Remodeled ¾ bathroom by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Bathroom Remodel

A three-quarter bathroom makes plenty of sense when it is the only bathroom in the house besides the master bath.  After all, you want your overnight guests to have a place to bathe that doesn’t involve them traipsing through your bedroom.  But when a three-quarter bathroom is one of several with a shower and/or tub, you might want to consider other configuration options.

Vision

Our client’s three-quarter bathroom was next to their dining room, and they wanted a more formal ambiance to harmonize with that room.  Since the tub/shower unit was essentially wasted space, we eliminated it in favor of a more updated look and layout.

Challenge

The toilet in the original bathroom was in an odd location, and was installed very close to the wall (probably to avoid a joist), which made it rather awkward to use.  It was also visible from the hall — not quite what one might consider a decorative accent.

Accomplishment

In place of the tub/shower unit, we installed a vanity.  Where the original vanity was located, we installed a new toilet, and gave it a more discreet appearance (or lack of appearance) by constructing a pony wall.

Highlights

Besides reconfiguring the guest bathroom, we enhanced the powder room ambiance by installing a “floating” cabinet, new vanity, light fixtures, and mirror that completed the transformation our clients were looking for.  This was, by the way, the third bathroom remodel we completed in this home.  The best customer is always a satisfied one.

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A powder bath renovation by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho

Bathroom Remodel

There are some things that can be readily changed, and some that can’t.  Take, for example, a powder room located directly off the living room of a home. 

The easiest solution to making something so private a bit less public would typically be to create a new point of access…but as this blog relates, we had to come up with a more imaginative solution.
Life is just that way sometimes.

Vision

Our client was never all that comfortable with the fact that their powder room opened directly onto their living room.  One can only imagine the potential for surprise.  Besides addressing this issue, they had also seen a cabinet in a magazine that they wanted to integrate in a more customized decor — one that would, you might say, minimize the “bathroom effect.”

Challenge

Due to neighboring rooms and a curved wall, we could not relocate the bathroom door without major changes that would have drastically affected the budget for this remodel project.  Instead, we designed a room that would serve as an accent rather than as an anomaly.  The centerpiece would be a custom-built cabinet based on a design that our client had seen in a magazine.

Accomplishment

Along with our custom cabinet, which we designed to fit into the existing powder room space, we took the overall look of the room from “dated” to “contemporary.”  We designed feature lighting to focus specifically on the sink and vase, above which we mounted a free floating cabinet that was built based on our client’s specifications.  We added wall mounted faucets, slate tile, a new toilet, and a new color scheme.

Highlights

The moral of this remodel is, “If you can’t remove an eyesore, make it a point of appeal.”    In the case of this project, we accomplished our objective by emphasizing some high quality finish materials and a use of lighting that created a sculptural effect.  Besides what we added, the photos in this case study also reveal what we took out: an intercom system and a magazine rack.  Perhaps the original intent was to give the occupant a way of requesting new reading selections while “engaged” — but who really wants a live broadcast from the john, let alone share ones reading proclivities with the general public?

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To learn about the master bathroom in this home, hit this link.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kitchen remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Kitchen Remodel

There are many compelling reasons for remodeling.  Sometimes it’s about updating a look to better reflect the tastes and sensibilities of the homeowners.  Sometimes it’s to upgrade a room’s intended function, or improve the flow of activities that take place there.  Sometimes it’s simply to create added space.  In the case of this kitchen remodel, all the above applied!

Vision

A primary motivation for this particular kitchen remodel was that our client wanted a more updated look as part of a much larger home makeover.  The existing cabinets were falling apart, and of poor quality.  At the same time, changing the layout of the kitchen presented opportunities to not only improve the esthetics of the room, but add some additional utility in the form of a mudroom and a pantry/baking area. Prior to remodelling, make sure you have prepared the surfaces and cleaned everything.

Challenges

To improve the work flow of the kitchen, we took out a section of the existing counters in order to add an island in the middle.  To make this work, we gained some precious inches by notching out the space for the refrigerator to make if flush with the new cabinets we installed — which featured a distressed look.  We also improved the overall spaciousness of the room by raising the existing ceiling to the floor joist level, and replacing the florescent lighting with can lights.  By moving the washer and dryer upstairs, where they could be closer to the “source” of dirty laundry, we were able to convert the laundry room into a pantry and dedicated baking area with room for all the necessary appliances, which connected to a single power strip.  We also borrowed about 10 feet of garage space behind the kitchen to create a mudroom.

Accomplishment

Along with the major changes that this remodel accomplished, we also made a number of other functional and esthetic improvements, including new hardwood floors and raising the sill height of the kitchen window to accommodate a tiled backsplash for easier clean up. This kitchen is a lovely example of utilizing the existing footprint and maximizing the clients’ satisfaction with quality, upgraded products and design touches (like the crown molding that harmonizes with the cabinetry).

Highlights

There are two elements of this project that we quite often incorporate into other kitchen remodels.  One is the removal of the drop down ceiling to create a greater sense of space.  The other is the creation of a “buffer zone” between the inside and the outside, which also provides an additional storage space for bicycles and outdoor items, as well as a “dumping ground” that protects the kitchen area from the “elements.”

Click photos to enlarge:

A kitchen remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Kitchen Remodel

The fate of too many kitchens is like that of Cinderella before the arrival her fairy godmother: toiling away in relative obscurity.  Once we worked our magic on this kitchen, however, it became the belle of the ball — long past the stroke of midnight!

Vision

Our clients loved to entertain, but their kitchen’s isolation kept it out of the social mix.  Fortunately, the walls that separated it from the dining and living rooms were not load bearing, which presented us with options that proved both dramatic and economical.

