Even the small projects are fun.

Even the small projects are fun.
Construction: Kitchen cabinetry in
Kitchen (After, during construction)

Even on the small jobs, effective design can have a big impact. Our clients were wanting to compliment a rework to one part of their house by finishing the main living areas.

Our clients came to us with a very dated living room, a cramped, outdated and poorly lit kitchen, and a family room that also needed a little more feeling of space and light. They also had a restriction of not expanding the footprint discernibly. We came up with a design that was both respectful of the overall style of the home yet worked in a some better practices of the type. We achieved all of this without changing the footprint more than an extra 100 square feet.

We bumped out the entry and the kitchen just a little and the strategic use of this space leveraged into a much larger feel for the house.

Kitchen from Family Room (Before)
Kitchen from family room (Before)

We changed the circulation of the kitchen and raised the ceiling of the family room, kitchen entry and dining room. We also reworked the windows on the south of the house so that they no longer featured the next door neighbor but instead featured the great views. We also reworked the living room to be a better use of space with respect to furniture (imagine that!).The evidence of what good light does is shown in these before and after photos, just wait till they have the (high efficacy) lighting going! The clerestory windows do not work for many styles of home, so finding the right method according to each house is important.

(Before) Entry detail shot
(Before) Entry detail shot

The contractor on the project is Floyd Construction, and they did a fantastic job. We’ve worked with Joe Floyd and his crews for many years and they always deliver a great result large and small. The foreman on this project, Paul, has excelled. We also brought in Serge Anderson for the cabinetry, and he did a great job also.

Entry from inside (After)
Entry from inside (after, during construction)

I think owners who want to live at the work site need to think very carefully about the pros and cons. This is a rare project where the client was actually able to live at the project site while the work was being done. Here are the reasons why it worked:

  1. Paul and his crew were working on a discrete and easily sectioned-off area of the house. So the scope was well defined and limited.
  2. The client was able to easily convert a large bathroom to a temporary kitchen and still had another two baths for the kids and the couple.
  3. The bedroom areas of the house had reasonable access to the street.

We typically don’t have projects that are this small, but on the rare occasion when a client can live there, we usually recommend against it unless it meets many important conditions. If all of these conditions line up, it can save some money.

All of the green building technology and large complex projects are fun to talk about, but it’s important to highlight the every day successes we have.  [Edit: This is part of an archive written when Brant worked for Wagstaff Architects, with Brock Wagstaff as Architect of Record.]

Family room from kitchen
Family room from kitchen (After, during const.)