houzz interior design ideas
Oct 2016 - Deck Rebuild, Chest of Drawers, Small Shop Projects, and Pre Build Coaching
Welcome back! It's autumn of 2016 and this is our first new entry in a year and a half. It's been a wild time of work, sailing, new relationships, business changes, and new ways of looking at the world - an exciting time! The theme since the last blog has been small, diverse jobs: some design, some building, some coaching, some writing and some publishing.

We'll start out with a small (8' x 24') deck on a 1970's kit house, which was rotting in places and compromising the structure of the house it was attached to. The house was probably cutting edge at the time it was built in terms of aesthetics, simplicity, and structure. By current standards, it is a bit under designed and underbuilt. Our job was to design a repair that mitigated the rot, brought the deck and adjoining house up to current structural standards, and enhanced the aesthetics.
The main timbers each had rotted sections that needed replacing. The fact that the exterior wall of the house and the roof system sat in the middle of the beam span was worrisome. The integrity of the steel posts was an unknown. The railing was obviously not up to building code standard, and the decking was a bit of a mess - 3" thick spanning 8'. We designed the repairs as follows: 1- tear out railings and decking, cut out rotted sections of timbers, scarf timbers with new wood, sister pressure treated planks over the timbers, frame in between timbers with joists on 16" centers, install new mahogany decking diagonally to prevent lateral movement, install new techno metal piers under the exterior house walls to take those loads, and install a modern cable railing system. This is the drawing that we submitted for building dept approval.
Here is the updated porch with all of the elements renovated and installed.
We designed a bathroom renovation last winter. The existing room had old pink tile from the 40's, an uninteresting floor tile, and some misc. cabinetry that didn't quite work.
The challenge was to offer a new and fresh look, and more efficient use of space, with a modest investment of time and money. In order to tone down the pink tile without replacing it, we changed the surrounding whites to shades of grey, replaced the floor tile with a nice vintage pattern, and added some interesting and somewhat modern cabinetry.
Continuing in the small project genre, there is something timeless and elegant about a well proportioned chest of drawers. This small chest is being built of cherry, with a pine panel back and drawer bodies made of poplar. Like most projects in our small shop, once the pieces of wood are dimensioned, all work is done with hand tools.
The changes that we are making in these past 2 years have increased our enjoyment, and level of service to clients. We are spending much more time coaching clients (dusting off my 20 year old organizational coach/consultant skills) on understanding their wants and needs before designing and building. This has ironically resulted in some clients deciding NOT to build, and others to change their projects to reflect their true wants and needs which turned out to be very different than they thought they were. We are focusing on coaching and design, and limiting the actual hands on building that we do in-house to small projects that are shop driven. Larger projects, such as building houses, are contracted out to trusted collaborators and as designers we oversee and consult on the building. The lesson coming through for us is that building stuff out of wood or other materials is an outward manifestation of an inner condition, and getting aligned in consciousness is where the true leverage is. Our idea is to live a wholistically balanced life in which work, play, family, friends, partners, the natural world....all build off of one another and enhance the others. The built environment is a canvas that reflects the dance of humanity unfolding in 3D. That concludes the philosophy aspect of this blog
Of course building, restoring, and sailing boats has been an important part of our lives - why wouldn't it be? We have also been scheduling small classes and one on one teaching of traditional joinery skills in our shop.
As this delicious autumn season unfolds, we are being engaged for the following services:

1- coaching related to construction projects under consideration
2- design of interesting things from houses and barns to renovations to furniture
3- building of anything that we design
4- one on one or small class instruction in both design and traditional woodworking
5- any other useful and fulfilling task that we haven't thought of yet