The How and Why of (This) Residential Architect

16 min read A residential architect’s skill in design and creativity has the power to take a few remodeling dollars farther.

Did you know that average cost to hire a residential architect to design a remodel is $47,000. 

Isn’t that crazy?

That’s more than most people want to spend ON their remodel!

And that’s why architecture in this country is generally for the one percent. I used to work on projects with price tags just like that and … now I don’t. 

I’ve got a good reason for that …

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Keep Your Remodel Out of the Landfill

19 min read How can you plan an upgrade for your house that will keep it out of the landfill for as long as possible? I’m so glad you asked!

Do you ever think of your home as destined for the landfill? 

This is dark, I know. But all things are…eventually. Every part and piece of your home has a useful life, a finite number of years to serve as a dwelling. 

Sure, some buildings have lasted for ages and across the globe there are numerous examples of structures standing the test of time. These structures are often constructed of naturally occurring local materials and designed to function well in their climate without too much mechanical intervention.     

Buildings are where humans spend the vast majority of our time and are, rightly, a place we invest an incredible amount of resources.  And so it makes sense to help each building out of the landfill for as long as we can. At least, that’s what I believe and that’s one of my primary goals for Mid Mod Midwest. Some days I think of my job mostly as postponing each mid-century home’s trip to the dump for as long as I can.

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Remodels By, For, and With Women

How did I become so invested in empowering women to be strong leaders in their own home improvement projects?

As a young female architect, I’ve faced skepticism and dismissal from male colleagues and contractors throughout my career. But over many years and many projects I’ve learned to push back confidently and achieve the results I believe in. Not everyone has the luxury of building this confidence over time, especially women homeowners who may only go through one or two remodels in their lifetime.

Better Remodels (For Everyone) with a Master Plan

I created the Master Plan method as a direct response to my experience in residential architecture.

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How to actually enjoy your remodel

15 min read You can enjoy every phase of your remodel, from planning to leading to living in your finished home! 

I bet you can’t wait to enjoy your remodel … being done. You’re set to tuck into your new banquette with your morning coffee or to slip into your Onsen tub and be so HAPPY that it’s all done.

But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to wait until everything is finished to enjoy your remodel. You can enjoy every phase of your remodel, from planning to leading to living in your finished home! 

I know we frequently hear how stressful remodeling is and all the challenges homeowners face along the way. The process of remodeling is often viewed as something to slog through on your way to the the prize.

And, sure, remodels can be like that. 

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Build that guest room in your basement

19 min read You may have a remodeling secret weapon beneath your mid-century home…your basement!

Basements are the best. Bonus space for creating cozy guest suites, great game rooms or awesome home offices without the expense of an addition right under your feet. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a basement go ahead and make the most of it!

And (of course) I can help. I get to explore options for mid-century basements all time as part of the design process. When design clients are hoping to accommodate occasional visitors, create an income suite, deck out a retro den or create a great teen space the basement is the first place to search for space.


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How to plan an MCM remodel to fit your life (and budget)

69 min read Take my remodeling masterclass on the go!

If you listen to the Mid Mod Remodel Podcast regularly, you hear lots about the tips and tools I recommend to help you plan and lead your perfect MCM remodel.

And once or twice a year I boil down the most helpful of those tips and tools into a free masterclass that I offer live. Folks show up on a Saturday for an hour-ish class full of advice and a Q&A where I promise to answer every question. 

In the past that session was only available to the folks who signed up and attended the live event, but this year I’m trying something NEW!

We are making the audio of my August 19th session available for a limited time. 

Now you can listen on the go! (but just for one week.)

So, if you missed the live session and don’t have time to sit and watch a replay… or if you were there, loved it and just want to hear it all again…grab your headphones!

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How to make your remodel more expensive (or cheaper)

Are you hoping to make your remodel more expensive? I bet you aren’t. 

But so.many.people make the same remodel planning mistakes that are pretty much guaranteed to make your remodel more expensive than it needs to be! Plus they won’t add any value to the remodeling process, the life you’ll lead in the house when it’s done, or how much you like the look of your finished project.

Now, I can’t tell exactly what your remodel plans will cost or how to plan the idealized, cheapest best project.

Many of the choices you can make that will add or reduce your costs depend on more than one factor in your life. 

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How to measure your house

20 min read Mid-century homes aren’t just livable, cute and in style right now. They were actually built in a way that is easier to document, measure and understand. Which means measuring for any remodeling project is (almost) a breeze for a remote design team like Mid Mod Midwest or a homeowner like you!

Before you can come up with an amazing plan to update your mid-century home, you need to know where are you starting from. Today you are going to learn how to measure what you’ve got, so you can start the process of transforming your home to fit your life. 

Old school measuring techniques like graph paper and measuring tapes may be the perfect fit for you and your project! If you’re more tech savvy, you can use a tablet to document your house…or a home scanning app might be just the ticket for you. 

As you probably know by now, the masterplan method begins with three key elements pre design phase. You need to dream about what you want your life to be in your new home. You need to discover what’s up with the house you’ve got right now. And then you need to distill your personal mid-century style.

So, what’s the best way to measure your house? 

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A basement owners suite – the upside of upside down living

23 min read Have you ever wondered if your bedroom is in the right spot? Could the best place for your bedroom be in the…basement?

Could you be overlooking the perfect spot for your dream owners’ suite? 

If your mcm home has a basement you might be! 

Private spaces on the lower level (usually a walkout or half-level) are much more common in areas with great views where you want to see those vistas while you’re awake and share them with friends and family in the public spaces. 

But adding a dreamy bedroom with an amazing en suite in the basement (or on a lower level) offers some real advantages…even if your only views are of the other adorable mid-century homes in your neighborhood.  

Let’s explore the possibilities of a basement owners’ suite through one of my favorite recent master plan projects! 

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MCM Beds and Baths: Chats with Della and Sarah

Do you ever wish you could just sit down and chat with an experienced friend about how to make the right choices for your mcm beds and baths? 

Well, that’s what Sarah Yearout, a realtor with Mid-Century Homes in Boise, and I do every week over on Instagram. 

I love trading stories and tips from my perspective as a mid-century architect with her and getting her tales from the realtor trenches. Our two areas of experience overlap and stand apart from each other in such fun ways! We each have unique insight into what people who love mid-century homes are looking for and are finding in the world right now.

And we’re just bubbling over with good advice to share! Sarah and I have weekly chats on Instagram about mid-century home updates and answer common (and less common) questions about how to make the most of your mid-century home. 

Today, you get to listen in on our best recent and not so recent chats about mid-century bedrooms and bathrooms. We touch on house history, quick fixes and fun finishes, so settle in with a sharp pencil or flex your fingers for some good notes app typing because we are about to give a lot of very good advice.

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