A new chapter

I'm both happy and sad to say that my home in Olympus Cove is sold. I'm happy because after just three short weeks I had a full price offer by someone who truly appreciates the architecture and will pick up where I left off. Sad because it really was a great house in a wonderful neighborhood.

The good news is that between the divorce, selling the house etc I have an opportunity to start a new chapter of life. While things are so up in the air, I figured it would make more sense to rent for a while instead of buy. I've always wanted to live down town, so I'm elated to report that I spent last week moving into the Patrick Lofts which are located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Look for lots more details about the Patrick Lofts as soon as I get a few more boxes unpacked.

For Sale :: 4206 Fortuna Way



It's been a great adventure, but after three and a half years I'm forced to sell my Mid Century Modern home in Olympus Cove. I've absolutely loved living here, the neighborhood is absolutely phenomenal and the home has so much potential. The good news is; #1. Someone is going to get an amazing deal on this house. #2. I'm sure I'll get myself into another affordable modern adventure to blog about.

The details:

  • 4206 Fortuna Way SLC
  • Asking Price $290,000
  • Built in 1955
  • .18 Acre Lot
  • 1980 Sq Feet
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 2 Car Garage
  • Amazing Kitchen
  • Amazing views

Since I bought the home 3 years ago, I completely refinished all the hardwood floors upstairs, and repainted everything bright white. I had a brand new electrical service to the house installed, and two new electrical panels inside. All new can lights were installed in the living room and kitchen. Speaking of kitchens, I completely gutted the kitchen, installed all new electrical and plumbing, new subfloor and white rubber floor tiles. New white Ikea ABSTRAKT cabinetry with black Trespa countertops and a zero radius stainless steel sink . New Gaggenau induction cooktop, integrated Bosch dishwasher and Siemens Avant Garde hood. There is also the double viking ovens I scored off of Craigslist and the GE Monogram refrigerator. Ohh, and the fantastic Bocci 22 electrical outlets all over the kitchen as well. Downstairs my son's room was completely redone. I framed out all the walls and added additional insulation, brand new drywall with a floating detail to eliminate baseboards. A fantastic mural of "Where the Wild Things Are" that took my good friend Tony almost 60 hours to complete (video here). The room got all new can lighting with a couple spots on a dimmer for the mural, new Flor carpet tiles, and a new solid core door with SOSS hinges and a nice reveal instead of door molding. I removed the ugly exterior siding, and took it back to it's old glory of grey Atlas bricks. To keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter a brand new hight efficiency furnace was added, as well as new central AC after I decided the Modern Fan Co. fans weren't going to cut it. To keep all that heat and cold in I had 8" of extra insulation blown into the attic. Needless to say, a lot has been done to the home. I have easily put $20,000 of upgrades into and if I wasn't getting divorced I would easily stay here for another 20 years. My loss your gain. It's priced to move quick, but I need a full price offer, so tell your friends and neighbors and lets get this thing gone.

If you are interested in seeing the home because you are interested in possibly buying, get a hold of my amazing Realtor Geoff Tice 801-971-1311.

If you just want to look at it and shoot the breeze with me, leave a comment below and I'll get back to you. ( I love visitors! )

If you only like looking at pretty pictures on the internet, check out 4206Fortuna for some pictures I snapped of it last week, or Obeo for a virtual tour, or the official MLS listing.

Thanks everyone!

Finally finished the kitchen

Remember last year, when I started the kitchen remodel? I got about 80% of the way there, and then in my typical ADD fashion I moved on to another project. A couple weeks ago I finally got around to finishing most of it up. There are still a couple small things I need to do, but for the most part its finished. Also in typical GRM fashion, just as I am finishing up a big project it looks like I will be selling the home. More details coming on that soon.

More white and black kitchen goodness after the jump.

Trying on a new door


If you remember my video where I tore all the siding off the front of my house last month, you will remember that my front door is pretty drab. My friend is trying out a couple new door designs that he has and asked if he could come put one on my house to see what it would look like "in the wild". I was amazed a what a difference it made on how our house looks! The pictures really don't do the door justice (especially the bad photoshop work!). The door itself is made of solid core walnut with 1/2" structural glass. The fit was perfect, it's just too bad it was only a test and we had to send it home at the end of the day.


While this one was a sort of prototype, he is working on a production model. Pricing should be very affordable, especially when compared to Neoport and all other "Modern" door manufactures. I'd love to know what people think of the door, do you love it, hate it, what would you change about it?

If you want any more info about it, feel free to drop me a line via the contact form.

The Big Boy Room

Th Big Boy Room from Creede on Vimeo.

