101 Great Building Design Ideas

by hookedonhouses on July 11, 2009


Got a major house project looming and feeling overwhelmed? Need to remodel a room and need some inspiration to get going? Then let me introduce you to Jim Madsen, an award-winning professional building designer whose gallery of remodeled rooms includes this beautiful contemporary kitchen. I’m excited to have him as one of my blog’s newest sponsors because he has written a book that I really enjoyed and that I think you’ll find helpful, too.


It’s called 101 Great Building Design Ideas, and it’s filled with just that–one great idea after another in a very easy to read format that is filled with photos of his work. He also has a sense of humor and a conversational writing style, so it’s fun to read.


Some of my favorite sections of the book include:

  • How to include a hidden door in your home, such as a bookcase that swings out to reveal another room or private nook (always wanted one of those!)
  • Recessing sections of walls in a room to create a family photo gallery (love this idea!)
  • Creating a built-in Coffee Center like this one (below):


  • Why you should think twice before putting a professional-grade cooktop on an island unless you’re willing to have an updraft hood hanging in the center of the room.
  • The type of wood that you shouldn’t use for kitchen cabinets, even though it might look beautiful.
  • Why we should bring back the concept of “keeping rooms” in our homes–no TVs allowed.

Visit Jim’s Design Classics website to learn more. You can buy his book as either a hard copy or ebook.  He also has an impressive gallery of remodels he has done like the one shown here that’s fun to look through.


P.S. I’m finalizing my list of sponsors for the month of August. Hooked on Houses received nearly 250,000 page views last month and is one of the Top 10,000 blogs listed on Technorati. For my advertising rates and information, contact me.

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Shannon July 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Congratulations!!! I am so glad your blog is doing so well. I love it!!!

Florida Sue July 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I sure do love this contemporary kitchen. The glass tile on the backsplash reeled me in. I did the same thing in a lighter color.. This would have been a great book to have before we started our reno. At least I got something right!

.-= Florida Sue´s last blog ..If Only =-.

Morning T July 11, 2009 at 8:54 pm

That built in coffee center is amazing!!
.-= Morning T´s last blog ..Music to my ears =-.

The Blushing Hostess July 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Will do. We are looking at a massive one ourselves here shortly and can use all the help we can get. Hope you’re well, Julia – just catching up here…
.-= The Blushing Hostess´s last blog ..RIP: Robert Isabell, Renown Event Planner =-.

JustaFarmGurl July 12, 2009 at 10:00 am

Julia, that looks like a fabulous book. I ordered two. One for me and one to give as a gift. Thanks for letting us know about it. We are just beginning our build and can make some changes immediately. I love your blog. It is bookmarked so I can refer to it daily or sooner! Keep up the good work. I will post back when I have read the book cover to cover. JustaFarmGurl

JoEllen July 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Is it sick that in the middle of watching the movie “the Proposal” I was thinking that you need to feature the Alaskan home on your blog?? It was fantastic!
The movie was really cute too!!!

Erin Obwald July 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm

We enjoyed Jim Madsen’s book to the finest detail…he thinks of everything! Since thinking of some ways to “spice up” our own house to put on the market we found his book so helpful!

Struggler July 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm

These photos are lovely; I’ll be sure to look out for the book. I don’t even drink coffee but I bet that Coffee Center would do hot chocolate too!?
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..Bastille Day tomorrow! =-.

Mike July 14, 2009 at 8:31 am

I am so buying that book. And you know, I usually don’t care for too many contemporary kitchens, but I absolutely love the one in the photos above.

Jim Madsen July 14, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Thanks! I’m glad you like the kitchen. Just like you and Julia, I am not usually drawn to comtemporary kitchens either. They tend to be very sterile and laboratory-like. So, in order to warm this one up, I used a dark terra-cotta color on the walls and walnut travertine on the floors. The yellow in the light fixtures and custom artwork by artist John Claes helped to tie everything together. Oh, and by the way “Morning T,” you’re right, the coffee center is AMAZING! I recommend them to all my coffee-loving clients. I wish I had the space in my kitchen for one.

Mike July 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Jim, I’m so glad you said “warm” because that’s exactly the contrast with typical contemporary I had in mind seeing those pictures above. Some days I would kill for that 6-burner cooktop!

Micah @ Cooktop Reviews June 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Those are some nice designs. BTW, commenter Mike I agree with you. I would even settle for 5 burner cooktop. :)
.-= Micah @ Cooktop Reviews´s last blog ..Bosch NGM8054UC Gas Cooktop Review =-.

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