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Push Pull Open Close The Mobile Decorative Hardware Store Design



Publisher Symmetry Central Texas is published by Louis Doucette

Editor Trisha Doucette

Strategic Media Placement Diane Purcell

Contributing Writers Jackie Benton Elizabeth Bond Mauri Elbel

“WE BRING THE SHOWROOM TO YOU ” To set an appointment call 512.694.7762 or jonathan.hiebert@pushpullopenclose.com

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Traveling Blender, LLC. Advertising rates available upon request. All rights reserved by copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of publisher. Every effort is made to assure accuracy of the information contained herein. However, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Advertising is subject to errors, omissions and/or other changes without notice. Mention of any product or service does not constitute endorsement from Symmetry Central Texas. The information obtained in this publication is deemed reliable from third party sources, but not guaranteed. Symmetry Central Texas does not act as an agent for any of the advertisers in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified remodeling, home furnishings, or home improvement firm based on your own selection criteria. Symmetry Central Texas does not act as an agent for any of the realtors or builders in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified realtor to assist you in your new home purchase. Symmetry Central Texas will not

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Symmetry Central Texas / Fall-Winter, 2015 f e at u r e s

A Renovated Retreat Finding the Flow A Colorful Collaboration perspectives

Key Players Point of Contact

How to Pick the Perfect Decorative Hardware


14 22 28 10 32


34 38 42


The Crown of the Kitchen Bath

The London Connection Outdoor

The Grand Plan, Phase One resources



Advertiser’s Index

Fall-Winter 2015



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Key Players By Mauri Elbel Some things in life are best left to the pros. Remodeling your home is one of them. Whether revamping a bathroom or renovating the whole place, recruiting professionals to help transform your design dreams into remodeled reality can make or break the entire project. But knowing exactly who to call, when to call them and what to expect might not be as clear. From designer and architect to builder and landscaper, a few key players in the industry weigh in on the remodeling process from start to finish. THE DESIGNER Sharon Radovich Panache Interiors, Owner www.panacheinteriors.com 512.452.7773

Q: What role does a designer play in a remodel? A: Visionary, organizer, executer, purchasing agent, supervisor, concierge, advocate, mediator and counselor.

designer Mood Montage is going Sensual to have a unique perspective based on their experience, so you’ll get different concepts to consider. Our initial consultation is with two designers and as the project progresses, our designers collaborate behind the scenes for the best possible outcome. Q: What are some key factors to look for when hiring a designer? A: Find a designer who is enthusiastic about your project. They are designing a personal space for you so they’ll be inquiring about your needs and desires. It becomes a very intimate relationship. You need to find someone that you can be comfortable with voicing your preferences, personal habits and talking about money. You should not be intimidated by them and you should feel you can trust them.

Q: What should one expect from a designer? A: Designers have different personalities and business models so find one that can meet your expectations. Some DIY clients just want guidance and others want the job turnkey. Determine your personal role in the project and discuss that with the designers you interview. A designer’s services vary with their education, experience and size of the firm. The design process takes time to discover, Q: What should you do first? conceptualize A: Do some research and have a collective vision with others involved in the process. Find and source all the elements that go into some images that convey the ambience and/ a space. A designer or elements you want. Projects tend to stall when couples have different visions. “I’ll know should be able to produce visual it when I see it” is understandable, but if you cannot express a viable direction, the designer product presentations such as a montage, will spend hours trying to guess what’s in a pictorial mock-up, your head. Both scenarios are unproductive, a sketch or even a frustrating and add costs. Pinterest board; more Q: When is the best time to hire a designer? detailed presentations are spatial renderings, A: Consult a designer at the conceptual scaled drawings and stage. Hire a designer or two for a consult and brainstorm the project with them. Every modeling. Q: Why is it worth including a designer in your remodeling project? A: Designers can streamline the process. They can organize the scope of work and create a realistic budget and timeline. Because they source continually, they know where to get products based on the budget and the style.

Renderings by Panache Interiors

Q: What’s the timeline? A: Timelines vary with the scope of work. We typically can have a concept/drawing/ budget back in seven to ten days. From there, we’ll finesse it based on the client’s feedback. The process can be quick or slow — it really depends on how well the designer and client communicate. Q: Any words of advice? A: You and the designer should communicate in a timely manner during the design phase. Long lags of communication often result in backtracking. Consider the snowball effect of rejecting individual elements of a design –– a single change often leads to more elements needing to be changed. Alternates should be reviewed with the replacement before you move forward. If a suitable alternate is not found in a timely manner, other selections can get backordered, discontinued or even have price increases. All of these scenarios result in project delays and additional costs.

Spatial Rendering

Fall-Winter 2015 THE ARCHITECT David Webber, AIA Webber + Studio Architects, Principal

you have owned for any length of time, identify your budget, do the financial legwork to determine whether or not it is realistic, and get your financing in place. Then develop a well-thought out list of needs and wishes which will help you to get the most out of your interaction with an architect.

Q: What role does an architect play in a home remodel? A: Homeowners can have a hard time understanding the assets of their space because of one simple fact: the walls are in the way. An architect helps to pull it back to the essence of a space — program and zoning. When plans are drawn and assets are identified, a good architect can show a homeowner how to maximize what they already have. In addition to that, an architect will design a plan, select materials and develop the technical details to help a home resist moisture intrusion and maximize thermal comfort.

