The Hole in the Ground

I confess to being ambivalent – in the true sense of the word; I feel strongly two ways – about swimming pools.

On the one hand, nothing enhances a back yard space more elegantly than a well-appointed pool. Add a water feature – a fountain or a waterfall, for instance – and you can have your own small slice of paradise. Here is a pool that we put in the back yard of a house that we built (as opposed to remodeled):

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(The rose mallow hibiscus blooms were as big as your face.)

On the other hand, pools literally are holes in the ground that you throw money in. Even if you hire a service to keep the chemicals in balance and perform periodic maintenance, they are a pain. They immediately add 20% to your electric bill and they are magnets for leaves, twigs, strange-looking bugs, and heaven forbid that you have crepe myrtles anywhere on your block. Continue reading “The Hole in the Ground”

How to Raise the Roofline or From Humdrum to Hello!

So. The problem was the low-hanging eave that stretched the entire length of the house, making an already-below-street-level structure appear fit for hobbits. How to raise the roofline? Here’s a reminder:

6844 Brants 001Not only is your eye drawn downward by the roof, but the entry looks like a cave rather than a doorway. Nothing says “Come on in!” or “Glad to see you!” or “Nice, friendly folks live here!” Continue reading “How to Raise the Roofline or From Humdrum to Hello!”

Transformation Adventure

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This house will keep out the wind, rain, heat, and cold. With a little vision, though, it can be much more.

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Even before the landscaping, this house went from just shelter to a place you want to live.

Almost any house can be transformed from simply shelter to a place for living. Debra and I love making that transformation happen. She provides the creative and design genius; I provide an occasional good idea (and lots of not-so-good ones), some labor, and a lot of enthusiasm. (Never underestimate the power of enthusiasm!)


Recognizing potential, listening to your imagination, having faith in the process and your abilities, and staying within budget – that’s the challenge and adventure of transforming spaces.

Watch some of these transformations with us. Share your ideas; let us know what you think of our work. It’ll be a blast!