Challenge

Our mission in this remodel was to open the kitchen space up to the rest of the house.  To keep the project within a tight budget, however, we needed to preserve its original footprint.  We accomplished this by removing two walls, including the one behind the range — which meant replacing the old exhaust vent with a drop down hood.  Rather than taking the walls out completely, we left part of them in place to become raised bars.

Accomplishment

Creating raised bars around the former walls had an added benefit of leaving the existing hardwood flooring unaffected — which kept cost down as well as creating social spaces.  We also kept the existing counter tops, and rather than replacing the cabinets we sanded and refinished them and added hardware finishes as an upgrade.  We took out the can lighting and replaced it with pendants.  As a finishing touch, we also added tile backsplash around the new range.  And as you can see from the before and after photos, we even refinished a door leading outside from the kitchen so that it would match the cabinets.

Highlights

One of the benefits of integrating a kitchen into the rest of a home is that it often increases the utilization of adjoining rooms — especially the dining room.  This project is another great example of the “face-lift” kitchen remodel that maximizes the use of existing materials, makes modest structural changes, and with the clients’ excellent finishes choices, creates an entirely new-feeling space while staying within the desired budget.

Click photos to enlarge:

A home addition by Strite Design + Remodel in Boise, Idaho

By its nature, an addition remodel is about creating something that wasn’t there before.  This in turn means incorporating something new into something that already existed.  A well executed addition should do this in a way that not only respects the integrity of a home’s design, but enhances it as well.  It’s all about balance.  

Vision

Our clients wanted an exercise space over their garage, and a hallway that would connect this room with the rest of their home.

Challenge

More often than not, when you add an addition you are faced with balancing out the home as well as adding to it.

Accomplishment

In the case of this addition, we not only added the space the clients were looking for, but filled out the home in a balanced way. The homeowner was planning on moving but changed their mind after our remodel!

Highlights

Looking at the “After” photos reveals a simple but effective design trick for creating balance with a new addition: we replicated the shape of one design element (in this case the vent above the section of the home on one side of the garage) and incorporated it into the shape of a design element on the other side (in this case, a window).  We also picked up on the column elements that appear in other sections of the home and incorporated this design into the facade of the addition.

Click on photos to enlarge

No threshold on shower before remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Master Bath Remodel

No home, however well designed, can continually meet our needs — much less our desires — because these both continually change.  In the case of one couple that we had worked for in the past, ambulatory challenges required a master bathroom remodel that combined convenience, accessibility, and more efficient use of space with a fresh look.

Vision

In previous blogs, we’ve talked about how spa tubs can be not only an impractical, but a huge waste of space.  In the case of one bathroom remodel, ambulatory issues required the redesign of a shower to make it both safer and more accessible.  Creating the space to accomplish this, as well as addressing other features that would better suit our clients‘ needs as they aged, meant removing the old tub — but that was just the start.

Challenge

Besides making the shower easier to get in and out of, including accommodating a chair if needed, we wanted to get rid of the old shower pan.  These will eventually crack and fail and are impossible to clean.  And while new showers have curbs, we wanted to avoid these because of our clients’ ambulatory concerns.  Addressing these issues also required us to make the toilet more accessible rather than have our clients negotiate another doorway.

Accomplishment

Removing the old spa tub and replacing it with a vintage standalone bathtub opened up a lot of space for the rest of our remodel, which included integrating the toilet into the main room rather than have it situated in a separate space.  At the same time, we both protected the toilet and maintained some privacy with a half wall.  We were able to forego the use of curbs in the shower by notching out a floor joist where it was being installed and insetting a new floor into the joist, creating a gentle slope toward the drain.  We also built a bench into the shower.  By removing the soffit above the vanity, we created additional space for a cabinet, since our clients had also wanted more storage in the bathroom.  We were able to add even more storage by setting the toilet out just enough to install a deeper cabinet above it.  As a final convenience, we installed heated floors with a programmable thermostat for added comfort on chilly mornings.

Highlights

This remodel project did much more than respond to the changing needs of an aging couple — we created a much better flow to the room, in part by squaring up the angles.  We also updated its appearance through new tile, his and her sinks, and new cabinets.  After all, even as we age, we still appreciate a fresh take on the world.

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Bathroom Remodel

When you’ve done as many remodels as we have, you can determine when a home was built with a fair degree of accuracy based on certain telltale bathroom fixtures.  Bathtubs designed for Roman bacchanals are one of them!

Vision

Unless your home was custom built, there will always be those features that made you fall in love with it to begin with, those that you can live with…and those that are just plain annoying.  In the case of this simple bathroom remodel, our client was tired of having a huge bathtub that took up space they would have preferred to use in other ways — such has having more storage.

Challenge

Taking out a fixture such as a bathtub is one thing — the remodel challenge is what to replace it with that does more than simply change the look of a room.  We often find that homes constructed in the ‘90s would feature huge bathtubs that might at one time seemed novel — at least in concept — but soon lost their appeal.  By replacing the existing mega-tub with a smaller one in this remodel project, we were able to create the space needed to add something our client found much more practical: a bank of full-height cabinets.  Our client also wanted to use this project as an opportunity to address some smaller, but no less annoying, issues with their bathroom.

Accomplishment

By rebuilding the tub deck, we were able to install a more practical, and appealing, bathtub.  At the same time, we made some equally practical improvements in the shower.  Because of the way the shower door opened, our client lacked direct access to the shower controls.  We corrected this situation by installing the controls in the pony wall, and we also created a half wall in the shower for additional privacy.  We further updated the look of the bathroom by redesigning the vanity.

Highlights 

While our client’s needs were driven more by practical considerations than esthetics, this simple bathroom remodel addressed both in a way that also saved them from draining their hot water tank every time they take a bath.  Who says you can’t be pragmatic AND appealing?

Click on photos to enlarge.