With the birth of our daughter two months ago, we needed to move our 2 year old out of the nursery and into his own "big boy room" downstairs. We decided to have a little fun with the room and had my good friend Tony paint a mural of "Where the Wild Things Are" on the wall. We finished it off by gluing down some Flor carpet tiles. The "video" is really a series of photographs, one taken every 30 seconds and played back at 24 photo's a second. A total of 6,357 photo's were taken, representing over 54 hours of work. A huge thank you goes out to Tony who did an amazing job. The video doesn't really do the mural justice. You can see some close up pictures of the mural on my flicker account.

Siding Removal

When we first moved into our house, there were a lot of things that needed updating. The berber carpet and yellow paint were the first things to go. After that we knocked down a wall in our kitchen and added some new cabinetry. We've been here for over a year now, and the inside if finally looking fairly nice. The outside has been a different story. Our whole house is made of atlas block, a structural brick. Sometime between now and 1956 when it was built somebody thought it would be a nice idea to wrap the whole house in blue aluminum siding. It's been an eyesore to us ever since we bought it, but we were afraid to start tearing it down because we didn't know what kind of condition the exterior walls would be in. Last night a good friend stopped by to measure for a new door we are putting in (more on that later) and in the process we needed to peek behind the siding to be able to plan for the larger door. Once I started pulling that ugly blue down, I just couldn't stop. The result is refreshing and wonderful. The original atlas block has never been painted and is in fairly good shape. The gabled section has some old wood lap siding that is painted a great dark pea green. It will need to be replaced eventually, but for now it looks wonderful compared to how it was. Best part about it is that it was absolutely free (in fact I'm sure we'll make some money off the aluminum) and it is taking the house back to the way it was originally designed.

Door knob advice needed


The bedroom remodel downstairs is moving along nicely with about 95% of the drywall being hung over the weekend. We hope to be painting in a week or two. While we have most of the details for the room figured out, one that has been lingering is the choice of door knobs. When it comes to looks, we definitely prefer levers, but knobs are much more childproof. So here is the challenge. Show us your favorite non-lever door knobs. You comments and links will be very much appreciated.

As an asides I noticed in my friends mid-century home he has some flush doorknobs that use a sort of recessed vertical lever to release the latchset. Has anyone ever seen something similar to this? So far my online searches have come up completely empty handed. I did find some pocket door latches (pictured above) but I don't know that they would really work with our application.

More on flush doors


If you remember a few weeks ago, I was looking for some good advice on how to get the clean modern flush door look. As far as hinges go, it looked like either a SOSS or a pivot hinge was going to work the best. In the end we went with a SOSS hinge and a custom jam that has the doorstop continue all the way to the edge. Because we have some serious time constraints (read my wife is 8+ months pregnant and wants the room done) we opted to have the door made locally instead of ordering online or attempting to build it ourselves. As far as I could tell ordering it online would have put us out around $750 and had a 4-6 week lead time. We were able to have it made locally for $400 a door with a lead time of just over a week. We did have to settle for a paint grade solid core instead of the solid fir that we wanted. The fir would have increased both the cost and lead time substantially. DSC_0083.jpg

We will have to wait for the drywall to be hung to see if the detail turned out the way we wanted, but first impressions are as follows. #1 I absolutely love the feel of the solid door compared to a normal hollow core. Besides feeling more substantial the doors also do a much better job of blocking sound. Definitely worth the extra money. #2 The SOSS hinges are very nice. Obviously the look of them is great, or rather the fact that you can't see them. The feel of the hinge is also nice, although they do feel a little stiff so far.

I know the pictures are pretty lousy, I'll snap some better ones as soon as the drywall gets hung, which hopefully should be by this weekend.

Simple Modern Homes


The reason I started Grassrootsmodern was because I was discouraged by the lack of affordability in modern architecture and interior design. My own personal quest lead me to buy a 700 square foot home and add 600 modern square feet off the back. (That story started here) Acting as general contractor we were able to pull it off for around $100 a square foot. The secret, sweat equity.

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The folks over at Simplemodernhomes.com have taken it one step further. The owner Caleb had the advantage of being an architect fresh out of school. He and his wife designed and built the gorgeous 1400 square foot home shown above for only $70,000. The $50 a square foot price didn't come without a lot of work, but it does prove that if you want something bad enough you can achieve it. When I asked Caleb the secret to affordable modern design, he said;

First, to be grassroots and affordable, you have to be willing to sweat a lot, and bleed some. Doing things ourselves is what makes us grassroots. People always used to build their own homes, and in the last century we've come to the mindset that "I can't do that myself", and "bigger is definitely better." I believe that when thinking about affordable housing, design to your families needs, whether that's 800 sf or 2000 sf. Use materials that are common and durable. Design with common dimensions in mind. Use materials that are easy to install, and always build for a hurricane. Andy Byrnes of The Construction Zone, LTD. in Phoenix said, "There is only one acceptable craft on any project, that is, the best you can possibly do." I firmly believe that should hold true in affordable homes as well. Craft should not be more expensive than a half-job. Low budget projects should have the same level of detail and craft as a high-priced home.

