Pocket Doors

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As cute as they sound, pocket doors can be one of the most useful, space saving elements when renovating your home. A pocket door is a sliding door that disappears, when fully open, into a compartment in the adjacent wall. They’re there when you need privacy and gone when you don’t. We have installed many pocket doors throughout many of our projects here at Skelly Home. They have saved a lot of space for homeowners and helped them be much more practical in the conservation of space. Can you find the pocket door in each of the images below?

What are the benefits of having a pocket door in my home?

In a bedroom or living room, a swinging door may slam into nearby furniture and make it difficult to open the door fully.  In a closet, the swing of a door can mean fewer shelves and less hanging space inside. In these instances, a pocket door can be the best option. Did you know…installing a pocket door rather than a hinged door can add an average of ten square feet of floor space!

When you have a pocket door installed, you no longer have to worry about keeping a door closed or losing space with an open doorway. Also, some spaces like a closet only require privacy sometimes. When privacy is not needed, the pocket door can remain open and create a much more spacious feel to the room.

This type of door doesn’t just save space—it can also solve problems, particularly in tight spots. For example, a pocket door might be used in a small half-bath or powder room that simply doesn’t have enough space for a door to swing in or out. Therefore, the use of a pocket door could eliminate the need for stealing space from a nearby closet or similar area. This is a big payoff!

So what do you think?  Do you love pocket doors?  If you have a pocket door in your home, what do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments below!

NW Hills Bathroom Makeover

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When we say we’re “tackling a room” it’s usually a figure of speech. But saying “tackling a room” in this bathroom renovation is pretty close to being a literal description! We demoed out the hallway cabinet, bathtub, shower surround, shower fixtures, vanity and lighting. The drywall was also demoed out for the new bathroom layout and pocket doors. The toilet was moved to a different location to accommodate the new bathroom design. The tile was demoed out for a new flooring installation. In short—no corner was left untouched in the transformation of this space!

TOP ROW B & A: The current vanity plumbing was moved to accommodate the new sink and faucet location. Afterward, the new sink and faucet were installed. BOTTOM ROW B & A: We then moved the shower plumbing to the new wall and began the installation for the shower fixture and trim pieces. A new shower pan with curb was built into place. Fabrication and installation of hardiboard and waterproofing were set for tiling. Framing with schulter edging was done for the shower niche. New tiling was also laid for the shower floor and shower walls up to the ceiling.

TOP ROW B & A: The current vanity plumbing was moved to accommodate the new sink and faucet location. Afterward, the new sink and faucet were installed. BOTTOM ROW B & A: We then moved the shower plumbing to the new wall and began the installation for the shower fixture and trim pieces. A new shower pan with curb was built into place. Fabrication and installation of hardiboard and waterproofing were set for tiling. Framing with schulter edging was done for the shower niche. New tiling was also laid for the shower floor and shower walls up to the ceiling.

PRO TIP: Shower niches are game-changers when it comes to in-shower storage. When renovating your bathroom, it's easy to let this detail slip your mind. As you design your new shower, think through how you use the space and what niche needs you might have.

For the drywall work, new drywall was installed and textured. The texture on the ceiling was worked to a Level 5 finish, allowing wallpaper installation. The Level 5 finish is required to achieve the highest degree of quality by providing a uniform surface that does not have any kind of superficial blemishes that will show through the wallpaper. (BOTTOM RIGHT): Wallpaper was then installed on the ceiling of the toilet room.

For the drywall work, new drywall was installed and textured. The texture on the ceiling was worked to a Level 5 finish, allowing wallpaper installation. The Level 5 finish is required to achieve the highest degree of quality by providing a uniform surface that does not have any kind of superficial blemishes that will show through the wallpaper. (BOTTOM RIGHT): Wallpaper was then installed on the ceiling of the toilet room.

Much of the beauty of a newly renovated space has to do with proper construction of the things underneath…the things you don’t naturally see. For example, we wired and installed new bathroom can lights, light fixtures, and 2 scone lights. All of the new lighting contributes to the aesthetic of the design. For the flooring, once we moved the toilet we brought in fresh concrete to level out the floor and prep it for the amazing new green tile pattern that contributes so much life to this newly renovated space. New baseboards and door trim were set throughout the bathroom floor.

And the final step: PAINT. In addition to the bold, newly painted black custom cabinetry, the walls, ceiling, trim and doors were prepped and painted to give a full repaint and fresh new feel to the entire bathroom and hallway wall.

Are you a visionary? Can you imagine what you would want for a “new” bathroom in your home? Do you know you need help? Contact us today! We can put you in touch with a designer that is perfect for your space, and give you a complimentary estimate on your home today!

Designer: Natalie Howe Design - Photographer: Sophie Epton Photography

A Complete Transformation in NW Hills

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Northwest Hills is one of Austin’s most sought after neighborhoods—its schools, its convenient location to Downtown, and its rolling hills with developed trees and landscaping all contribute to its popularity. The only problem with this particular house, built in 1977, was that it was in need of some major updating!

Our clients contacted designer Christian Ales to draw up the design plans, and Skelly Home got to work on the construction of this project. The result, as you can see from the before and afters, is a fresh, clean palette and an updated look that will make this house sought after for many more years to come!

Many rooms in this house received a renovation, including the living room, wet bar, kitchen, master bathroom, and laundry room. Take a look at the before and afters and see what a big difference a renovation can make!

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The mantle served as a feature focal point in the living room, per Christen Ales’ vision. She wanted to continue showing it off and enjoying it, but also ensure its practicality for the homeowners. The current fireplace tile was demoed out and replaced. New wood shelves were installed to replace the existing glass shelving. Electrically, outlets were added for the TV and scone lights were added overhead to make the built-ins appear elongated.