Q: What are some key factors to look for when hiring an architect? A: Do you like the work they’ve done? Do you respect it? Are they good problem solvers? If you respect an architect’s work, they’re likely good problem solvers. If you like it, you may just be responding to aesthetics. The relationship between a client and their architect is intimate. You will be sharing the details of how you live your day-to-day life in your home so be sure to choose someone you feel comfortable doing this with from start to finish.

www.webberstudio.com 512.236.1032

Q: Why is it important to include a professional architect in your remodeling project? A: Architects aren’t necessary for every project; however, any project that requires a closer look at zoning and programing, the best use of space, or where the details are important, merits having an architect. In reality, this is most projects. An architect is going to help the homeowner avoid “civilian” mistakes. For instance, the easiest response to layout might be to put a living room next to a bedroom, but that isn’t the smartest response. An architect solves problems, and if your architect is doing smart work, they’re showing you how to achieve more with less. Q: When is the best time to hire an architect? A: If you’re purchasing a property, have an architect walk through during your option period to break down the realities of your vision and the existing home. If you’re considering remodeling a property

Q: What should a client expect in terms of project timelines and cost? A: Every architect works differently. What to expect depends wholly on the level of service you’re going to get. Some architects might charge 20 to 25 percent of the overall construction costs. Some will charge 5 to 6 percent. The same holds true for timelines. Depending on the desired level of service and


owner involvement, you can expect a wide range among different architects. Q: Any words of advice? A: Go into the process with your eyes open and make the decisions that are right for you. This is about the homeowner having a good time and enjoying the outcome. By knowing what you’re getting into, everyone will have a better experience.

Photo by Paul Bardagjy

Photo by Andrea Calo


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THE BUILDER David Wilkes David Wilkes Builders, President www.davidwilkesbuilders.com 512.328.9888

Q: What role does a builder play in a home remodel? A: The builder to a remodel is like the quarterback to a football team. He or she has to coordinate all aspects of the remodel and is essential to its success. This includes scheduling subcontractors and vendors, ordering materials, acting as a liaison between clients, architects and designers, and most importantly managing clients’ expectations on budgets, schedule and quality. Q: Why is it important to hire a professional builder in your remodel project? A: The builder has access to qualified subcontractors. He or she is insured and bonded. A professional builder has spent many years forming relationships with quality tradesmen that can deliver on quality and schedule. Q: When is the best time to hire a builder? A: The same time a client hires an architect. The builder can assist with managing the budget vs. design which is more difficult once the drawings are complete. It can be problematic if the design is over the expectations of the client — particularly if the client has spent tens of thousands of dollars on a design that is over budget. Hiring the contractor early and making him or her a part of your team can save money and time for the overall design and build cycle. Q: What are some key factors to look for when hiring a builder? A: Check client, architect and designer references. Ask the builder to look at projects, complete and in-process. Look for quality in completed projects and cleanliness, safety and overall organization for projects that are in process. Most importantly, does the client’s personality

work with the builder’s personality? We are in a unique business since we are working in clients’ homes. Clients do not always move out of their houses during the process. As much as a professional builder will strive to minimize impacts of the remodel to the client’s day-to-day lives, remodels are inherently disruptive. Make sure the client has a good connection with the builder. Q: What should you expect from a builder? A: All builders have different processes and levels of service. Find a builder that works with your service and timeline expectations.

THE LANDSCAPER Professional landscape designers and architects provide the icing on the cake — while only certain people get a taste of what’s inside, the exterior of your home is on display for all. From generating ideas and design conceptualizing to site analysis and implementation, hiring industry professionals like Mark Word Design (www.markworddesign.com, 512.440.0013), the landscape genius behind numerous residential and commercial stunners including El Monumento, Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia, can add the finishing touch to your remodel. n

Photography by Thomas McConnell

Fall-Winter 2015



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A Renovated Retreat By Mauri Elbel Photography by Andrea Calo Photography

Fall-Winter 2015


Sometimes good design is driven by the client. Especially when that client has impeccable taste, an eclectic sense of style and an unwavering vision of a property’s potential. When Melanie Clapp relocated from Los Angeles to Austin, she packed along her keen eye for design and hand-picked a local design team to transform and expand an existing 1960’s home into her own unique urban retreat. Tucked into Austin’s Balcones Drive neighborhood, a nondescript ranch home served as the base of this full home remodel project which included a master suite addition, new kitchen, an open living space and screened porch. From the heights of the 11-foot doors leading from the swanky screened porch down to the gleaming concrete floors that unify the interior spaces, this eclectic-meets-modern home is a flawless blend of old and new.


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“Melanie had a very strong vision and having moved here recently from Los Angeles, she brought her sense of style with her into this project,” says architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph, AIA. “She didn’t really want it to match the old house. It was more about creating a retreat; a certain environment.” By working within the ranch house structure and style, new additions fit seamlessly into the overall tone of the home and keep it within the context of the surrounding neighborhood. Recently completed, the project has already

been selected as a feature home in the upcoming 2015 AIA Austin Homes Tour taking place on October 24 and 25. Collaborating with Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects and local design-build company Moontower, the team worked together to bring Clapp’s vision to life. “She was very involved and great to work with,” says Randolph of Clapp. “Throughout the project, Melanie influenced the interiors, selecting everything from rugs and furnishings to playing a role in choosing the main finishes like countertops.”

Inspired by an array of modern day architecture, both here in Austin and back in Los Angeles, Randolph says it was interesting to look at a mix of hotels and restaurants rather than exclusively residential projects. From the beginning, he says Clapp wanted a home that remained unassuming from the street but revealed itself upon entering. “Many of her references incorporated landscapes and interiors into one,” says Randolph. “And all of the spaces she referenced were all about creating the world unto themselves.”