Here are some more interior shots of their home.

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Simple Modern Homes is now sharing the lessons they've learned and helping other folks built affordable modern homes. The renderings below are some of the other projects they've designed. If you're interested make sure you head over to their site and contact caleb.


Fir interior doors?

200904010732.jpg For the room that we are remodeling downstairs I want to do a nice flush vertical grain fir door. Unfortunately that is proving more difficult than I thought. No one in town seems to stock them and everyone wants to custom order them in for me with a lead time of 6 weeks. Since we really want to have them here when we do the door jambs before the drywall that doesn't work for us. I have found one place locally, Stock Builiding Supply, that will custom build them for me with just a week turn around time. I should get the pricing for that today. It seems like it shouldn't be that hard of a thing.

Does anyone know a good place to get a flush fir door?

Flush mount doors


As we are getting ready to redo a downstairs bedroom, I have been looking into the possibility of doing some clean flush mount doors. Luckily there are some pretty good resources online to help figure it all out. The doors shown above are from Modern Doors Direct, and besides having some nice looking doors (at around $700 a door plus installation) they also have some great architectural drawings of how the magic all happens. One of the key things to getting it done are a pair of invisible SOSS hinges. Since the hinges are readily available, I figure I pick up some up and do it myself.


SOSS has a handy chart to determine how many hinges you need based on your door width and weight as well as router guides to help get your hinges set just right. I figure I'll be in it around $100 with hinges and a guide, and another $150 or so for a good solid wood door. With a little luck it will turn out as nice as the Direct Modern Doors ones at a fraction of the price. I admit the real hard part is going to be the jam detail, and I'm still trying to decide the best way to do that. My current plan is just to install a good paint grade jam over the rough opening and have the drywall return into the jam. The drywall edge will be finished off with a L bead to keep the line between the two clean.

Any other advice or thoughts?


Discussion on flush mount doors on Livemodern.

Modern Doors Direct drawings


Steelcase Alight Table


When it comes to office furniture the two big companies Steelcase and Herman Miller come to mind. While Herman Miller actually has a really nice line of home furniture, for some reason I have never really thought of looking to Steelcase for something for my home. That perception is starting to change. Last month I was able to get my hands on one of their coffee tables designed and produced by Turnstone a Steelcase company and I have been really impressed. While the price certainly is out of Ikea territory, the Alight coffee table is priced at $449, which is fair value for the money considering the sturdy build.


We opted for the dark walnut finish which goes well with our brown KRAMFORS sofa and Avalisa rug. The only regret so far is having a glass top, which never stays free of fingerprints thanks to our son. Still it's a good upgrade from our LAKT tables we got for for free off Craigslist.

Available from the Steelcase store for $449

Craigslist Kitchen Treasures

DSC_0003.jpgI have been scouring Craigslist and other local online classifieds for a long time now to see if I could get any deals on kitchen appliances. As luck would have it, we were able to find what I think have been some pretty great deals. Most recently we found a built in GE Monogram refrigerator that was listed for $1,500 due to several dents and scratches put in it during a move. While that sounds like a lot for a dented fridge, retail is more like $6,000 so when I talked him down to $800 I knew I couldn't pass it up. All the panels need replacing, and to buy them from GE would cost another $2,500, but I have a hunch the guys at Interior Renovation can do it for a lot less. I'm just glad we didn't have to haul our old fridge back upstairs.

Gaggenau induction cooktop


In our last kitchen we had a 30" Bosch gas cooktop. We loved the gas, and swore that we would never have anything else. We do a lot of cooking at our house, and the two things that we didn't like about our Bosch were having to remove the grills to clean up after a night of cooking, and the 30" size. When we heard about induction cooktops, it seemed too good to be true. They are way more energy efficient than both gas and traditional electric, they have temperature control as good or better than a gas cooktop, and the glass top makes them easy to clean. The one downside is they are expensive. Our Bosch put us back $600, while the 36" Gaggenau we chose for this kitchen cost a shocking $2400. It was the one big splurge for our kitchen and I think it was worth it. There are quite a few induction cooktops out there, but to me what sets the Gaggenau apart from the others is the removable puck. The big dial used to control the temperature just sits on top of the glass and stays in place by a magnet. Burners are selected by sliding the dial in their direction, and then twisting to get the temperature you want. I love the tactile feedback of turning a dial compared to a touch control for the temperature, and the fact that it just sits on the surface means it's simple to remove for cleaning.

