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

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!



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!