Remodel a Rambler

Rambler remodel, Porch remodel, Entry remodel

Our new project! Due to a dryer fire, we have an opportunity to do a bit of remodeling at our little rental house (shocking amount of smoke damage! See prevention tips here). We’ve always wanted to update this home. The first decision was whether or not to follow the lead of the town and try adding some Craftsman Charm – but that feels a bit contrived and boring frankly – there’s nothing here that suggests Craftsman, in fact here’s the total amount of style this home has:

Remodel Dining Room

Wood flooring, mahogany trim and a 1950’s shelving detail – needs a coconut monkey, right?

It’s not a bad start though for what I really want to do, which is clean and modern. Modern has the potential to make the 988 square feet feel a bit bigger (ha!), accent the original good work/materials and maybe bring a bit of an authentic style to the home. I’m also very interested in being as green as time and dollars will allow me.

So I start with the front elevation. I’ve always thought that a home can be significantly improved with a well designed entry. The design parameters are: protection from the rain, add style, and to somehow convert the dry/dusty planting bed into something useful. The cost needs to be low and the maintenance basically non-existent.

Design Porch, How to Design an Entry

I start as usual (“how to” here) by enlarging a photo of the elevation and overlaying it with draft paper. Then I freehand multiple ideas until I find something I like…when (not if) discouraged I cruise the internet for ideas.

Design an Entry, Design a Porch, Remodel Rambler

Here’s the design to date – a simple shed roof supported by heavy wood brackets, bolted to a vertical piece painted the same trim color (white? off white?) It’s a tiny bit Craftsman with the construction detail of the angles and the bolting being exposed, but the shape of the shed is far more modern than a gable would be. Plus a gable would need to be much larger (read more pricey) and more detailed. I know because I drew one – yuck!

I will probably design the brackets on site, forcing someone in the family to hold up 4X4s as I take way too long to decide where they should meet the vertical. They love it when I do that.

I like this clean look, especially if the drought tolerant grasses will take in the concrete planting box. They grow in my yard and have been really hardy –  I’ll visit next week and see if they’re surviving. My next question is I wonder if I might be able to lightly stain the concrete a black or dark grey- a more uniform color might look really great.

Off to sand mahogany base moulding :)

~Monica

 

 

Exterior Paint – Design Ideas

Every time the sun comes out on these short Seattle days I start dreaming up exterior projects – Paint! Garden! Fence! Paint Again! – If you find yourself brainstorming in circles like I am, here’s a bit of exterior paint inspiration from four of my favorites:

A few random thoughts on exterior paint design:

  • A flat sheen is usually preferred
  • Three colors is a nice balance. Be thoughtful if you add a fourth color, you don’t want to get too fussy.
  • If you choose to paint the door a contrasting color, consider carrying that color into the garden with pots, outdoor furniture/cushions or plants. It’s a nice, subtle effect.
  • Breaking up/dividing large areas of siding with horizontal trim or different siding materials can allow for a more interesting finished look.
  • Think about how your plants will look with the new color.
  • Take a close look before you tear off old siding and trim! Some of that material is beautiful – tight grain, large dimensions/profiles, much of it is unavailable these days. If you do decide to demo, your local reclaimed building materials store may LOVE to have it, lead paint and all.
  • Spend the money and time for samples of your paint! Mock up your ideas on a wall that receives good light – You’ll be glad you did.

Are you ready to get started?? Here’s a nice overview of the process from one of my favorite local paint stores, Daly’s and a few tips from DIY projects – a list of handy tools, two favorite painting hacks, and stripping and painting old trim.

Paint on!

~Monica