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!

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!

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!