In the Madness of March

We have been neglecting you, dear BLOG. It's not because we're tired of you; we're just tired. You see, this month has been a busy one. Not only do we have two remodel jobs to work on, but we have our model homes collection, which is constantly seducing our attention. Oh yes, and a full-time job as well. Plus a birthday. Plus licensing exams.

March '09, you are one crazy rascal! We'll be in touch...

March 2009


0901 - New Interior Views

Here are some updated views of the interior for the Family N. remodel.

Master Suite Plan
Master Bedroom Suite Plan

Interior View 8
Master Bedroom

Interior View 9
Master Bath & Dressing Room

Interior View 6
Living Room View

Interior View 5
Kitchen, Media Room, & Guest Room #1


0901 - REVISED Floor Plans

Aside from adding a bit more detail to items like the casework, fireplace, and stairs, the floor plans are just about ready to move into the Construction Document phase. Next step: interior model updates and development of exterior models. Stay tuned.

0901 - Floor One

0901 - Basement


0902 - Remodel for Family D+T

Existing Home

Existing 3

Owners D+T are looking to add an additional bay to their existing one car garage, creating an in-line tandem garage with a single 10-foot garage door opening to the street. Its a great way to provide a two-car garage, while de-emphasizing its impact on the front elevation of the home. The Owners commissioned a remodel about 15 years ago that added a master bedroom suite over the garage as shown in the photo above. Additional space for the master bedroom will be captured when the garage is enlarged.

The home has an absolutely spectacular view of the Boise Foothills and Bogus Basin, as there are no homes across the street to obstruct the view. The master bedroom suite is the optimal location to appreciate this view, and the owners want to have a space that will facilitate this. A new private deck or terrace will accompany the remodeled master suite; a place for leisurely outdoor relaxation, engaging with both the street as well as the panoramic view.

The third component to the remodel (as far as the front elevation is concerned) is the entry. The existing home, like many ranch homes, lacks a welcoming entry. We will be looking at adding a front porch to the home, creating an inviting entry that also improves the front elevation.

We have created two models to help visualize the integration of the addition with the existing home. This exercise will also help us determine a scope of work for this remodel. Remodels can be tricky projects to keep on budget, and identifying a clear scope of work is one way to ensure that the project doesn't gradually get bigger and more expensive than originally planned.

Option #1 is smaller in scope; incorporating the addition with the existing home's roof lines and massing, without adding anything additional simply for aesthetic purposes. Every built item is justified by its function.

View 2_2

View 2_3

View 2_1

View 2_4

View 2_6

Option #2 is a step further, blending the addition into the existing home by way of adding an overbuilt roof that will give a more traditional symmetrical roof line. This will also create the impression that the addition has always been a part of the home.

View 1_2

View 1_3

View 1_1

View 1_4

View 1_6

Our goal for this project is to simply provide the owners with the functional space that they require, while improving the curb appeal of the home. The addition should be so seamlessly integrated with the existing home, that even the owners forget how the home looked before the remodel! We'll be reviewing these options with the owners this week.


0901 - Floor Plans

For approval and/or notes by the Owner.

0901 - Floor One

0901 - Basement

0901 - Interior Modeling Con't

Further development on the interior model allows for some P.O.V. views of the living room, kitchen, and entry.

Mountain View
View from Living Room

Interior Plan 3
View looking down into Living Room

Living Room 1
Living Room & Kitchen beyond

Living Room 2
Fireplace & Reading Loft

Interior View 4
Room Layout

In the foreground of the Living Room, note the NanaWall system that is being proposed. This door & window system allows an entire wall (or walls) to completely open to the outdoors. The system can be configured in many different ways to accommodate just about any requirement for door openings, and panel stacking arrangement.


0901 - Interior Modeling

Early Interior Model

The interior SketchUp model is underway for the Family N. Home. Our design relies heavily on built-in casework to provide a just-right separation between spaces, without compartmentalizing the whole floor. The casework will act as both a partition as well as a storage & display device.

We're also using the built-ins in the living area to provide a graceful transition between upper and lower ceiling planes. We'll be experimenting with soffits and upper walls in addition to the built-ins to achieve this look.