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Taking cues from iconic Austin retreats such as hip and trendy boutique hotels like the Saint Cecilia and San Jose, Clapp reached out to landscape designer Mark Word Design to create an exterior that would carry out the zen-like feel experienced inside of her home. Originally a 2,997-square-foot, three bedroom, two bathroom home, the team brought the new interior space to a total of 4,047 square feet, four bedrooms and three bathrooms. While 15 to 20 percent of the house was left alone, only cosmetically

alternating rooms with new windows, updated finishes and fixtures, one-third of the house was radically remodeled and roughly half of the home was completely torn down. “We had a slab, two walls and a sky and nothing,” says Randolph. “Imagine a home that is half torn down — one portion of the home, about 15 to 20 percent, we kept roof and walls and altered it. Another portion of the house, maybe 30 percent, we kept the slab and one or two exterior walls. But the rest of the house, about 50 percent or so, was brand new.”


Wanting her master suite to remain separate from the more public spaces of the home, floor-to-ceiling wooden panel doors were selected to serve as both a functional solution and a decorative feature. “She wanted the master suite to be independent from the rest of the home,” says Randolph. “If she is out of town and guests are using the rest of the house, she is able to maintain that separation.” Entering the master suite, a series of concrete steps descend into a bright, open sanctuary complete with a clean-edged


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fireplace, a wall of windows looking into the back yard and an exposed pine lumber ceiling painted white. Both the master bedroom and bathroom brim with contrasts, following suit with a pivotal design theme found throughout the home. A weathered shiplap siding ceiling plays against the modern black framed screens wrapping the porch. Concrete floors flow throughout the house –– a neutral design decision that unifies the space and keeps the home open and flowing. Living room skylights grab the eye, giving the home a light, airy feel and making the eight-foot ceilings appear taller.

Concrete countertops set atop stainless steel and white oak cabinets in the kitchen, and the monolithic concrete custom made countertop and sink in the master bathroom which had to be specially transported by a piano moving company, are custom touches that both blend and remain distinctive. In the master bathroom, the upper half of the walls feature seamless windows that look out on the trees to provide a natural sense of privacy and blur the lines between inside and out. Clever contrasts continue between the modern sink and the old fashioned tub as well as the black and white patterned decorative tile and the concrete floor.

“We wanted a mix of more sleek finishes and old fashioned, textured materials,” says Randolph. “She wanted her own sense of style. She wanted it to connect to the natural site of the outdoors.” From the outside in, this stylish one-of-akind home now serves as the perfect escape for its owner. “I like how the addition ties this home together now in a way that really seems to express her unique style,” says Randolph. “She wanted it to be very much of a retreat.” n

Fall-Winter 2015



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RESOURCES Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects 512.796.4001 www.austinarchitect.com


512.524.7253 www.moontoweraustin.com

Mark Word Design

512.440.0013 www.markworddesign.com









exterior motorized solar screens













11813 Bee Caves Rd., Austin, Texas 78738 Showroom Hours: 10-5 M-F & 10-2 Sat.


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Finding the Flow By Jackie Benton Photography by Christopher Davidson

Fall-Winter 2015

When Christopher Davison and David Davison of Realty Restoration, LLC and Christy Bowen, owner of Twelve Stones Designs, first walked into the little circa 1967 home nestled in the Northwest Hills neighborhood to begin renovation work, they thought they had stepped back in time. “It was like a time capsule to the Sixties, with a few Eighties-era updates in the kitchen. Heavy cut-glass fixtures drooped from the ceiling, and harvest gold countertops and copper-tone appliances greeted us in the kitchen,” remembers Bowen, a certified kitchen and bath designer. “The house was chopped up into many different rooms with no relation to one another. Opening up the space would allow light to filter through the whole house.” “The entire house needed to be upgraded. No finish had been touched in 48 years,” says Christopher Davison, A.I.A. and architectural lead for Realty Restoration, LLC. “The dark stained wood paneling and brick floors made for very dark spaces, with laminate countertops and popcorn ceilings throughout. But the house was physically in good condition, and the beautiful wood windows were still in great shape.” The team decided there were enough basic aspects of the home that were in good enough condition that the home could be renovated without completely building anew. This was especially good news for their clients, whom Bowen notes had a special connection to this particular project that made their restoration work especially meaningful. “The wife of the couple that contracted us actually grew up in the home, and she inherited it after her mother passed,” explains Bowen.



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Realty Restoration, LLC and Twelve Stones Designs have developed a nationally awardwinning design/build relationship. “We often refer to our approach as ‘The Trifecta of Design/Build,’ and we operate as a team,” says David Davison, certified remodeler and president of Realty Restoration, LLC. “Since our company self-performs a large portion of our work, we are able to develop detailed and accurate cost models along the way during the design/build process.” With this particular project, the Davisons and Bowen applied their Trifecta approach to perfection. A meeting with their clients determined where they needed to work their magic. To make the 48-year-old home feel more spacious and suitable for family gatherings and entertaining, a new floor plan was needed. The ceiling plane was

raised to a vault in the existing den to extend seamlessly to a new back porch extension to accommodate an outdoor living space. This new design created a sense of open living and flow from room to room, and took advantage of the scenic views offered by the Hill Country. “The plumbing and electrical systems needed complete updating,” recalls David Davison. “The venting system was antiquated or non-existent. Spaces were illuminated with layers of light sources and types that included solar tubes, skylights and LED accent lighting. A new dual zoned HVAC system and tankless water heaters throughout the home as well as a newly installed standing seam metal roof helped keep costs down as well as make a much smaller energy footprint.” Bowen and Christopher Davison worked together to create a dream kitchen for their

