That’s a Wrap: Mt. Airy Basement Movie Theater

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This week, we are putting the finishing touches on the Mt. Airy basement that we transformed into a posh movie theater and entertainment space. We are in the process of adding “soft finishes” like gorgeous custom drapes and a reupholstered chair for a reading nook, adding shiny bits like doorknobs, and installing fancy, custom, electric movie-watching recliner chairs that are being delivered via a white-glove service.

After a bit of cleaning, we’ll turn this room back over to the homeowners so they can kick back with some friends and enjoy their first movie-viewing party!

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In the Works: Mt. Airy Whole-Home Renovation

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The start of a new large-scale project is always an exciting time here at Myers Constructs, and last week was no exception. We went out to survey a new project at a lovely Mt. Airy single home situated on an extra large lot. Years ago, the homeowners had bought the house from a flipper, but no renovations have taken place since then, so they are ready to make some significant upgrades. The house has many great original oak trim details in great condition, and a third floor that features attractive wood paneling and a loft-like ceiling that follows the home’s Gothic roof line. We have been tasked with developing a long-term plan for improvements that will make this a more comfortable and efficient home for the family to enjoy.

Working on this project reminds us of some similar projects over the years where we have brought our expertise to plan and build. Here are some of the major issues we’ve often had the chance to solve:

  • Removing rear sheds and re-building with new footprint that allows for a successful interior layout on a real foundation that is sound! We have often found that the older shed has no real foundation but over many decades has come to house important working areas homes such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, and even bedrooms. Since they typically started out as porches and were gradually enclosed, they bring only a temporary solution that eventually needs to be addressed.
  • Kitchen, kitchens, and more kitchens. We’ve done lots of these and love how each home and family has their own set of needs and wants. We have help set up kitchens to serve both meat eating and vegan members of the same household, Kosher kitchens, and other similar dietary needs.
  • Adding an air conditioning system to older homes requires asking a number of questions about the long terms plans for the homes and each space. Our recommendations are customized to each home and family to bring comfort over the long term.
  • Reviewing the exterior finishes and making recommendations that help keep the envelope of the home looking and functioning properly.
  • Replacing historic windows with new windows that helps match the architectural integrity of the home while bringing in the advantage of current technology.
  • Developing interior space solutions with lots of useful storage space for the family as it grows over many years. How the needs of a family will involve over time is part of space planning for families, needs will be different when children are young and then transform as they grow into their teens and young adults.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details and progress photos as this project unfolds!

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Design Solutions: Let’s Get Creative

1606151438_wash.st.elev_highlighted_As design to build professionals, we are often called on to design creative solutions to work around pre-existing issues in a home. We love a great design challenge!

In this recent renovation we worked on for a developer, there was a 3’x16″x16″ bump in the kitchen that was hiding a basement Bilco door.

While the previous owners used it as a bench, Tam created a grand bar with a microwave and storage area to fit the awkward space. As you can see from these sketches, all of the elements — including a finished panel — work together so thoughtfully that no one notices the unsightly bump.

1506151228_wash.st.elev.2_That’s what we call an effective and creative design solution!

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Mt. Airy Entertainment Room and Home Theater

mtairy-3We are entering the home stretch of our Mt. Airy basement renovation, a previously underutilized space in our clients’ home that is being beautifully transformed into a theater and entertainment room. The walls have been painted in deep, rich colors, and we worked with our homeowners to select new carpet, draperies, and light fixtures to pull the entire room together. While we are waiting for some of these “soft design” materials to arrive, our A/V pros are setting up the TV and audio and tweaking the home’s wireless router system to ensure that all of the elements work together seamlessly. This is all very technical stuff, and the technology changes quickly, so we are pleased that our A/V specialists could provide some money-saving, long-term solutions that are also visually beautiful.

We wonder what flick will be the first to be viewed in this “new” room of the house?

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Adding a Shed: The New “It” Project

Saltbox Shed and Chicken RunBuilding a shed at our home has been on our “Honey Do List” for some time now, so we were happy when we were able to find some time last week to tackle this project.

Sheds are all the rage right now, it seems. We’re seeing them used as micro offices, creative studio spaces, children’s play rooms, adult meditation areas, pool cabanas, and teen hangouts. Personally, I love the idea of a small, quiet space to remove myself to — a place where I can reflect and ponder a bit. But the purpose of our shed is to store gardening supplies and house our flock of hens. We wanted to make space in our garage, so moving the garden tools and supplies out to a shed was a good first step. And while the hens were comfortable and warm in their existing small hen house, its small size made it hard for us to get in to collect eggs and clean.

This shed will have a human-sized door and hen space we can walk into, and we’ve built them a new run that is also tall enough for us to stand in. (L-to-R) Pumpkin, Electra, and Blackie It’s a saltbox-style building measuring 8′ x 8′ with an 8’ tall ridge beam and long, sloping roofline that was designed to face the main source of the wind. The framing is standard 2×4, and the siding is CDX plywood with some ripped #2 pine for trim and batons. The door and windows are stock items from the home center. Because this shed is so small and unfinished, we opted for piers instead of a cement foundation.

Sheds are a nice way to add useable space to your property, and they can be as finished or simple, and as serious or playful as you like, depending on your needs. Call us for more details on completing a shed project for your own home.

Diane Menke, VP/Operations Manager
Myers Constructs Inc.