Adding built-in casework is a great investment in an existing home, if you're considering a remodeling project yourself. Most homes will benefit from the added storage that they provide. Built-ins can, additionally, be used to divide spaces; and if held down from the ceiling level, allow for a subtle connection with adjacent space while maintaining a barrier at eye level. A well-designed built-in is a perfect solution to room in need of a focal point or distinguishing design element.

The stairs shown in the model will lead upward to a reading loft, and down to a daylight basement. The addition of these stairs will allow the homeowner to eliminate two existing stairs which have clearance and access issues. We're hoping to make these stairs an exciting design element that will be visible from the entry to the home.


0901 - Remodel for Family N.

Before and maybe after

Our newest remodel project is underway, and we're all bubbling with excitement. Just look at us, it took us less than a week to get the project site measured, create as-built drawings, throw together a conceptual floor plan, and get this mass model up on the blog! The photo and the model aren't the same scale, but you get the idea, right? Check back here for regular updates.


AG:02 - In Development

AG:02:01 - Farmhouse Style
AG:02:01 - Farmhouse Style

AG:02:02 - Prairie Style
AG:02:02 - Prairie Style

Our second offering in the collection of agricultural multi-purpose structures is the AG:02, a partial two story residential offering with an attached 3-bay garage, all framed nicely with a generous 8 foot deep front porch. Look here for more information about this line of buildings.

The AG:02 will feature the following:

2- story
1,000 sqft. living unit
(3) bedrooms
(1.5) bath

And a thoughtfully designed first floor with a full kitchen and flexible living / dining space.

Coming soon, folks!

First View 2
AG:02 - Interior Model


Boise Homes for You - Metro Lots

Boise Graphic 1

We are excited to report that our collection of infill homes is really taking shape. After designing one-off infill houses for our clients for years, we decided to develop a collection of model homes, decidedly modern, suited for development on a 25x125 original Boise lot. These homes are thoughtfully designed down to the inch, and are fantastically livable. We offer the homes in a variety of exterior designs and a full range of finishes. Whats more, we even have a name for this collection:

Boise Homes for You : Metro Lots
The grand catalog consists of six (6) homes designed especially for Boise's established near-town neighborhoods. Neighborhoods such as:

The North End Neighborhood
The Sunset Neighborhood
The Veteran's Park Neighborhood
The Depot Bench Neighborhood
The Vista Neighborhood
The Morris Hill Neighborhood
The South East Neighborhood

These communities are well known in the Treasure Valley as fantastically livable communities near downtown Boise. The mix of housing types, income levels, and age demographic help make these neighborhoods highly desirable places to live. All of these communities have seen a steady migration of people, who are making the choice to move back to town and are looking for vibrant neighborhoods that have an inherent value.

Metro Homes are designed for infill development on the most common lot size to be found in these areas: 25 feet wide by 125 feet deep. The lots must be alley loaded, and configured in pairs, threes, or fours. Look for regular updates on our progress. The Metro Homes designs are very nearly ready for sale. Here is a sample:

LUX:01 Early Model
LUX:01:01 - 2 Lots Developed


AG:01 - Now Available!

AG:01 Front Elevation
AG:01 - Front Elevation

AG:01 Rear Elevation
AG:01 - Rear Elevation


Single story, 400 sqft. studio living unit
Full Kitchen
8 foot deep front porch

Living unit is designed using "universal design" principles, and may be further modified to meet strict ADA or FHA accessibility standards.

AG01 Unit Floor Plan

Note the living area is intended for a hide-a-bed, but could easily accommodate a twin bed as well as a couple chairs for an arrangement similar to a hotel room. A single plumbing wall efficiently serves the kitchen and bath. The washer & dryer layout may be modified in a number of different ways, depending on how the unit is to be used. Also note the ample front porch space at 8 feet deep. Treasure Valley summers in the country demand shaded outdoor living areas like this. This building also contains (3) bays of garage parking, as shown. The garage door on the gable end is oversized at 10x12.

AG01 Building Plan


AG Series designs - Agricultural Multi-Purpose Buildings

AG series buildings ad sketch

The AG series of stock designs from room Residential Design is a collection of accessory structures specifically designed for established rural estates. These structures are meant to satisfy a multitude of needs frequenty found in agricultural acreages, but which are usually met with a collection of outbuildings. Room's AG series combines these uses into a single, economically built, easy to maintain structure that will provide adequate space for:

- Auto & heavy equipment storage.

