With almost every remodel project there is a unique set of challenges that must be overcome to reach the final beautiful finish. Some of these challenges might be small, others large, but it is often these challenges that create the most memorable moments in a project. The award winning balcony enclosure and kitchen remodel in this uptown Dallas high-rise condo unit presented a few very unique challenges of its own. And while some challenges are simple to solve, the challenges for this project were of the type that required the use of a construction lift to solve.
The first part of the project focused on the balcony and how to best utilize its space. Located on the sixth floor of the building, the condo offered a spectacular view of the downtown Dallas skyline. However, the small corner balcony, easily the best area in the condo to enjoy the stunning view, was not user friendly. It was small and felt enclosed due to its boxed in nature. The height amplified the effects of wind and the south facing orientation left it susceptible to glaring sunlight throughout the day, especially as it reflected off nearby buildings. Plus, the increase in nearby construction and its associated noise made the balcony a less than pleasant space for the homeowners to use.
With all these issues plaguing the balcony space, the homeowners decided that the best solution was to forgo the outdoor balcony entirely and instead enclose the space and incorporate it into the main living area of the unit. In doing so, however, the homeowners wanted to ensure that the additional space would seamlessly tie in with the existing space and that their view of the downtown skyline would not be lost. Located in the corner of the open floor plan living area, the newly enclosed space needed to feel like it was a natural part of the floor plan. One of the biggest challenges with doing this was the flooring. When the area was a balcony the floor needed to slope downward away from the building so that water could properly drain. Now enclosed, the floor had to be levelled before hardwood flooring that matched the existing white oak floors could be installed.
To maximize the downtown view, the homeowners wanted the new outer wall to be mostly made up of windows that were as large as possible. Further complicating matters, the outer wall of the balcony had a curved 90-degree angle that needed to be maintained due to the building’s structure. The solution was to install five large curved picture windows along the wall. But deciding on this option was only half the battle. The second, and even more difficult part, was figuring out a way to transport the windows up to the unit. Due to their size, the windows would not fit in even the building’s freight elevator. The only option was to transport them to the unit outside of the building. For that, we had to bring in a Skytrak construction lift. The windows were each carefully transported up to the unit from the street.
With the windows in place, the homeowners are allowed an almost entirely unobstructed view from the safety and comfort inside their condo. The wall of windows was finished with a short window seat book shelf that runs along the entire length of the wall in between the bottom of the windows and the floor. Electronically controlled shades allow the homeowners to easily block out the glaring sunlight during the worst parts of the day and easily enjoy their spectacular downtown view during others.
For their kitchen renovation, the owners partnered with the design team at Poggenpohl in Dallas to create a kitchen that fit with the contemporary design style that they favored. Due to their condo location, the owners were limited in making any major structural changes to the layout of the room. However, that did not prevent them from being able to completely gut the old kitchen and start fresh. Despite following the same footprint as the old kitchen, the remodeled kitchen is entirely new and includes many high end and modern fixtures.
The new kitchen features glossy white cabinets with light gray countertops. The old range was replaced with a stainless steel induction cooktop. The stainless steel vent hood and backsplash help give the kitchen an industrial vibe that complements the contemporary feel of the space. The sink faucet is motion and touch activated. The refrigerator and freezer have built in front panels to match the cabinets. Completing the kitchen is a small desk provides the owners with a nearby work station.