Fall-Winter 2015

clients, who loved to entertain and anticipated visits from family members who live in Austin. The addition of a less formal central dining space that could easily accommodate six to eight diners eliminated the need for both a breakfast area and dining room, while a gourmet kitchen with island seating encourages visitors to relax and converse with the host and hostess during meal prep time. The clients also wanted a new home office and a theater room, upgrades made to the bathrooms and better storage. “It’s a spacious, well-planned kitchen with a Sub-Zero®/Wolf® appliance package, custom pullouts, large pullout pantry, exotic Sienna Beige granite, custom masonry range top surround, stone and handmade glazed tiles, custom leaded glass doors, specialty cabinetry finish custom-created by our paint artisan,



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and a coffered tin ceiling,” says Bowen. “We addressed their storage issues with a large custom utility cabinet pullout and tilt-down drying racks stored in a wall cavity behind barn-style sliding doors.” “Our award-winning kitchen designs utilize very specific storage solutions,” explains David Davison. “Our team routinely uses the concept of “aging in place” or “universal design” so the space will transcend physical and age differences to make it more appealing to potential buyers in the future, while providing a pleasant cooking, dining and entertaining experience for the current homeowner.” That same attention to detail was also part of the master bed and bath design, with Snowstorm granite countertops in the master bath, and a master bedroom custom-built closet. “The master closet was specifically designed to hold the exact contents of the homeowner’s belongings. Intricate measurements were taken of their items as well as counts of each article to ensure a place for everything and everything in its place,” explains Bowen. “Measurements were also taken to ensure the pullout ironing board is in an ergonomic location for both husband and wife.” Other measurements, such as reach and grab distances, elbow and sightline heights also helped with placement of clothing rods, shelving and drawers. As for the end result, “The house flows much better now,” says Bowen. “Even though

there are still distinct spaces, there is a logical path for entertaining and everyday living,” she says. “There are zones: work zones, entertaining zones, private zones, etc. But there is no longer a maze of long hallways and dark corners. The layout is intuitive now; bright, cheerful and inviting.” “Our number one goal is to show potential clients how our team delivers projects on a timely basis, with cost effective and comprehensive problem-solving solutions that avoid cost increases during the construction phase,” says David Davison. “By concentrating on the details of smarter

solutions, the end result is our clients are left with an amazing space they are proud to show off to their friends and family for many years to come.” n

RESOURCES Realty Restoration, LLC

512.970.1661 www.realtyrestoration.com

Twelve Stones Designs

512.705.2121 www.twelvestonesdesigns.com

Fall-Winter 2015



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A Colorful Collaboration By Mauri Elbel Photography by Chris Van Loan of Golden Arm Media

Fall-Winter 2015


Nathan Miller’s recently remodeled Crestview home might go unnoticed from the outside, but a glance inside the modest 1955 home reveals revamped spaces that are open, contemporary and eclectic. Once dark and dated, his kitchen and living room are now rife with color and rich with texture. “My house is very misleading from the outside,” says Miller of his newly remodeled home recently selected to be featured in NARI’s 2015 Tour of Remodeled Homes on October 17 and 18. “Inside it’s much larger than one would think — the new renovation reiterates the cliché ‘you can’t tell a book by its cover.’” When Miller contacted Austin-based residential remodeling contractor Debbie Adams, owner of Adams Company, LLC, he didn’t really know what he wanted. “I can construct anything but realized he was needing help with designing the space to serve his needs better so I called in Rose Bartush of Bartush Design and later Jill Gruner of Nine Design Group for colors and selections,” says Adams. The team originally met in the spring of 2014, had final plans and selections in place by late July, began construction in August, and the entire job was complete in time for a fitting debut: Thanksgiving feast. Miller had purchased the house in 2008, but until 2014 only had time to take on exterior projects. However it was the interior kitchen and living areas — remodeled once in the late 70s or early 80s — that were dated and riddled with problems. The small, square, poorly lit kitchen was plagued with old appliances including a non-functioning microwave and a dishwasher inconveniently located in the adjoining utility room. “The available dryer connection was gas, but I had an electric drier,” says Miller who prior to the 2014 renovation dried all his clothes outside on the clothesline. “Very green, but very inconvenient during bad weather or when birds would flock in the tree canopy above.” The living room was no better. A three-inch step down was frequently catching guests off guard; cream colored Berber carpet was impossible to keep clean with two indoor dogs and the DIY built-in shelves and benches flanking the floor-to-ceiling fireplace were of poor quality and wasted space. The main objectives of the remodel were to bring the living and kitchen spaces into the 21st century by creating an open plan conducive to entertaining, says architect Rose Bartush. While only minor changes were needed to bring the living room up to date — replacing the simple wooden bookshelves with painted wood cabinets to provide much needed storage and retain some shelving above for display — the kitchen was a far greater undertaking with all cabinets, lighting, appliances and finishes being removed, reconfigured and replaced. “The kitchen was small and compartmentalized,” Bartush says. “Ceiling hung cabinets acted as a barrier making the kitchen dark and cramped. A wall with only a small pass through separated the kitchen from the dining area.” Since Miller didn’t start with a specific design in mind, the team had a blank canvas to be creative with and determine how to best utilize the space. Acquiring inspiration from houzz.com, Miller found plenty of ideas and a photo of a design by Denise McGaha Interiors of Dallas to jump start the design process. Miller had specific concepts for the island and how to make that unique, and with the help of his design team, the kitchen began to take shape. “The bar counter is truly unique,” says Miller of the island designed with a lower level made of Caesarstone® and a thick slab of Carrara marble for the raised bar above that


