No matter how often I clean out my closet, I still have too much stuff! (We won't even talk about my attic.) Several of my clients have mentioned that they're in the same boat, and some of my favorite projects involved helping them add useful storage solutions.
That's why I'm thrilled to announce that I'm now working with Barbara Cerridwen of Dream Closets Asheville to help my clients get the custom closets they've been dreaming about. She's a local professional organizer and custom closet and storage designer, who also happens to be really friendly and easy to talk to.
Barbara started her career as a professional relocation consultant, then moved on to professional organizing and closet design. By her count, she's worked in over 5,000 homes! Yowsa!
Here's my favorite photo from her portfolio:
Barbara doesn't just do closets; one project on her website shows a complete reorganization of a garage. As a handyman who knows how hard it can be to declutter a workshop, I was really impressed to see all of those tools "disappear" into cupboards and drawers.
For pictures of the garage and other projects, check out her website... and if you call her, tell her I sent you!
All photos courtesy of Barbara Cerridwen
Those of you who love chocolate (and who doesn't?) might recognize the downtown office building I've been working in recently. It currently houses Kilwin's Chocolates on the ground level, and it has gorgeous office spaces upstairs.
Check out a few "before and after" photos to see what a difference a coat of paint can make.
By pushing their desks to the center of the room, the agency was able to keep its office running while I painted. After I finished painting, I hung magnetic boards on the walls so that each employee has a place to pin up ideas.
Since this is a working office, they needed a place to make their lunch... but since they invite clients to their office for meetings, the break area also had to look good in the room.
They chose glossy white Ikea cabinets which blended nicely into the decor. I also added a shelf above to store a few supplies.
I really love what they've done with this space. It's contemporary while still retaining the beautiful details from the past. The open, airy nature of the room seems like an excellent place for creative work. You could say that it leaves room for thought.
This was a dramatic update to the room, and I was glad to be a part of it. I wish the Griffin Agency the best of luck with their beautiful new office space... I think I'd enjoy working in a room like this.
Do you have a room that could use a coat of paint? Give me a call. I'll be glad to help.
I was sorting through my picture file recently and came across a few photos of a project I did several years ago. I thought it might make a good show-and-tell, since rustic beams are very popular right now.
This was a large room addition with a kitchen and living room, plus a whole-house remodel of the rest of the structure. It's a much bigger project than I take on these days, simply because I enjoy the smaller repairs more.
Take note of the beams. The cross-beams are real, very heavy, 4"x8" cedar beams. On the other hand, the gable "rafters" you see aren't really structural pieces. They are simple 1"x4" cedar boards which are screwed over the Sheetrock ceiling and into the real rafters.
This is a neat way to have the character of "exposed beams" while keeping the lower cost of standard framing. As a builder, my favorite part was that the false rafters went right over the Sheetrock joints, so I didn't have to tape, mud or sand the ceiling. The homeowner even saved money on labor.
I do think that the real wood is superior to the faux stuff made out of Styrofoam. Real wood has a texture and visual depth to the surface that synthetic materials just can't match.
The homeowner picked out some really cool details to play up the beams, including two wrought-iron chandeliers which draw the eye up so that you admire the ceiling. There's also a ceiling fan in the top (which you can't see at this angle) to help moderate the room temperature.
The dark kitchen cabinets set off the room with a medieval look, and the collection of globes on top of the cabinets also draws the eye upward.
This was such a big job that the property was practically my second home for six months. It makes me a little nostalgic for my days as a builder. Then again, I still get to do a lot of
A tour of Asheville will eventually bring you to a gorgeous historic neighborhood full of old Victorian homes interspersed with Arts-and-Crafts bungalows, plus a few modern houses designed with a sensitive vintage touch. The streetscapes are just right—the perfect balance between casual and beautiful. That's the Montford area, and it's my favorite place to work.
One of the challenges of fixing up a Montford home is the requirement that all exterior improvements must be in keeping with the historic nature of the community. I recently finished a project for one of my clients who needed a custom stair banister to match the railing on her 100+ year-old home. It turned out really well.
First, a before-and-after shot:
Now let's look at a slideshow of a few process shots.
It all looks so easy when I put it into six pictures, but in fact, there were a lot of processes on this job that don't show up in photos. Historic homes like this one often have little idiosyncrasies (that's part of their charm). For example, the stone steps weren't symmetrical or level, which made it a challenge to place the railings. Luckily it turned out well.
Another point to ponder was the fact that the stair banister will be more exposed to the elements than the porch railings are. For this reason, we opted to use treated lumber. As I have discussed elsewhere, treated lumber can't be painted until it has seasoned for a few months. That's why the wood is still unpainted.
The historic design was also a challenge. Compare it to the utilitarian railings I recently did for an apartment complex. On those stairs, I could use standard lumber from the hardware store, but here every piece had to be custom milled and then routed with a custom router bit in order to match the existing porch.
But I'm not complaining... this kind of work is really rewarding. I've made lots of music and other art, but somehow it's projects like these that make me really feel like an "artist." A big thank-you to my clients for the opportunity to build this for them!