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Friday, January 31, 2014

Making the Most of your Space on Super Bowl Sunday

Both Seahawk and Bronco fans alike will be gathering to watch Super Bowl XLVIII this weekend, and below are a few tips for utilizing the perfect space within your home to host the soiree. 

Open Plan Living/Kitchen

A major benefit to an open plan is that it covers your two primary Superbowl needs- football & food. It's easy to serve food and beverages back and forth between spaces without missing a minute of the action. This layout also allows the less hardcore fans to congregate in the kitchen for a break while still feeling included in the overall experience. 

Private Boys' Club

If you're not an entirely football friendly household, perhaps a separate room, with all the required amenities, is just the ticket. By keeping the festivities quarantined, your party guests can get as rowdy as they'd like without disturbing the entire household (i.e. napping kids).  Throw in plenty of seating, a big screen tv and bar area, and you're in business!


If you're expecting an especially large gathering, or inviting avid fans from both sides, a bar with adjacent lounge area might be the perfect locale. The bar top provides an easy to clean surface for serving up your game day feast while the bar stools offer an alternative to all piling onto a single couch. If space permits, consider arranging a few separate seating areas with a variety of seating types to give guests room to converse (or rivals the space to separate and cool off). 

LR with a Large Sectional

Then again, why mess with a classic? Nothing says football like staring up at a a glowing screen from a large, comfy sectional sofa. U-shaped arrangements offer everyone ease of access to a centralized snack table and ensure that even the smallest fan has a clear view of the action.

Covered Patio

Depending on the ever changing weather and your location, you may have the option to take the party outdoors. With the addition of heaters or by cranking up the fireplace, the open air seating  you enjoy during the summer months can be turned into the perfect Super Bowl HQ. 

Check out even more Key Residential Living Areas 
on Houzz for inspiration when planning your next big event!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Adding Up | Second Story Additions

Though additions have always been a large portion of our remodeling portfolio, lately at Key Residential we've had a marked increase in client inquiries about second story additions. As opposed to adding on to the existing footprint of a single story home, more and more homeowners are opting to build upward as opposed to outward.


  • A small lot- Don't let the size of your lot discourage your home expansion dreams. In densely populated areas, often the only option for home expansion is to build up.
  • An amazing location- Whether it's proximity to work, schools, or family, or you just love your neighborhood, sometimes relocating is just not an option.
  • A killer backyard- If you're lucky enough to have snagged a sprawling lot in a coveted enclave, or have mature planting and unique landscape features, you don't want to ruin them by filling your backyard with a bunch of house.
  • Curb appeal envy- Many of us love the charm of older single story homes, but can still get a little green at the sight of the striking two story down the way. When done right, the addition of a second story will enhance your home's architectural appeal. 
Architectural Drawings by Tuggle Design - Aubrey Tuggle


  • The Attic Finish Out- Expanding the livable area by adding walls/floors/doors to a previously unfinished attic space within the existing roof-line
  • The FROG- No, not the ribbit kind, but a finished room over the garage or other existing single story portion of your home
  • The Full Story- Basically pulling off the roof and building the equivalent of another house on top of the one you already have, effectively doubling your square footage within the same overall footprint


Structural Loads

Can your existing framing and foundation support the additional weight? Though you generally won't  have to add to the existing slab when building up, you need to make sure the foundation you have is rated to support the additional weight you're planning to add. Your contractor will need to work in conjunction with an architect and engineer to determine what reinforcements and upgrades will be necessary. While nothing is ever "impossible", some older structures are simply unable to support the added weight of a second story as-is and will require multiple upgrades, which can become quite costly.

To learn more about the basics of structural loads, check out this Houzz ideaboook.

Flow Between Levels

Regardless of the type you add- switchback, straight run, or even spiral- any staircase will take up valuable floor space and you will need to consider the flow within each and between levels. Stair placement is also critical, especially when working with the existing roof-line as with an attic conversion. You need to place the staircase centrally located (to ensure you can stand up once you get up there), which may eat into the vast amount of space you were expecting to gain. 

Mechanical Systems

An additional task, and cost, that can be easily overlooked is the relocation of your mechanical systems, which may currently be located smack dab in the middle of your proposed upper level game room. Also systems designed for a single story home will need upgrading to keep up with the demand of the added square footage. 

Aesthetic Consistency

When making any additions to an existing structure, always beware of the FRANKENHOUSE (oooooh). This monster is born when the additions do not respond to the existing structure's architecture, resulting in a patchwork of mismatched bits and pieces. When adding up, you will likely have to integrate changing roof-lines and coordinate updated exterior finishes. Aside from the overall design consistency, your HOA may also have specific restrictions about the materials allowed, as well as local building code overall height restrictions that could impact your dream design.

Disruption & Chaos

And finally, consider the amount of disruption that will occur to your home and your day to day life during renovation. While any remodel project will throw your home into a certain degree of tumult, adding a second story is much greater than when expanding a first floor. You may need to factor in cost of temporary living (ie: hotel or staying with family) as your house will be (tastefully) topless for a period of time.

If you have questions or are considering a second story addition of your own, contact us today to discuss, and remember the SKY (or your local building code height maximum) is the limit!

Check out this Better Homes & Gardens blog with other suggestions of what to consider with a Second-Level Home Addition.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Living Room Inspirations | Key Residential

Check out our newest Houzz ideabook featuring Living Area inspirations from remodels and custom homes done by Key Residential over the years. 

