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The perfect first project is a small bath remodel

16 min read If you are stuck in neutral on your remodel, the best way kickstart the work is to find a perfect first project. Piece of cake, right? Right!

My DM’s are full of tales of remodeling overwhelm and woe from mid-century homeowners who just don’t know where to begin. Overwhelm is not just for folks mid-remodel! We get to experience the doubts, the decision paralysis, the budget blues all along the remodeling journey. Including before construction actually starts. The best way I know to kickstart the work is to find a perfect first project. 

I hear you out there yelling, “Della! I don’t know which project is the perfect first project!!! If I knew, I’d start already.”  

I have good news for you. I know exactly which project is your perfect first project. In fact, it’s the perfect first project for almost any remodeler. 

Continue reading “The perfect first project is a small bath remodel”

The Owners’ Suite: A Brief History and Foolproof Advice

19 min read An owners’ suite has become a must have in modern homes, but less than a generation ago almost half of homes were still without indoor plumbing. So how did our bathroom expectations change so drastically in such a short time? And more importantly, how the heck do you fit an owners’ suite into a modest mid-century ranch?

Does the primary bed/bed configuration – the owners’ suite – in your mid-century home leave a lot to be desired? Maybe you a have a glorified powder bath tucked in next to your bedroom through a pocket door. Perhaps your ranch has one bath for you, the family, and any dinner guests who use the main floor!

If you wish for a little more from your bed and bath configuration … You’re not alone!!

Continue reading “The Owners’ Suite: A Brief History and Foolproof Advice”

The Power of Sketches

22 min read Sketching is the most important visual thinking tool you can use to plan your remodel. Sketches help you generate ideas quickly, explore alternatives without risk and avoid getting bogged down in the details too soon. And YOU CAN sketch…even if you have kindergarten-level drawing skills.

Sketching is the most important visual thinking tool you can use to plan your remodel. Sketches help you generate ideas quickly, explore alternatives without risk and avoid getting bogged down in the details too soon. And YOU CAN Sketch…even if you have kindergarten-level drawing skills.

Now when you think about a drawing that’s related to your remodel plan you are probably thinking of a blueprint. If you are, there are two things you need to know. One, blueprints haven’t been blue since, oh, before I went to design school. And two, they are the least interesting drawings in your remodel.

They also take months, years or even decades to complete depending on the complexity of the project. A sketch can be done in moments. It’s simple and yet surprisingly effective and evocative. 

And here’s why. It’s not just less, it’s centralized. It shows the details that matter and only the details that matter. A sketch is precise to the level that you create it with no expectation of accuracy. It allows us to talk about the shapes and forms of things, the overall relation of length and width.

Continue reading “The Power of Sketches”

Quick Change: Replacing the bathroom toilet and flooring at the same time

3 min read This is actually a project from a few months ago I forgot to report on. Here’s how I chipped out the old vinyl floor, pulled the existing toilet, snapped in the new floor and popped in the replacement all between 8am and 8 pm.

Before I let the drywall team go to town on the basement, I wanted to exchange the upstairs toilet JUST IN CASE there would be an leakage during the process which might undo the nice clean ceiling below.  Since the basement bathroom can’t be finished until after the drywall is complete, this meant taking out the house’s only toilet.  I decided to forge head and replace both the despised green vinyl flooring and the old toilet in one fell swoop.  Continue reading “Quick Change: Replacing the bathroom toilet and flooring at the same time”

Micro Update: Instant Bathroom Window Privacy

2 min read Some home improvement projects can wait for the right time, but others really need to be addressed RIGHT AWAY!

This is a change I made to the house almost immediately but forgot to blog.  There have been a lot of existing conditions here that I’ve decided to just live with “for now” because I knew I’d fix them later but the bathroom window just could NOT wait.  That is my neighbor’s kitchen door and window 15 feet away from the main bathroom of my house. Continue reading “Micro Update: Instant Bathroom Window Privacy”