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Shopping with the Myers Constructs Design Team

1504211017_CM_exterior_Work was recently finished on this Cape May shore cottage for a developer with which we worked, that had purchased it in foreclosure on spec and was preparing it for resale. We had some input into the design choices made. Many layers of carpets, vinyl flooring, and cheap cover ups were torn out, to reveal a really charming 1910s four-square Sears and Roebuck Arts & Crafts style kit house. The goal was to maintain and enhance the charm and comfortable character of the home. We thought you might enjoy a little “peek behind the curtain” to see the finishes and furnishings selected for this remodel.


1504211020_bar.area_Because the rooms are modestly sized in this quaint cottage, cluttering them with large furniture or ceiling fans was to be avoided. The developer also avoided the common Victorian heavy rose-colored or floral layering décor commonly found in Cape May beach homes. The finish concept was built around our Myers Made™ custom cabinetry.





1504211021_chairs_The developer then selected sleek early- and mid-century and Danish furniture that lends strong character, but maintains a light feeling in the rooms.






1504211022_light_ 1504211023_chand_Quality lighting and fixtures — mostly from Restoration Hardware — were selected to add a little glitter to each room. Nine- and 12-inch Turner® Flush Mount ceiling fixtures gave a nod to the nautical environment — without adding kitsch.






1504211025_kitch.fauc_ 1504211027_bath.fauc_Finally, the developer selected all of the water fixtures in polished chrome from the Kohler Artifacts® line, and added a deep Kohler Archer® tub.






See how all of these selections came together in the completed home, recently listed for sale. It’s quite lovely!

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In Praise of Multi-Purpose Spaces

cafe.areaWe find that most of our clients lead busy lives, wearing many hats and juggling multiple tasks daily — and they need their homes to fit that lifestyle. For that reason, we like to think about spaces creatively to imagine how they can serve multiple purposes.

Case in point: When we remodeled our own kitchen, we created a little “cafe area” that sits off to the side. In this space, we eat lots of meals, relax with a glass of wine, and sometimes catch up on bills and correspondence. We find that it’s a nice place to pause during the day or relax together while cooking dinner at night. It could also easily work as a game area, arts and crafts space, or small office-on-the-go.

It’s hard to imagine, but this cafe area was once the original entryway to our house. It consisted of a 4’x16′ broken concrete pad along the front center of the home that led to a front door with a side light and a small entryway closet. Next to this were some tiny windows and a doorway to the kitchen. The front door didn’t function anymore because the slope of the broken pad caused the door to be pinched. Instead, everyone used what was the breezeway between the house and the garage to enter the home. We decided to make this the true entryway, finishing the breezeway off as a foyer/mudroom. We removed the old front wall, door, windows, hall closet, and kitchen walls to create an open plan kitchen and family room. In the process, we added about 50 square feet of floor space. That doesn’t sound like much, but it had a huge effect on the space of the kitchen and the entire first floor.

To keep the cafe area from feeling cramped, we were careful to select light-feeling furnishings, including two art deco chrome chairs we had recovered in white leather and a small, marble-topped Saarinen table. The side tables/benches are storage boxes I built many years ago with a simple combed painted finish, which do double-duty as additional seating. We finished the area simply with a painting I created in the 1990s, and clean-lined roller shades.

Diane Menke
Diane Menke, VP/Operations Manager

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What Happens in Vegas Won’t Stay in Vegas

Tamara visited Las Vegas last week to attend the second annual Design & Construction Week, which hosted 125,000 of the most well-respected industry professionals and members of the media, while showcasing the largest homebuilding and design industry shows, including:

  • Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)
  • International Builders Show (IBS)
  • International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE): VISION
  • International Surface Event (ISE): SURFACES

Tam spent the bulk of her week with the KBIS group gathering information and ideas for our clients from companies that were introducing their newest product lines and design innovations. She also participated at many other levels, attending opening ceremonies, perusing the various trade show floors, speaking to vendors, and attending educational presentations called Voices From the Industry. Tam attends events like this to help our clients make informed decisions and provide them with the most contemporary design solutions — plus, we just love sorting through the “candy store” for them!

Connect with us on Facebook to see more great photos from Tam’s trip.

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That’s a Wrap! Fairmount Major Renovation – Phase 1

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In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be wrapping up Phase 1 of a comprehensive renovation of a 19th Century twin home in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. As you may recall, this project started with the restoration of a storm-damaged cupola, then grew to encompass a kitchen and breakfast room remodel/addition, laundry room redesign, new windows and lighting, exterior paint, and a reconfigured outdoor patio space. We are currently completing painting, tile, and other finishes, disassembling scaffolding, and removing the wraps from the beautiful new light fixtures. The homeowners, who have been living off-site during this project, are anxious to see the finished results of Phase 1, and they’re also eager to dive right into Phase 2, which will involve renovating the third floor, adding a small deck, and building a large dormer that provides access to the deck. We will also address some some window, roof, and ceiling issues in the first-floor living room. Beyond that, there are some HVAC and other mechanical issues that may need our attention.

After the unveiling of Phase 1, the homeowners will not only have beautiful and functional new kitchen and breakfast areas, they will also have meeting space that serves as “Ground Zero” for planning the remainder of their whole-home renovation. This is a big house with lots of projects happening at the same time. While this may be a daunting undertaking for some homeowners, breaking it into distinct phases has helped to keep it very manageable for our clients. We simply came up with a viable plan that fit their lifestyle and budget.

Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page — we’ll soon be posting Phase 1 “after” shots!

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