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extends beyond the end of the island where it is supported by a vertical Carrara slab as a mitered waterfall edge. “The pass-through space below the bar adds intrigue and openness to the design.” A bright Ferrari® yellow Bertazzoni Giallo range remains the focal point of the kitchen, tying in with the bold and dramatic Trina Turk fabric that Gruner found and converted into backsplash with tempered glass installed on top to protect it. “The yellow Bertazzoni range is fabulous,” says Gruner who recalls a conversation with Miller about whether he should “stay safe” with stainless or “go for it” with color. “I love color and was so excited that the client took a leap of faith. It is the jewelry of the kitchen.” An avid music fan and collector of concert posters and rare vintage pieces, Miller came up with the idea for the blue and yellow walls with the help of folks at TreeHouse — now a fresh and funky backdrop to his collection with lighting installed to highlight the display. “He has quite a collection of framed concert photos and the backdrop color of the walls really sets them off,” Adams says. “He not only chose the paint colors, he actually painted the walls himself, too.” Cabinets, custom-made from Adam’s cabinet shop, Texas Unique Custom Cabinets in Liberty Hill, were finished on site by Creative Drywall and Paint. Lights Fantastic provided light fixtures including George Kovacs pendant lights over the island and Adorne® by LeGrande for the under cabinet lighting and specialty devices. LED CREE™ light bulbs were used in the new can lights and Kichler® ceiling fans were added to the front room and living room. “The living room is framed in windows and by removing a bank of cabinets that hung between the two rooms, we gained tons of natural light,” says Gruner. “Now, the client can enjoy the view to his beautiful back yard while cooking and entertaining.”

Factory Builder Stores supplied the appliances, including the range and coordinating vent hood, a Bosch dishwasher, a combination microwave/convection oven and a counter depth French door refrigerator — all in a stainless steel finish. Flooring throughout the home was replaced, including the carpet, Shaw® Tuftex Move Me Silvery Swirl, and the tile, Soho Mulberry. Milguard® Styleline vinyl windows from TreeHouse were added above the pantry and in the new utility room. The expansion allows for additional prep space, and the island remains a favorite gathering spot providing a visual separation that defines the kitchen and dining areas without closing them off. Extra square footage was captured by utilizing an existing storage room and walk-in pantry and converting it to a well-functioning utility room, contributing essential circulation space in the kitchen, explains Bartush. This space is now open, inviting, and relaxing — an easy space to maneuver even when guests are present or when it is just Miller and his dogs which can now go inside and outside on tile extending to the back door. Miller enjoys the new coordinated and updated contemporary feeling of his renovated space and the fact that it is much more open and entertainment-friendly. Of course, he says he is enjoying the conveniences of everyday living, too. “The view of the kitchen from the entry room draws you in — the kitchen is really the star of the show and the island bar with pendant lighting is a central entertainment center from which the rest of the renovated space can be viewed,” says Miller. “Logistically, it is a breeze to bring groceries into the kitchen and distribute between the refrigerator and pantry. Loading/unloading the dishwater is similarly easy because of the sinkdishwasher-cabinet layout.” Opening and rearranging the layout and adding built-in storage have added valuable

space to his house while dropping the kitchen floor level by three inches has made his home seem much larger. Miller says new Energy Star® appliances and LED lighting, coupled with removing and reinstalling attic insulation, have already greatly reduced utility costs. “The results are a night and day difference,” says Miller who gives credit where credit is due. “Working with contractor Debbie Adams was a real joy,” he says. “Debbie has a can-do attitude, is extremely knowledgeable about what’s new in renovation materials and appliances, and is very organized. She worked back and forth with me over a period of months to come up with a final budget that would work. This is hugely important for any renovation, but definitely takes time and effort to get straight.” While getting the color scheme and materials finalized was a long process, Miller says it proved to be an exciting once it came together thanks to winning combinations suggested by Gruner. Hiring an architect ended up being a great move, Miller says, as he would never have considered the possibilities of moving the sink to a new location, or adding windows — and after some back and forth, Bartush came up with a winning bar-island scheme he loves. “I couldn’t be happier with the outcome,” he says. n

RESOURCES Adams Company, LLC

512.785.7226 www.adamscompany.biz

Bartush Design

512.415.3787 www.bartushdesign.com

Nine Design Group

630.715.8875 www.ninedesigngroup.com


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The Point of Contact: How to pick the perfect decorative hardware. By Jonathan Hiebert, Push Pull Open Close, Inc. - the Mobile Decorative Hardware Store

Doorknobs and cabinet hardware are the point of contact between a person and their environment. Choosing decorative hardware is a deeply personal choice — one that must speak both to the home and its inhabitants. This is how you pick the perfect decorative hardware. First, let the structure tell you what it wants. A grand home with tall ceilings and crown molding will call for a different door knob than a sleek contemporary home that revels in its un-decorated geometry. Look at the detailing. Let any angles or decorative features inform the choice. When it comes to cabinetry, are the doors painted or stained? A painted shaker style cabinet rendered in butter yellow will call for a different hardware than a rift sawn white oak kitchen with beautifully matched grain. Look at the flooring, the paint, the backsplash, the cabinet profile, the faucet; all of these offer specific clues as to what the home is asking for. Next, add the inhabitants. Some people prefer a door lever over a door knob. On cabinets, the decision maker may resonate to a knob as opposed to a pull or handle. Sometimes the home is very traditional

and the homeowner is more contemporary. In this case, look for a cabinet handle or doorknob that pushes towards the sleek while still connecting with the idea of history. On the other hand, some homeowners find themselves

in a contemporary showplace but live in a more transitional world. In that instance, make a hardware choice that pulls the space back from the edge of modernity. Then think about finishes. The finish of the hardware is one more way to personalize the home to homeowner. A 1930’s house outfitted with crisp modern shapes in chrome and nickel says forward thinking. That same home rendered in pewters, antique/aged brass or bronze proclaims its connection to its past. Contemporary shapes in dark finishes are a subtle way to push modern ideas in a transitional home.

