Knock Knock is a custom home and remodeling design blog, and our way of sharing our ideas about good design with you. We hope you’ll find something useful for your new home or remodeling project here. Need more advice? Drop us a line and we’ll help in any way we can.

prairie ranch family room

8 Great Built-In Seating Areas

You probably have a special piece of furniture that you sit in at your house – a chair, couch, sofa, recliner, rocker, or bench – maybe it’s a chair so comfortable that it moves with you from house to house, until it’s worn to threads.

You might also have a special place to sit in your home – a chair by a sunny window, a recliner with a perfect view of the TV, or a front porch where you can chat with neighbors.

Or maybe your house combines both, like the built-in seating in these homes.

9 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Home

Conventional wisdom, as it relates to houses, is often too much convention and not enough wisdom.

Every year, somebody publishes a list of which conventional home improvements will give you the best (or the worst) return on your remodeling investment.

Remodel a bathroom. Replace your siding. Don’t build a swimming pool. Paint everything neutral colors.

Sit up straight. Get a haircut. Call your mother.

6 Custom Built-in Ideas That Might Fit Into Your Home Design Plans

Most of the homes and most of the remodeling projects we design include some sort of “built-in” somewhere in the house.

Built-ins are custom-designed, made-from-scratch parts of the house that are designed for very specific purposes. Sometimes they’re bookshelves; sometimes they’re built as seating, and sometimes they hold wine bottles – built-ins can be designed to do whatever you need them to do.

Everything’s New In This Farmhouse Makeover and Addition Project

This is a project I’ve been looking forward to sharing since the day construction began.  A family with a modest farmhouse in Muskingum County, Ohio wanted a new home with open spaces and room for visiting family and guests – and decided that rebuilding the home they’re in was the best way to achieve that.

One addition opened up the kitchen and added a bright, colorful sunroom; a second addition created a new master suite, garage, home office, and recreation room.

7 Different Foyers for 7 Different Homes

Your home probably has several entries – front door, back door, garage door – but you only use one to welcome guests into your home. The front door in most homes opens into a foyer, a word derived from French and originally referring to a small room that separated the heated rooms of the house from the outside, keeping the cold out.

Fortunately, central heating made that function obsolete. Today, a home’s foyer serves several other important functions, not the least of which is giving your guests a glimpse into the style and character of the rest of your house.

A Simple Garage Addition That Has a Big Impact on the House

“Garage addition.”

Not exactly the sexiest words in residential Architecture.  But that doesn’t mean this project shouldn’t get the same design attention as a kitchen or bathroom or a whole-house remodeling.

This lovely Muirfield Village home, built in 1981 on the sixth fairway of Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament course, needed a third garage bay that would blend seamlessly with the existing house.

A Laundry Room/Mudroom That Does a Lot More, and Saves Space, Too

The laundry room/mudroom: according to my clients, it’s one of the most-used and most important rooms in their home – so it’s surprising to see how often it’s ignored in the design of new homes.

A recent experience with a new client shows what I mean; my client had invited me to see her home, the one she wanted to move from. She wanted me to see how she lived now, and get a better idea of what she did and didn’t want in her new home.

When To Use Fiber-Cement Siding and Cultured Stone

Architects don’t want you putting fake stuff on the outside of your house – faux wood siding, faux stone, faux trim – just because it’s less expensive than the real thing.

We don’t like sacrificing aesthetics or authenticity, when the only benefit is cost savings.

There are trade-offs we’d rather you make when you’re trying to save money – house size for size’s sake, and artificially-complex design are at the top of my list.