The art of simple living.
About Stella Home
As a design-focused, lifestyle-centric company, Stella Home is inspired by the beauty of simple living. We cultivate the appreciation of thoughtful design, together with the peace of mind for construction and cost. Echoing the contemporary sentiment to live simpler and better, Stella Home envisions living spaces ridding of clusters, filled with light and full of life, while connecting to the surrounding, environment and community.
In 2016, when the blueprint to build Oats and Barley Market in Short North, Columbus landed on Sean Suttle’s hands, Tim Lai and Eliza Ho at Tim Lai ArchitecT (TLA) did not think too much about what the builder could help elevate the quality of the project. Sean, vice president of Hanlin Rainaldi Construction, brought a breath of refreshing energy and enthusiasm to the execution of Tim and Eliza’s modern, minimalist design. Not only did he appreciate the architect’s unique details, he embraced the technical challenges facing the adaptive reuse project. The architect and builder team worked together to provide solutions to unforeseen problems arisen during construction. Oats and Barley was completed on a very tight timeline, and most importantly, it looked just like how Tim and Eliza had envisioned.
Since then, Tim and Eliza collaborated with Sean on many other design-focused projects including Trism, Alchemy Juice Cafe, Mission Salon and Blue Star Barbershop. Over the years, their mutual trust grew and their partnership expanded. The architect and designer couple began seeking Sean’s expertise in construction to help solve a critical problem they faced in custom home projects – the lack of modern home builders in Central Ohio to execute their design. Residential contractors tend to stay away from modern design and they put a high price tag on those design because they don’t have much experience of. The couple was frustrated when their simple design was deemed “over-budget” by conventional contractors. They sought Sean out, leveraging his knowledge in construction and management with their distinctive design sensibility to bring efficiency and cost effectiveness to modern home construction. This became the foundation of Stella Home. Now their story continues…
Tim Lai, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, NCARB,
Director of Design
Tim Lai is a licensed architect (State of Ohio) with fifteen years of professional experience. He received a Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture), a professional school in Los Angeles and moved to Columbus to develop his career. Since 2001, he has worked on various commercial, institutional and health care projects in the U.S. and overseas. In 2010, Tim co-founded Tim Lai ArchitecT (TLA), with Eliza Ho to focus on local and regional projects. He has since built a reputation for his creative, elegant and functional design. TLA’s projects have won regional and international recognitions; they include AIA Columbus Chapter’s merit awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and IIDA Columbus merit award in 2017.
At Stella Home, Tim extends his passion for simple design to intimate, personal spaces.
Eliza Ho, M.A. History of Art
Director of Operation
Eliza Ho received a Master of Arts degree from The Ohio State University. While continuing her doctoral studies, she ventured into curating exhibitions, writing and publishing, and organizing community art projects. In 2010, she joined forces with Tim Lai to establish Tim Lai ArchitecT. Together, they created many memorable projects that show direct influence from her art background. Currently, Eliza serves as a commissioner at the Columbus Art Commission and an art consultant for ADAMH (Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Board of Franklin County).
A co-owner of Stella Home, she expands her roles at TLA and brings her specializations in client relations and interior design to residential projects.
Sean Suttle, B.S. Construction Systems Management,
Director of Pre-construction
Sean Suttle is Vice President of Hanlin Rainaldi Construction Corp. Sean joined Hanlin Rainaldi in 2005 as an Assistant Estimator, quickly learned the job, and soon after was promoted to the position of Estimator. After four years sharpening his estimating skills, Sean added the role of Assistant Project Manager to his list of duties, running small projects not exceeding $200,000 in value. Soon, he progressed into the role of Project Manager, responsible for projects exceeding $7 million dollars. As estimator and project manager, Sean excels in understanding what is necessary to run a successful project from conception to completion.
At Stella Home, Sean brings his knowledge and experience in project management to streamline custom home building process.
Director of Construction
With more than twenty years of experience in commercial and residential construction, Mike has been a trusted superintendent for numerous projects in Central Ohio. His versatile skills across different trades and extended field experience made him an effective construction manager in coordinating subcontractors at the job sites.
At Stella Home, Mike leads a team of sub-contractors, supervises their progress, and communicates with the clients on regular basis.
Stella Home simplifies custom homes’ design-build process, minimizing hassles and surprises through 4 steps:
1. Conceptual Design Phase
- Meeting the client at the site,
- Listening to the client’s needs and wants (i.e. programs of requirements)
- Creating a site plan, proposing house location and orientation,
- Establishing a conceptual construction budget,
- 1-2 meetings in this phase;
2. Schematic Design and Design Development Phase
- Proposing floor plan options, form and shape of the house and aesthetic preference,
- Presenting a complete design package (including plans, elevations, 3-d renderings, materials and finishes selection),
- 2-3 meetings in this phase,
- Design approval from the client;
3. Construction Documents Phase
- Developing 50% complete construction documents for pricing,
- Refining the construction budget to become more realistic,
- Meeting the client to discuss construction schedule & process,
- Completing construction documents & obtaining a building permit;
4. Construction & Construction Administration Phase
- Staging for construction,
- On site superintendent to supervise and coordinate sub-contractors,
- Providing reports to the client on a regularly basis,
- Regular site meetings with the client to address concerns and/or change order,
- Quality control and close out.