PO Box 99

Hovland, MN 55606



richard j. olson

Entire website © 2008 Richard J. Olson     All rights reserved.          



I have known and worked with Richard Olson of EnvironDesign for over 30 years—most recently  at Baker Knapp & Tubbs. My experience with him has been one of an "amazing aesthetic" along with "true professionalism"

His knowledge of architecture and interior design provides clients with the perfect design-build combination.

He is an exciting, passionate designer who has the business skills to make it all happen.

It has always been a pleasure.

Penny C. Amrani

Baker Knapp & Tubbs




I bought a condo that had great potential. Corkwood wainscoting, fireplace, nice part of town. The only problem was: I hated it once I moved in.  I could not make my furniture, art, rugs--nothing--work.  

Richard Olson gave me three days of focused attention. I've never seen anything like it. My furniture, my art, my rugs--which all looked like a funky yard sale when he walked in...looked like my exclusive private men's club when he walked out.

The man is a walking Design Panacea.

Perry Carrison, management consultant




Richard Olson is extremely talented.  We have worked with Richard on several projects now. He is behind some of the most interesting architectural features of our home.  He consulted on designing our personal retreat center and art gallery. In each case, Richard worked in partnership with us to enhance the beauty of the final product.  We recommend Richard without hesitation.

Marcia Hyatt
Owner, A Room of One's Own
Co-owner, Last Chance Gallery




Dear Richard,

I just want to thank you for designing the perfect studio for me.  As you know, my old garage quite literally waddled from side to side when the electric garage door operated.  Who knew that it had such a fabulous reincarnation waiting for it just inside your magnificent brain?

First, the building itself is spectacular in design -- especially with the half-log staircase to the second floor -- and many people have mistaken it for the Main Cabin.  I have had to give the Main Cabin a facelift to keep pace with the Studio.  Not only is there plenty of room for two vehicles plus storage in my new garage, but the rear workshop/boat storage space elicits many favorable comments from people, especially men, who see it.  I, of course, just appreciate the space for puttering around with mechanical things.

Second, the Studio itself, located above the garage, just makes me want to paint from dawn to dusk.  It's such an open, airy space with sublime lighting, that when I put on music and grab a brush, I'm "in the zone."  The room itself, aside from its lovely proportions, holds a remarkable amount of material, and the work service counter (with its storage cabinetry underneath that runs the length of the room) has proven to be so versatile for quilting that I'm using it as the standard for all future craft rooms.  It's maximum versatility in minimum space and, as such, is ingenious.

This building is like kissing the frog and having it turn into the prince.  Thank you for removing my old warty garage and giving me instead a handsome prince of a Studio.



Pam Dorris
Lutsen, MN

Project page




Working with Richard Olson is/was a delightful experience. His design is creative, thoughtful, efficient and exciting. I particularly enjoyed his use of feng shui in the design which I find valuable. He is creative and thoughtful about where to put the extra special touch and where to keep expense down creating a very effective 'whole'.


Jan Sivertson

Owner, Sivertson Gallery


Project page




We had a great experience working with Richard. Our situation was unique because we had to come up with a new house plan rather quickly after losing our house in a fire. Richard truly listened to our needs and paid attention to what we said about the way we live and how we wanted the new house to function. Using the existing foundation, he designed a house that works perfectly for us at this stage in our lives.


Howard and Bonnie Gay Hedstrom

Grand Marais, MN


Project page




Richard helped us design the interior of our live/work space. He listened to what we wanted and needed. He was creative and his ideas made our space unique and especially wonderful. He incorporated our own ideas that we were passionate about. His work was completed on time and within budget. I would definitely hire him again.


Sue Hakes

Sue Hakes Realty, LLC