Thursday, August 29, 2013

game room and second guesses on the back porch

At so many points in the building process you re-adjust your vision.  

You get these grand ideas in your mind and as you work to make them come to fruition they change and meld into other things according to parameters, finances, timing, etc.  Some things turn out better than expected.  Some turn out different and you learn to live with them...and eventually fall in love.

We decided to bring back the family room wall a little more than planned because there was a porch there anyway and I didn't want that to take away from the light we could get in there.  This is right before they moved it out:

Here's the part of the back right before we added on the game room:
 We are so excited about that game room.  

When we started out on that thing we envisioned a contemporary home with a basement.  We are still working on the contemporary part, but the basement was scrapped long ago.   We LOVE basements and here in the desert they are so awesome because they are so nice and cool, such a refuge from the heat.  But we couldn't make that work within the parameters we were working with so we went to the next best option, which has turned out to be one of the things we look forward to most:  

a game room right off the kitchen where all the teenagers can hang out.  

I love that it will be close to the kitchen so they can come get a snack when they want it and we can interact more with the kids that come over.

We wanted to have walls on both sides of our back porch so that we won't get Western sun and we can have a great outside gathering spot.

The only problem was that we didn't tweak that back porch plans very well before the beams were already bought and the house was engineered structure-wise to need them.

Had I looked more closely and done more research I would have changed this design speedy quick.  I think it's so cool, but it's not the same more contemporary look we were going for in the rest of the house.  

My heart sunk when I saw all those giant rough-hewn beams lined up in the back yard ready to be put up (I have no clue where they got the rough-hewn idea from...I mean, I love rough-hewn up in the mountains or for a more rustic house, but just so not the look I was going for here).  

At that point there was no going back.  Too much sunk cost in those suckers.  So they started the construction of the porch.
 So cool, but so not what I had envisioned.  

Had I thought about it more I would have done a straight-across flat, high ceiling since it's North facing and won't get direct sunlight anyway. 

I took one look at that thing and thought it was so cool, but for a ski lodge, not a light and airy contemporary home in the desert.

But again, by that point there was no turning back.  (Don't think I didn't try...)

I figured it wouldn't be that hard to transform it into something like this:

The tongue and groove wood to go inside was even rough-hewn.

Again, not what we were going for.  We had them turn it over and use the smooth side even though it wasn't really supposed to show like that.

Closer to being done:

We have some ideas up our sleeves to make it look more contemporary to match the rest of the house but I'd love input if anyone has any great ideas.

It really is pretty cool and I envision great things going on in there, it is just all dependent on how we finish it off to make it match into the rest of the house a little better.

The next decision had to do with these "tails" coming off the sides: 
 To me, they made it look much more lodge-y.

So my "pretty committee" talked it through with me a hundred times I swear, and we decided rather than having those things blend in more with the roofline, we would cut them off:
 Sooooooo much better in my opinion.

Max got to work jack-hammering out a left over post from the old house (this is Max's summer job).
That is hard work, I tell you!  (I know because I tried it...if Max ever gets bulging arm muscles it will be because of that :)

Here's the plan for the back of the house...trying to figure out finishing products that will make it look more contemporary.  Maybe add some steel?  Maybe paint it lighter color?  We did decide to do the actual roof in metal.  Hoping that will make it look a little more sleek.

Getting ready for stucco:

How it looks with an added chimney: 

In the end I think we will love this space, rough-hewn beams, no basement and all.   Now when I look at those things I just envision the people we love gathered there and it makes me happy.


  1. So frustrating when that happens, and there is no turning back. I have a 'secret' list of things I want to change in the house we just finished building...I plan to break them to my husband little by little over the years, haha.

    What about something like this?

    Maybe you'll end up loving it - sometimes the best stuff comes from a 'mistake'!

  2. I am loving this "home" blog of yours. We are designing our home right now and when I saw your kitchen I breathed a huge sigh of relief cuz we have 2 islands too and such a similar layout to yours! I stressed about that space a ton too! I love your beams and ceiling on your porch - but that is the style we are going for here in Oregon. Cutting off the side pieces really did help it blend better into your contemporary home. I love the pinterest idea Kim shared. Painting it would help with the contemporary look. Your home is turning out beautifully. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Because rebuilding/building a home is a dream of mine I am going to live vicariously through you :)

    I think painting them would bring them more in line with contemporary. Either black (so they look like steal) or white





    or stain some a dark brown

    Or even natural with the right wall finish will work


    You could add metal to the beams


    or rivets


    OR even just paint the middle beam black

    I bet with the right kind of furniture and lighting in there will define the tone a lot

    Good luck! How fun!

    1. ooooh, sorry none of those links showed up as hyper links!

  4. I think if you painted the beams a high-gloss black you could get the feel of metal.
    Or, if you want to keep it lighter and airier you could try a silver metallic paint. I know it sounds weird but my friend has it in her contemporary home and it is stunning.

    You can definitely make this work out beautifully!

  5. I would also suggest paint. Or add glass or stones (I don't how though). No plants.

  6. If I was you I would wait for the rest of the house to be finished and furnished, then decide what to do about this ceiling. I know a place that is very contemporary, but the ceiling looks exactly like your game room ceiling and it is not painted, just stained so the wood shows. It adds a nice touch of a different style, so the space isn't 100% contemporary, it adds a little unexpected touch and character.