- Recreational vehicle storage

- Horse stalls

- Gamerooms & Recreation Rooms

as well as,

- A Secondary Living Unit

In recent years, homeowners are seeing the value in having a secondary living unit available for use as a mother-in-law suite, as private guest quarters, or as flexible family space. The structures are designed to blend in with your existing farm estate architecture, maintaining an attractive, intentional landscape.

The designs are economical to construct, using easy to find, off the shelf materials. The building may be positioned and aligned as desired on your property to give you the best advantages for access, views, and proxemity. We have also been contracted to design custom variations on these designs. Some homeowners want a more barn-like structure, or one that matches the look of their existing house. Of course, we're always able to provide custom designs to folks who require a plan that works for them.


Il Silenzio Profondo - 2008

It's official; everyone is now in the year 2009! Do you know what that means? A post-annual wrap up of 2008: The Year the World Went Broke.

In many ways, 2008 was a very difficult year for everyone; our country besieged with a crippling recession (no mincing words here), and one of the prime components of the decline was the real estate crisis. This crisis, and the subsequent fallout has had a profound effect on the real estate, construction, and architectural/engineering industries.

As many of you are already aware of the specifics, I won't recount the whole sorry mess here. However, if you do want an excellent recount of the whole sorry mess, I recommend "The Giant Pool of Money" from our friends at This American Life. Its a free podcast / audio file retelling in simple-but-complete terms, the likely causes of the current economic crisis.

While you're there, you might consider throwing in a buck or two. They're in the middle of a pledge drive, and if you know folks who regularly listen to TAL but have never contributed, you can McCarthy them over to Supreme Host Ira Glass with hilarious results. Give it a try.

Room Residential Design has emerged, marred, but not injured into 2009. Though our Boise, Idaho market has seen a steep decline in the number of new residential construction projects, ( including an already modest number of infill projects ) we have not slowed our momentum internally, as we continue to redevelop our company to remain relevant and competitive in the years to come. We credit our decidedly lean and agile business model for our survival. We are only as big, and salaried as the market allows. Right now, we're focusing our efforts inward, and transmuting the company the way we wanted to back in 2006, but couldn't justify the time.

Here is that gold lining on the otherwise, lead cloud:

Infill Homes

We are currently confabulating a collection of pre-designed homes (model homes) to be used for infill development exclusively on Boise's substandard lots of record. We have dubbed them, Metro Lots.
These lots are typically 25'x125' and alley loaded. Many of them can be found in Boise's North End Neighborhood, but they can be found all over Boise's older, near-town neighborhoods. Often, they are combined in twos or threes, with a single existing residence constructed on the combined parcel. They were the primary building block of Boise's past land subdivision process, and they are protected by law as a single, develop-able lot. We are planning a more detailed description of these lots in a future post. Also, look for our Boise Homes for You: The Metro Lots Collection post in days to come. Six plans + Three exterior styles each + Three levels of interior finishes = housing variety bliss.

Credible, but soon accredited

It is a well known fact that room RD Dellimus Maximus, Byron Folwell was educated at the University of Idaho earlier in the century, and before you start regaling us with your preferred collegiate colors, consider that neither U of I, nor BSU are waving any shade of green. However, as it turns out, the U of I architecture program is blessed to have on its staff a progenitor of sustainability: Professor Bruce Haglund.

His curriculum was comprehensive and very practical. Above all, he advocated the "low hanging fruit" of energy efficient architecture; those sensible design choices that are made early in the project that bear the most energy saving returns, and position the project for sustainable success. Before there was LEEDS, there were zealous architectural environmentalists from the 70's, and Bruce was one of them.

Consequently, its about time that Room RD go itself LEEDS certified, don't you think? Well, now your dream is coming true. Look for the (soon) legal usage of the USGBC LEEDS Accredited Professional logo on our site.

Kids and Home

There has also been more time for the kids. Mind you, there was a lot of time before this dear recession. But now, there is reckless abundant time to engage in the wonderful activities that our tree-themed community has to offer. Check out the City of Boise's website regularly for activities around town. We'll try to get some great local blogs and the like linked to ours as well.

Well, there you have it folks. See you in 2009. Now go out and kiss somebody special.