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Fall 2015






A 2-story fireplace ignites outdoor living options

A bathroom and closet addition

Homeowners’ biggest remodeling worries



WITH BIG IMPACT Powder room design ideas

8 DESIGNER TALK What trend are you over? What trend are you excited about?


4 BY THE FIRESIDE A 2-story fireplace ignites outdoor living options

A MASTER SUITE Perfecting a home with a

bathroom addition


The hidden secrets of kitchen storage 14 A PLACE OF HIS OWN

Remodeling a man’s office suite 16 BEFORE & AFTER Photos of eye-popping


Let’s Talk. Share your thoughts on Choice, home design and remodeling by following us:

17 Q & A

Identifying load-bearing walls 18 HAMMER TIME Project managers discuss

homeowners biggest worries

You Can Ask Us Anything. Do you have a question for us to answer in a future issue? Let our team of Consultants, Designers, Architects and Carpenters give you the answer. Submit questions to:

CHOICE No. 3 · Fall 2015 EDITOR IN CHIEF Toby Weiss GRAPHIC DESIGN Rebecca Lay, Eye On Design PHOTOGRAPHY & COPY Toby Weiss ALL CONTENTS Designed and built by Mosby Building Arts



FALL... The Season of Memories


ave you noticed how nostalgic we become in the autumn? No matter how many years since graduation day, we can still conjure that “back to school” feeling of possibility. Seeing the first pumpkin activates memories of childhood Halloweens. There is something about the sunlight – now lower in the sky and golden mellow – that makes us remember when. It’s a delicious feeling. Fall weather charms us with warm days and crisp nights. It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up to a fire pit on the patio or a 2-story fireplace, like the project on page 4. This family had spent a summer on their old deck dreaming of how they wished to live and lounge in their backyard.

We worked with them through the fall on the design. By winter, we began construction, and come Memorial Day they were sitting pretty, outdoors. They are an inspiring example of why fall is the best time to begin planning outdoor living remodeling projects. Start now so you’re ready to go by spring! Fall is also the best time to undertake indoor remodeling projects like kitchen storage (see page 12) or powder rooms (great ideas on page 6). Indoor projects are seldom interrupted by winter weather tantrums so it’s easier to stay on schedule. Successful remodeling is all about good planning, and fall is the perfect time to do that!

This pumpkin planter prompts a chuckle every time I see it. Even if you by-pass the Mrs. Potato Head details, it’s a clever way to display fall mums.

Bill Wakefield (left) and Scott Mosby (right) accepted a 2009 TORCH Award on behalf of Mosby Building Arts. It was a career highlight to be honored by the Better Business Bureau for our customer service and strong business ethics. Know what’s even better? The BBB has honored us with another TORCH award! We are excited to attend the award ceremony in November. Read the BBB article about how we continue to earn your trust.





A 2-story fireplace ignites outdoor living options


LEFT Step out the family room doors onto the new tigerwood deck. There’s enough room to grill, sit in front of the fire or dine off to the side.



Kirkwood, MO family wished to replace their aging deck with something that looks better and lasts far longer. Other desires included a fireplace on the deck, and a below-deck patio that would entice people to use it, and would gracefully embrace their backyard. The Mosby solution is a 2-story brick and limestone fireplace that connects a new deck with a patio below. With the options of a glowing fire above or below (or simultaneously!), these outdoor spaces can be used 3 seasons out of 4. And the covered patio can easily be converted into a cozy warm space on warmer winter days. The new deck is made of tigerwood, with black metal railings. The centerpiece is the fireplace, which leaves plenty of room for a grill and two separate seating areas. Walking through the French doors onto the deck feels as if they’ve elongated their living

Take the staircase from the deck to the patio below, and lounge out in the open or a cozy space under the deck. Either choice provides a fireside view.

room, and the melding of indoors and out is invigorating. The patio level has a 780 square foot floor of concrete stamped for rough stone texture. Down here the fireplace is see-through so one roaring fire can be enjoyed from both sides. A wrap-around limestone hearth is the perfect width for sitting on to be closer to the warmth on a chilly evening or to toast some marshmallows. The covered portion of the patio is ornamented with tigerwood, brick and limestone columns and an LCD TV installed on the home’s brick wall. This outdoor family room stays dry with a ceiling that doubles as an underdeck drainage system. The family is delighted with the results, feeling as if they have a 2-story addition on their home where they can spend time even after the autumn leaves have fallen.

See more photos of this project. 5








powder room is a single-user room requiring only a toilet, a sink and a mirror. It doesn’t need the storage or square footage of a full bathroom because it’s a minimal room. This also makes it a blank canvas for playing out some of the more daring decorating ideas you’ve hesitated to use elsewhere. We don’t spend a lot of time in powder rooms , so a dramatic effect won’t wear thin, a bold color won’t become overwhelming. Instead, each visit can be a conversation piece or a quick escape from reality.

