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 …

Continue reading “The How and Why of (This) Residential Architect”

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.

Continue reading “Remodels By, For, and With Women”

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.


Continue reading “Build that guest room in your basement”

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!

Continue reading “How to plan an MCM remodel to fit your life (and budget)”

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. 

Continue reading “How to make your remodel more expensive (or cheaper)”

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? 

Continue reading “How to measure your house”

Mid-Century Bath Design Basics 

21 min read Make the most of your bathroom remodel with these essential mid-century bath design concepts. Get just the mcm style you’re going for, whether you are upgrading, backdating or starting from scratch.

Most mid-century bathrooms are pretty modest by modern standards. They tend to be small and there often are too few of them in the house. Upgrading or restoring the mid-century charm in a bathroom while making it work better is one of the most consistent requests from both design clients and Ready to Remodel students.

So, how can you give yourself a serious bathroom upgrade while remaining true to the mcm feel of you home? The right choices for you are going to depend on your family and your taste and the home you’re working with. 

Continue reading “Mid-Century Bath Design Basics “

Bedroom Storage Secrets

19 min read Looking for clever bedroom storage solutions designed to fit into to your (modest) mid-century bedroom? These bedroom storage secrets will help you create a mid mod inspired space that meets your modern storage needs.

Bedroom storage in mid-century homes leaves a lot to be desired!

So how can you and your mid century bedroom have at all? Is it even possible to make a space with ample bedroom storage, peaceful sleeping area, de facto, laundry folding station, and maybe a little work from home spot too?

Continue reading “Bedroom Storage Secrets”

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”

Pivot With a Master Plan

17 min read A master plan will help you pivot when surprises and setbacks threaten to throw your remodel off track.

Every remodeling project gets stuck at some point. Life is chock-full of surprises, setback and unexpected twists – work or family obligations change, supply chain snags mean choosing different materials, shifts in the economy make scope or schedule changes a must.  

But setbacks will seem less bad (because, #realtalk, they always feel sort of bad) when you are prepared to pivot. 

Continue reading “Pivot With a Master Plan”