What’s on the Architect’s desk? 26 October 2016

I am spending the day at my drafting table today.  For this particular project, the client wishes to enclose a good portion of an existing wrap-around front porch.  The home has water front views from the rear porch and the front porch is rarely used.  The space acquired from the porch will be incorporated into the conditioned floor area of the main house.  Specifically, we’re looking to increase the size of the Master Bathroom.  This will allow for an entirely reconfigured Master Suite, including taking full advantage of this home’s water views.  In addition to larger room sizes for the bedroom and bathroom, the space we are reclaiming from the porch also provides enough room to add a second walk-in closet.

On the other side of the porch, we are also looking at different layout options to use some of the space for a new Guest Suite and to relocate the Laundry Room.  All in all, this reclaimed porch area will be utilized far more often as interior space.

Custom Living: Flip Flop Family

With balancing so many different projects and the craziness of Summer, we haven’t hard too much time to work on custom living projects recently.

One project that we were able to complete was our Flip Flop stop for our back porch. It was fairly simple project (for Trevor) made with 1×6’s and some scrap plywood. I added the text “flip flop family, est. 2007,” by printing the mirror image on our inkjet printer and then transferring the text by rubbing on the backside with a dull object against the wood. I then simply painted over the rubbed text and added a chevron for decoration.

flip flop familyAnd, in the end, it ended up being the perfect way to announce that our flip flop family will be growing by two flip flops this January! We are excited to welcome baby Draper and I’m already looking forward to many custom living projects especially for this sweet little one.


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in Charleston, South Carolina area and throughout the Lowcountry.


How to build a Joggling Board

We have had some great response to last week’s “Custom Living: Joggling Board” post including a handful of requests for plans/how to. So, here is a quick run down for the basic instructions on how to build a joggling board:

First, your shopping list for the lumberyard:

  • (2) 8′ 4×4 posts
  • 14′ of 1″ to 1-1/4″ dowel (in increments of 24″)
  • 2×12 for the seat – this can be almost any length you wish.  Ours is 12′ long.
  • Fasteners to attach the 4×4’s together on the supports

Basic Joggling Board Instruction

Step 1 – Cut the 4×4’s into (8) 24″ lengths.

Step 2 – Cut the dowel into (6) 24″ lengths and (4) 8″ lengths.

Step 3 – Using the Joggling Board Support Drawing below for dimensions, drill three holes on (4) of the 24″ length 4×4’s. It is easiest to drill the holes in the vertical 4×4 posts with a drill press and a good drill bit.  I would recommend drilling a hole this is slightly larger than the diameter of the dowels, if you plan to paint the pieces before final assembly.


Joggling Board Support  Drawing 

Step 4 – Use the remaining (4) 24″ 4×4’s to create the rocking bottom of the two supports. Leave a small area in the center that is flat, so that the joggling board will stay in place when not being used – roughly 3 1/2″ should be plenty wide enough.  We used a band saw to cut the arcs into the rocker pieces.  The arcs need to be more or less the same, so be sure to use a template to transfer the arc shape between pieces.

Step 5 – Center the vertical 4×4’s on the rockers and attach them either with pocket holes and screws from the top side of the support or with a couple a longer screws directly through the bottom of the rocker (countersunk).

Step 6 – Take 2 of your 4 rocking 4×4 posts and connect using (3) 24″ dowels through the three holes previously drilled. We set the 24″ dowels so that they extend 1-1/2″ beyond each 4×4 support.

Your two supports will look like this:  


Step 7 – Drill 4 holes (two on each end) into the 2×12 seat for the 8″ dowels. (diagram shown below)


2 holes at one end of 2×12 seat

 Step 8 – Insert the board between the upper two dowels of each support before inserting the outer dowels in the seat.  We used a jigsaw to round off the corners of the bench.


