Saturday, January 30, 2010

Texas Chic

From the moment you walk inside the coach house of Kathy and Dennis you are mesmerized by the quaint, Texas chic design. The wow factor is found everywhere in this 12by20 shed.  Last winter Dennis and Kathy painstakenly created a rugged, yet sophisticated all-American look that combines their personal style with Texas charm and ties it all together with the romance of the west. 

French doors that open out to a patio provide a breathtaking western sunset view, the perfect ending to a great day – which happens everyday!

It's hard to imagine this 20' space is divided in half, 10' for the lounge area and 10' for the bathroom and kitchen as every inch was transformed by Dennis.

Dennis has firsthand understanding of materials, and possesses a deep sense of content and meticulously planned their RV coach house into something out of the pages of a magazine.

One has to love this space – it’s so chic, so sophisticated, yet it is totally welcoming and warm.  
Turn on the electric fireplace on those chilly mornings.



Wood and leather say western when it comes to furniture, the pair of recliners make football or movie watching - theatre style.

The warm wall color, copper sink, tile and texture forms the foundation of the western chic look.

Everyone wants to move in here!

Decorating a home in a Texas ranch style gives the space a laid-back breeziness, perfect for relaxing and entertaining.

The warm wall color and naturally stained tray ceiling forms the foundation of the western chic look.
Lighting in the tray shelf provides a lovely evening ceiling cast.

Check out the detail of the mouldings, Denny hand cut and stained each of the corners.  The design copies the carpet design. 

Kathy d├ęcor foundation was found in nature the walls and floor colors tend toward warm tones of terracotta, burnt orange, golden brown and mustard yellow. The accent ledge is so cute!

The bathroom functions not only with the corner shower but also includes a make-up vanity for Kathy.
A stacked washer/dryer, storage and picture ledge makes this room cozy and charming.



Put the puzzle together, frame it and you have a perfect wall decor!


Add a shelve to the towel holder, colorful paint ...  clever!

Texas Chic, every detail from the ceiling tray, the ledges and the hand crafted trim make this the perfect Winter Texas vacation home, er ah.... but, remember, it's "Only a Shed!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Margaritaville is More Than a Song

In Key West, it’s the quintessential state of being, and the afternoon is complete when neighbors and friends stop by for a visit, here at Kathy and Ken's coach house their doors are always open.


This 12by20 coach house is a Key West styled cottage, it may be little but its open floor plan allows it to live large. The interior was finished by Ken and Kathy who spent several months running electrical wire, plumbing and installing the dry wall.  Their planning made this coach house floorplan very efficient.


Kathy commented that building a small house is more difficult than a larger home because every inch has to be accounted for. Kathy said they drew 30+ plans before finding the right combination of living space, a closet for their washer/dryer, the kitchen and full bathroom.





Kathy and Ken, originally from Baltimore Maryland retired early and have been living in their RV full time for five years. Kathy and Ken while in their early 50's began planning on living in their RV, so downsizing was easy. Now their coach house's 240s.f. feels large and spacious – and it is!




Homes in the tropics have blue ceilings to give the illusion of sky, open the french doors and you can sit on the sofa and feel like you're outside.


Mixing elements such as pine, wicker, stone, bamboo, and painted surfaces adds layers of comfort and texture to this light-filled space.


Comforting and Key West coastal are the soft blues and whites.  I just love this kitchenette, it sure makes the evening grilling a breeze -- Key West style!

This sunny kitchen is sunny without feeling overwhelming.




Bring the party outside, the fully functional kitchenette includes a microwave/convenction oven, refrigerator, and sink are all you need.

A tiny window in the bathroom allows light in and keep the space from feeling claustrophobic.



Trade in bare walls for a built-in corner entertainment center – find the remote, turn on the surround sound – you're guaranteed to have a great movie at your fingertips.

Kathy and Ken would to spend six months a year here, our RV resort is filled with fellow RV friends who have made Retama their home. Kathy and Ken's vibrant coach house is certainly a bright spot here in South Texas.


Tucked away is the stacked washer/dryer.  Work?  Here's you're on vacation!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

McMansion -Time's Two

Over the past decade a 'McMansion' has commonly referred to very large homes, those 3,000sf+  styled home with oodles of open spaces, massive kitchens and master bedroom suites decorated like a high end hotel.

Here in Retama our McMansion's are tiny, only 220 s.f. but carefully drawn and engineered to be masterpieces in their own right.  The coach house of Sabrina and Ken, from McAllen Texas and the second coach house of Ken's cousin, have to be my personal favorites.   The very first time I walked into their coach houses all I could say was WOW, Wow, Wow! And they weren't even complete.  Needless to say every opportunity I stopped into see the changes in this 220 s.f. perfect tiny house!

