’ll have some back and forth with revisions to perfect the plan. Once the perimeter of the structure is set, we’ll move on to the basement layout, second floor (if applicable) and exterior. Again, there will be some required fine-tuning. Once the approval is given, detailed drawings are provided for a clear vision of the intended design. These plans will be ready for bid process, building permit submission and construction.

Cohesive Design.

To ensure a cohesive design, Olson Originals offers interior design services as well. While many of the desired finish materials may have already been communicated during the architectural design discussions, you will be assisted in the selection process for the finish materials such as flooring, cabinets, countertops, tile and wall materials. This fee structure is independent of the architectural services for an a la-carte option for additional assistance. I will be there for as much guidance as you need.

Get Inspired

Sara was terrific in drawing up my house plans. I was thrilled when I looked at the first draft and saw that she had listened and understood my vision of my home. I had only two changes!! I was amazed how quickly the process came together and how talented Sara is. She is exceptional at her work.

Laura Zach



Residential design became my passion in 1999, when I first started working in this industry. While technology has changed drastically over the years, I greatly appreciate that many relationships have remained constant. I’ve been fortunate in my opportunities to learn from some amazing, skilled people. I’ve worked with and for architects and builders that have patiently educated me along the way. I also acquired my formal education from UNL while continuing to work in the field. My Interior Design degree has been a valued complement to my work history.

My more recently discovered passion has been Motherhood. Spending time with my daughter is always rewarding no matter what we do. Oftentimes it involves “playing” in the backyard. Although she’s outgrown digging up worms and roly-poly’s in her princess dress and sparkly shoes, she still loves being my little helper with whatever I’m doing.

My entrepreneurial spirit has brought me to where I am today. I’m always excited to start a new project and help people fulfill their dreams of building a home. I love collaborating with homeowners and the challenges of designing the perfect home. While the design and build process may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. I’m here to help.

My entrepreneurial spirit has brought me to where I am today. I’m always excited to start a new project and help people fulfill their dreams of building a home. I love collaborating with homeowners and the challenges of designing the perfect home. While the design and build process may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. I’m here to help.

When I need someone to help me with a project, I try to find someone with integrity, expertise and commitment to the task.  Over the past couple years I have come to know and to appreciate Sara Olson.  She has these qualities.  Not everyone does.  When you visit with Sara you will know immediately that this is someone you will want to have working beside you each step along the way in your project.  I know that when I next need all that she has to offer, she will be the first one I will call.  In any endeavor it is always important to begin with a good decision!

– Ronald L Bump

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