An Amazing Addition


We approach every remodel project with the intent of having a dramatic impact on the lives of our clients.  You might say that we are in the business of amazing.

Here is an example that takes such a statement out of the realm of hyperbole and into the realm of the day to day.


Our client wanted a dining area that would fit her entertainment aspirations, but her current dining room was just too small to meet her needs.


Rather than try to expand the size of the dining room within the existing footprint of the home, we saw an opportunity to create an addition that would not only serve as a dedicated dining space, but would also transform the backyard.  One thing we needed to be sure of, however, was that we protected the gorgeous catalpa tree was a key feature of the backyard.


With its high ceiling and multitude of windows, the new room made for a dramatic setting for entertaining.  This was especially the case at night, when the landscape lighting made the windows instantly transparent — to beautiful effect!  To protect the catalpa tree, we exposed its roots and hired a tree preservationist to cut and treat the root following his evaluation of the construction’s impact on the tree.


Besides adding a beautiful dining area for our client, the new addition gave a courtyard feel to the back patio.  Since the kitchen had looked into the backyard before the addition of the dining room, we added a skylight to preserve its source of natural light.  Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.

Click on photos to enlarge. 

Here is a link to see a before – during – after sequence from one point of view of this dining room addition.






A Kitchen Loses the Blues…and Gets a New Life

Kitchen Remodel

As important a center of family life as our kitchens have become, there are some that make you wonder if they weren’t designed as an afterthought.  This kitchen remodel not only dramatically improved its utility and appearance, but took advantage of views of the outside to enhance its sense of spaciousness and light.


The former kitchen in this home reflected an early ‘60s floor plan that might at one time have been open, but which suffered a remodel that separated the galley-style kitchen from the rest of the house.  The prescription was nothing short of a serious makeover that would redefine the space itself.


Some kitchen remodels can be effectively accomplished in place.  In the case of this kitchen, however, what was required was a relocation — starting with removing a full height wall and built-in cabinet that had resulted in a cramped dining room and wasted space that could be better put to use.  Adding insult to injury was the blue cabinetry!


In addition to removing a wall, we also took out the original soffit.  To bring in some nice views of the backyard landscaping, we took out one window and enlarged another.  With the space that we gained, we were not only able to expand the working area of the kitchen through its relocation, but also include a pantry.  To improve the overall look, we installed painted cabinets (bye, bye blues!), a butcher block island, and Cambria counter tops.  We also refinished the hardwood floors.  The before and after photos speak at least a thousand words to the difference this remodel made!


A change as dramatic as this remodel can require quite a leap of faith, as well as a financial investment.  To help ease into the transition between the old and the new, we like to employ 3D modeling to help our clients better understand the ramifications of the design decisions we guide them through.  With this remodel, we should point out that the original kitchen included a tile element that the clients wanted to carry over into the redesign.  We took the extra step of scanning it into our model, much to our client’s delight!

Notice the location of the two windows on the right and the hanging chandelier as the location did not change.  Painted cabinets with butcher block island and Cambria counter tops (sussex).  Scroll down for several before, during and after pictures, including a 3D rendering completed during the design phase.

Goodbye blue cabinets…note the ceiling voids showing the former wall location.  We constructed a temporary wall (left) with a secure door to separate the living area from the construction area.  The large pipe is our filtration system to help keep the air clear of dust.

We modeled the kitchen prior to construction – the cabinet to the left of the window was added later.

Hit on any image to see larger images

From Ho-Hum to Holy Cow!

Living Room Remodel

Some before and after photos leave you wondering if you’re really looking at the same space, or a parallel universe version.  One of the most gratifying aspects about what we do is making that effect much easier than it seems.  


This family room makeover was part of a larger remodel that included a new kitchen.  It’s funny how one renovation can lead to another…and another…


Our client’s family room was what you might call “plain vanilla” — in more ways than just the color scheme.  As part of a more comprehensive remodel project, our goal was to achieve maximum bang for the buck in terms of dramatic effect.  We targeted the fireplace as our design focal point and took it from there.


A new fireplace facade, replacing the carpet with hardwood flooring, new windows, designer lighting, and bold color took this room from drab to dramatic in short order.


The before photos reveal that for whatever reason, the original fireplace was not centered in the wall where it was located.  Physically moving the fireplace wasn’t an option, short of demolition, so we merely played a visual trick with the mantle piece.  Nothing up our sleeves…presto!

 Click on photos to enlarge. 


Beam Us Up, Scotty!

We traditionally think of kitchens in very functional terms.  After all, this is the space from which we feed our families.  But it is also a space in which we interact with them, as well as with guests.  It’s not surprising, therefore, that when our clients ask us to remodel their kitchens, they often not only want to update their look, but open them up to the rest of the home in the process.

In cases where opening up a room requires the removal of a load bearing wall, we need to do more than a facelift; we have to engage in reconstructive surgery.  This often involves installing a steel beam for structural support — which further involves getting an 800 to 900 pound piece of steel into the house.  Needless to say, you just don’t walk one of these bad boys in through the front door.

The point to this post is simply to demonstrate that whatever the construction challenge, we find there is always more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.  We just want to make sure the cat can still take Best in Show by the time we’ve finished with it.

Click on photos to enlarge: