Rethinking Useful Spaces

Almost everyone has a space in their home that could be so much more. This was exactly the case at the Pfohl residence. Before we began, their living room was just a closed off space in the back of the house. It had low ceilings, not enough natural light and a sliding door that led to the patio. It wasn’t an inviting space.

So, we re-thought the whole thing.

First, we vaulted the ceilings. Then, we removed the vinyl slider and replaced it with a modern garage door with clear windows so they could close off the new living space, but it also wouldn’t feel like a solid wall when it was closed. We added more windows on the opposing wall, and then we installed parallam collar ties (super trendy!) for structural integrity, but also to bring some character into the space. And finished with insulation and drywall.

Now, it’s a blank palette and a truly functional living space.

No matter how they choose to paint and furnish the space, they are bound to be more comfortable and satisfied with their new indoor-outdoor living room.



Restoring and Remodeling in Mission Hills

Some of our favorite projects over the years have included the element of restoration. And when it comes to Mission Hills, there are a lot of properties that have beautiful features or materials that simply need to be restored. They need some TLC and purpose in a new design.

We recently completed a restoration and remodel in Mission Hills (on a house that was 100 years old!) that successfully blended new with repurposed old for a one-of-a-kind retreat for a busy young professional.

Here are some of our favorite features, starting with the “La Cantina” doors that open up the entire wall…


She-Shed Reveal

The La Mesa She-Shed is complete and the owner is happily enjoying the space. It’s functional, creative and inspired, and most importantly has offered her a place to go to get work done and be separate from her family without a commute.

We hope you enjoy the finished photos.


She-Shed Siding

She-Shed Siding & Temperature Control

The La Mesa She-Shed is moving right along.

We’ve finished the siding and have moved inside to take care of the details that will make this office a comfortable space to work year-round: installing a wall A/C unit and insulation. Considering there are 4-5 hot months and 2-3 chilly ones, it’s absolutely necessary to invest in these features.

She-Shed SidingShe-Shed Air Conditioning UnitSan Diego Luxury She-Sheds Require Insulation

Up next: the San Diego luxury She-Shed will get drywall and texture. Stay tuned.

La Mesa She-Shed, Progress Pics

Our client in La Mesa just had a baby and no longer has room in her house for her home office. However she has room to spare off the end of her usable backyard space which slopes down into a canyon, so we decided to build a she-shed there. This really is the optimal situation because she can work undisturbed, even when the kids are home. Her commute will be 10 strides out the back door.

Check out the progress pics and let us know what you think. We’re just a couple weeks from completion, so we’ll post the final photos soon.


Thinking about adding a She-Shed to your home? Give us a call. We’d love to talk about your vision.


Spa Inspired Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Reveal: Inspired by the Spa

This bathroom started out as a poor excuse for a master bathroom. It was small and ill-configured to the point that only one person could be in it at a time. We pushed the wall out 15″ into the front yard, added a pocket door to save space, and reconfigured the entire room.


Creating a bathroom that makes you feel like you’re at a day spa is as easy as paying attention to the little things. Here are some little things that make a big difference:

  1. Pocket door with opaque glass panels. With a small bedroom and a small bathroom, swing space for a standard door was hard to come by. So, we installed a pocket door with flair. The opaque panels ensure privacy, but elevate the look of the entire space.
  2. The color palette. This couple really wanted a clean and simple color palette, but the bathroom isn’t boring because we used a lot of rich texture from the shower surround to the tiles on the floor.
  3. Custom glass doors with minimalist attachments. Curtains and sliders each pose their own challenges, but most of all they’re a design challenge. Installing custom glass doors with minimalist hinges and attachments does 2 things: keeps the design clean, and actually stays clean. Because there are no tracks or seals for moisture to get trapped in, this bathroom is sure to remain low-maintenance.
  4. Speaker fan. You need to have a fan no matter what, may as well make it sing. The fan selected for this bathroom has a bluetooth signal so you can wind down to classical tunes or get jazzed up for a night out.
  5. Backlit mirror. For a little more than a standard mirror, you can upgrade to one with backlighting, much like you see in department store dressing rooms or nice hotels.
  6. Custom sandblasted window framing. While we could have framed the window just like the door or any other window in their house, we chose to make it a feature. This custom sandblasted Douglas fir adds an element of rustic refinement. Complemented with feminine decor and you have a winning combo.

Laying Down Laminate? Don’t Go Cheap on your Underlayment!

Laminate flooring has come a long way. Affordable styles at your local big box store can offer a 50 year guarantee on residential use. That’s a great guarantee. And, there are many more options on style than there used to be, so more people are considering this as their flooring option.

If you decide to go with laminate in your home, there’s one thing you need to remember: don’t go cheap on your underlayment! The underlayment is a mat that goes beneath the laminate and because it isn’t something you can see, it’s easy to be tempted by the cheapest roll on the rack. Don’t be deceived. The underlayment, if you select the right one, provides multiple benefits to you including:

  1. Moisture control/barrier – you don’t want moisture working it’s way up through the slab and into your laminate. It can reduce the lifespan and leave you with blemishes that aren’t easily fixed.
  2. Sound dampening – laminate has a tendency to give off a louder echo when you walk across it than softer materials like wood. It also doesn’t do much for absorbing natural sounds of the home. Your underlayment can mitigate both issues.
  3.  Structural integrity – a durable and resilient underlayment ensures a durable and resilient tongue and groove system.

laminate flooring tips