The full interior of the home was repainted, including all the walls, trim and doors. For the flooring, we demoed out the current carpeting in the house & installed a new birch toned carpet + carpet pad. The hardwood flooring was kept the same but was sanded down, stained, and then sealed with a poly finishing coat.

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My favorite part of this renovation was probably the smallest renovated area - the wet bar! New cabinetry doors and drawers for the lower half and the uppers received custom floating shelving, giving it a night light appearance. A wine fridge and ice maker machine was installed along with decorative light fixtures. To finish off the detailing, Silestone countertops and backsplash were added.

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In this project, the entire kitchen was demoed out. New appliances were installed, including a new sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Wiring was done for decorative lighting over the peninsula. The existing can lights were re-spaced after the drywall was installed. Speaking of dry walls, all new drywall was fitted after removing fur downs and the entire ceiling. The ceiling was then raised to open up the room and bring in more light to the room.

The entire cabinetry was replaced with new, storage optimizing cabinetry. This included ceiling reaching cabinets, a trash pull out and pull out shelving. White oak detailing was used on the shelving as well as around the vent hood. Silestone countertops were then added on top of the gold accented cabinetry. The finishing touch of this room was the 18’’ backsplash tiling that reaches around the vent hood and up to the ceiling. The same tiling was then added to the sink area surrounding the window.

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Gutting out the master bathroom was our next focus. We said goodbye to all the doors, vanities and the shower area, which would later become part of the closet. A pocket door was installed for the toilet room. New closet doors and entryway doors were added as well. A shaker style double vanity set was in the works, topped off with quartz Fiji countertops along with matching cabinets over the toilet.

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And finally, the laundry room. Although the renovation to the laundry room was mainly cosmetic, many changes were made to maximize the space in the laundry room. In order to do this, the framing had to be reworked, and a pocket door was installed. Two new recessed can lights were wired to draw attention to the repainted cabinetry and accented floor tiling.

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What about your home? Have you been remodeling your space in your head for many years? Now is a great time to turn those dreams into reality!

Zilker Modern: From Builder Grade to Custom Finishes

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Have you ever wished your home looked and felt a little more like you?

One of our recent renovation projects accomplished that very goal—to transform a standard builder grade home in the Zilker neighborhood into a dream custom home for our clients. Etch Design created the custom design plans, Skelly Home Renovations executed the construction and installation, and the result is a one of kind, modern design!

In the kitchen, dark cabinets were paired with bright white, creating a striking look that is especially popular in modern design, thanks to Etch Design Group. To start off, we built a custom floor to ceiling center cabinet to replace the current unit. Next, we sanded and sprayed the existing kitchen cabinetry + new custom cabinetry to a dark gravel gray. We installed Maestro Quartz on the perimeter countertops & backsplash, and gold polished pulls on the cabinetry. Finally, custom lighting replaced builder grade lighting, and Cambrian Black 2cm countertops were installed on the island to complement the white cabinetry underneath.

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Haven’t you heard? Wallpaper is making a huge comeback! The homeowners were on board with Etch Design when they proposed this trend and the featured variety of styles that transformed this home into a custom one of a kind space. One of the main features of this renovation plan: custom wallpaper! Notice in the rooms below how custom wallpaper adds character and authenticity to a space!

Back Powder Room: First, the existing mirror and light fixture was demoed and hauled off. Next up was some drywall work. Before installing any kind of wallpaper, make sure your walls are smoothed out and prepped properly! After prepping, we installed this eccentric geometric new wallpaper and the half bath ceiling received a new coat of paint and ceiling trim. To finish out the room, a new mirror that perfectly fits the space replaced the existing one.

Back Powder Room: First, the existing mirror and light fixture was demoed and hauled off. Next up was some drywall work. Before installing any kind of wallpaper, make sure your walls are smoothed out and prepped properly! After prepping, we installed this eccentric geometric new wallpaper and the half bath ceiling received a new coat of paint and ceiling trim. To finish out the room, a new mirror that perfectly fits the space replaced the existing one.

In the front powder bath, we installed wainscoting, which provides the perfect mix of function and style by adorning the lower half of walls while also protecting the wall from scuffs and smudges. The shiplap trim was then painted a dark gravel color that matches the newly installed print wallpaper.

In the front powder bath, we installed wainscoting, which provides the perfect mix of function and style by adorning the lower half of walls while also protecting the wall from scuffs and smudges. The shiplap trim was then painted a dark gravel color that matches the newly installed print wallpaper.

Yet another bathroom received a brand new look when we smoothed out the walls and installed this fun patterned wallpaper!

For the laundry room, the design team decided to move from the walls to the floor for inspiration. A little tile can go a long way to transform a space and make it look like a custom project. Skelly Home demoed out the current flooring in the laundry room and replaced it with black and white accent tiles. The flooring is the star of the laundry room— it provides the pattern and interest, while the walls and cabinets were painted more muted colors that do not compete with the flooring.

Are you getting ideas how to transform your space into more of a custom home that reflects your style and interests? Skelly Home can help you turn that vision or design plan into reality! Contact us today to get started on an estimate for your home!



Zilker Contemporary--A Kitchen And Master Bath Renovation

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Renovations for this project began at the door. Literally! The front door and back doors were replaced, and the interior renovation consisted of the kitchen and the master bathroom. A full interior repaint of the walls and ceilings was done, along with all of the trim. Becca Stephens designed this renovation, and Skelly Home had the honor of executing her design plans.

The skeleton of the kitchen was too awesome not to keep. It just needed a modern facelift. New doors and drawer fronts were installed to the already existing cabinetry; they were sanded and painted a deep navy blue color. Becca’s kitchen design started with us demoing the current island countertop and installing a quartz waterfall countertop.

One of the best features of this kitchen is the mosaic backsplash that was hand cut and selected, making this backsplash a one of kind piece of artwork selected by Becca Stephens Interiors. The electrical outlets were replaced to a white color in order to match the tiles. Throughout the first floor, the hardwood wood floor was demoed out and replaced by large tile, as well as new baseboards.

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Signs you may be standing in a custom kitchen, top from L to R and clockwise: fun, built-in storage, a combination of storage options: open shelving and closed cabinetry, custom tile patterns and designs, and custom cabinet design!

Signs you may be standing in a custom kitchen, top from L to R and clockwise: fun, built-in storage, a combination of storage options: open shelving and closed cabinetry, custom tile patterns and designs, and custom cabinet design!

The second space in the house to receive a cosmetic renovation was the master bathroom, which was completely flipped. The existing cabinetry was repainted, and wallpaper was installed. Electrically, two lights were installed above the new custom glass-front medicine cabinet, per Becca Stephens’ design plan. Changing out the edges of the master bath tile to bullnose tile was the next step. A custom frameless glass shower surround and shower door was added to the already existing shower to finish out the project!

Do you have dreams for your kitchen or master bathroom? Let this project inspire you to begin thinking what you can do in your space! Contact us for a complimentary walk through today!

Design: Becca Stephens Construction: Skelly Home Renovations Photography: Sophie Epton

Open Passageways... A Complete House Transformation in the Arboretum Area of Austin, TX

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Some clients in the Arboretum area of Austin hired Allison Jaffe Interior Design to tackle a number of limitations in their recently purchased home. In the kitchen, several areas needed to be tackled: the tile flooring was outdated, the ceilings were dropped, the amount of storage left something to be desired; and, most notably, the entire space felt closed off due to a staircase that was surrounded completely by drywall. This staircase limited sight lines and gave a closed off feeling from the minute you entered the front door. Once the design plans were final, they were passed off to Skelly Home to begin the execution of construction.

Our personal favorite part of this project is the transformation of the stairs. Allison Jaffe worked with the existing stair location while creating an open concept with glass and posts, therefore being able to see directly into the kitchen, while also reflecting the natural light with the glass. The bold staircase is wrapped with stained white oak and has glass inserts and steel brackets. It is a perfect design combination of wood, metal and glass. Construction wise these stairs were a large portion of the project as each post is structural and essential to the framework of the house.

Opening the sheet rocked stairway up greatly increased the visibility from the kitchen all the way to the front door while adding light to the space and a much cleaner aesthetic to the design.

Opening the sheet rocked stairway up greatly increased the visibility from the kitchen all the way to the front door while adding light to the space and a much cleaner aesthetic to the design.

The kitchen storage deficiency was perfectly designed by Allison Jaffe and team. The plan included removing the sliding glass doors and inserting a window instead to obtain more countertop space. This enabled a seating space for two people as well as a pass-through window for the exterior eating space. The kitchen cabinets are flat-panel, full overlay with a combination of paint grade and stain grade white oak.

The kitchen was fully gutted, re-configured and rebuilt. The sliding glass doors in the kitchen were removed and the countertop was extended so there was seating space for 2-3. This renovation allowed for a pass through window in the kitchen and a countertop on the exterior for eating space when it’s nice outside.

The kitchen was fully gutted, re-configured and rebuilt. The sliding glass doors in the kitchen were removed and the countertop was extended so there was seating space for 2-3. This renovation allowed for a pass through window in the kitchen and a countertop on the exterior for eating space when it’s nice outside.

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The guest bathroom space is now much more spacious and inviting in this home as well. The toilet is concealed by a pony wall that allows for privacy between the shower and the toilet, and the floor to ceiling storage was demoed to make the bathroom feel larger and extend out the vanity space. We did a tub to shower conversion, transforming the tub area into a beautiful black and white shower. The vanity is white oak with an open shelving system at the bottom. All of these details work together to make the guest bathroom space much more spacious and inviting.

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The end result is a bright, open, welcoming space that feels modern and new. What design or construction challenge would you like to solve in your home? Do you already have a design plan but still feel unsure about the construction or how the end product will turn out? Contact Skelly Home today to begin the conversation!

Design: Allison Jaffe Interior Design Construction: Skelly Home Renovations

An Eanes Kitchen Reno

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The kitchen is one of our favorite rooms in a home. It is a place to gather, eat, entertain, do homework, and so much more, which is why it is one of the most requested rooms to renovate in our clients’ homes.

The homeowners at Eanes wanted a refresh for their kitchen, so they hired Becca Stephens with Becca Stephens Interiors to create this design! Becca and the homeowners decided they wanted to remove their existing sink and to install a new farmhouse style sink centered with a view out of their window, but they did not want to replace their existing cabinetry as it was in great condition. Instead they opted for a fresh coat of paint for the existing cabinetry. For Skelly Home it was a pretty simple process; we removed a section of cabinetry and re-built it to accommodate for the new apron sink.

In addition to a beautiful new sink and a fresh coat of paint, we installed a beautiful Taj Mahal quartzite island, quartzite countertops, and an elegant new tile backsplash. Outlets and switches were relocated underneath the cabinetry for a seamless new tile backsplash.

The butler’s pantry also received a refresh, with fresh paint, new countertops, a new sink with a brand new water filter, new designer pendant lighting and a mounted mirror to add interest and warmth to the space.

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The result was a brand new kitchen and butler’s pantry that will be a gathering place for many years to come!

What are you dreaming for a new kitchen area? Contact us today to get started on your renovation!

Design: Becca Stephens beccastephens.com Construction: Skelly Home

Skelly Home & The Jeremiah Program

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A message from Diana:

In December 2018, as Skelly Home approached our two year anniversary, I felt proud of the business I had built, the jobs I had created, and the wonderful clients we have served. However, I also felt a longing to serve the Austin community further. Specifically, I wanted to find a way to support females in Austin and help increase female representation in the Austin workforce.

This led to our discovery of The Jeremiah Program. The Jeremiah Program actively strives to end the cycle of poverty by specifically supporting single mothers with young children through a two-generation approach.

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The Jeremiah Program supports single mothers who are actively pursuing post-high school education by providing

  • safe and affordable housing

  • early childhood education and childcare

  • empowerment guidance

  • life skills counseling

  • a safe and supportive community

Through first hand account, those running the Jeremiah Program and those supported by it are incredibly hardworking and inspiring, as well as deserving of any support the Austin community can lend.

Since discovering this organization, I cannot help but feel invigorated by the inspiration the Jeremiah Program women exude and by the opportunity Skelly Home now has to grow alongside and support this amazing group.  

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To kickstart our relationship together, I wanted to use my  birthday to help draw attention to this beloved group. Today is my birthday (yay) and for the 30 days following my birthday, Skelly Home will be collecting donations for the Jeremiah Program (bigger YAY!).

The Jeremiah Program is in need of both monetary donations as well as itemized donations for welcome baskets (used to greet new mothers as they enter the program). Through April 19, donations will be collected at our office. Please see the list below for donation requests and reach out to Lily@skellyhome.com if you have any questions. If you would like to donate digitally, we have set up a GoFundMe campaign, found right here.

I envision Skelly Home and The Jeremiah Program sharing a relationship for many years to come. I’ve found myself even more passionate about our business growth than I was a couple months ago (which I didn’t think was possible). If our success can help promote the success of young Austin mothers, then I know positively that all of our hard-work is paying off.

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To get started this month, Skelly Home will be donating five sets of Cuisinart non-stick pots & pans for new mothers. This is a common need of new mothers upon move-in but often cannot be provided due to cost.

Jeremiah Program donation request list:  

Household Items

  • Dish Drying Racks w/ plastic bottoms

  • Sets of Silverware

  • Trash cans with lids

  • Full Size Sheets

  • Twin Size Sheets

  • Pots and Pans (lightly used is also fine)

  • Cutting boards

  • Plastic kid-safety outlet covers

  • Cabinet safety latches (lightly used is also fine)

Cleaning Items/Toiletries

  • Toilet paper

  • Paper towels

  • Eco-friendly cleaning supplies

  • Eco-friendly laundry detergent

  • Sponges

  • Eco-friendly shampoos, conditioners, body wash

  • Feminine hygiene products

Fun Stuff

  • Nail files (Large ones with designs on them), nail polish, manicure sets for moms

  • Bath bombs or pampering items for moms

  • Coloring books with crayons for the kids

  • Children's books

  • Bikes for the kids

Misc.

  • Plastic food storage containers (new)

  • New re-usable grocery bags


Gift Cards

  • Visa/MasterCard

  • Walmart

  • Spin Zone (laundromat in neighborhood)

Cabinetry 101

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Here’s everything you need to know when making decisions about cabinetry during your kitchen renovation.

Please remember, if you ever have questions about anything regarding renovations or construction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Instagram is usually the best way to get a quick answer.

When replacing, updating, or relocating cabinetry, you’ll want to consider:

  • Paint grade VS. stain grade

  • Wood species

  • Cabinet features

Find out a little about each below!

PHOTO SOURCE: Our “hills” reno project  (check out the rest of the kitchen right here)

PHOTO SOURCE: Our “hills” reno project (check out the rest of the kitchen right here)

PAINT GRADE VS. STAIN GRADE

You will need to a make the decision of whether you would like your cabinets painted or stained. In terms of aesthetics, the choice might be simple for you. However, in terms of practicality, you should make an informed decision.

Painted cabinets tend to hide dust, resist water, and provide durability, however they will also show a bit more dirt, last fewer years than stained cabinets, and an overall perfect look is harder to achieve (chipping/cracking can occur).

Stained cabinets will more easily attain a perfect look, show less dirt, last longer, and better highlight the natural grain of the cabinets. On the flip side, stained cabinets will be less water resistant, might wear down with thorough cleaning, and are prone to streaks/stains if spills or water are not cleaned up immediately.

Lastly, you should know that a price difference comes with purchasing paint grade cabinets versus stained grade cabinets. Paint grade cabinets are usually lower quality wood (since they will be painted), smoothed out to create a polished painted look and therefore cost less than stained grade cabinets. Stained grade cabinets are created with higher quality wood, highlighting dramatic grain patterns and marks.

For more information, here’s a great resource for painted cabinets vs. stained cabinets.


WOOD SPECIES

Typically, hardwoods are recommended over softwoods for creating cabinetry because these wood species can withstand wear and tear for years without damaging. Hardwoods such as Maple, Cherry, Ash, Hickory, or Oak are all great choices.

If you plan to stain your cabinets rather than paint them, then you should put even more consideration into your wood species choice as different species can create different grain patterns and aesthetics. Here’s a great resource for comparing the physical look of each species.

We usually build our painted custom cabinetry using maple or birch because they are durable hardwoods and also cost efficient without being cheap in quality or construction. For stained cabinetry, we can’t resist saying that Walnut is one of our favorites just because the final product is always so beautiful.

CABINET FEATURES

If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen or bathroom, then you’ll enjoy choosing the features of your cabinetry. Features such as drawer trays, spice rack pull outs, appliance garages, hidden trash can storage, and more aim to make your life easier and increase the functionality of your space.

Unfortunately we don’t have photos of all the cabinet features we have installed, but here are some sample photos of a few of our favorite cabinet features:

Day dreaming about new cabinetry yet?? We can relate!

Let us know if you have any questions at all!

A Kitchen on the Move--Relocating & Refreshing a Condo Kitchen

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This beautiful downtown Austin condo had so much going for it. Beautiful ceilings and architecture throughout, a great location, and good bones. However, the kitchen had room for improvement. It was located in a very cramped space and simply was not functional where it was in the entry space of the condo. There was a wrapped post in the middle of the island, very little countertop space and no natural light, which made food prep very challenging. Due to the concrete walls and ceilings in the condo already, the client worked with an architect and Allison Crawford who opted to keep the industrial style throughout the new kitchen plans and design. The final product has an antique mirror backsplash, dark navy blue cabinets, and lots of very accessible black granite countertop surfaces! Check out this amazing kitchen transformation below!

The previous kitchen was cramped and not very functional. However, moving the entire kitchen to the living room meant relocating electrical and plumbing, which is a logistical challenge in any condo space!

The previous kitchen was cramped and not very functional. However, moving the entire kitchen to the living room meant relocating electrical and plumbing, which is a logistical challenge in any condo space!

The newly relocated and renovated kitchen provides a welcoming space that is easy to use with lots of countertop & storage space!

The newly relocated and renovated kitchen provides a welcoming space that is easy to use with lots of countertop & storage space!

The selection and installation of materials kept with the industrial feel of the kitchen. Here are some that contributed to the overall design aesthetic: Appliances— Bosch Black Stainless Steel; Countertops—Honed Black Leather Granite; Backsplash—Custom Antique Mirror Panels; Faucet—Delta Matte Black; Cabinetry paint—Farrow & Ball Railings; Pulls & Hardware—Antique Brass or Matte Black. Allison Crawford, Designer.

The selection and installation of materials kept with the industrial feel of the kitchen. Here are some that contributed to the overall design aesthetic: Appliances— Bosch Black Stainless Steel; Countertops—Honed Black Leather Granite; Backsplash—Custom Antique Mirror Panels; Faucet—Delta Matte Black; Cabinetry paint—Farrow & Ball Railings; Pulls & Hardware—Antique Brass or Matte Black. Allison Crawford, Designer.

This kitchen condo renovation teaches all of of us to rethink the spaces in our home. Do you have a room that would make a better kitchen than the one you are currently using? Are there walls in your current space that could be removed to open up a more natural traffic flow in your house? What are you dreaming for your space? Contact Skelly Home today for a free walk through!

Designer: Allison Crawford Design

Photos: Sophie Epton Photography

The Hills--Constructing a Dream Kitchen/Living Area

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At the top of the homeowners’ wish list were better storage, higher end finishes that still kept with the traditional style of the home, a new appliance garage, more durable countertops (quartz), warmer floors, and consistent flooring throughout the main living areas. The homeowners initially contacted Allison Jaffe @allisonjaffeinteriordesign for the new design plan, and then Skelly Home Renovations for the construction.

The homeowners in The Hills wanted to stay in their existing house but had some issues with their kitchen. Their first step was finding a designer that understood their vision, this was Allison Jaffe. The kitchen was built around a double island concept which created a clunky prep space instead of a smooth work flow. The cabinetry in the kitchen was very heavy in cabinetry closer to the dining room instead of throughout the kitchen, resulting in inconsistent and inconvenient storage. Finally, the kitchen needed to be updated from all of the builder grade cabinetry, countertops and backsplash that were selected when the house was originally constructed. Skelly Home now needed to bring Allison’s and the clients vision to life!

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The Hills renovation consisted of a full kitchen gut. The two islands in the kitchen were demoed, which created one large centerpiece island. Adding custom shaker-style perimeter cabinetry, which extends all the way to the ceiling, added a ton of storage space. Allison designed the cabinetry to have a few layers of beading, which added to the intricacy of the kitchen. The lower navy blue cabinetry combines with the upper white cabinetry to create depth and warmth in the space.

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Top Photos: The front of the fireplace got a facelift with new limestone tile. Plus, above the fireplace is a wood feature that extends all the way up to top of the 14-foot ceiling and adds interest to the room!

Bottom Photo: The countertops are quartz, and the backsplash is subway tile with an eye catching arabesque tile feature above the cooktop. We added a gas stove top with propane tank, new ceiling lighting + decorative lighting as well as under cabinetry lighting. Beautiful posts were designed to be added on the end of the island to add to the traditional feel of the space. Finally, all of the floors were replaced to engineered hardwoods to create a consistency throughout the living area, plus the renovated area received a fresh coat of paint.

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The result was nothing short of perfection! A kitchen and living space that is functional and beautiful, and one that these homeowners can enjoy for many more years to come. Bravo Allison!

Designer: Allison Jaffe Interior Design @allisonjaffeinteriordesign
Construction: Skelly Home Renovations @skellyhome Photographer: Sophie Epton @sophieeptonphotography

Ready to make your dream kitchen or living area a reality? Click on the link below to get started!


Our Favorite Countertop Options (for any budget!)

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But I love them all…

When you start dreaming about renovating your kitchen or bathroom, countertops are usually the very first thing you envision ripping out and replacing! Like many other areas of renovation, once you begin shopping around for a new countertop, the options are endless and the nicest options begin to stick out as the ones you don’t want, but you need.

Today, we’re going to share with you our favorite countertop options. There’s a great countertop out there for every budget, it’s just a matter of envisioning which is best for your space and your household’s needs.

QUARTZ

For those that love the look of marble but want the ease of a low-maintenance countertop, quartz is the perfect choice! Quartz countertops are durable, easy to clean, easy to maintain, and look great in every space.

Seen above, quartz countertops are man-made, so there is little variation in the batches. The sample you pick will likely resemble the final product.


QUARTZITE

Similar to quartz is quartzite. Unlike quartz, quartzite is a natural stone, and therefore will have more variation among veining and coloration from batch to batch. Quartzite is durable and is actually a bit more heat and scratch resistant than quartz.

Above you can see some images of our favorite quartzite, Taj Mahal Quartzite.


GRANITE

Granite is quite literally rock-hard, and the great thing about granite is that even if it does chip, repairing granite can be done easily and can usually be a small DIY project. More variation of color and veining can be found in granite than in quartz, so there’s lots to choose from.

