Another Quickie, another garage bites the dust!

We did a Quickie Consultation with Oscar and Jenna in Wooten on Saturday. Like many of our clients, they bought a small-ish home in a great Central Austin neighborhood and they'd like to have a bit more space for their family.

Fortunately, their house has a large one-car garage that was built within the envelope of their existing roof and foundation. It's ready-made for re-purposing- in this case for a new bedroom, bath and laundry room that creates a great new suite for the house at a minimal cost and minimal trauma during construction.

Some of our Quickies are simple enough to enable us to do some "quick and dirty" sketching. In this case, we cranked out a very quick floor plan (below) that shows how the garage space (lower right) can be leveraged to make the whole house work better. We'll be available to work with the homeowners as they go forward to refine this plan and create permit plans, or they can work with a building designer to generate plans.

Our clients are always shocked to see how big their garages are in comparison to the rooms in their existing house. It's amazing to show them how much better their home can be with the garage dedicated to FAMILY space, rather than lawnmowers, bikes, and old cans of paint.


I snapped this photo yesterday at a "Quickie" client's home; it pretty much sums up what we're all about. It's really fun to help people to live BIG in their smaller central Austin homes!! This client was sure she needed put an addition on the house, but we showed her a bunch of ways to make her 1,150 s.f. cottage work much better without spending a fortune or living in a Construction Zone for more than a year. Too cool!


In the mood for a Quickie?

With construction costs and schedules going wild in Austin, we're not going to take on many full-service remodeling projects in 2016, but that leaves time for us to do more of our famous "Quickie" consultations.
What's a Quickie?  A two hour consultation with Chris and Gina at your place.  We can have a Quickie in your kitchen, your bath, your yard or on your porch!  They're easy to arrange, casual, and come with no commitment; it's like the 60's all over again! 
You're a great candidate for a Quickie if:
  • You can't decide whether to "love it or leave it".
  • You're thinking about buying an old house and wonder what your getting into.
  • You need more space but just don't have the money to make that happen.
  • You want a new kitchen, but don't want the dust, downtime, or expense.
  • You're just dying to know how cool your house could be...
Call us. We can pop in to do an affordable 2 hour consultation that will be surprisingly productive and fun!!


Another cool Rosedale kitchen Before and After

The before and after shots tell the whole story of the kitchen transformation.  Contractor/craftsman Dan Summerlin did an amazing job with the Ikea cabinets and finishes.

Before- from the dining room

After- with a fantastic light fixture created by our client's dad!

Before- not so pretty, not so functional

After- bright, open, and waaaaaay more usable.  Yep, they're really Ikea cabinets!

This incredible light fixture was salvaged from the dining room.  The shiplap ceiling had been hidden behind drywall for 70+ years.


Talk about a turnaround...

Here's a cool project we're working on in Barton Hills.  The existing house has an attached garage in the back with a massive concrete turnaround area that eats up all of the best parts of the amazing lot.  It's pretty awful:

Our clients wanted a new kitchen and an upstairs master bedroom, and as we started sketching that out, we proposed a radical change for them: Could we take away your garage so you could have a back yard?  They love their garage, but gave it up in an instant when they saw how amazing it would be to create a place for people, not cars, in the back.

They'll have a new bedroom up in the treetops.

And here's a really early look at the new master bath...

The former two-car garage will become a family room with a big utility room in the back.

While the kitchen gets enlarged and updated (with a touch of the mid-sixties vibe of the original house)

The stairwell will fill the family room with light and features an "away" spot for reading or cat-napping.

And a screened porch provides a great transition from the kitchen/dining to the "new" back yard.

All of this came from re-thinking the way that cars interact with this home.  Today, the vehicles are the most important things on the property, but soon people will be what it's all about.


New house in Cherrywood

We're designing a new home in Cherrywood right now for an empty-nest couple looking for a home they can live in affordably for the long haul.  At roughly 1,300 s.f., it's pretty compact, but it's designed to live large with open spaces and two great porches.  Both the main house and the 450 s.f. rental unit in the back yard are being designed for accessibility, which will allow our clients and their tenants flexibility over the years.
The front porch adds lots of living/social space to the house and helps it to blend right into the neighborhood.
Here's another kitchen that fits our philosophy of "fitting like a mitten"- it's loose and flexible to accommodate decades of use and change, whether it's for two people or 20 guests.  The screened porch on the back adds more flexibility for dining, sitting, and partying.

From the aerial view, you can see the 450 s.f. rental cottage at the back of the lot.  It's designed for accessibility, just like the main house.  Having an income property will add a lot of options for our clients over the years.
Looking onto the back yard, there's a screened porch with a soaring roofline to give the house a great look at the sky and trees and to catch more breeze.