I received wonderful feedback about last month's newsletter - thank you all for taking the time to read it. Many people pointed out the tips, and more

picnic3

I received wonderful feedback about last month's newsletter - thank you all for taking the time to read it. Many people pointed out the tips, and more than half who responded commented on the building above. This is the Ames Free Library in Easton, Massachussetts, and it was designed in the 1870's by H.H. Richardson who is my favorite architect. He was one of the first architects in America, and one of his pupils, Louis Sullivan (who interestingly enough completed neither high school nor college), is considered by many to be the father of the modern skyscraper. Sullivan in turn had an even more famous student, Frank Lloyd Wright.

***

Existing Projects

The McClure Residence

I designed this home for a young family on a 1+ acre property north of Dallas. The home has nearly 4,700 s.f. of living area, 600 s.f. of which the owner is currently finishing into a media room over the garage. One of the owner's favorite spaces is the home office. Located near the kitchen, secondary bedrooms, and the stairs to the media room above it allows the user to keep an ear on everything. The kitchen is open to the family room but with a long enough cabinetry wall to keep you from feeling like you're in the two spaces at once, which is exactly what the home owners wanted.

IMG 9937-a

Front Elevation

Main Level

Main Level Plan

Upper Level

Upper Level Plan

IMG 9906-a

Master Bedroom

 
IMG 9908-a

Study

IMG 9922-a

Family Room

 
IMG 9921-a

Family Room

IMG 9927-a

Kitchen

 
IMG 9930-a

Kitchen

***

On the Lighter Side

I love Gary Larson's "The Far Side"

ship
***

Recent Remodels

The Baldwin Residence

My client purchased this home about two years ago which was originally built in 1876 on a huge tract of land a few blocks from the square in McKinney. The house is a registered landmark in Texas and the man who built it was a cattle rancher and owned a lumber mill. Originally a two story home it was built to accommodate his 11-member family. In 1935 the second floor was completely destroyed by a fire and was not rebuilt. A new roof with a lower pitch replaced the second story. My client wished to maintain the Victorian character of the home yet remodel and adapt it to a more current lifestyle. We opened up the central hall and turned it into the kitchen, and what was originally the dining room became the family room. The former kitchen became a new master suite with a private bath. All of the woodwork was painstakingly removed and reconfigured with the room changes. The house had great bones and we just had to perform a little bit of surgery to make it wonderful again.

Front5-A2b

View From Street

Front11-A

Closeup Of Front Porch

Floor Plan

110 S Bradley-Before 1

Main Level - Before

 
110 S Bradley-After 2

Main Level - After

Front Entry

Entry1

Before

 
Entry1-A3

After

Dining Room/Family Room

Dining5

Before

 
Dining5-A

After

Kitchen/Master Bedroom

Kitchen1

Before

 
Kitchen1-A

After

***

Remodel Existing or Build New?

Clipart 3

Remodeling:

With the recent downturn in our economy I've heard many stories about banks being more stringent with their loan processes. As a result there has been a palpable up-swing in home owners either remodeling their existing home or adding on to it. Oftentimes people start looking at their attic space to see if they can add another bedroom, bathroom or media room. In many cases all that needs to be done structurally is to add a floor system and create a window access (or egress), usually through a dormer added onto the roof. I have designed many of these spaces over the past few years. If you want to add a bedroom and aren't sure if you need a new bathroom too, see if an existing nearby bath will serve the additional needs. Adding a bathroom can quickly drive the cost of the project up at a rate quicker than adding just a bedroom or media room due to the costs of plumbing materials and fixtures..

Clipart 5

Building A Custom Home:

If you're able to build a new house then I would strongly suggest doing some preliminary "homework" before sitting down with your home designer (which hopefully will be me). If you see floor plans or photos in a magazine that you like be sure and clip them out. Even if you have examples of 6 different kitchens you will see a consistent theme; whether it's a large island, expansive cooking area, etc. Don't be afraid to make a line sketch on a plain piece of plain white paper or graph paper. Many times I've had people ask me if they should purchase plans from either a catalog or a book. I tell them "No" for two reasons: One, I'd rather get the design business; and Two, clients always, ALWAYS, make enough changes to render the catalog plans useless. The design process can take a few weeks, from preliminary plans to final drawings, but the biggest benefit is that you will get EXACTLY the home that you want.

***
Business Card
 
Mark head shot
1px