The house, located in Austin, Texas was built in 1954 along with numerous other tract houses. When QuarterLab Design Build happened upon her in 2016, the house was in a state of neglect. Knowing they’d have to commit to a lengthy remodel, they named her Peggy Blue and awaited permit approval to move forward with the renovations.
When the time came, “We gutted the place, taking it down to the framing, foundation and roof,” founder and owner of QuarterLab Design Build, Stan Hajost tells us. The house had good structural integrity, bearing handmade roof trusses. Yet, every “interior wall, sheetrock, electrical and HVAC needed to come out.” The floors were redone with cement overlay, while the old sheetrock and wall framing were torn out to make way for a modern, open floor plan.
“We’re concerned about details, like the colorful orange and green divider,” Stan says. The only wall in the shared living space, the divider, was constructed with 1x4s and multicolor pegboards to add definition to the open floor plan. “It’s little details that make a world of difference,” and indeed, this small detail adds a truly mid mod vibe to the entrance of the home, alongside the hand carved door, a Craigslist steal!
The kitchen was completely updated with custom walnut cabinets, a walnut butcher block counter, and a wood ceiling. “Back then everything was compartmentalized, but we try to build houses for how people live today,” Stan shares. QuarterLab Design Build added the wood ceiling that extends past the kitchen to make the room feel both functional and spacious. Stan elaborates, “Using dividers and ceilings, like this plank ceiling, helps to define a space. By using the wood ceiling that comes out past the plane, it gives the kitchen a much bigger feel.”
From the moment he set his eyes on it, Stan knew the courtyard would be a fundamental part of the remodel. “Especially in Texas, because we have great weather, the outdoor space directly off of the kitchen creates a small space where people can spend a lot of time.”
To this end, old aluminum windows were replaced with energy efficient, vinyl floor to ceiling windows and the original rotting fiberboard siding was replaced with cement panel siding. Stan notes that the new windows were quite pricey, but he contends, “We couldn’t budge on this. It’s important to spend because in the end you’ll get a beautiful, cohesive design.”
The courtyard also features one of the only materials QuarterLab Build Design was able to salvage: gorgeous aromatic cedar, found in the master closet, which was used to create the floating deck in the courtyard. It creates the perfect space for leisure and relaxation. Stan says, “It’s open air, but it’s like going from 1,600 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft.”