Remodeling is a different animal than new construction, at least in the beginning.
There are two wild cards to deal with: the surprises and the restraints. Sometimes they are one in the same.
The surprises are self-explanatory. Case in point: in our last home, we ripped off a wood wainscot and there was no sheetrock behind it. It’s never fun to run into cut corners or a DIY situation gone bad.
The second situation, restraints, are more nuanced. There’s a line that designers stay in to keep a common thread running through a home…a respect for the existing architecture. Have you ever seen an ultra-modern bathroom faucet with a glass vessel sink in an old cabin? I have. It doesn’t work, unless there’s a major renovation that moves everything in that direction.
And that is our job every day; to draw the line.
The restraint on our Babbling Brook project is the pitch of the roof and the ceiling height. Would we build it like if it was our own design? No. But we respected it and built out the rest of the home to match. The day the roof was being sheeted, I walked around the home for an hour before I called the final shot, and ultimately we settled on matching the Boston ridge cap on the garage and putting a cupola in the middle of the breezeway. All the additions were shallow so that they wouldn’t look out of place.
Remember the old kitchen?
The wall separating the kitchen and living room is gone. I decided to switch the existing rectangle window to a perfect circle. It’s going to be amazing with the open shelves! Here’s the elevation..can you imagine that adorable round window?
And you know when inches matter? The window over the kitchen sink was built up so that it worked with a standard height counter. Originally we believe they simply put a dining table under it.
One of the debates we had was if we should preserve the wood floor. As the tear-out continued, it became apparent that it couldn’t be saved. I’ll be specifying a traffic friendly, glue down LVP floor now. That way we can run it into the bathrooms. I think it’s important to keep one floor throughout a small home as much as possible. If you put a bunch of different flooring in, it makes it feel smaller (and probably more trendy).
And finally, I think I’ve picked the exterior colors (but no promises I won’t change my mind). Exterior colors have to be picked AFTER shingles and stone, if there is any. This will be the color scheme, if the bottom isn’t too blue. I’ll test it to make sure it has enough gray for my liking. Never, ever, ever pick a color from a computer screen. Paint samples on your house and look at them for a day or so before you commit.
The next phase for Project Babbling Brook will be to pick the floor then work out the stain color of the cabinets. At this phase I also order lights and mirrors. I learned a long time ago to purchase them once I had designed a space, because even the high-end lighting comes from China. If a light I’ve spec’d is on back-order, it takes 6-9 months for it to come in. If I buy them first I don’t have to deal with that problem.
Until next time friends!