Danielle and Michael Gutelli make up the full-service, design-to-build company Clark + Aldine. Their company is named for the streets they met on, and they’ve brought some of their love into every project since then. In our Q&A with them, we learned more about their creative process, and how propane fits into their lifestyle and home designs.

Describe your design style in three words.

Purposeful, functional, impactful.

What is one of the first steps of your design process when starting on a new project?

One of our first steps in any design project is getting to know our clients. I like to see what they naturally gravitate towards in a space. This helps me guide them through concepts for their home. I’ve found that images are a great way for clients to show me what they love and how a space makes them feel. From there I can help create a space with them that will be truly impactful to their everyday life experiences.

What do you think makes a house into a home?

To take a house from a home you need to add purposeful and functional design combined with elements built around our clients’ personality. We want to create spaces our clients get to experience life in with their loved ones and enjoy those everyday moments that are so special you don’t want to miss out on them.

What are three to five key components to having a great outdoor space, especially in Michigan where temperatures can go from warm to cold very quickly in a day?

Oh, this is a fun one! We love spending time outdoors throughout all of our Michigan seasons. Our top 5 key components for the perfect outdoor space would include: Creating ambience, an outdoor fire pit, blankets, cozy seating, and good food!

What’s one of your favorite memories so far in your home’s new outdoor space?

Watching our kids want to spend extra time with us outside as the seasons change. We’ve been spending more and more time outside with the fire cuddling under blankets and enjoying time together as a family!

How do you use propane at your home? 

We have a propane fire pit outside that we cannot seem to get enough of. We also have a propane grill we use throughout the year. We love how clean everything is and how functional it is for our family.

What’s one of your favorite recipes to make on the propane grill?

Oooh, love this question. Michael would say steak for sure! I am going to go with fish tacos.

Why is propane one of the energy sources you rely on for your own home and for some of your build projects?

We absolutely love that propane is a clean, environmentally friendly option for our company and family to work with. The real flame and real warmth is exactly what we need to make everyone comfortable. And it’s accessible at any time we need it!

What does it offer that other energy sources do not?

There are so many great things about propane over other energy sources. Propane produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electricity! We love that using propane for your home appliances helps reduce our carbon footprint. Not to mention propane is non-toxic. This means it won’t contaminate soil or groundwater, making it safe to use ANYWHERE! We feel our clients should feel good about using propane as their home energy because propane is better for the environment than other energy sources.

What is one of your favorite fall activities to do as a family?

Fall is our favorite season. I love spending time outside with our kids. Soccer is a big deal in the Gutelli household right now, which we aren’t mad about. So, at the moment I’d say I love watching my dudes run on the field and then coming home to gather together around our new fire pit with great music and food.