Like many boys of the pre-digital age, my time and mind were occupied  with building and inventing things in the tangible world: tree forts, model ships and cars, Erector Sets, a "better mousetrap".  At fourteen I began toying with the alchemy of food and found my next love.

Along with my third-grade mates I set a mason jar containing water and a seed pod on the windowsill and watched in awe, that mystical seed sprout and tendril out, powered only by the light of the sun. Some decades later, that experience combined with my penchants for nature and cooking ―along with concerns about health and food issues― led me to organic urban horticulture.

In the "Real World" of adulthood, I've been self-employed for most of the past twenty years, which compelled me to develop skills in business and design.

Hopefully this brief history explains the eclectic and seemingly disparate array of offerings you'll find on this site. 


:: design/construction of buildings, gardens, et al

I have affinities for nature, design, architecture, engineering, gardening and human culture. ehr-lüm is the melding of these interests. All project designs are my own, from lanterns to fountains, gardens to custom homes, and I build most of the work that I design.

From the start in 2003, the company focus was on small scale, artisan projects. As it evolved, my work became more and more outdoor- and nature-based… patios, decks, Chicago rooftop oases.

In 2007 I began learning and practicing organic horticulture, and I strived to incorporate this study into my projects. The name (heirloom) has served well and as intended: simultaneously versatile, general, and specific... built to last.


:: culinary arts

What started as a hobby as a teenager has become a 30+ year journey, working my way from hot dogs and Hormel chili to healthy world cuisines prepared over wood fires, in earth ovens, and on stovetops. Living in Chicago and San Francisco for 20 years allowed me the opportunity to sample incredible plates from around the globe that summoned ancient recipes and techniques. Those corner diners and obscure dives are the places-to-go for the real deal.

I gratefully offer my services for your next gathering, as your personal chef, grill master, or cooking coach.




Assisting with a salvaged sculpture project in Detroit







home  .  design+build  .  gardenworks  .  eco  .  graphics+web  .  art  .  accolades  contact