Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

There’s no place like a home in Mill Creek


April 19, 2019

The smile on the face of Curtis James (C.J.) Christensen may be the only thing that reminds people of the innocent face of Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz.” Like the little girl from Kansas, C.J. Christensen knows what it feels like to want to go home.

The residential architect firmly believes the Emerald City of Mill Creek is where he has found his headquarters to design dream homes and supervise residential remodeling projects for discriminating homeowners.

Christensen purchased the design and construction firm Estate Homes just over a year ago from Ken Cornett, who founded the local company in Mill in 1986.

In the year since he moved into the corner office in Town Center, the Washington State University graduate has continued the company’s mission to be a “one-stop shop” to address almost any project, from locating a prime piece of real estate for a client’s dream home to the fine details of interior design.

Estate Homes, Christensen said, continues to chart the path established by its founder that follows the principles of good communication, honesty, friendliness and the value of being part of a great team.

From the very beginning, Cornett assembled a staff of design and construction veterans including architects, interior designers and cabinetmakers who would be the cornerstone of Estate Homes’ growth and expansion.

“We are still a small team,” Christensen said. “There are only a few other architects besides me, the interior design team and three professionals who work in the field.”

He added that Cornett continues to visit project sites to complete the team concept he helped establish more than three decades ago.

After leaving Pullman, his personal Yellow Brick Road took Christensen to Los Angeles where he had the privilege to work with architect Frank Gehry Partners on the design of concert halls and museums. His role in the firm was to make models.

“Lots and lots of models,” he said with a sly smile.

He described the lobby of the Gehry firm as “a Willy Wonka for architects” filled with models of conceptual structures that left him speechless after his first visit.

The Tacoma native said he was drawn back to the Seattle area to focus on residential design and construction.

The young business owner described his perfect client as “somebody who knows what they want and can share a clear vision that we bring to life.”

He took a quote from his website to describe why his projects are completed on time and on budget: “Our no surprises process ensures all the details are covered up front. The team at Estate Homes discovered a long time ago that this is the only way to do it.”

–Dan Aznoff


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