Michael Wolf, Clifton


What an amazing process from an initial idea, thought to discussions, to the final build. Carrie (Inspired Independence, LSA) made the process seamless, exciting and thought provoking. With our ideas, her expertise & the collaboration of her talented designers, the ADU was right on target. Our meetings were filled with energy, creative ideas, laughter, and problem solving with the end result being a beautiful, modern and well crafted piece of architecture. The Contractor Carrie suggested went way beyond our expectations. Carrie has a great working relationship, clear communication, and high standards for her builders, and it shows in the end result. I would recommend Carrie in any capacity when building, designing or just thinking about a project of any kind.

Jane Baldwin, Alcatraz


In the fall of 2016 I stumbled on the Larson-Shores & Inspired Independence websites, as I was casting about for an affordable way to live near my son, his wife, and my 7 year old grandson in north Oakland. They were renting from me the 4 bedroom Craftsman that I purchased in 2013, but when I decided I’d had enough of cold, snowy winters, after living 45 years in Jackson Hole, WY, I couldn’t very well move in with them for the long term. But neither could I afford another Bay Area residence in 2016.

Carrie Shores got back to me within 24 hours of my filling out a contact form at the Inspired Independence website, and it was only a few days before she was on site, in the backyard of my century-old Craftsman on Alcatraz Ave. I was immediately struck by how savvy and knowledgeable Carrie was with regard to Oakland’s planning & zoning laws, especially those pertaining to ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units,) as in-law apartments or “granny pods” are known to Oakland’s Planning & Building Department. 

What I appreciated most about Carrie (and her firm) was her can-do attitude. When it was found that none of her stock ADU plans would fit within the 4 foot setbacks on my 40-foot wide lot, she agreed to shrink the plan I liked best. When I said I wanted 2 doors to the bathroom, one from the galley kitchen, and one from my bedroom, she struggled with the bathroom layout until she came up with a perfect configuration. When I said I wanted a door to the outside from my bedroom, it was “no problem.”

Carrie was at the table, answering questions, each time I interviewed general contractors. I ultimately went with the contractor she had initially suggested, and was very happy I did.

Another plus in this process was Carrie’s and Larson-Shores’ access to, and connection with a “top-drawer” cabinet making company, somewhere in the mid-west,  that was able to fabricate all of the cherry cabinets (27 linear feet) in my house for what my general contractor confirmed was well under what they would have cost from anyone in the Bay Area. Carrie gave me the option to order my own diminutive appliances, but after only a few hours of searching, I screamed “Uncle,” and asked her to track down suitable appliances. Naturally, she was already familiar with functional & suitable models, so again it was “no problem. “

 After living in my tiny home, in the backyard of the old Craftsman, for more than a year now, I must say that I feel very fortunate to have found architect, Carrie Shores, and her Larson-Shores/Inspired Independence firm in the fall of 2016. I love my house.