Home About Katherine The Tips Media Contact
Building a House that Makes Sense for You
Ready to rethink?
Emotional Intelligence
Getting Started
Room by Room
The Big Picture
Home Building
Green & Greener
Spotlight Homes
Frequently Asked Questions
Index of Columns









Most people assume that a major remodel means a major addition. But, if you “rethink the box,” you may be able to get the space you want simply by moving a few walls. This means less hassle, less disruption, and less cost!

“Rethinking the box” is much harder than it looks. To get what you want may require a total reworking of your floor plan. This is beyond the design skills of most home builders, and you are well advised to hire an architect who specializes in remodeling.

If you move walls in your plan and still need more space, watch out. This can be seductive. The marginal cost of each additional square foot is not so much, so why stop at 200 square feet? Why not make it 500? Those extra 300 square feet will still drive up the total cost, and, unless you’re going to use this bonus space every day, it’s an extravagance you probably can’t afford.


Ceramic Tile + Digital Tech = Stunning New Possibilities


Digital Technology has transformed the ceramics tile industry. Tiles so closely resemble natural materials like marble and wood that even tile professionals can be fooled. Wall tiles now have enough depth to create a 3-D effect that is visible from across a room and a look that can change in the course of a day, depending on how sunlight hits it.



To Refresh a Room, Unfurl Wallpaper, Imagination


Today’s wallpapers add humor with mermaids swimming in powder blue seas or optical illusion with lace that appears to flutter in the breeze. Go with a traditional pattern that reminds you of grandmother’s dining room or delight in a pattern blown up in size to become something else entirely. Here’s how to choose.



Remodeling the ‘Center Hall Plan’ for Today


Architect Duo Dickinson says homeowners today don’t expect to move up or move out. Instead, they seek dramatic change on a limited budget, and this means staying within the envelope of the existing house. Using the classic “center hall plan” as an example, he shows how it can be greatly altered inside to suit a 21st century lifestyle, but look the same from the street.



Primer on Paint Picks: Price, Performance and Pigments


A gallon of paint may cost $15, $60 or over $100. All paint is composed of three basic components — pigments, binder and solvent — but some paints will perform better than others because of exact ingredients. Most will look good on your wall initially, but differences begin to emerge when the job is finished and you start using the space. 



Home Stretch: Katherine Remodels Her Back Porch


You might think that earning an architecture degree, working as a designer in architects’ offices and reporting for years on home building would be adequate preparation for my own major remodeling project. You would be wrong.




Read the Blog
Recent Columns
Suggested Reading and Links
Katherine's Checklists
Email this web site to a friend
Site Info