The Green Builder in Little Rock, AR

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Home Design / Custom Build / Live in a Green World near Little Rock, AR

Posts Tagged ‘remodel’

Wineroom excavation in the Heights

Monday, August 8th, 2011

How best to use a basement?  Make it a wineroom of course.  One client in Little Rock, Arkansas is taking full advantage of his basement to store his wine at the correct temperature and provide a relaxing place to taste it.  The house is stone, so the wineroom’s walls will be of similar mass and color.  We have played with various floor finishes such as Italian marble and brick pavers.  The grande descending stair has gone through transformations of steel and glass to castle stone.  In the end, it will all be lit with high end lighting to display bottle, stone and Chihuly.

Schematic sketches for the stair and ceiling.

Glass front cabinets display wine by fiber optic lighting in the wine tasting area.

The wine storage room is highly temperature and humidity controlled and includes a work table for opening crates.

Wine dinners

An option for a wine dining room.

The before shots of a major renovation near Pinacle.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Shop now. Master bath to be.

Garage and shop now. Family room to be.

I love the beginnings of a project.  The existing conditions tell you nothing of what the remodeled space will look like.  You have to squint and imagine.  I scratch out plans and show them to the clients, but the project tells the better story.  Piece by piece, we remove the old structure.  Element by element, we weave a new architecture.  We plan on a warm contemporary feel.  We want to choose green materials and energy strategies.  Still, the reality of the project is the actual work. Only the studs and openings feed back to our sense of space.  They inform us on what to do next.  They lead my design in new directions.  I can’t wait to see how the story progresses!

Mod Backyard Garden Pavillion Remodeling

Friday, July 1st, 2011

The rental apartment behind the house does not have to be second hand architecture. Here is one design that takes the small living space of an apartment attached to the garage, and makes it into a modern garden pavilion.

This was behind my house in Houston.  Originally, the apartment was dark and dank. I wanted an architecture studio and guest house that was green and lush.  We opened up the bathroom and kitchen with floor to ceiling windows and wrapped it with a fenced garden. Now, light pours through the windows onto the shiny new materials of the bathroom and filters through the sleek kitchen into the open plan living room. On the floors we installed cork to make the space warm and soft and cozy. In the bath, we installed black tile to contrast the brightness and in the shower, we used polished river washed pebbles to massage the feet and give you more of a feeling that the bathroom is outside and spa like.

The quarters were upgraded with new privacy fences made from cedar and Brazillian cherry culls from another construction project.

The studio has cork flooring and an open plan.

 

The open kitchen is mostly from IKEA.

River wash pebbles line the shower floor.

Rennovation and update of Georgian House in Houston

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

EcoHouse has just finished a remodeling of a brick home in Houston, Texas. It needed some updating and general repairs and some basic painting. The old windows were leaky and needed badly an energy upgrade to Low-e Argon filled vinyl windows and the doors needed weather striping. We insulated the attic and made a variety of weatherization improvements. Mostly, we gutted the kitchen and bathrooms and built new kitchen and bathrooms. The quarters or garage apartment needed serious work. We gutted the entire apartment and added a new kitchenette, fenced yard and fully glassed bathroom.
The house is for sale now . See listing.

 

We added a stone path and all new EnergyStar windows and peach paint to reflect the peach and apple orchard up front.

 

The whole house was refreshed with Sherwin Williams antique white wall paint with no VOCs. French doors were added.

We gutted the kitchen and job-built cabinets and laid granite tile counters. A new French door leads to a new covered patio.

New stainless steel appliances and a wine rack.

Glass front cabinets on either side of sink allow for display.

Full pantry cabinets and a powder room are off to the side.

We cleaned up the brick and replaced old square windows with full arched windows to open up the sunroom.

Both upstairs baths were gutted and retiled and refitted with cabinets and fixtures.

Martha Stewart provided the mirror over new, real granite counters.

The soaker tub was replaced and crema marble added.

 

Hillcrest guest house remodeling

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

A client in Hillcrest has a very special guest house that needs a little updating.  The lead paint on the siding is special indeed and will require special handling according to EPA standards.  EcoHouse will remove and rebuild the guest house on the same foundation to preserve the yard and the oak tree roots.

Look for design sketches and progress pictures as we remodel.

Springtime porch with movie

Friday, May 6th, 2011

We developed the springtime porch design.  This Federal styled house demanded a rear porch that followed its symmetries and simple grandeur.  A seating area and outdoor fireplace was centered on the interior living room, one corner is canted back to allow for vehicular traffic, while double columns resolve the geometry to center the door.  Detailing with stained  concrete, matching brick and herringbone chimney caps gives the addition a sense of belonging to the original house and tries to uplift the original design with openness and dignity.

