GrizForm Design Architects are improving the built environment one project at a time. Founded in 2003, we are a leading hospitality design and architecture firm with award-winning work and a team that prides itself on its craftsmanship, strong attention to detail, awareness of historical context, and innovation. Our firm produces creative solutions for clients, which include contemporary design concepts, cutting-edge ways to solve design and architectural problems, and approaches to help push the design envelope further through the incorporation of unique materials or subtle historical references. Along with our strong interior design and architectural capabilities, we design and build custom pieces — from lighting to furniture — to bring our client’s vision to life.
Our team understands the business of our projects’ operations. We work our designs around the real-world necessity of staffing needs, overhead, and returns on investment. The result: designs that are not only beautiful, but also functional and profitable.
Griz Dwight AIA LEED AP, Principal & Owner
Griz Dwight grew up in a handmade barn in Vermont and has loved architecture ever since. He spent his youthful winters ski racing and his summers working construction. Dwight received his Bachelor of Arts from Williams College with a major in studio art. He then decided to combine his love of buildings and his construction experience with the design ideas developed in the art studio. Dwight graduated in the top of his class at the University of Pennsylvania receiving his Masters of Architecture and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1999.
Believing that architecture can provide more than a shield from the weather, Dwight decided to open his own firm in order to push the bounds of creativity and strive to produce original spaces. “I think that it’s the drive to improve on the last project that keeps us fresh and innovative,” said Dwight. In 2008, Griz was the winner of AIA|DC Emerging Architect Award and in 2015 was selected as one of the Wave of the Future designers from Hospitality Design Magazine. The awards recognize individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and have made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their architectural career.
Brittany Schapanski, Director of Interiors
A lifelong resident of Colorado, with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Colorado State University, Brittany moved to D.C. in 2016 to immerse herself in East Coast architecture, culture, and humidity. With more than nine years of commercial design experience in a diverse range of markets, she most recently worked for a firm specializing in custom furniture solutions and strategic space planning for corporate and higher education clients. Brittany also previously employed her talents as a purchasing manager for large hospitality projects and as an environmental graphic designer. Her design philosophy is rooted in the marriage of form, function, and accessibility — an approach she has developed and continues to foster through international travel, local exploration (often with her beloved dog or camera), and a passion for beauty wherever it can be found. Brittany is responsible for managing all aspects of project FF&E at Grizform, including consulting with clients to evaluate project goals and develop custom design solutions based on market trends, feasibility, cost, and aesthetic preference.
Ashley Kirkland NCIDQ, Sr Design Manager
Natalia Sicilia, Interior Designer
With roots in Ohio, Ashley Kirkland joins the GrizForm team with over 10 years of experience in designing and managing Hospitality, Multi-Family and Corporate interiors projects. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture from Ohio University she moved to Washington, D.C to live amongst the historical monuments and Cherry Blossoms. As an NCIDQ National Council for Interior Design Qualification certificate holder, she is a Registered Interior Designer in District of Columbia and a Certified Interior Designer in the State of Maryland.
Always ready with a smile and an infectious laugh, she works with everyone in a way that makes you feel as if you are the most important person in the room. From concept, schematic, and design development to producing detailed construction documentation, Ashley is responsible for managing projects through all phases of design. Ashley draws design inspiration from the juxtaposition of classical elements with a modern twist and has a passion for historic preservation.
In her free time, Ashley combines her love of travel, exploration, and food on an annual pizza bus tour around New York City. When she’s not preparing for her next ballroom dancing competition, Ashley enjoys spending time at home with family and her two guinea pigs.
A graduate from Marymount University, Natalia has a love for evidence-based design and exploring unique design solutions. Natalia joined GrizForm in 2015 and assists in all FF&E selections and material research. As a military brat, she has experienced many cities, but has always called Washington, D.C. home. Her love for architecture and art history inspired her to pursue higher education in these topics in the future. Natalia’s design aesthetic reflects a modern twist on traditional forms, combining the appreciation of the past with the innovations of the present. Her belief in the positive impact of a community motivates her to create spaces that encourage collaboration and gathering. In her spare time, Natalia enjoys hairdressing, managing and directing photo shoots, and traveling to new and exciting places!
Leatha Thome, Finance Director
Leatha moved from the mountains of Colorado to the Arizona desert to get her accounting degree and has spent her accounting career trying to keep up with the ever-changing accounting software industry. Most of her accounting work has been with Architects, Engineers and the construction industry and has helped them all become paperless and organized. Her recent move to the DC area has given her a wonderful opportunity to explore the historic areas and the eastern seaboard. She loves to travel, horseback ride and paint.
Katelyn Stanton, Interior Architect
Raised on the outskirts of Washington D.C. only to spend most of her time in the woods. Katelyn graduated from Marymount University with a B.A. in Interior Design and since then has found herself in a variety of positions, including furniture rep, interior designer, and currently, interior architect. Her passion for thoughtful and innovative design kickstarted her career, but it’s the interaction between people, their surroundings, and other people, that drive her work. Her pursuit to understand different perspectives and find the love in her work is never ending. When she is not designing, she is planning her next travel, bouldering or playing with her cats, Miso and Mugen.