Custom Living: Joggling Board

A few tips:

  • Be sure to let your wood dry out as much as possible before starting.
  • Using a rubber mallet may be helpful in getting the dowels in position.
  • As you can see from the picture above, you should individualize your joggling board by modifying decorative portions.
  • Please be sure to always operate your tools in a safe manner and wear all appropriate eye and ear protection when operating power tools.


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in the Charleston, South Carolina area.

Custom Living: Joggling Board

One of my favorite “custom living” projects from this past fall was building our joggling board for our front porch!

our joggling board & porch decorated for Christmas

our joggling board & porch decorated for Christmas

For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, a joggling board is a long, pliable board that is supported on each end by wooden stands that rock back and forth. The board is springy so a person sitting on it can easily bounce up and down and rock back and forth. In her book “The Vanishing Coast,” Elizabeth Leland has a delightful description and account of the joggling board’s history.

“It’s pretty simple, really. A joggling board is a piece of Charleston history that measures up to 22 feet long and 13 inches wide, a supple piece of pine usually supported between wooden rollers two feet off the ground. It looks like a giant tongue depressor and acts like a trampoline,” Leland writes.

It is thought that the original plans for a joggling board were sent from the Scottish relatives of Mary Esther Kinloch Huger after learning that her rheumatism kept her from being able to do much more than ride in her carriage for exercise. Her relative sent her a model of a joggling board recommending that sitting and gently bouncing might help her rheumatism.

And, now, as Ms.Leland’s mother would say, “a joggling board is to a piazza [porch] what mint is to a julep.”


Custom Living: Kitchen Drawer Divider

With TMD Architects projects keeping us busy this summer, we haven’t had as much time to work on many “custom living” projects around the house. However, one project we did sneak in before the end of Summer was our kitchen drawer divider.

First, you must know that whenever you give an architect an idea for a project, Auto-cad will no doubt be involved. (check out the drawing below)



The key for this drawer was to utilize all the space of the large drawer; we also wanted to find a way to have knives off the counter and in the drawer as well. It was determined that with a split level on one side we could manage to put all of our knives, silverware, and “miscellaneous” items all in the drawer.

photo (1)

It is amazing how just a little more storage can make such a big impact – especially in the kitchen!



Custom Living: Back Porch Table

Being married to an architect has many perks. But, recently, I have enjoyed his talent in designing “shabby chic” or “upcycled” furniture for our home. I tend to come up with grand ideas, but am not positive quite how to implement them. That is where Trevor comes in and helps create a plan (and often times a set of AutoCAD drawings!)

It has probably been a year now since we found 2 doors on the curb in front of our neighbor’s home. Since we were fairly new to the neighborhood at that time, we thought it would at least be polite to ask before trying to sneak (as best as possible) the doors from their garbage. We were lucky enough to catch our neighbors in the yard and we inquired about the future of the doors. We shared with the gentleman that we wanted to make a table for our porch out and the doors looked to be perfect for the project. He laughed and informed us that his wife had the same plan 5 years ago and it never happened. What he didn’t know was that my sweet architect husband had already been working on plans for me and were beyond ready to create a nook on our back porch for hosting!

Here are a couple of pictures of the project and the final product.

Porch Table Construction Porch Table Final


Decisions, Decisions

My brother is an emergency room physician and he told us once that it was good for him to get sick every so often to remind him what his patients are going through. After undergoing a few minor home improvement projects, we feel the same way! But for us, it is the reminder of how difficult decisions can be when it comes to your home.

We recently painted the exterior of our house. Not only did we have to decide on the exterior color, but we then had to decide on the porch stain and shutter color. We seemed to do just fine with the first two decisions (although it took us a while to settle on Elizabeth Lane Blue), but the shutter color had us stumped.

We spent many a night walking the neighborhood looking at the paint/shutter colors of our neighbors, looking through magazines and pursuing our Sherwin Williams color wheel. What we had looked great, but I wanted more of a country beach look. Trevor suggested we use the trim color, which seemed like a good idea, but we weren’t sure that was exactly what we wanted. Finally we settled on a color between the trim and the base of the house. It all turned out great, but my favorite part is our yellow back door!