Click to see the full collection of formal living rooms, dens, family rooms, and more!

Though every project has it's own unique aesthetic and is tailored to meet the specific needs of the family that calls each home, the constant thread of a Key Residential Living Area is that is is constructed with the finest quality materials, superb craftsmanship, and an unparalleled attention to detail.

 Contact us to discuss your upcoming remodel or new home project! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Best Photos of 2013 | Key Residential

Below are some of our most popular photos of 2013, based on the number of people that saved them to ideabooks on Houzz and the number of questions/comments each generated. 

Join us as we count down to our #1 Most Popular Photo of 2013!

#12- Reading Room

Completed in 2008, this reading room caught the attention of 730 Houzz users with it's  intricate wood detailing and old-world style. [Interior Design: Pat Ratcliff]

#11- Her Vanity

Completed in 2012, this custom home master vanity features a custom beveled mirror with an offset circular section that has been sandblasted on the edges and is backlit with LEDs. (His vanity counterpart shown below).  [Interior Design: Joanie Wyll, Architect: Fred Roberts]

#10- Master Bath Entry/Tub

Our first tie of the list features two photos from the master bath of our 2012/2013 whole home remodel The striking reclaimed wood floors and a salvaged tub with custom paint treatment helped each garner over 1,500 views.   [Interior Design: Becci Meier]

#9- The Diva Bedroom

The smoky hue and modern floral print bedding helped put this photo of the aptly named 'Diva Bedroom' at #9 on our list, catching the eye of over 1,600 Houzzers.   [Interior Design: David Cadwallader, Architecture: Bruce Bernbaum]

#8- Master Vanity vs. Living Room

The next tie, again from a 2012/13 whole home remodel, pits a master vanity with farmhouse sink and custom distressed cabinetry against a living room with blue pine ceilings and large welcoming archways. You decide which is best, because we sure can't!  [Interior Design: Becci Meier Architectural Design Services]

#7- Exercise Room

Formerly used as a small office, this exercise room and adjacent utility area were transformed by a healthy dose of color. The alternating Flor carpet tiles received unanimously positive commentary on Houzz and ushered this photo into 2,220 ideabooks[Interior Design: David Cadwallader, Architecture: Bruce Bernbaum]

#6- Pool Cabana with Outdoor Kitchen

During this whole home renovation, the unused third garage bay was removed and transformed into a pool cabana with a functional kitchen and entertainment area (also shown below). The vintage Big Chill Retro Refrigerator in Jadite Green no doubt caught the eye of Houzz users, over 2,000 of which saved each of these photos to ideabooks for their own renovation inspiration.  [Architecture/Design: Becci Meier, Landscape Design: Jason Osterberger, Poolscape: Pool Environments]

#5- Circular Shower

One of the most unique showers we've (and likely anyone has) ever built, this circular shower is comprised of a full height rear wall clad in iridescent mosaic tile and enclosed with bent glass walls to prevent any splashes from the 6 body jets, one rainshower head, and two towers. Something this unique will hopefully inspire the 3,843 homeowners that saved the image to their Houzz ideabooks.  [Interior Design: Joanie Wyll, Architect: Fred Roberts]

#4- Porch Swing

With over 4,000 views on Houzz, this photo shows that you don't have to be extravagant to get the point across. The simple hand-painted wooden swing with vibrant cushions just begs you to sit back and relax! [Interior Design: Becci Meier Architectural Design Services]

#3- Rustic Kitchen, Pool Cabana, & Front Facade

Showing up again, and as a tie, on our list are three spaces from the 2012/2013 whole home renovation garnering over 5,000 saves each. The kitchen welcomes family gatherings with a custom table/worksurface and new fireside seating area. The pool cabana again takes top spots, we think due in part to the adorable ducky. And the front facade certainly doesn't disappoint with a custom Louisiana Kettle fountain, Pennsylvania Bluestone pavers, and lush greenery.  [Interior Design: Becci Meier, Landscape Design: Jason Osterberger, Poolscape: Pool Environments]

#2- Distressed Kitchen Cabinets

This kitchen was dramatically transformed by the wall of hand painted custom cabinets that house an apron style farmhouse sink with a great view into the back yard. The red oak cabinets were stained, layered with paint (blues, red, etc), hand-scraped, sanded and distressed, then a finished with a clear coat to achieve the unique aesthetic. [Interior Design: Becci Meier Architectural Design Services, Cabinets: Douglas Cabinetry, Specialty Finishes: Matthew Gutierrez Painting]

And finally, our #1 Most Popular Photo of 2013 (by far)...

#1- Patio Dining and Sunroom Addition

This whole home renovation included the addition of a 135 sf sunroom clad in wavy cedar siding with multi-fold Jeld-Wen doors that open to an outdoor dining area. And surprisingly enough, of all the details in this outdoor space, the cedar dining table roused the most interest and comments. The table was fashioned out of rough cedar 2x4's on a previous job in 2004 and left unsealed to develop the grayish patina over time. [Interior Design: Becci Meier Architectural Design Services, Landscape Design: Jason Osterberger]

We hope you've enjoyed our recap of the most popular Key Residential photos of 2013 and we look forward to an even more exciting year to come in 2014!!