ABOVE The crowning jewel of the powderoom shown to the left is the white quartz sink and mirror frame made of semi-precious stones and backlit for maximum drama.

Conventional choices and common visual color tricks don’t apply in a powder room. If you’d like a vibrant and cheery color, this is the place for a burst of energy. Or there are no concerns about a dark color making a room smaller because it already is. So if there’s a dark metallic color you’ve been longing to use, pick a wall – or 4 – in your powder room and paint it. Tininess makes a powder room the perfect place to use luxury materials or fixtures. There’s far less square footage, so a vanity of backlit quartz with semi-precious stones becomes a budget possibility. With less space to illuminate, you can splurge on that one spectacular light fixture no matter what its price point. Powder rooms are used less often so it’s a great place for delicate or high maintenance features. Part of homeowner’s Lalique crystal collection resides in their powder room because less traffic means less worry about the mirror or pearlescent crystal bowl being damaged. Plus, the splash factor of vessel sinks is not as big of a cleanup issue as it would be in the bathroom used multiple times a day. Let your grandest design ideas live large in small powder room, and fall in love with your life-sized jewel box.

As seen on the cover, the delicate curves of the dark wood vanity and mirror frame contrast invitingly with the dark pink walls. Fabric lampshades add to the cheery glow.

A homeowner’s Lalique crystal collection continues into the powder room off of the kitchen. The delicate mirror frame and bowl sink are safe in a small room used intermittently by guests.






Assistant Designer

OVER: Mirrors that are framed with additional mirrors, as well as mirrors that have lights applied to the face or through the mirror.

OVER: Using the small 1”x1” glass tiles on backsplashes; large format tiles are becoming a fresh option.

EXCITED: Industrial eclectic stylings that mix different periods with organic materials.

EXCITED: The new fall jewel tone colors and the reclaimed barn wood look in both natural and gray, I love these looks!

DESIGNER TALK “IN THE REALM OF HOME DESIGN AND REMODELING, WHAT TREND ARE YOU OVER? WHAT TREND ARE asked the Mosby design-build team YOU EXCITED ABOUT?” We this question, and here are their answers.





Project Architect

Planner & Designer

OVER: Busy-looking linear glass and stone mosaic tile.

OVER: “Going green” just because – it has to make economic sense in the short and long term.

OVER: There really isn’t a trend I’m over. I feel we can work with anything and freshen it up, give it an eclectic spin.

EXCITED: Mudrooms and home offices because they add personal efficiency and save time.

EXCITED: Various textures that are being used in tile, furnishing and accessories. They are fun to use in conjunction with a pop of color.

EXCITED: Black and white color schemes – simplistic, but not at all boring if you choose the right patterns and textures.



This floor is an enticing example of the geometric shaped tile trend that Becky is excited about.


Laura loves the trend of using reclaimed barn wood. This stairwell to a finished basement is a fine example of using it sparingly as wall paneling.




Inside Sales/Designer

OVER: The very popular standard subway tiles set in a brick or staggered pattern. Although this is a nice, classic tile size/pattern, they are becoming ubiquitous.

OVER: Monotone, matchymatchy exteriors.

EXCITED: Elongated tiles that are 4”x24” or 6”x24”, geometric shaped tiles, textured wallpaper, wood plank ceilings, and sliding barn doors.

EXCITED: Indoor/outdoor spaces that flow into one large space when opening a mobile window or wall section. I’m also happy to see native grasses and plants showing up in landscaping.

MICHELLE BRIDGEWATER Assistant Designer OVER: Tub decks with steps into a whirpool bath.


Jill shares this room she designed as an example of using different textures in furnishing and accessories that are offset with bright pops of color.

EXCITED: Large showers with seating, niches for bathing supplies, rain shower heads and elegant tile designs.





Perfecting a home with a bathroom and closet room addition


he family loved the 1947 home they bought in Clayton, MO except for one thing - there was only one bathroom on the ground floor. Longing for a master suite, Mosby created a bathroom and walk-in closet room addition that turns their bedroom into a master suite. There was plenty of room in the backyard to build a 13 x 13 foot addition of brick that matches the rest of the home. Inside, the entry to the addition is flanked by His and Hers vanities that are at opposite ends of the room, and the shower and water closet are across from each other, as well. This placement creates a path to the walk-in closet with a window that sends natural light into the bathroom. The bathroom’s sophisticated look comes from a palette of white and grey with touches of black (in the glass tile backsplashes) and the polished chrome of all fixtures and accessories.


