PROGRESS UPDATE – WEEK 1 DEMOLITION

I do love me some demo! As long as I don’t have to do it myself these days (we have majorly proven that we can do all forms of construction ourselves but have wisely graduated to hiring the pros). Below are photos of the kitchen without the island – wow it sure opens up the space! And the two solar vented 2×4 Velux skylights are going to be sweet above a nice rectangular island with my glass and brass pendant globes. Our current house has 9 and 10 foot ceilings and we wanted to raise the ceiling in this new home but the framing really (quite literally) won’t support that  so we have to be creative with skylight placement to make it feel more open and less dark. Oh, and that wall that has new drywall? Yeah, the previous remodeler didn’t care that the framing was true. It was a furred out existing block wall that was the back wall of the original house. The lazy person who framed it made it look like it was leaning – it was off by 2.5″ at the top and looked like a serious defect in the structure. I’m so glad we took a chance… I was holding my breath as we pulled off the old drywall to see what potentially scary situation was waiting for me. Whew! So glad it was all OK and my contractor made the cosmetic fixes to look perfect!

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PROGRESS UPDATE – DESIGN INTENT

Because this is my own house and not a client’s I can get away with some very loose sketches – especially since I needed a cost estimate first. And we needed to do some demo to find out was was possible without causing a ton of costly changes (specifically plumbing and electrical). One of our first dilemmas was to keep a bathtub in the master bathroom – or to remove it altogether since we have another full bathroom with a tub. We aren’t bath takers but apparently we are risk takers and decided to eliminate the tub in the master bath, turn it into a nice big walk-in shower and repurpose the existing shower nook to become one long walk-in closet. The existing bathroom is such a silly design with very little circulation space so I’m sure we are going to really love all the new space my design will create. The new, much longer vanity will also be a great change for this room. Below are my original sketches and my quickie CAD plan of the closet design so my contractor can start framing it out tomorrow. We did a bit of demo last week so now we know this layout will work.

SELECTING THE INTERIOR FINISHES

I’ll cover the general design in the next posting – this posting is about the “stuff” that is the most fun for me. Generally my professional work surrounds large commercial buildings so I get so excited about all the pretty details when I have a residential project to play with. Our MCM furnishings are pretty funky with loads of bright teal, turquoise, and generous pops of orange. I fell in love with that crazy turquoise color when we expanded our first home in SoCal: Apartment Therapy – Mid Century Home

Many of our original vintage pieces have brass details that I love to compliment with other brushed brass elements (we are so lucky that they are abundant right now since brass has had a bit of a faddish comeback). I introduced some brass elements in the light fixture selection of our last house here: Austin Home Magazine – Past Made Perfect

Rather than doing modern slab cabinets in the kitchen as we have done in the past (we are refacing the existing Kraftmaid cabinets that are in otherwise perfect condition) we decided to go with a “modern shaker” route. I know, sounds like a contradiction but I know they will be great and if we don’t stay in this home forever and ever they will most likely make someone else very happy. Note: we do plan to live here for a LONG time! I toyed with doing a contrasting island color but don’t want to follow every kitchen trend that I’m loving right now but might not like in a year or two. Attached is my design inspiration board mostly peppered with images that I found on Pinterest along with images directly from the websites I purchased the light fixtures from. Oh, and my new Velux skylights are going to be fabulous for bringing in much needed light into the fairly dark kitchen/dining area.

SAME FROSTING – DIFFERENT CAKE

I’m not going to lie – when we were viewing the house for the very first time I had figured out all of the things I would need to change to be happy living there. The details weren’t fully developed at that time but fell into place shortly after our offer was accepted and we brought our contractor into the space to help us create an estimate that would hopefully fall into our budget. We knew we would have to remodel the house in two phases. The first phase would take care of all the interior needs (and most of the wants) while we live nearby in comfort and then the second phase could happen after we have moved in and save up our remodel funds to turn the carport into a 2 or 3 car garage, create a new driveway, front patio, and backyard fireplace. Because that’s a while out (maybe a year – more or less depending on many factors) the current focus is on the interior design.

I like to change up the design a bit in each house we live in – but our overall mid century modern style and furnishings remain consistent. I consider those elements the sweet frosting for a cake that I like to bake a bit differently each time.

Here are some photos of the inside of the house. Weird three sided island in kitchen, huge and ridiculous jetted bathtub (taking 2/3 of the master bath), French Country style cabinet doors, low ceiling emphasized by the cooktop hood, hall bathroom with mismatched finishes, oversized vanity and a chipped bathtub. The positive things that we are able to work with are the kitchen appliances and the split floor plan.

Adventures in Home Design and Construction – Another project in the works!

We are at it again… 1955 project home in a fab neighborhood!

Anyone who knows me – even just a little bit – knows that I ALWAYS have a project in the works. Friends and family couldn’t believe that we picked up and left our beautiful magazine featured home in “that place” and moved to a house in Phoenix that had already been remodeled. They said that didn’t sound like us… and they were right. We love our little Phx abode but knew it was a stepping stone to get us to this gorgeous desert paradise. The goal had been to take our time, really look everywhere that appealed to us, and make sure we were finally going to buy a home for our family in an area that we truly loved and was centrally located within walking distance to great shops, bars, restaurants, hiking trails, and bike paths. Every house we had bought in the past was far enough away from friends and activities that it was pain in the you-know-what. We have always had to get in our car and drive a time-consuming distance to get where we wanted and needed to be (other than the cute stepping stone Phx house which is also in an awesome location). So that gets me to to the point of this first post. We found a home, closed on it two weeks ago, and have already gotten a decent amount of demo accomplished. This place has a ton of potential. Its in a fabulous neighborhood and was built in 1955 – mid century is my specialty. Now that bad part… it has a had a series of sad remodels (one as recent as 2013) where the finishes and design look like they were done in the mid 90’s. We were hoping for something that was turnkey and gorgeous but that’s really hard to find when you are an architect with a very specific aesthetic in mind. Good thing I love designing and have a husband who’s game for a total redo as long as we don’t have to live in the mess!