Now consider the material. Metal hardware feels solid and substantial. Solid brass feels luxurious. Contemporary hardware looks crisp when rendered in stainless steel. Sometimes crystal is just what is needed to capture the light and sparkle in a room. Wood brings warmth, and precious materials such as mother of pearl, black onyx or amber elevate a special room to its rightful place in a home. Finally, look at the scale and size of the hardware. Hardware should fit comfortably in the hand of the person using the cabinet or door, and provide ease when opening and closing. Larger hardware can also balance the mass of larger drawers and doors. Conversely, a tiny knob may speak to an individual’s philosophy of minimalism. When these questions are answered, the perfect hardware choice magically becomes obvious. You then wonder how you could have considered anything different. The home and homeowner are in perfect accord.n

RESOURCES Push Pull Open Close, Inc.

512.694.7765 www.pushpullopenclose.com

Explore Imagine & Remodel Austin NARI 13th Annual Tour of Remodeled Homes Tour 11 Homes on October 17th & 18th from 10am - 6pm Advance tickets $20 Tickets at the home $25 www.austinnari.org/tour2015


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The Crown of the Kitchen By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen Projects by Dawn Hearn Interior Design Photography by Tre Dunham of Fine Focus Photography



Fall-Winter 2015


The kitchen is the workhorse of the home. Although entirely functional, there are ways to add style. Vent hoods offer a decorative opportunity along with innovated purpose. Vent hoods provide an important function, says Theresa Collins, a trade representative with Sub-Zero® and Wolf® and an officer of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). “They remove grease, moisture, smoke, heat and odors as a result of indoor cooking. If you are cooking with gas, you will also be removing the by-products of using natural gas: carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, therefore creating a healthier indoor air environment.” You’ll want to consider the homes air conditioning system says Collins, when selecting a vent hood, “It helps to distinguish between a new home built vs. older home remodels. Today’s homes are built “tighter” with less air flow that naturally comes with an older home that sort of has a breathability to them.” If a ventilation system is too powerful she says, it can create what’s called a negative pressure inside the home. “In a new home


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How do you determine the amount of ventilation needed? Theresa Collins recommends a couple of formulas to help: First determine the cooking style + cooking appliance = ventilation system. Style of cooking would be determining if the cook does a lot of frying, wok cooking, steaming, etc. Cooking appliance would be whether it’s an induction, electric or gas cooktop or professional range and, if gas, how many BTU’s is output. Ventilation system would be anything to do with determining the size (width and depth) of the hood, the CFM’s (cubic feet per minute) needed for the blower and the duct configuration of the duct run. Each manufacturer does have a recommended CFM (also known as blower size) for each cooking product. The professional ranges require larger blowers, whereas, electric and induction cooktops require smaller blowers. A good formula for calculating what size of blower you’ll need: Take the total CFM’s and divide by 100. The result will give you the size of blower (or how many CFM’s) you’ll need.

with an overpowered hood, you can conceivably pull in unwanted bad air from the garage where carbon monoxide or radon gas (in areas where radon is a problem) may linger up into the living areas. Overall, whenever you turn on your hood, you are pulling out “conditioned” air from the home — either air you have cooled for the summer or heated for the winter. Also, when locating the thermostat close to a kitchen that does not have particularly well insulated appliances, the hangover heat will cause the thermostat to activate, thus creating much cooler environments in other parts of the house. A waste of energy. Keep in mind when remodeling, you are usually working with existing duct work and that can sometimes limit how you ventilate.” Size is another important factor. You’ll want to let the range guide your vent hood size, power and ventilation needs. Stove or range manufacturers can provide recommendations based on the units of BTU’s or energy output and the anticipated amount and type of cooking. Sometimes, says Collins it’s a matter of what fits, “It can be design or available space for storage that dictates the minimum size hood, where wall hoods should be at least as wide as the cooking surface. However, according to guidelines issued by the NKBA, they recommend an additional 3” on either side of the cooking surface. So if you have a 36” cooktop, then a 42” hood should be specified. Also, if the cooking surface is on an island, the “island hoods” will be wider and deeper. This is because cross breezes compete with the ventilation, and on an island there is no other barrier that creates the capture area.” Dawn Hearn, a licensed interior designer based in Austin, says you’ll want to consider scale. “I think the challenge with free standing island hoods is that they can tend to look massive. There are some more slim-lined options available in stainless steel.” Location and height are primary considerations. Collins advises the height of the hood, in terms of placement in relation to the cooking surface, is very important. “Placed too high above the cooking surface, it becomes less efficient. Placed too low, it interferes with the task of cooking. Generally it is recommended that the hood is 30” to 36” above the cooking surface.” If you’re looking for something with innovative versatility, she says The Best® by Broan® hood called Cirrus literally disappears into the ceiling (but is generally meant for a ceiling height of no more than 10’). Hoods can even be intuitive. “There is now “heat sentry” which is a sensor in the hood