 

Outdoor fireplace in porch addition.

Porch addition seen from backyard

Want to see the design in motion? Welcome. See the movie on YouTube. Come on up to the porch and have a seat beside the fire. Coffee?

Also, you can look back to the original design sketch.

 

Sculpting walls of a modern home

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
Master Bedroom for modern custom house

Latest design for master bedroom remodeling.

We have revised our design for this modern home. The black floors have been replaced with rich caramelized coconut flooring and the drywall ceilings and walls have taken a life of their own. The house always had punched openings in thick walls. We have given this room an updated spin with sculpted niches and light alcoves. A new study area graces the sitting room over looking the gardens.

Simple trim carpentry for a Craftsman Bungalow

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Door header trim detail

We are trimming out a bungalow in the Capital View neighborhood of Little Rock and want to keep the original and traditional trim style, but want to use the economical and green materials of modern construction.  The proportions of a simple trim for a window and door gives the openings their elegant appearance.  We place a 1×4 on the jamb casings, a ledge trim and a 1×6 header casing.  The change in width of material gives the doors and windows a taller look.  The edges are square to give a more strong, less frilly look. The ledge trim hides the joint between materials, and allows the eye to overlook minor imperfections in an old remodeled wall.  Trim carpenters have always sought to make the best of aethetics with the most economic means and materials.  Being green follows the same historical trend.

The difference between age-old and modern trim carpenters, besides their awesome tools, is their use of modern manufacturer’s materials to help in the process.  Instead of consuming large stands of old growth forest to harvest high grade wood to make the door jambs, smaller rapidly renewable trees are used for smaller pieces of wood that are finger joint cut and glued together.  This conservation practice is both green and economic.  The casing trim is even finer bits of wood compressed into medium density fiberboard, MDF.  It has the benefit of not warping or having knots.  It takes the intended paint very nicely.

We have installed traditional 3/4″ wood hardwoods to match the existing front rooms.  The boards are laid first, so that the trim and doors are placed precisely and level.  We will come back later, after the painters have cleaned up their mess, to sand and finish the hardwoods.  Overall, we will achieve a handsome traditional look to match the historical neighborhood, without much fuss or unnecessary expense.

Craftsman wood carpentry details

EcoHouse Architects’ latest bungalow design under construction

Friday, March 4th, 2011
Hillcrest Little Rock bungalow remodel designIn the heart of the Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock Arkansas, a bungalow home is being restored, remodeled and enlarged.

Hillcrest of Little Rock has always been a rich neighborhood full of art, music and enterprise.  One local musician is restoring a bungalow right near her haunts in Hillcrest on N Palm St. But before she could move in, the entire house needed work.

The structure was in good shape and the rooms proportioned well, but time was cruel to this house.  It badly needed restoration, energy upgrades and a new second story addition.  Rather than making a big box house according to the pervading style of inner city development, the owner decided to keep the lines of the original roof.  Two bedrooms and a family room with barrel vaulted veranda were proposed upstairs.  New insulation, windows, doors and cement siding have already been added to replicate the original style.

You can see the original sketches for the design on here: EcoHouse youtube channel

Progress is well under way on the interior.  Designs for another second story house addition have just been completed nearby on N  Spruce St.

Remodeling a home I designed and built years ago

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

There are not many modern homes out there.  When commercial clients of mine asked me about buying a modern home, I told them about one I had designed and built years earlier for some other clients.  The old clients were moving and needed to sell.  Everyone was happy.  Old clients moved out.  New clients moved in and bought new furniture.  Happy everyone was, until the second child came along.  Now they needed more room.  This will be one of those strange happenstances when I get to remodel one of my original designs.

You can see photographs of the original design on my website. www.ecohouseconstruction.com In fact, the home occupies the left most spot on this blog’s titleblock.  It has wood siding, cement stucco and concrete block exterior.  In its nature, the house is simple in its construction, complex in its inter relationships, and rich in garden views on a tight lot.  To change the balance of the forms posed a deep challenge to me.  I love a challenge.

I closed in the porches that the clients have never used and made the master bedroom and guest room larger.  Windows span the entire height from floor to ceiling to view the garden and the courtyard with similar panes as used in the living room.  Drywall ceilings are removed to expose wood trusses and mechanical systems.  Siding and cmu finishes are brought into the rooms to give the feeling that they are outside rooms, but the finish materials are upgraded to match the luxurious feel of the inside: siding goes from pine to walnut, concrete block goes to travatine tile in a running bond.  Floor finishes are upgraded and lighting is upgraded.  Overall, the rooms become more open and polished.

This is still a study of possible finishes.  We have much to develop in terms of selection and budget, but I am glad that the design is coming together.  View the presentation animation on youtube.