4 Porch Makeovers That Dramatically Transform Their Homes (12 photos)

After: The redesigned structure features a resilient and period-appropriate metal roof, attractive railings and wood decking. As the 8-foot-deep porch is only 30 inches off the ground, the team could be more flexible with the railing’s design, opting for an open “X” shape.

The wraparound porch comprises three zones: an outdoor living area on one side, a small seating area at the corner and a reading nook around the other side. “Having three zones means we can pick where we hang out depending on the number of people we’re with and what we want to do out here,” Dalrymple says.

Exterior paint: Fjord 2250, Sherwin-Williams (discontinued, but the company will mix it upon request); trim paint: White Heron, Sherwin-Williams

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My Houzz: A Chef’s Kitchen Renovation in Wine Country (32 photos)

Photos by Lauren Edith Andersen

Kitchen and Office at a Glance
Who lives here: Amy and Rocky Vogler, their 6-year-old daughter and their Labrador mix
Location: Kenwood, California
Size: New kitchen: 320 square feet (30 square meters); new office: 280 square feet (26 square meters); total home: 1,500 square feet (139 square meters); two bedrooms, two baths

This kitchen in Kenwood, California, was a long time coming for cooking professional Amy Vogler. She and her husband, Rocky, lived in the 1970s-era house for more than 10 years before deciding to flip the locations of the kitchen and family room. Since moving into the house in 2007, the couple had done a lot of work to modernize the home before tackling the kitchen. “It definitely had a lot of that ’70s, ’80s look — bold wallpaper, carpet,” Amy says.

Amy, of Wooden Spoon Kitchen, develops, tests and writes recipes for cookbooks and is also a producer on video and television projects, cooking apps and websites. The previous kitchen and adjacent workspace were cramped, and storage space was minimal.

Amy and Rocky worked with architect Malcolm Yuill-Thornton on preliminary designs and drawings. They hired contractor Mike Samuelson for construction work and Baggenstos & Associates for painting. Local pro Rhyne Design Cabinets did the custom cabinetry. Rocky, a civil engineer and former carpenter, did a lot of the work himself.

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The Right Height for Your Bathroom Sinks, Mirrors and More (11 photos)


I love adding niches to shower areas, for the practical storage capabilities and the beautiful accent. For a tub they make sense just above the tub surface, as you’ll be lying down when you reach for that shampoo, but in a shower they should be much higher, around 48 in., so you don’t have to lean down to reach anything.

Place your shower controls around 42 to 48 in. at the center, and a tub filler 4 to 6 in. above the top of the tub.


Dallas Boy’s Bedroom Infused With Vibrant Color (4 photos)

Johnston Larkin added built-in bookshelves on both sides of the window for storage, and also to have display place for the boy’s favorite books, trophies and knickknacks. “The great thing about designing a kids’ room is that they already have so many accessories that they want to show off,” the designer says. “I just help them curate their selection.”

The walls behind the shelves are covered in a blue-and-white wallpaper with a weave pattern. The cabinet doors below have an Art Deco design and brass pulls that pop against the green paint.


6 Ways to Amp Up Your Kitchen Style With Patterned Tile (12 photos)

Designer tip: To enhance your interesting backsplash, add undercabinet lighting that highlights its color and detail. Of course, maintaining uncluttered countertops also helps the pattern shine. And for those must-have countertop accessories – like a utensil carafe — consider choosing clear glass containers that allow the pattern to peek through.


Fix It or Not? What to Ask When Prepping Your Home for Sale (8 photos)

6. How much will you realistically need to lower the price if you don’t fix it? If you have a lot of costly repairs to tackle to get your home ready to sell, you may be considering selling it as is. But keep in mind that buyers looking for a fixer-upper will also be looking to discount the selling price for the repairs plus the hassle. In other words, you won’t be able to simply estimate how much the repairs will cost and deduct that from the selling price; you’ll need to deduct even more to make it worth the buyer’s time and effort. Discuss this with your Realtor and look into other fixer-uppers for sale in your area to come up with an appropriate selling price.