A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a residential bathroom remodeling project that made extensive use of universal design and won our company a coveted Contractor of the Year (CotY) award. In keeping with our clients’ needs, the finished project was tasteful, elegant, modern and made use of the latest materials and technologies. It blended with a beautiful home.
But sometimes homeowners want to make another kind of statement.
Running with a Fun Idea
The truth is, a few years back I racked up another CotY award for a bathroom project. I was renovating my own cabin in Wisconsin and I couldn’t get out of my head that a cabin should have an outhouse. We didn’t technically need an outhouse, but it was a fun idea. I decided to go for it, and took the project as seriously as if it had been a job for the company.
My goal was to transform the “outhouse experience” from a hurried, unpleasant visit to something more pleasant and relaxing. I was inspired by my great uncle, who was a woodworker. His outhouse had a paneled pine interior and was a comfortable place to be.
Anything Worth Doing…
First, I studied outhouse design (the University of Minnesota Extension Service website has a lot of ideas and background information). That helped ensure we included all of the functional things it should have, like proper ventilation. Then we overlaid the functional design elements with a colorful artistic fabric.
In addition to garnering a CotY award (in the Residential Exterior Specialty Category), the finished project was called “a green jewel that sparkles in the woods with its sloped copper roof, yellow door and red window trim” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Backyard Dreaming Space
In April, I posted about embracing the backyard as extra living space. But it can also be a place where dreams come true. Are you a gardener looking to make a beautiful statement with an artisanal shed which complements your garden and has a peg for every tool?
Or are you a writer or a painter looking for some separated, backyard studio space? Would your kids be interested in the world’s most interesting treehouse? Does your teenage performer need a stage? I know what it’s like to get a fun, out-of-the-ordinaryproject under your skin. And I know how to take them seriously and get them done.
As you sit outside with your family this Memorial Day, ask yourself, how can I make my property even more my own? A fanciful, imaginative, backyard structure might be the signature stroke for which you’re looking. We’re ready and eager to help you make it real!