We don’t install granite often, but above you can see some of our favorite granite slabs.


MARBLE

Marble is naturally heat resistant, and it’s a wonderful choice for a countertop surface. Every slab of marble is different, so the look of marble in your home is truly unique. Marble is also usually stained and/or sealed for extra protection.

We typically don’t suggest installing marble in kitchens because it is so porous.


TRAVERTINE

The Colosseum was created form Travertine, so if durability is a question, you’ve got your answer right there. Travertine countertops are available in cross-cut or vein-cut slabs, and both look great. Travertine tops can also be used in outdoor areas, like around a fire-pit or as a countertop adjacent to your BBQ.

Travertine is a bit more pricey, but it’s long-lasting and will add value to your home.


LIVE EDGE WOOD SLAB

This is a personal favorite here at Skelly Home. Sean and I actually used live-edge maple in our first condo after we got married. A live edge countertop creates a focal point for your space. Live edge slabs allow you to see the natural knots, curls, and marbling of the wood grain as well.

There is a bit more maintenance required for this look, but we personally think it’s worth it.


Do you have any questions about which countertop will work best in your home? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, even if it’s only to ask one small question! 

Incorporating Wood Into Your Home Renovation

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Long gone are the days of every house being absolutely covered wall-to-wall with dark, high-gloss wood paneling. We let that drab fad live on for way too long, but wood is making a comeback now, and we’re totally on board with it!

Wood fixtures and features create

a modern look and increase functionality.

Don’t be scared of utilizing wood to create fixtures, focal points, or design aspects in your home. With the right information, you can make selections that enhance the aesthetic and more importantly, the functionality of your space.

Here’s a few of our favorite renovations where wood played a leading role, along with some tips and tricks on what to keep in mind when making choices for your renovation.  

This functional stair-end offers shelving and design (walnut).

TYPES OF WOOD

There are over 60,000 species of trees globally, so choosing which type of wood to use for your home is not always an easy choice. In our renovations, we often use burl, white oak, walnut, or birch because of their durability and longevity. If you want to paint the wood, then go with a paint-grade option such as, maple or birch.


To learn more about different types of wood, here’s a great slideshow from Real Simple.

A dark stain was used on this white oak to create a modern, masculine look.

TYPES OF FINISHES

Your selection for a finish will make a big impact on the final product of your wood. There’s a few points to keep in mind here: appearance, durability, and maintenance.

Stains and oils will create a soft, warm finish with a matte sheen, but they may need to be reapplied monthly or annually depending on wear.

Shellac, varnish, and lacquer will create a durable coating that does not need to be reapplied, but the finish is more noticeable with a semi or high gloss appearance.

The unique grain pattern you see on this beautiful burl wood is actually caused by a disease in the tree. The result is gorgeous, but it makes this wood selection rare.

BUDGET

We recommend deciding on a budget before coming home with 38 beautiful different samples of wood.  Some woods are rare and gorgeous but come at a high cost. And always remember the golden rule of wood, do NOT over-sand the wood. This can ruin the wood and make it unusable.


Take a look below at some of our favorite renovations using wood and please reach out to us if you’re interested in something similar for your home!


Bouldin Beauty--A Whole House Renovation

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Have you ever looked around your house and had the thought, “One day I’d like to make this place look more ‘like me?’”

Our homeowners in the Bouldin Creek area recently contacted us and said that they wanted to do just that. They wanted to create an entirely different (and cohesive!) style in their home on a much grander scale. A renovation from top-to-bottom, inside-out.

Our clients knew that they wanted their home to be redone quickly after they moved to Austin so that they could live in their dream home and enjoy all that Austin has to offer. They did not want to be bogged down by doing things themselves or to be disrupted by different iterations of remodels throughout the years. Finally, our homeowners really wanted one person as the general contractor to manage the work and problem solve in order to complete the work on their behalf. They had zero interest in finding contractors for each individual task or project.  Skelly Home Renovations jumped in as the general contractor our clients were looking for, and together, we began construction of the designer’s plans!

Several surfaces were updated & refreshed in this house, including but not limited to:

  • All new paint

  • Custom floor to ceiling burlwood piece in which the TV hangs

  • Upgraded modern kitchen hardware

  • New bathroom fixtures and countertops

  • New interior and exterior light fixtures

  • New laundry cabinets

  • Bathroom cabinetry lightly sanded and re-stained for a natural wood color

  • New tile in the master bath & laundry

  • Exterior paint

  • Bold wallpaper

Take a peek into the amazing transformation of this property!

Up first were the bedrooms: fresh paint, a wallpaper accent wall, new bedding and lighting, and layered textures & patterns all helped to create warm, relaxing bedroom spaces.

Up first were the bedrooms: fresh paint, a wallpaper accent wall, new bedding and lighting, and layered textures & patterns all helped to create warm, relaxing bedroom spaces.

A fresh coat of paint, geometrically patterned wallpaper and new lighting transform the new guest bedroom (above) and corner spaces (below).

A fresh coat of paint, geometrically patterned wallpaper and new lighting transform the new guest bedroom (above) and corner spaces (below).

New wood flooring was installed throughout the main kitchen and family room. To create warmth and a focal point to the family room, we installed burlwood pieces behind the mounted TV and a rich patterned wallpaper on the sides. Fun lighting, new flooring, fresh paint and much more work together to transform the heart of this home.

New wood flooring was installed throughout the main kitchen and family room. To create warmth and a focal point to the family room, we installed burlwood pieces behind the mounted TV and a rich patterned wallpaper on the sides. Fun lighting, new flooring, fresh paint and much more work together to transform the heart of this home.

Clockwise L to R: The aerial view from the top floor; a close up of the built in bookshelf storage space; a cle tile patio transformation; a bathroom transformation.