This master bathroom addition was completed before the family moved into their new home, so it feels to them as if it’s always been there. They were also impressed with how meticulous the Mosby crew was with keeping construction debris from the rest of the home; this dust protection allowed them to move items into the home during construction.


There was plenty of room in the backyard to build a bathroom addition.

See more photos of this project.


A benefit of the brick bump-out is it creates a court yard feel for the patio with an outdoor kitchen.


Resources Wall Color: Earl Grey by Jeffrey Lewis Vanities: Shaker style maple with

Glacier White paint finish, custom-made by Mosby Building Arts Sinks: Cube by Lacava Faucets: Highgate by Waterworks in polished chrome Countertops: Heliz quartz by Silestone Shower Tile: White Carrara marble floor; Ice White ceramic wall tile by Urban Canvas Backsplash Tile: Broadway glass mosaic tile by Florida Tile Flooring: Silver 12x12 porcelain tile by Zera Annex

This drawing shows how a bedroom window becomes a door to the room addition with a master bathroom and walk-in closet.




OPEN On the countertop, an appliance garage keeps the coffeemaker out of sight when not in use. A Lazy Susan in the corner base cabinet makes everything easily accessible. A tilt-out tray under the sink keeps scrub brushes and sponges from cluttering up the sink area.

THE HIDDEN SECRETS OF KITCHEN STORAGE The secret of a great kitchen is storage. To work in an organized, clutter-free kitchen is to know true bliss. Adding some of these hidden storage features keeps everything close at hand without ruining the beauty of your kitchen. These clever solutions are available in semi-custom and custom cabinet lines. Although the cost will rise depending on the amount of storage personalization chosen, these features make your kitchen stress-free and enjoyable to use, so are worth every penny. Mosby kitchen designers work with your budget to balance beauty with your storage needs.


CORNER CAROUSEL Use up every inch of space with corner drawers. The pleasing geometric shape also creates opportunities for organizing the smaller items that usually get lost in a junk drawer.



CLOSED In the same kitchen, the granite-topped island opens up to reveal a large trash bin right where most of the food prep happens. Next to that are two deep cookware storage drawers that hold up to 150 pounds. If you have any cast iron you know why that weight limit matters!


A 2-sided pull-out spice rack displays all the spices, with nothing hiding because it’s purposely one-bottle deep. In the corner base cabinet is convenient swivel storage. See a video clip of how it works.



REMODELING A MAN’S OFFICE SUITE FOR A POST-RETIREMENT LIFESTYLE Now that the man of the house is retired and spends more time in his office suite, he noticed the need for an updated bathroom, a better-organized closet, and he really wanted to open the shutters and let the light in, but he needed to protect the artwork from sun damage. It was time to refresh for a new phase of life. After relocating the entry between the office and closet to gain more space in the bathroom, the original wood floors were uncovered and refinished. Replacement windows with low-e glass blocks UV rays, and louvered doublehung shutters further control light. A seagrass cloth wallpaper (also used in the bathroom) gives the office a dignified, masculine air.


Marble, glass, chrome and a seagrass wall cloth imparts a masculine grace to the expanded bathroom.


The reconfigured closet with floor to ceiling wood cabinetry leads to a luxurious bathroom. Marble flooring with radiant heat extends up the shower walls (with a shampoo cubby) and bench seating. The maple vanity with granite countertop has LED lighting tucked into the base to serve as a nightlight.

Located across from the couple’s master bedroom, the refreshed and tailored office suite has become both his command central and relaxing get-away.


Strips of LED string lighting tucked under the base of the bathroom vanity is the ultimate night light.



Now that the sun can shine in, there’s relaxing views to the backyard. Built-in shelving provides storage and display, making the office clutter-free and casually professional.

A PLACE OF HIS OWN See more photos of this project.


The walk-in closet connected to the bathroom serves as an organized dressing area that makes getting ready a pleasure.



AFTER Beautiful accessibility with custom woodwork, a multi-level island for cooking and eating, and plenty of hidden but convenient storage.



A mid-century ranch house kitchen was separated from the rest of the open spaces.

The kitchen was wheelchair accessible but not as efficient as it could be.

BEFORE AND AFTER A fun aspect of remodeling is comparing where you were to where you’ve arrived. Let’s take a look at some kitchen transformations.

AFTER Artful and airy cabinet walls with plenty of glass and a pass-through to the dining area completes the open feel, respects the homes vintage.

BEFORE A 1970s kitchen was out of synch with the owner’s lifestyle and tastes.


AFTER The eat-in kitchen now has seamlessly blended zones for dining, coffee and cooking, with smart appliances controlled from a smart phone or tablet.