Check your local Gaggenau dealer for pricing (we got our for just over $2400)

Countertops are in!


After a couple weeks delay and a lot of help from our friends at Interior Renovations, our countertops are finally in. I think I had mentioned before that we decided to go with a product from Trespa called Top Lab Plus. Its a laboratory countertop or in it's technical terms, a high density phenolic resin. It is fairly similar to Richlite or Paperstone, which are considered low density phenolic resin countertops, only it is harder and not necessarily green as the paper content is neither recycled or from sustainably harvested forests. The advantage though is the cost. We decided to do a thin 3/4" counter after some inspiration some pictures over at Henrybuilt. Our cost was $15 a square foot plus shipping which put it up to around $20 a square foot. While you can cut the Trespa with a normal carbide tipped skill saw, I chose to send it over to Interior renovation to have them do most of the cutting. They actually had it all done on a CNC and then just finished the edges with some very minimal sanding. Needless to say, we were very pleased with the end result.  


We finally have a functional kitchen, but we still have a ways to go before we are really done. We have the tile backsplash behind the cooktop to do, the hood, and the whole north wall. I think that our next project will be using some of the leftover Trespa to make a matching dining room table.

Roppe Rubber flooring

200812080746Over the weekend we were able to get the rest of the painting done, and install our white rubber flooring. We purchased our flooring from Big D flooring, the local Roppe distributer. While there is nothing really unusual about rubber flooring, they looked at me really weird when I asked for it in snow white. A quick call into Roppe confirmed that we were doing something a little out of the ordinary. They said that they had never done a floor tile in snow white before. While I have a hard time believing that, I do know that the floor turned out nice. Some of the seams turned out a little more visible than I had hoped for, but we haven't given it a good cleaning yet, so it may improve. The install went pretty good. It basically consisted of spreading down some glue with a notched trowel and then setting the tiles in place. To finish things off I rolled the whole floor with a 100 lb floor roller. The bad news is that I was too tight with my measuring, and we ended up 3 tiles short. Luckily all the tile under the cabinetry is in place, so it won't hold us up at all. Rubber flooring available from your local Roppe dealer for $6 a square foot plus install. Dsc 0022-15 The kid approves.

Bocci 22 - phase 1

200812010741One of the things that I am really excited to do in our new kitchen is install our Bocci 22 outlets. I had seen these outlets a long time ago on Apartment Therapy, and loved the look of them. We had one spot in our kitchen that necessitated us putting an outlet in a very visible space, and we wanted to pretty it up a little. A phone call to our local Bocci dealer revealed that these beautiful minimalist outlets weren't too expensive. We ended up getting single outlets (just one plug) on accident, but I think it will turn out alright. Our price was $16 each, which isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things. One of the most expensive parts was the tool that you need to be able to remove the outlet part from the box which was $40. I had a chance to do phase 1 of the install last night so I snapped some pics. Everything went pretty smooth, and I can't wait to see what they look like after the drywaller comes today.

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Siemens Avant Garde hood

 2006 10 Siemens-Avantgarde-Ventilation-HoodWe've been watching the classifieds for a while now to see if we could get any good deals on some of our kitchen appliances. We finally had some good luck the other day when we stumbled across this Siemens Avant Garde hood for only $450. It's 36" wide and normal prices are well above $1,000, so we feel like we got a pretty sweet deal. I actually really like the minimalist shape of it too. We have drywallers coming in tonight to patch up the whole kitchen, hopefully they will be done by this weekend. We will probably start painting and putting in our Roppe rubber flooring sometime next week. Things are finally starting to come together. One of the last things on the list is to order our countertops. We decided to go with laboratory counters from Trespa. At a quoted price of $15 a square plus fabrication, you just can't beat the price.

Vigo Zero Radius Undermount Sink

 Images Products L10760387As we get closer to actually putting our kitchen back together, the accessories are starting to roll in. One of the first things that we bought for our new kitchen was a sink. In our old home we had a large single bowel kitchen sink that we loved. Since our little family is still growing, one of the criteria's for a kitchen sink for us is that it has to be large enough that we can give a baby a bath in it. Our new sink made by Vigo fits the bill perfectly both for style and functionality. We found it on overstock for $449, which is a fair amount of money, but a huge deal compared to the Franke sink that it is copying which retails for a shocking $1,800. Upon receiving it, we are super impressed with the quality of it. The 16 gauge 304 stainless is padded and undercoated to keep the noise down, and the overall look is great. Vigo Zero Radius Sink Available from overstock for $449

Please excuse me while I pay some bills...