• Plans are only good intention unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. ~ Peter F. Drucker
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thanks grassrootsmodern.com and welcome to the ‘hood

Thanks to Creede at grassrootsmodern for the mention on his blog, I’ve been following it for a year now so how fun to see our blog up in lights! Looks like he is where we were last July, selling the old, buying the older. But so fun to see that others like to dismantle existing properties and make them shine.

Green insulation


We knew that we wanted to incorporate green into the remodel, and an easy and way to do that was with blown-in cellulose, a product that is made from recycled newspapers, magazines, etc. The texture is truly like basic recycled papers so when they do ceilings, they put a simple screen in the joists to hold it. I first learned about it from one of my editors Erin Bean in Utah Style & Design.

The bonus is that unlike many green options, it was actually less expensive! Add in the fact that you have no toxic VOCs etc and you are sitting pretty. We used and recommend Bonded Insulation located in Murray. It only took two days to do and they were very clean and tidy.

Cellulose is blown into the framing
Jeff shows his happiness that this job is contracted out!
Light and fluffy, sort of like snow. But not, it’s gray and recycled.

ahhh, the solarium

One of my favorite parts of the house, completely encased in windows. We’re going to keep it pretty much as is with concrete floors. The bonus is there is a safe room about 6′ square that we think was used as a bomb shelter! Or a grow room. hmmm.


coming from upstairs leading into the solarium


now where can I hang my pool table light?


or where will the yoga mats go?


concrete, rock and wood. what more could a girl ask for?


and french doors to the back patio. yum.

the front yard

Our lot is sort of unusual, more pie shaped than square with a large front yard filled to the brim with trees, many that we have had removed including four fruit trees, four 70′ pine trees and a huge 100′ leafy don’t know what tree that sat right next tot he house alongside another pine tree that we kept.


the front yard


the front yard slopes giving us a fantastic walk out basement encased in windows



the front yard looking into the “solarium”

The front walkway is somewhat of a maze, leading to a trex deck to the front door. We are moving the front door and putting in an awesome single light walnut door flanked by two smaller single light windows. We’re extending the size of the deck and wrapping it around the house above the lower “solarium” room. We also had to remove the entire deck because there was a leak into the solarium and it was badly faded.


entry from the driveway


the treacherous driveway which I’m sure I’ll be going over the side of in the snow


walking from the driveway to the front door



walking to the front door before with that awful awning!!


bye bye walkway


front deck/entry before


bye bye entryway



ali’s princess pea in the pod

Ali’s bedroom is so wonderful with it’s soaring ceilings, wonderful skyline windows that look out on the mountain above and another window that will make for easy escape once she turns into a teenager. Yeah, we’ll see if Jeff doesn’t add a little something to her bedroom by then.


Regardless, she’ll have plenty of room to enjoy. Plus two double closets, which is far more than most little girls can ask for.



The question is: what bed do we want to have for her? I’m thinking a tall princess bed that we can dream about fairy tales in.


This bed is from brocade.com and I like it a lot of the fun swoop along the bottom frame.


Another option is this basic four poster from Ikea. It is more basic and I think we’d paint it green since Ali really wants a green bedroom. Maybe that would appease her?



dog day delight

The dog’s first day at the house. No fence yet, so it has been there only day so far.


Chewy, Ali & Gigi



Ali taking it one day at a time



hall of shame or fame?

The hallway from the living room area to the bedrooms actually had an awesome skylight in it. We’ve taken out the area they deemed for a closet and we’ll put one of our tansus there.


our plan, expanded by Jerry’s plan

Jerry, our Los Angeles friend, pseudo-poppa, neighbor, and messiah of anything that has to do with building, deemed that we needed to not only take Jeff’s idea of expanding the master into the living room by 42 inches, but also take the master bedroom out into the backyard another 2 feet.



view with the living room wall removed, now that’s a nice sized house!



It was simple as pie in his eyes (he was determined and we went along for the ride.) In doing so, we also wanted to carry the master bathroom out the two feet to match the dimensions of the expansion of the bedroom. But that meant that by expanding the living room we had to fix the improperly built cantilever to match the bath/living room wall was that we had to remove the supporting I-beam and compensate for the distance.


master bedroom with wall extended by 42″ and joists supporting floor



make it level boyfriend


To remove the I-beam, we had to double all of the supporting ceiling joists to compensate for the compensate for the cantivler, double the supporting floor joists. I’m sure Jerry will call to correct my inaccuracies later. The original remodel (existing) floor joists were half of the length they should have been (hello, inspection?) which could have posed a big problem had we not been redoing it all from the bottom up. So by increasing the floor space by 2 feet, we doubled the joists to more than compensate the extra 2 feet of cantilever.




Is that where my bathtub window is going to go?

I know, this is confusing huh? There is more boring info about shear factor and deflection that none of us get, except for Jerry, so we’ll just leave it at as is above and show more pretty pictures.

Bottom line is: we get a bigger master bedroom and bathroom. Thank you Jerry!



Hey! they got it framed, and windows too.







Nate, you are a dog



rebuilding the wall between the new master bath and the living room



seriously. you aren’t that tough.

succomb to your master

The master bedroom was a nicely sized room, but with a sink in the corner of the bedroom and an oddly angled doorway to the bath (which was about 4′ square and included a bidet, toilet and a spit sink) it needed a serious re-do. The master closet entered into the room as well and there was another closet that was just random. The redeeming qualities are the wonderfully large windows and a built-in dresser that we are keeping and refinishing with new flat door fronts.


master bedroom with random closet at right


area behind toilet is for the built in dresser, window looks out to back yard



toilet/bidet/spit sink area is at left of photo, shower is in corner with small window



small closet is at left of photo

To enlarge the bedroom and bath area, we decided to knock out the wall between the living room (the wall that backs the “bathroom” and closet and extend it 42″ into the living room. We thought that would allow us more room for the bath and a larger master closet.

But, Jerry had another plan in mind…


the kitchen…before

Back and forth, back and forth like a tennis ball at Wimbledon. Let’s put the wall here, no, let’s not because it blocks the view. Let’s put the stove on this side and the fridge on the other. No, that won’t fit. Let’s put a window in here and french doors here. No, that will take up too much space.

So after Jeff and I devised 50 or so different plans, we decided we better call in a professional. On a referral from our realtor’s contractor and also our great new neighbors Bar & Sherrie, we called Teerlink Cabinet. After meeting with one of their designers, we decided to try another, Bill Cordray. He designed Bar & Sherrie’s kitchen and from that design won a national competition through Wolf appliances. We like him because he has a grip on modern and clean design. Below are shots of the shell of the kitchen, how it looked when we bought the house. We’ve since removed the ceilings as well and are installing plenty of can lighting.


The kitchen is pretty much a galley kitchen so space it at a premium so we can include a dining area. We’re moving that area from the back of the house to the front to maximize the space. We also have the great wrap around fireplace to contend with.

kitchen looking toward the back of the house

Unfortunately, the new design didn’t work with the Viking appliances we bought on a close-out sale at Orson Gygi. We got great deals on them, but now we have them for sale and are buying other appliances that fit into the design from our friends at Mountainland Design.



This area will be the new dining area, moving it from the back of the kitchen area to the front. Jeff wanted to remove the lower window, but that one of my favorite windows of the house! So, it is staying.


We’ll also be moving the front door from it’s original and very unfortunate spot of right in the middle of the room to the left side of the photo above. We’re removing the windows on the pink wall and installing a single light metal door with 2 side lights. More contemporary, more light, and it will create an entry area instead of walking right into the stairway.



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