Friday, February 26, 2010

Deliver Unto Me....

A flat screen T.V.!

I promised some finished pictures of this project, and we're almost there. The new cabinet fit like a glove, and looks like it was meant to be in the room all along! Wiring was run for the antique sconces, which will be installed later, along with the rest of the wall decor.

Once the T.V. and the components are installed in the new space, this homeowner will have the pleasure of closing the doors, and hiding the electronics from view. I can't think of a better way to make this happen.

In the adjacent dining room, notice how we installed trim around the arch that connects the dining room to the kitchen. The trim matches trims from the rest of the home, and really creates a "picture window" into the kitchen. In our minds, it would be hard to over-trim a bungalow style home! Generous mill-work will generally greatly enhance the original architecture.

All-in-all, this was work worth waiting for.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Remember this project? Unused fireplace that the homeowner was never happy with, and really not doing much for the beautiful room other than taking up wall space!

Well, a great solution presented itself when it was decided to hang the flat-screen TV at the fireplace. Now, I love a wonderful TV, and am amazed at the current technology. Even better though, I like the opportunity to hide the TV in a beautiful cabinet so that when you're not watching it, you have something else to look at. Here's a sketch of what we came up with to solve this problem.So here are a couple of shots of the new cabinet going into place. The unit was built off-site, and painted to match the new trim color in the living room. Notice the deeper box that was designed to accommodate the cable box, DVD player, etc. Also, power is being run into the cabinet for outlets and sconces for the built-out piece above the cabinet (not yet shown).

By taking very careful measurements, the unit slides right over the brick fireplace. Doors and trim pieces will be installed tomorrow, and I promise to have finished pictures for you next week! I bet you're as anxious as I am!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We Are Go-For-Launch!

Hopefully, you remember this bathroom from previous pictures. Well, we are now about 2 weeks away from beginning the project.

Contractor lined up-check
All materials ordered-check
All materials in-check (well, minus the toilet, but it will get here!)
"Exit-strategy" for demolition and removal of materials-check
Homeowners prepared for invasion-check (that's what Yoga is for, right?!)

The point here is, it's all about preparation. Renovation projects can run the gamut from mildly intrusive to full-blown, potential relationship-splitting disasters! What will help keep the process more on the acceptable side of this spectrum is to be prepared. Really talk to your designer and contractor about what the process will entail, and then try to gather all materials needed so that you or the contractor aren't wasting time running around frantically in search of an appropriate supply-line or "just the right" sconce...not to mention a sink or tub that might take weeks to come in, or be on back order.

Then, try to prepare yourself for the unexpected...'cause if your prepared for it, it's no longer "unexpected", right?! And there will almost always be surprises when old fixtures are pulled out, and walls are taken down. This becomes even more of a potential issue in a vintage home.

Once again, these lucky homeowners have the luxury of SPACE. Their two-car garage presented ample space to store 2 large vanities and sinks, a bathtub, toilet (any day now!), floor and wall tile...basically all the fixtures. And the contractor will still have room to store building materials, such as lumber, Sheetrock, bead-board, etc.

If you decide to wade into a major renovation blind, you may quickly find yourself floundering in the deep waters. Do as much research as you can, and seek the help of a professional...hey, that's why we take all this lifesaving training!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taking the High Road

A reader of one of our recent Expert Advice columns in the St. Petersburg Times, sent us some pictures and questions about her bathroom shower curtain. The idea behind the article is that, especially if you have high ceilings in your bathroom, a taller than standard shower curtain can add drama and accentuate the great architecture, instead of "cutting your bathroom in half".

The reader asked what maximum height shower curtain she should use in her bathroom, and what did I think of the color of her current shower curtain. Here's what she had to show me.

In general, you should leave at least 6" of space between your shower curtain and your ceiling for ventilation. The curtain should hang 6" into the tub to prevent water spray from going all over the bathroom, but should not brush the floor of the tub, which will encourage mold growth, and potential slip accidents. In this reader's case, her maximum shower curtain length is probably 84", though her cathedral ceiling does slope from one side to the other. There are a lot of sites where longer shower curtains are available, such as BedBathstore. Custom lengths for liners and decorative outer curtains would also be available from local design workrooms.

From the photographs, it appears that her shower curtain blends well with the tile in the bathroom, but I also encouraged her to experiment with color. Bath accessories can be an affordable way to freshen up your home!

Here is a photograph showing a 96" clear shower curtain, used without an exterior curtain. Notice how it actually makes the bathroom appear more spacious.

Always remember to play up your attributes, whether it's in fashion or home decor.