Fall-Winter 2015


which detects when the temperature or particulate matter raises, and the hood automatically kicks up in speed. A lot of ventilation providers are now offering makeup air as a component to installing a ventilation product,” says Collins. There are a variety of materials to choose from as vent hoods come in metals: steel, brass, bronze, copper and chrome. “On the more contemporary projects, I am seeing a lot of sleek stainless vent hoods. I have had several clients want to work with an artist to create a custom metal hood. With the modern farmhouse style that is so popular now, we have used painted white cabinet faced hoods and I have seen some weathered beams used in combination with hand troweled bodies,” says Hearn. Painted surfaces offer another option as well with coated and uncoated surfaces that can be a good base for accents. “Recently, I have seen beautiful black hoods with brass strapping details showing up in trade magazines and on clients’ wish lists.” With the options available, Collins says, “There are some really neat hoods that are more of a design statement and they ultimately become a focal point for the kitchen. Keep in mind if a hood “liner” is used, you can create whatever you can imagine on the outside of that liner having a oneof-a-kind hood or a hood that essentially disappears. Hearn agrees, “When you build a custom vent hood, you can create it from scratch. It can truly be a unique one-of-a-kind piece.” n

RESOURCES Dawn Hearn Interior Design 512.930.0250 www.dawnhearn.com

Theresa Collins - Sub Zero/Wolf 972.759.4705 www.subzero-wolf.com


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The London Connection By Elizabeth Bond Photography by Tre Dunham

The magic of a pier-and-beam home is that just about any floorplan reimagining is possible. So when it comes to remodeling, why not swap the living room, kitchen and dining room around, shell-game-style? In a recent renovation of a 1915-built home just west of downtown Austin in Clarksville, that’s exactly what Boozer Construction, Inc. did. The entire downstairs concept was redone, and the layout of the master bathroom was shuffled in a reasoned design sense to determine each element’s new destination. The homeowners decided the master bathroom could no longer remain as it was, with a wall separating it into a bathroom and vanity/dressing area, effectively darkening and shrinking the usable space. Having lived in London and, while there, coming to love the merging of old and modern design, the homeowners felt the old master bath referenced the age of the home rather than current design philosophies that would match their style and work for their daily lives. “By removing the wall between the two spaces and installing a larger window overlooking the pool, the space was reconfigured to create a spacious and modern bath, complete with a freestanding soaker tub,” said Elaine Boozer, co-owner of the family-run Boozer Construction. She collaborated with her son Rocky Slagle, who acted as project superintendent on this renovation. Slagle said he and his mother complement each other well, tag-teaming on remodeling projects. “We can come up with some pretty good ideas together to make the rooms much more functional,” he said. After the wall came down, everything involving plumbing was ripped out. And that’s where the gift of pier-and-beam homes — and also second floors — comes in. That gives flexibility to reinstall them just about anywhere within the floorplan. “Everything got moved; nothing stayed in the same place,” Slagle said. “It’s actually really easy to move everything on this kind of house.”

Fall-Winter 2015



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The toilet had been next to the shower, the pair of sinks was closed off by the wall and there was very little space in which to move. Now the sinks, tub, shower and toilet are in entirely new spots, situated in a way that makes the space much more livable. The space that had been small and limited in design options is now comfortably open, with the exception of the water closet enclosed for privacy. The homeowners were aiming for a space that felt like a tranquil, spa-like retreat. Their sense of interior style is heavily influenced by their frequent travel, during which they like to stay at stylish, design-driven hotels. They say they were hoping to bring some of that five-star polish back home to their Clarksville bungalow. All told, even the recessed lighting is straight out of a European hotel, with lowvoltage halogen spotlights. With that influencing style in mind, one of the owners, a creative director of a local advertising agency, supplied the studies for each elevation, cabinetry, finishes and hardware. “The homeowners did all the design work,” Slagle said. “We didn’t have an interior designer on this project because they picked out the color scheme and tile work and all of the details.” The company worked with the homeowners from the initial design phase through completion of the renovation project. While Boozer did her part to help shape the layout, Slagle guided the design to ensure that it stayed within the project’s budget. The homeowners say they knew their tastes were beyond their budget, so they sourced most of the fixtures and materials themselves by shopping online. They selected custom cabinets made of a dark walnut topped with a Bianco Carrara marble countertop — with undermount lavatories. The tiles of straight-stacked Bianco Carrara marble also were installed on the wall behind the bathtub and on the shower walls, giving the room’s surfaces a seamless flow. The marble was sourced from Build Direct, found at builddirect.com. The new glass shower has plenty of its own carefully selected features, including a recessed niche, a rainfall shower head and a personal hand-held shower head. They also opted to install a towel warmer, which the homeowners had discovered was a luxuryboosting accessory in every proper London hotel. The soaking tub made of solid resin is built specifically to retain heat. And, as the homeowners recall, it took a moving crew of five burly guys to get it up the stairs and into the master bathroom. That prized towel

warmer, the solid resin tub and the tub filler all were purchased from Signature Hardware, found online at signaturehardware.com. The clean-edged sconce lighting the room from above the vanity was ordered from Restoration Hardware, and crisp chrome fixtures by Grohe® that hold true to the Modernist aesthetic were selected from Faucet Direct, online at faucetdirect.com. With a steady palette of chrome, gleaming white and gray-accented marble, the updated master bathroom is now a dose of European luxury in the heart of Austin. n

RESOURCES Boozer Construction, Inc.