& QA We want to remodel our second floor bathroom and add recessed shelving and a medicine cabinet. We would have to cut some studs to do this. Should I be concerned about this? And how I can I tell which ones are load-bearing walls?

An often repeated saying at Mosby is, “When in doubt, don’t cut it out!” It is best to be safe and stay on the side of caution and consider every wall as load-bearing until it has been confirmed by a professional.

above or parallel to a basement beam, typically wood, steel I-beam or a basement wall must be considered by a layman as directly load bearing. Stair well openings are also typically loadbearing points.

A load-bearing wall is one that bears the weight and force of a structure, and transfers that weight to the ground. Load-bearing walls must be positively identified before starting any home improvement that includes removing or altering a wall (like your bathroom project), door or window opening. Identifying load points and structural walls in a house requires an accurate assessment of the structure, building materials, and an awareness of the local building practices. This structural assessment is best done by a licensed architecture, engineer or myself. Do not attempt this yourself.

These are very general rules of thumb, and one must understand how the house was originally constructed to prioritize structure points in a home. There may be other load-bearing walls that are not so obvious to the layman, which is why an on-site assessment by a building professional is crucial before beginning this type of remodeling project.

Structural walls on two story homes with gable roofs are commonly the center wall running parallel with the length of the house and the front and rear walls on the exterior. However a house with a hip roof structure suggests that all the exterior walls are bearing walls. Any wall, on all floors, directly

You Can Ask Us Anything.

A load bearing wall can be removed, but a new system for transferring the weight has to be built. The most common way to solve this is by building a new header and post structure to go in place of the wall. So, a load-bearing wall can be reconfigured to accommodate a new interior design, as long as the identification and construction is done by building professionals with a deep understanding and the experience to change important structural elements.

Rich Layton is a Mosby Senior Home Consultant with more than 35 years of remodeling experience. Learn more about Rich.

Mosby Building Arts provides a consultation service to accurately identify load-bearing walls in a home and help map out the best way to proceed on a remodeling project that may require their alteration or removal. We’d be happy to take a look at your home. Thank you for your question, Rich Layton

The red lines show the load-bearing walls of this particular home. But there’s plenty of variations in St. Louis homes, so have yours inspected before cutting into walls.

Do you have a question for us to answer in a future issue? Let our team of Consultants, Designers and Carpenters give you the answer. Submit questions to:




Mosby Project Managers handle all of the construction details of a remodeling project. Since they and their production team spend a lot of time in your home, let’s get to know them. We asked the Mosby PMs this question, and here are their answers.



Project Manager

Project Manager

I don’t think you could pin any one thing as the biggest worry. Our integrity, maintaining our timeline, meeting expectations, dust protection and respect of their home are all key fears as we get started. I feel like it’s my responsibility – along with their Consultant and Designer - to allay many of those fears on the front end. Once the job starts, I make sure my Lead Carpenter continues with dust protection and maintaining the timeline.

Homeowners want to know how the project will impact their current routine, and what kind of inconvenience they will be dealing with. We are honest with them about the things that can be trying and how I manage those steps, like making schedules and forecasting where additional help will speed up certain tasks. I introduce them to their Lead Carpenter so they know the person who will be in their home daily. During the project, we try to quickly overcome any questions or unforeseen items that invariably arise.


Exteriors & Solution Sales Production Manager The worry I encounter the most is that their project will take longer to complete than anticipated. The best way to stay on track is to have all the materials ordered and in our possession before we begin construction. And I continually go over the details of the production schedule, giving them progress reports on what we’ve completed and what’s next.



Project Manager Homeowners worry about the mess and dust. Rightly so. I make sure we cover everything, and block off the work area from the rest of the home. And cleaning up at the end of each work day is part of our routine.




Design-Build Production Manager One of the client’s biggest worries is that we are going to find unforeseen issues once construction has begun. And honestly, it does happen. But we will always find the best and most cost-effective way to fix the issue right the first time. Staying calm and having confidence in our ability to troubleshoot is the key to keeping surprises under control.

Click for details.

Mosby Radio Listen & Learn or Q&A over the airwaves


Painting Supervisor I think the questions that I answer the most are: What caused this problem? And how do we fix it properly? I always spend as much time as it takes to educate the homeowner about the probable causes, and share the details of what we will do to fix it before we begin the work. Knowing the details eases their worry.

The Mosby Building Arts Home Improvement Show Saturdays • 11am - 2pm Host: Scott Mosby

Right At Home With Rich Saturdays • Noon -1pm Host: Rich Oris


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See the best interior remodeling projects in the Winter issue.

Choice Magazine, Fall 2015  

CHOICE features residential remodeling stories, before and after project photos and insights from the designers, architects and project mana...

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