Clockwise L to R: The aerial view from the top floor; a close up of the built in bookshelf storage space; a cle tile patio transformation; a bathroom transformation.

In the end, our clients now have a place to call home that truly looks and feels like them.

According to our clients, their favorite part of the renovation is, “Our entire house! We're living in our dream home! Thanks to Skelly for perfectly executing our designer's plan. We always say that our house is WAY cooler than we are! It's incredibly hard to pick one thing that's our favorite, but it has to be our main room with burlwood center piece that's complete with bold wallpaper and pendant lighting. It's incredibly spectacular and completely unique to our home. We are so lucky to get to enjoy it every day!”

What would you like to renovate in your home to have it reflect more of your needs or personality? Call Skelly Home and we can make it happen!

Renovating Our New Office--A Leap into the World of Commercial Renos

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October 18th was the grand opening of Skelly Home’s new office space on South Congress. Sean and I bought the office space at the bottom of the Public Lofts over a year ago with the hopes of renovating it into a beautiful yet functional home for our business and for our staff. To see our vision for the space become a reality was such a special moment for us and a great reminder of what we do here at Skelly Home Renovations—making owners’ dreams for their spaces come true! First we needed to take into account all of our various needs for storage and work space, and then it was time to create a design plan for our blank office shell. Once the plan was made, it was time for our amazing team at Skelly Home to begin the construction! See below for some of the before and after shots of our inviting new office space.

Laying out the design of the raised floor space and constructing the walls in our new office space.

Laying out the design of the raised floor space and constructing the walls in our new office space.

We decided to use clé tile for the raised floor design. (Above) Laying out the floor design and playing with the pattern. (Below) The finished space!

We decided to use clé tile for the raised floor design. (Above) Laying out the floor design and playing with the pattern. (Below) The finished space!

To create a functional work space + add some architectural interest, we added these wood panels, floating desks and storage units. The angled wood ceiling breaks up the monotony of the square room and the wood paneling in general adds a nice warmth to the office that we love!

To create a functional work space + add some architectural interest, we added these wood panels, floating desks and storage units. The angled wood ceiling breaks up the monotony of the square room and the wood paneling in general adds a nice warmth to the office that we love!

To create architectural interest in other places, we used a faux white brick wall panel in our lounge area (above) and created a wood design on top of wallpaper in our entryway (below).

To create architectural interest in other places, we used a faux white brick wall panel in our lounge area (above) and created a wood design on top of wallpaper in our entryway (below).

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The finished result is a new office space that we can all be proud of. PLUS, we now have more of an experience base in commercial renovations and have taken on other commercial projects to expand this side of our company. Do you have an office space or commercial building that you are interested in renovating? Let the Skelly team make your dreams a reality today!

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Creating a Pool-Side Bathroom

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Our client wanted a bathroom easily accessible from their backyard pool, which meant taking part of the garage to create a small bathroom that could be accessed by both the outdoor pool and by an indoor laundry room pocket room door.  

Because it is a pool bathroom, one critical design feature was to fully tile the walls all the way up to the ceiling.  This is something to consider when you are redesigning your new bathroom.  Ask yourself, “How much water exposure will this bathroom get?” and then add the appropriate amount of wipeable, washable spaces accordingly!  Due to the heavy volume of WET traffic this pool-side bathroom will get, the client chose to tile all the way up to the ceiling—a smart choice!

This bathroom look is complete with open shelving, a new mirror, sink, and fixtures, 2 new recessed can lights and a new vanity light. A simple black and white color palette make this bathroom a timeless classic for many generations of pool users to come!

This bathroom look is complete with open shelving, a new mirror, sink, and fixtures, 2 new recessed can lights and a new vanity light. A simple black and white color palette make this bathroom a timeless classic for many generations of pool users to come!

For more bathroom inspired renovations, click here:

Beautifying the Bathrooms

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The bathroom is one of the most critical rooms in the house.  It is where we prepare ourselves for the day ahead and where we wind down before bed.  It is where we go to get clean, although many times it can be one of the most overlooked, uninspiring, and under-cleaned rooms in the house!

Having a comfortable bathroom space helps us prepare for and navigate our days in a beautiful, fresh, relaxing environment.  The homeowners in this Lewis Mountain house decided they wanted to up their bathroom game, so they enlisted Skelly Home Renovations to remodel both their guest and their master bathrooms.  The results, as you can see below, are fresh, modern, and fantastic!

In this Kids’ Bathroom, the homeowner wanted to keep the existing vanity but update the countertop. the bold blue paint added to the vanity updated its appearance. This rest of the bathroom was completely gutted and renovated with a new mirror, tub, TIle, fixtures, paint, and tile flooring.

In this Kids’ Bathroom, the homeowner wanted to keep the existing vanity but update the countertop. the bold blue paint added to the vanity updated its appearance. This rest of the bathroom was completely gutted and renovated with a new mirror, tub, TIle, fixtures, paint, and tile flooring.

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In the master bath above, all walls, tile, cabinetry, shower pan, tub, mirrors, trim and flooring were demolished and rebuilt.  A new Japanese soaking tub with freestanding faucet was installed next to a beautifully remodeled shower using 24 x 48 porcelain shower tile expanded all the way to the window. The glass bricks in the window were replaced with a new custom picture window with privacy film.  Four recessed cans lights were wired and installed for additional lighting.  A floating vanity, all new paint, fixtures, and finishes complete the look!

What design elements would you include in your dream bathroom remodel? When you see an idea you like, begin to make a list. Then, call Skelly Home Renovations, and we will help you make your dream bathroom come to life!