512.251.2237 www.boozerconstruction.com





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The Grand Plan, Phase One By Elizabeth Bond Photography by Tommy Kile

Fall-Winter 2015


Step out the back door of this West Austin home and it feels immediately inviting. Plenty of cushioned patio furniture is positioned near an outdoor kitchen and beckons you to take a seat, and the calm pool looks like it could use a splash. Yet there’s more to the space than first meets the eye. Precise design and clever storage solutions make it really work. That’s thanks to careful detail work by CG&S, an Austin designbuild company specializing in residential renovation. The patio and pool were already part of the property off of Westlake Drive when its new owners recently moved to Texas from New England, but they had bigger ideas for the back yard and hired the firm to handle the remodeling job. “The homeowners wanted more refined finishes and a traditional detailing to enrich their traditionally styled home,” said CG&S project architect Marsha Topham, AIA. She describes them as actively involved in the remodel process, including devising a stage-by-stage strategy. “The homeowners, being planners, wanted to develop a master plan which they would build in phases,” Topham said. Part of that master plan was to improve the outdoor living space by not only updating the pool finishes but also enlarging the existing covered porch to include an outdoor kitchen, more spacious dining and sitting areas and providing outdoor storage for pool toys and such. This phase became more significant than originally planned. “Initially, the first project was to be a kitchen remodel, but the owners decided that the new outdoor living area would enhance


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the way they lived and they would have the outdoor kitchen to use during the renovation of their kitchen,” she said. In that sense, building out the outdoor kitchen first would improve not only the quality of the homeowners’ back yard recreation but also their quality of life amid the remodeling period. In terms of practicalities, one such choice was to situate the outdoor kitchen at the far end of the porch to direct smoke from the grill in the opposite direction of the sitting area. And tucked behind the cooking area, the tiled splash conceals space for pool storage on the opposite side of the wall — an effort to keep the area both functional and tidy. Making the outdoor kitchen functional are features such as the gas grill, gas burners, a space-saving under-counter refrigerator and under-counter storage made of stainless steel — all by Lynx. The grill and smoker combo is made by Big Green Egg®, and the Oyster Bay white granite countertops are lined by tall stools to create a gathering spot for casual dining. The project’s style choices were guided by the concept of creating a space with traditional elements while also being quite casual. While the existing porch originally

featured more formal-looking round columns, the homeowners chose to replace them with square columns which Topham describes as giving “a friendlier, casual feeling.” The bead board ceiling above the covered area adds stylistic interest, provides much-needed shade and is punctuated with skylights to bring just enough light into the porch as well as the adjacent interior rooms. The home owners wanted to upgrade the existing concrete deck and floor surfaces by covering the existing slabs with Stone Creek concrete pavers, laid in a Versailles pattern. However, the position of the pool was out of square with the porch, which presented a design challenge. After all, there’s no costeffective way to scoot a misaligned pool. The best one can do in situations like this, is minimize the impact. “Since there is a step and channel drain running continuously between the covered outdoor living space and the pool deck, we decided the best way to minimize the condition was to lay the tile pattern square with the house and then, at the step, shift the tile pattern to be square with the pool,” the architect said. “Once the outdoor living was furnished, the skewed condition was less apparent.”

CG&S worked with Custom Tile of Austin on paving the area, including the pool coping which is where the patio meets the pool edge. The concrete pavers were selected to complement the existing brick on the home. That’s part of the design-build firm’s role in this outdoor renovation — bringing in other skilled remodel specialists. They also contracted with Pearson Landscaping to design and install the greenery surrounding the pool at the outer edges of the back yard, as well as with Sammy Falletta of Interactive Security Technologies to assist with the installation of a TV and speakers to keep pool parties going. Beyond that, the homeowners contributed specific ideas about the outcome and many design details along the way, Topham said. “We worked closely with the homeowners to refine our schematic design ideas to suit their needs,” she said. n

RESOURCES CG&S Design-Build 512.444.1580 www.cgsdb.com

FIND YOUR RETREAT with decking, hardwoods, and specialty lumber from TimberTown.

See more photos of this project at




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Advertiser Index ASSOCATIONS



Cosentino Center Austin


Parrish and Company


Anchor Ventana

www.ventanaman.com 512.388.9400

www.northamericacosentinocenter.com 512.386.7791

www.parrishandcompany.com Round Rock: 512.835.0937 San Antonio: 830.980.9595



Push Pull Open Close




Boozer Construction

Blue Chem



www.pushpullopenclose.com 512.694.7762

www.boozerconstruction.com 512.251.2237

www.cross-tx.com 210.826.7200

Realty Restoration, LLC

www.realtyrestoration.com 512.454.1661

Soledad Builders, LLC

www.soledadbuilders.com 512.306.8310

NTERIOR DESIGN Bella Villa Design

www.bellavillads.com 512.443.3200

Dawn Hearn Interior Design www.dawnhearn.com 512.930.0250

Panache Interiors

www.panacheinteriors.com 512.452.7773

www.timbertownusa.com 512.528.8112

www.bluechemservices.com 512.364.1032

Austintatious Blinds and Shutters www.austintatiousblinds.com 512.608.0302

Southern Shutters & Blinds

www.southernshuttersusa.com 512.931.0400

Texas Sun & Shade

www.txsunandshadeusa.com 512.402.0990

WINDOWS & DOORS BMC – Marvin Windows and Doors Distribution www.marvin.com 512.977.7440


www.martelwindows.com 800.609.1596

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Symmetry fall 2015  

Symmetry fall 2015