Archive for April, 2011

Windows to the Soul of Central Austin Addition

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Author Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey wrote: “May your walls know joy. May every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility.” This was definitely true at a central Austin home where a kitchen enlargement found its window to possibility. The clients envisioned a warm and inviting heart for their home (built in 1929), which we were increasing in size by approximately 180 square feet.  The new space featured custom oak cabinets throughout, a beautifully hand-crafted stone wall, Miele and Viking appliances, granite counters throughout, and oak floors that extended from the existing floors to ensure an un-noticeable transition.

But what made this kitchen truly special was a pair of windows—nearly 85 years old and original to the house. Although the windows showed their age and generations of use, we shared the belief of the homeowners that they were central to the history and essence of the project. Working closely with the client and our trusted craftsmen, we integrated them into a new window encasement—re-engineered with new stained glass inserts that were actually designed by the owners. The homeowners are art lovers and have collected art and furniture throughout their relationship. For them, everything in their home has purpose, meaning, and a story. Each furnishing and décor item not only recalls a moment in their life, but brings with it a narrative of its own. In this way, the salvaging and restoration of these windows were an example not only of historical value or aesthetics, but of remaining true to the client’s values and using our skills to uphold their vision above all else. We pride ourselves on collaborating with our clients to bring their vision to life!

It’s all in what you don’t see in Tarrytown Remodel

Monday, April 25th, 2011

With a sufficient budget, a basic knowledge of tools/materials/design, and the requisite experience, any construction company with remodeling services can come in to a home and add something newer, bigger, or more modern. But a heavy-handed remodel can leave a clear indication of what’s old and what’s new. The true challenge is to use restraint along with a nuanced understanding of historical integrity and the materials to make the transitions smoother or not even noticeable. Our goal is to make the addition seem at once new and as though it was there all along.

We encounter this exact situation daily, as we did in a recent Tarrytown kitchen and guest suite remodel.  Time and various changes over the years had left the home with uneven lines, hidden surprises, and a less-than perfect situation for creating seamless transitions. We did what we often do in these sort of projects: we relied on a combination of craftsmanship, determination, and intuition to marry the old with the new—and the uneven lines of the past with the crisp new elements. This project had our crew working in collaboration with an interior designer to re-imagine a kitchen as well as breakfast/desk space along with a reconfigured guest suite. We installed granite counters, custom cabinets, an intricately designed backsplash, a faux painted vent hood enclosure, all-new appliances, detailed tile design in guest bathroom shower, oak flooring added throughout.

What we succeeded in doing was not only to bring these materials and designs into harmony with one another and the adjacent surfaces, but to make the new spaces work in such a way that they can coexist with the rest of the home. Something many clients and even contractors do not take into consideration is that a clumsily executed remodel can instantly date adjoining rooms. We were able to match the look and feel of the rest of the home so that it immediately felt “right.” What’s more, we worked tirelessly to solve myriad issues so that each transition—from original wood flooring to idiosyncratic ceiling beams—flowed from room to room. It’s a certain kind of challenge that we embrace.

Zilker Park Xanadu

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Although we truly take pride and joy in each project we undertake—every now and again, we are brought into a situation that is a playground for both our imagination and our craftsmanship. This new condo construction in Zilker Park was just that sort of project. This condo duplex was planned for two thoroughly modern residences with progressive, yet warm design. The condos each feature elegant water features and landscaped courtyards at their entrances.  Each blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces with an innovative use of screened porches, dual sided fireplaces, covered tiger-wood decks, and large private yards. Inside, we installed these custom oak hardwood floors that we stained to match interior doors for an incredible effect. We combined onyx and granite counters, commercial-style range, and wine coolers give the living and kitchen areas the feel of a cozy yet high-end restaurant. Up the floating stairway, we built a loft with these sleek iron rails.

Perhaps one of our favorite touches was the master spa in which we combined custom tile with a sophisticated pebble floor. Another great example of the fun we get to have on our projects is the kitchen for one of the units. We chose the onyx backsplash behind which we installed lights so as to shine through the natural translucence of that particular stone. Its at times like this when our knowledge of the materials and nuances of how to make the most of them meets the vision of our client—and often an architect or designer… these are the moments we live for!

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