For more inspiration and ideas, please visit our other bathroom remodel projects here:


A Boss Bachelor Pad

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This bachelor pad in the Zilker neighborhood of Austin, TX, underwent a complete transformation.  The kitchen, master bathroom, and guest bathroom were all completely gutted.  The only item that remained was the existing red oak hardwood floors on the downstairs level.  They were in pretty good condition, so we just bleached and refinished them with a matte top coat.  Join us on a tour of this amazing new space…

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Full floor to ceiling kitchen cabinetry was custom built in a walnut, matte finish to create an appliance garage in the kitchen complete with lots of storage and a walnut banquette.

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The island waterfall countertop was built in a walnut, matte finish with a patterned cle tile added on the back of the island for a fun design element.

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The inside of the island has double waterfall quartz countertops and caviar colored paint on the cabinetry.  The rooms are tied together with a walnut stair railing, walnut bookshelf and pool table area with matching caviar paint.

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In the downstairs bathroom, we converted the tub to a shower complete with subway tile and brass fixtures.  The bathroom is surrounded by black, shaker style wainscoting, which contrasts well with the vanity made of white oak cabinetry and marble countertops.  Cle tile was added to the floor for design and interest. 

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The upstairs bathroom was transformed into a beautiful spa retreat complete with a curbless shower, freestanding tub, marble countertops, and white paint.  The vanity was built with walnut cabinetry and push latch hardware.

If you could gut your kitchen or bathroom, what would your dream space look like?  Skelly Home Renovations can help you see your dream realized!  Press the button below to get started on your reno today!

Like to see more projects? 

Curbed vs. Curbless Showers

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A current trend in home bathroom renovations is the installation of a curbless shower.  But just what exactly is a curbless shower?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a curbless shower for your bathroom reno? 

A curbless shower is very simply a shower that has no barriers for entry or exit.  Curbless showers are a bit tricky to install because the slope of the drainage floor needs to be slightly lower than the level of the floor surrounding the shower in order for all the water to drain and flow to the right place.  Let’s look at some other advantages and disadvantages of curbless showers…

Advantages

1.     Everyone can get in them.   The elderly, small children, and everyone in between can get in and out of a curbless shower with ease.  Simply put, there are no barriers for entry, so curbless showers are functional for any age or range of mobility. 

2.     Easier to clean-Just as it’s easier to get into curbless showers to shower, it also needs to be mentioned that curbless showers are much easier to clean for the same reason—ease of accessibility. 

3.     Curbless showers display a beautiful tile pattern more clearly.  Because curbless showers don’t have to have a door or be fully enclosed, it is much easier to feature a beautiful tile pattern in the wet area of the shower.  In fact, a door can be removed all together in some curbless showers.

Disadvantages

1.     Not as much privacy.   Curbless showers are not for the very modest, as the open concept does increase visibility and reduce privacy.

2.     Curbless showers do not have a curb!  Therefore, it is easier for water to get out and onto the rest of the floor, especially if there is a problem with the drainage.

3.     Again, since the shower is a more open concept, there are more places for heat to escape.  If you tend to be cold in the shower, a curbless shower might not be the best option for you! 

Below is an example of a curbless shower vs a non curbless shower we have recently installed.  Which is your favorite?  Please comment and let us know! 

Curbless Shower

Curbless Shower

Curbed Shower

Curbed Shower

Meet Birdie, our soon-to-be rentable RV!

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If you’ve read my blog or seen my Instagram, you know that two of the things I love the most are renovation and travel.  One day, I had the thought, “How can we combine the two?” and the idea came to me. What if we were to buy and renovate RVs that we could travel in, and that we could rent out to others to stay in while in Austin? With my entrepreneurial husband, putting that question out there was really all it took.  The concept was born, and the search began for our first RV.

The very next day, we found Birdie up in Fort Worth and by 5 pm, we had driven off the lot with her!  As a side note, this is very much the way that Sean & I operate. We have an idea; we find the right match, and we act on it right away!  We are pretty fast decision makers when we both have the vision and know what we want.

Sean decided that he could do a large part of the renovation work himself, so from November 2017 until now, this has been our weekend side renovation project!  The first step was to gut the entire inside of the RV. Demo day is always rewarding and fun. It feels great to get rid of the old and make way for the new vision to be accomplished. We also wanted to make sure that the mechanics of the RV were renovated and running properly, so BIrdie spent some time in the shop getting all her mechanical systems updated as well.

From L to R clockwise: The original interior of Birdie; Demo Day; completely gutted; Sean pleased with a long day of hard work

From L to R clockwise: The original interior of Birdie; Demo Day; completely gutted; Sean pleased with a long day of hard work

Next, it was on to the renovation!  Sean installed new flooring, and reconfigured the water tank system that was housed under the bed.  We also epoxied the shower floor and painted the entire interior. Now, Birdie is sitting at the cabinet maker getting some custom cabinets made for the kitchen.  Once the cabinets are in, we will continue with the rest of the kitchen and bedroom install.

Top L: Prepping for painting; Bottom L: Spraying paint; Right: All 3 of us (Birdie, me, Sean) covered in paint!

Top L: Prepping for painting; Bottom L: Spraying paint; Right: All 3 of us (Birdie, me, Sean) covered in paint!

Top L & R: Sean installing the floors; Bottom: Enjoying a job well done!

Top L & R: Sean installing the floors; Bottom: Enjoying a job well done!

We are so excited to see progress on Birdie and can’t wait for you to meet her.  Why the name Birdie? Because birds live a carefree lifestyle, and they have everything they need to travel wherever they want to go! We hope you love renting Birdie as much as we have loved renovating her! 

Top: A man and his machine! Bottom: Weekend renovation fun!

Top: A man and his machine! Bottom: Weekend renovation fun!

I can’t wait to put the finishing touches on Birdie in the coming months.  Look for some bird inspired decorations and fun pops of color in my coming posts!  

Interested in following Birdie’s progress?   Click below to be notified when rentals of Birdie and our other RVs are available!  Or you can also follow us @Tinkins on Instagram!