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.

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Ready to Remodel Student Stories

36 min read Can’t get enough mid-century house talk? Listen in on updates from recent Ready to Remodel students.

I LOVE updates from our homeowners, both design clients and Ready to Remodel students!

Photos in the Facebook group are great. Emails with project pictures? A delight!

I bet YOU like to peek inside other people’s remodeling process, too!

This is one of my favorite parts of setting up a strong Mid Mod ReMod Squad – you get to hear all about everyone else’s projects. 

Their wins can feel like your wins.

Their challenges make yours feel a little easier.

And their advice can prove INVALUABLE as you work to avoid remodeling regret for your own home.  

So, I’ve borrowed a little Mid Mod ReMod Squad energy to share with you today.   

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Plan your remodel like your last perfect vacation.

16 min read How is a remodel like a vacation? Well, if you’ve ever planned a vacation that was truly perfect for you, then you already know how to plan your remodel.

I’m often asked, “What does it cost to remodel a kitchen right now?”

Wow! That depends on so many factors. 

I might as well ask you, “What does it cost to go on vacation?”

Well, you might tell me that depends. Are you planning a sort of staycation to visit a few museums from an Airbnb in a nearby city? Or are you backpacking across South America? Or touring the luxe cities of the Mediterranean? Is it a package cruise or a DIY adventure? 

There are as many types of home remodels, as there are different ways to travel away from home!

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Ask Me Anything (Mid-Century)

23 min read How can you make sure the choices you make for your mid-century home RIGHT NOW will be ones you don’t regret in the future? Ask the right questions!

On today’s Ask Me Anything podcast, we are diving into questions from the Mid Mod Remodel listener community. 

I received a wide range of listener questions, but they also represent the kind of inquiries I get all the time. Like what to do if you regret the choices you (or a former owner) made on your mid-century house, how to choose replacement and update elements that you won’t end up regretting, and whether it’s better to repair an existing house (even one that has suffered from some neglect over the year) or to scrap it and start over with new construction.

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What Happens After the Master Plan?

21 min read We created the Mid-Century Master Plan Package to get you from “I want to remodel” to “let’s call up contractors.” But what if you have a question after the master plan? Here’s how that works.

Our mid-century Master Plan package helps you bridge that crucial gap between, “hey, I think I want to remodel, what do I do next?” and confident calls to contractors to get quotes and start scheduling.

Our master plan process includes a clear scope of work for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about hidden costs or how many hours it takes or what you’ll get out of it. 

In a lot of cases, a master plan is all that’s needed to connect with a competent contractor, share your vision and make your remodel happen. But sometimes, folks need a little something more.

If you think a master plan is for you, the first step is to reach out to us!  We have form on our website with a few short questions about your project and what kind of design help you need. Once we get your form, we’ll meet for a quick chat about your project to make sure we’re a fit.

Then we dig right in! 

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At Architect Office Hours: how to hang pendants, choose great doors & focus any plans

18 min read Ready to Remodel students have the chance to get questions answered – live – every month during our Architect Office Hours.  

Psst … Did you want Pass Go and Collect $200 by skipping Architect Office Hours and just asking me a question directly? Submit a question for my upcoming Ask Me Anything episode, coming May 11th. 

Movies love to show architects creating away at a drafting table or sitting picturesquely at a cafe, sketchbook in hand. It’s romantic, this vision of a endlessly creative mind conjuring beautiful buildings from some eternal, internal well.  But *SPOILER ALERT* no one uses a drafting table anymore (except throwbacks and nostalgia lovers). In fact, I do all my sketching on a tablet.

There is another major element of architecture that is seldom shown in the movies…

An architect spends A LOT of time answering questions. I answer questions emailed in by my clients. I pick up a few queries from my instagram DMs every week. And once a month I hop into a zoom and hold …

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The Style Guide System will save your sanity. (Part 4/4)

21 min read A style guide system is the lever that lets you easily control the way your home looks.

A style guide system is a VIP – Very Important Piece – of your masterplan.

You need a masterplan approach to be able to…a) get started in the first place, b) keep going with a minimum of unpleasant expensive surprises and c) end up with a home that looks and works the way you want and need it to.  

Making changes to your home’s layout and flow is how you make sure it is going to work the way you want. Those changes adapt your home to the modern life you and your family are living in it every day. The style guide is the lever by which you can easily control the way your home looks. Your style guide system really is the secret sauce for a simpler remodel. It can both help you get started by simplifying decisions AND is a crucial part of creating a cohesive look.

I’m sure it’s possible to craft a beautiful remodel without one. 

But you will do it at a cost of 10 times more decisions to make – questioning yourself, rehashing every choice and adding endless stress to your remodel. 

I don’t want that for you. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for any length of time you know the master plan method it’s all about doing it right and doing it more easily. 

So make your life easier by using the style guide system to pick every product in your remodel.  

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Steal Your Mid-Century Style (Part 2/4)

17 min read There is a right way to steal mid century style ideas. And today we’re planning the perfect mid mod style heist!

Let’s talk the right way to steal mid-century style ideas. Believe it or not there is actually a right way and a wrong way to find your mid mod home improvement inspiration.  

Done right, you can light up your mind with great ideas and connect with mid-century homeowners who have walked the path you’re on to find out what they learned.  

But done wrong, your search for ideas can lead you into overwhelm, or worse…terminal house envy.

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Name Your Mid-Century Remodel Era (Part 1/4)

18 min read Quick! Name your favorite Mid-Century remodel era! Do you love 40’s fab or 50’s space-race or earthy late 60’s vibes?

What is your mid-century remodel era? 

I know you are here because you love mid century design. I know this because I love mid century design! And we all love to talk about “mid century” style…and then wonder what does that actually mean in terms of hitting that just right tone in an MCM remodel.  

What does Mid-Century Even Mean?

Mid Century is a broad term that covers anything from the immediate postwar building boom, up into the late 60s (or even the early 70s!).

When I’m planning a remodel for a design client, I need to know which end of the mid century era really lights them up in order to create a remodel that is right for them.

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Modern Mudroom Updates for Mid-Century Homes

19 min read Most mid century homes lack a modern mudroom…or any practical dedicated entry/exit space designed to catch those things that belong to the outside edge of your life.
Fortunately, solving this problem doesn’t have to be that complicated!

Is your mid century home missing a modern mudroom … or any practical dedicated entry/exit space designed to catch those things that belong to the outside edge of your life?

If you are wishing for a little more storage at your doors … you’re not alone!

The typical mid century ranch house in the Midwest and the typical Eichler-style semi-custom home in the west are similar in that you come and to through the front door … right into the living area.

There is typically no more storage than a coat closet; a little two foot wide swing door framed closet that has a hanging rack and a single shelf.

Where did those original mid century moderns keep their outside things?

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