Upgrading your laundry room can make a big difference in the functionality of your home, while also making your day-to-day chores a lot easier. This project is a great example.
I recently had the pleasure of installing new cabinets, counters and a custom bench in this mudroom in Asheville. The room doubles both as a a laundry closet and an entrance from the outdoors.
As you can see in the "before" pictures, the space was large and pleasant, but there was no storage! (The cabinet in the first picture was put there by me.)
After consulting with the homeowner, I came up with a plan that combined pre-made cabinets and handmade built-in furniture to give a custom look while staying within her budget.
We used standard cupboards from Lowe's over the washing machine, but I put shelves in between and painted them to match the entrance door.
Take a closer look at the counter top. This is hardwood oak, but I was able to save the homeowner money by using plywood instead of solid boards. Since this was cabinet-grade plywood, the grain is still very beautiful, and it will last a long time.
We also used a standard cabinet for the broom closet. Since it was a little too low, I raised it up a few inches and manufactured a few pieces of trim to match the existing baseboard.
The homeowner chose hardware and hooks to match the existing hardware on the door. Then we added a few other small details, like a bench to sit and remove your boots, and extra hooks by the exterior door to hold more coats and hats.
It all came together beautifully, and this is a project that could make a big difference in helping this family stay organized, while adding serious resale value to the home.
If you've got a laundry room with no counter or storage, or a mudroom with no place to take off your boots and hang up your coat, give us a call. I'll be glad to bring your plans to life.
I'm in the middle of a big project that won't be "blogworthy" for awhile, so I thought I'd take a break and show off one of my favorite pieces of the handmade furniture which I build as a hobby.
My wife named this piece "The Gypsy Table."
It's a rustic hallway table, or sofa table. Narrow enough to fit in a slim space like an entryway, yet long enough to go behind a sofa so that you have a place to set your books and drinks.
The top is made from locally milled lumber. I left the bandsaw marks on it, which made a beautiful pattern.
As you can see, there are also some interesting details on the ends, with old fashioned mortise-and-tenon joints.
My favorite part is the bottom, which has wooden slats and a whimsical folk pattern along the edge of the black rail.
The Gypsy Table isn't my only sofa or hallway table. I've got a few other favorites, too, like this classic black version....
...which has antique wormy chestnut wood on the top and the bottom shelf.
The simple shape of these tables tables means that they fit in with any kind of decor, from traditional to contemporary. So if you need a long, narrow table that's just the right fit, give me a call. Free delivery if you're local to Asheville!
One of the best parts of my job is helping home buyers settle into their new homes. It's the perfect time to paint walls, hang art just the way you want it, and generally get everything ship-shape.
One of my recent customers moved into a very nice apartment, but the walls were all white and very bland. My first job was to personalize the rooms with a few accent walls. (Accent walls are perfect for apartment owners, because it's easy to have them painted over when you move out.)
My customer really chose the colors well. I'm surprised that this blue coordinates so well with the taupe trim. Perhaps it's because the blue already has a lot of gray in it.
Just having a little color in the space gave it personality. But it really came together when I hung the pictures...
...lots and lots of pictures! She had a lot of beautiful paintings, not to mention the prints and sculptures, and we filled the walls with them.
The great thing about working in the Asheville area is that so many of my customers love art, and I love to hang it for them. I've been developing a few "tricks of trade" lately that make it easy to hang two pictures side by side at the same level... I can even center them on one another if they're different sizes.
Remember the boring white bedroom that I started with? Look at what a difference a little paint (and a lot of good taste) can make.
If you need someone to paint your walls or help you hang your art, give me a call. I really enjoy helping new homeowners make a "house" into a "home."
I came across some "invisible" wood rot a few days ago and thought I'd show you how to spot it. This deteriorating deck railing looked good from a distance, but up close...
...you can see that there were divots and dents in the wood underneath the paint. It probably didn't look that way when it was installed!
Here are some more:
It still looks "okay" on the surface, but those cracks and sunken spots are a dead giveaway.
Look what happened when I squeezed the railing with my hand!
I just sank my fingernail into this one, and it crumbled away:
The trick is to pay attention to the shape of the wood underneath the paint. Look for sunken areas and cracks in the wood. Feel for soft spots.
This railing had gotten pretty bad. When I pulled off the top railing, I saw that the carpenter ants had already moved in, done their work, and then moved out again!
I took out all of the rotten stuff and replaced it with new treated lumber.
The repaired railing looks pretty much the same, but now it's not going to crumble away in your hand. We'll wait for the new treated wood to dry out, then paint it to match the rest of the deck.
This isn't the first railing we've replaced that was worse than it looked...
...and we love to do this kind of work, so if you suspect your railing has more damage than meets the eye, give us a call. We'll make it right!
I recently received a fun challenge from one of my customers: hang this heavy wooden screen. This sounds easy, but the catch was that I couldn't attach any mounting hardware to the screen itself. No holes allowed!
My customer's first thought was to build a shelf to support it, but we were concerned that the screen might slide off the shelf. I played around with the idea, and after a few quick sketches, I had a working plan. Here's the basic design.
Those are the two long "U" brackets. I had to take the wood out in thin slices, then snap out the slices and clean up the inside of the brackets by hand.
Then I painted them in black lacquer to match the screen, and hung the whole thing in the hallway with care.
This screen is a really elegant addition to the room, and the brackets are a safe way to support it without drilling any holes in it.
If you have heavy artwork that you need hung securely, give us a call. We'll come up with a sturdy solution custom-tailored to your needs.