Your Remodel needs a Master Plan not a Floor Plan

14 min read Too many people skip over essential steps in planning their home remodel … and it shows. With the Master Plan Method, you take the time to plan your remodel right, right from the start.

A great home remodel needs more than a good floor plan. It needs a master plan.

Having a master plan is more than pinning a bunch of things you like. It’s more than having the furnace guy or the roofing guy come out and say, ‘Oh yep. Your home inspector was right. Plan for a remodel.’ And it’s more than having a perfectly tidy, organized blueprint for your house.

Continue reading “Your Remodel needs a Master Plan not a Floor Plan”

Why you need some updates to get a modern mid-century kitchen RIGHT

7 min read The definition of a true mid-century era kitchen is not the laminate counter tops and pastel appliances.  You can recognize a classic ranch kitchen by its layout and by the driving philosophy behind it.

The “retro” look of an original kitchen can charm you or turn you off but the important updates needed for a MODERN mid-century kitchen are much more than cosmetic.  Let’s talk about how kitchens (and the people who use them) have changed in the past 60 odd years!

Continue reading “Why you need some updates to get a modern mid-century kitchen RIGHT”

Fake Shutters are the absolute worst

3 min read Shutters once had a real function.  They were a security measure, a way to close up houses safely at night or when the occupants were away. But they serve no purpose on a modern house. Please don’t glue fake shutters to your siding!!!

So here’s the thing.  Almost nothing makes me eye-roll harder in recent, residential design than badly-deployed fake shutters.  Fake shutters on ranches are even more irritating: not only don’t they work properly, they contradict the mid mod aesthetic!

Continue reading “Fake Shutters are the absolute worst”

Internet “MidMod” kitchens are more Modern than Midcentury

5 min read The definition of a true MCM kitchen is not the laminate counter tops and pastel appliances.  You can recognize a classic ranch kitchen by its layout and by the driving philosophy behind it.

I recently came across a list post of gorgeous midcentury modern kitchens to emulate.  As I scrolled, I realized they had one thing in common – clearly none of them were actually midcentury kitchens.  So today I’d like to break down the differences between a kitchen built in the midcentury era, and those done in a midcentury style, now.  Continue reading “Internet “MidMod” kitchens are more Modern than Midcentury”

Three places to find more space in your house without adding on!

3 min read You can remodel your home and substantially increase your living area without adding on a single square foot!  Staying within your existing footprint is easier, cheaper and more sustainable. 

Every little bit helps.  You can avoid adding to the impermeable surfaces of the world by remodeling within your existing building footprint rather than building new OR expanding beyond the current boundaries.  Look around the house for space you already have.  This is the low hanging fruit in any remodel by measures of speed, difficulty, return on investment, and baseline cost.  Continue reading “Three places to find more space in your house without adding on!”

(Nearly) Instant Gratification updates with Paint

2 min read After all this work in the basement – slow but steady – I decided to take on something a little more quickly satisfying: painting the bedrooms grey. Check it out!

Prioritizing the exterior and basement has meant living with some fairly unpalatable existing conditions on a daily basis.  In fact, I’ve been sleeping in a room covered with powder blue lead paint with the previous owners pictures hooks in the walls for over a year.  Why?

This weekend I got serious about making a change. Continue reading “(Nearly) Instant Gratification updates with Paint”

The Six Major Elements of (Nearly) Every Entry

4 min read The components elements of an American house entry are fairly consistent, country or city, large or small.  Ranch entries are even more consistent: Door, Lights, Mailbox, House numbers, Wall and Overhang.  If you have your own door (and maybe even if you don’t) you have most of these to play with.

You probably have the ability to fix up each and every one of them (except the overhang) in a weekend project.  Here are a couple overarching ideas to bear in mind when you go to work.  Continue reading “The Six Major Elements of (Nearly) Every Entry”

Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds

4 min read Insulated blinds are one of my favorite micro updates.  In addition to a warmer (or cooler) house they provide privacy, controls over your daylight and a stylish update to your aesthetics.  Win. Win. Win. Win.

The snap in the air this week reminded me to adjust my insulated blinds up at night instead of leaving them at half mast for daytime privacy.  I love, Love, LOVE my cordless, up-down, cellular blinds.  They are energy efficient, streamlined and private, and I think they could be an improvement to any home.  Continue reading “Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds”

An “L” of an opportunity: Adding on To your Ranch

2 min read It is relatively easy to put an addition on to a ranch style house.  In fact, they were designed with just that idea in mind. 

If you need more space in your ranch house, I highly recommend looking around for it inside the existing walls first.  If any portion of your basement is un-finished, if your kitchen is fully closed off from the house or if you have a three season room connecting your house to the garage, any of those spaces should be your first move in a remodel.  Continue reading “An “L” of an opportunity: Adding on To your Ranch”

In other news: Design for a (ranch like) Passive House

2 min read So I haven’t been making as much progress as I’d like on the Togstad project in August but it is for an excellent reason.  I’ve been designing another project – a new Passive House residence to be constructed in the Bloomington, IL area.

While nothing in the design brief said “ranch” it is no coincidence that it has an elongated single-story profile and flowing open plan layout.  I do have ranches on the brain.  Here are some of my sketches from the Schematic Design phase.

   Continue reading “In other news: Design for a (ranch like) Passive House”