These photos are not by me!  They are by Scot Zimmerman Photography.  I only copied them over and converted them from ProPhoto colorspace to sRGB for web purposes.  It's also not my furniture, and only some of the art is mine, as the photos were taken just before the remodeling people showed off their thing, which of course includes using their own staging furniture, etc.

Cover of Utah Style and Design Magazine

Some of these photos are on the cover of the Winter 2014 quarterly magazine.  The architect and interior designers really did a good job!  It's kind of cool that our remodel made one of their "three hot houses" list.

The Plan

When I bought the house I wanted to redo the kitchen.  It needed to be opened up to the living/dining area, and made much more functional.  In ten years I had somehow not got around to it.

One of my brothers came out for Thanksgiving, and just before we left to go visit my other brother, I found the cats outside, even though the cat door was closed.  I discovered that a piece of glass had broken off the bottom of one of the large view windows in the living room, and the cats were using it as a new cat-door.  I could replace the glass for $700ish, or I could replace the windows.  Given how poorly the house was insulated, including the cold that just poured off the aluminum-frame single-pane windows in the winter, I started searching again for window replacements.

One of the things I had learned in an earlier attempt to upgrade the windows, though, is that double pane (double glazed) windows have some maximums: height, width, and surface area all have to fit within some constraints.  In particular there is about an eight foot limit on height, but the living room view windows were just over ten feet tall.

Last (definitely not least) I now have a Serious Girlfriend and wanted to clean up and expand the place -- especially the garage -- so that she could move in.  The then-existing garage was too small to fit the car I was buying, too.

The Architects

So, I hired Renovation Design to help out, because last time I started on the remodel project, I stalled out before selecting kitchen materials, much less figuring out what to do with the windows.  They in turn recommended Lisman Studio to help us choose materials, colors, and so on.  They also gave us a list of five general contractors.  We particularly liked two of them and ended up choosing Russel & Co to do the construction.  (I switch from "I" to "we" as she got more into the project, as we got more serious as well.)

The Best Laid Plans

As demolition started we found out a few things.  The biggest surprise was that the existing garage and office space were never built properly in the first place, and had no real foundation.  The house originally had a carport, and someone had simply put some walls around it to make it into a garage and living space.  This forced some redesign (and a lot of new expense) and we ended up just keeping two and a half walls and the roof structure.  (The roof itself was completely uninsulated, so for another $25k, the house now has a new R-36 roof.)  Thus, what had been a "remodel" turned into a complete "rebuild", really.

End Result

I now omit six months of effort and skip directly to the photos...


The front door is a custom design -- I drew something up in Google Sketchup
(and I think they also finally saw the garage doors we had chosen) and Pella built it from that --
which the Pella sales guy says they have now sold a bunch more as "the Torek".

living room

The staging furniture is much nicer than my own. :-)
(Although we're replacing the sagging couch, so now, who knows?)

You can't really tell but right outside the glass doors, there's now a backyard shade structure that echos
the structure (also not pictured) at the front door.  I think once the weather turns warm so that we can use it, it will be really nice.

The portrait of the lady is a litte too much for me, but the zebra chairs are nice.

It was snowing all afternoon and evening of the open house.

The guy who put up this brass thing (and the wooden slats ceiling) did it back in the 1970s.
He was the second owner of the house.  (We had the ceiling restored and the lights re-done.)
He came by the open house with photos of this from the 1970s.

Dining room chandelier

Breakfast bar, and view into kitchen

Garage, with Karma

Master Bath


steam shower

cabinets and drawers


The art on the wall here is actually mine, but we've moved it to the living room.

Island sink, also for filling pots for cooktop.

The island is huge, I did not realize how huge it was going to be!

The bookshelves here are now holding cookbooks (rather than, or maybe eventually in addition to, objets d'art).

When standing at the cooktop, you can see into the living room and out to the mountain.

Backsplash glass-tile


Lamps in the library area.

Unfortunately there's no good shot of the bookcases.


Well, I use it as an office, but it's also either another master suite, or a rec-room/bar, or an art studio, or an in-law apartment.
It's a very flexible space!

Laundry Room

The laundry room has a Secret Passage to the master bedroom walk-in closet.