Take a peek, the transformation of this 'shed' to a weekend getaway for Ken and Sabrina will make you stop and reconsider just how compact and efficient this coach house,  errr ahh!  McMansion really is!


Ken's first goal:  Open it out!  The doors that is.
Here in South Texas we have many wonderful days of sunshine so the two french doors let the breeze and sunshine in.  Plus, Ken and Sabrina like to entertain -- the open doors allow an easy flow when there is a group of people.

Ken made sure the coach house was party friendly with surround sound, outdoor speakers, under eave lighting, with plans of an outdoor BBQ - Texas style to be installed later.




Still under construction and before painting, check out the attention to the cabinet storage detail.  The small, narrow vertical cabinets near the door are for storing the outdoor folding chairs!




Below the corner kitchen, under construction, just had the granite installed.
The lower counter is the desk.





The ceiling tin is set in rough sawn cedar timbers and indirect with
indirecting lighting creates the perfect night time ambiance.



The Murphy bed makes this a perfect getaway with ample built in cabinets.  Check out the pull out table top - a perfect way to save on space.  The built in wardrobes were installed on both sides of the bed. Another clever space saver is the headboard storage !


Below is the Murphy Bed closed in the cousin's coach house,
 -which is painted a different color.



I just love the local art on the wall and the convenience of the storage for bed linens and pillows.



The kitchen may be tiny but the tall cabinets and perfect design make this a power house of convenience for food prep or simply brewing the coffee. The kitchen is complete with a microwave, undercounter fridge/freezer.  Not shown, is a window with a beautiful stain glass from a local artisan, I have to come back to get a photo of the stain glass.




The built in desk has internet connection and XM stereo surround sound.
 This little coach house has it all.



The bathroom …. a stacked washer/dryer and cabinets everywhere holdall the linens, there is even a clothes hamper.



The bath sink has the same beautiful granite found in the kitchen.



Ken and Sabrina did an amazing job and there is so much more to see on these little McMansion's.  Currently there is a renter who is enjoying the coach house.  As soon as they leave Ken promises that we can get more photo's which I promise to share.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Moving Walls

Yes, that is right, moving walls! This coach house uses every square inch, sometimes twice when you consider that some of the walls move! The ingenious idea and credit of the moving walls is given to Phil and Vicky of Homer Michigan.

This coach house is cool.  From the outside it looks like all the other 12'x20' sheds.  What's amazing is their coach house interior which Phil cleverly designed and built. Vicky is the the lucky one with the spa bathtub!

Phil explained their coach house was creating with two goals, a spa for a very lucky Vicky! But also to serve as a garage during the summer months where their cute red car is guided indoors by means of chalk lines, two additional sets of eyes, removal of coach house doors and mirrors on the car allowing it to slip in with with only 2” to spare.  Amazing - it fits!


However when the car is back outside Vicky has a charmer of a coach house, large enough to serve Thanksgiving dinner inside for a large crowd of friends with plenty of room to spare.

Let's start the tour!  You will never believe the moving walls
Check out the full wall of cabinets -- the burgundy cover is Vicky's spa tub.

Now look closely, below, the four cabinets open provide a full
spa on the left, the commode, bathroom sink &
mini kitchen and the washer dryer.
What more does a person need!

Starting with the spa and shower, below.  Phil added the tiled flowers,
a nice touch since gardening is Vicky's favorite hobby!

Here is the fun part, the doors to the right of the spa are closed --
but watch what happens!

The commode doors are pulled forward and extend, providing plenty of room.
Oh, the toilet stays put -- only the walls move forward.

Another view of the extended bathroom.

The bathroom sink / mini kitchen cabinet is truly maximizing space.
Again, the cabinet is pulled forward to bring out each component -- Watch!

Okay, the sink remains inside, but the vanity is moved into
place covering the microwave


THEN!  the sink can be pulled forward.
Perfect for brushing teeth and putting on makeup.
But wait, there still still more!

Two steps to the right and all the dirty
clothes can be popped into the washer - dryer.


Turning around and facing the front of the coach house is the movable kitchen island and comfy chairs for tv viewing or simply relaxing.  Retirement is great!




Talking with Phil and Vicky is like taking Mike Rhodes (our developer) tour, they explained how they were one of the first to purchase their lot when Retama Village was still a cabbage patch and the sales office was down at the Palapa. Their decision to purchase was made when they heard Mikes vision for this development and enjoyed a cool beverage and watching the Rio Grande River flow pass. Sounds like a nice deal to me!

Vicky and Phil retired in 2006 and purchased their RV and a truck right after Vicky's retirement with ideas of touring the country, however when Phil listened to Mike's presentation, met his other new neighbors who were also considering purchasing, it was obvious that Retama would become their winter home and they would become Winter Texans.

Retama Village's coach houses are individually unique, but Vicky and Phil's is one of a kind, hat's off to a job well done!