Thursday, June 14, 2018

OPaL Brings Back The Keeping Room at The Manors. Ta-Dahhh!

We just completed the model home at The Manors with our very first Keeping Room. I had thought of a keeping room as a sitting area right next to the kitchen, where guests hung out while dinner was prepared. Now that OPaL has built our first keeping room, I have educated myself on how the term came to be.

Here's what I've learned::
"keeping room is actually a very basic concept. It is a secondary living room that connects to the kitchen area. It was a popular space in colonial times due to the fact that the heat from the kitchen kept the keeping room warm, making it one of the few heated areas in the house"

Interesting right? Well our keeping room doesn't need heat but it is a super neat space. We have separated it from the kitchen with a large set of French doors. We also made sure to continue the use of the 7' tall windows throughout; this ensures the keeping room will be as sunlit as the rest of our home. THAT'S SO OPaL.

This is one of my favorites spaces we have ever built. I hope you think so too.

In this photo you can see the full length French Doors that separate the Keeping Room from the Kitchen.

OPaL's First Keeping Room. Ta-Dahhhh!

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Here's to a fun filled pride month for the entire DC Metro Area!

We had Watkins Alley colored to perfection by our terrific friends at ArchiBIM. Thanks Viktor!

Jason & my kids: Maddie & Paddy dancing at Eastern Market! Aren't they the cutest?

Thursday, May 24, 2018


Just got the word: Cluss Court Car Barn has made the final round in two categories for the 2018 Gold Nugget Awards. Sponsored by the Pacific Coast Builder's Conference the GNA honors not just the best architecture and design in the United States but internationally as well. OPaL has won three Gold Nugget Awards in the past 4 years. It is a great honor when we win locally, however, winning on the Left Coast with our East Coast projects is incredibly special and means alot to the entire OPaL team.

This summer we will travel to San Francisco to find out the results. If nothing else, San Francisco is super fun to play tourist in and it's an honor just to make the finals. We will be competing in the categories Best Renovated, Restored or Adaptive Re-Use Project and Best Multi-Family Project Under 15 Acres.

That's So OPaL!

When we won Project of the Year! That's quite an expression on my face.

Cluss Court Car Barn :: BEFORE

Cluss Court Car Barn :: AFTER

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

5 Reasons To Renovate Your Home with OPaL | Our New Web Page for Renovations

Our creative friends at Lyons & Sucher have outdone themselves with our new renovation web page: 5 Reasons to Renovate Your Home with OPaL. Check it out::


They used my son Patrick Ruppert for Reason #2.

Screen Shot of the Header.  Cool Right?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

OPaL Welcomes Obie. The Next O in OPaL

The original O in OPaL (Oliver) passed away in 2004; The P in OPaL (Parker) has been gone just a few years and we lost the L in OPaL (Lucy) just 18 months ago. Now that my twins are almost five I began thinking it was a good age to have another dog.

Meet Obie. The next O in OPaL!

Obie just arrived at our home yesterday as a surprise for the kids. He is a BerneDoodle and I drove a 15 hour round trip to South Carolina on Friday to pick him up. Barring a fall in the pool yesterday and a few 'whoopsies' on the floor yesterday, he seems to fit in perfectly.

Obie the BerneDoodle

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Multigenerational Homes by OPaL / Kensington / Montgomery County

Found this cute little, multigenerational image online.

A few years ago on this blog I wrote about the guest apartment we were building adjacent our new home off MacArthur Blvd in Cabin John. This wouldn't be a normal guest apartment, it would be my mom's new home and what would end up being her final. With an elevator, full kitchen, simple bathroom, laundry and even a small balcony, Granny would hopefully feel right at home. In this new, tiny home of hers, she would be safe, see her grandkids whenever she wanted and she would have some independence too.

In today's Washington Post there is a great article about the growing trend of multigenerational homes that you may find interesting.

OPaL's latest project in Montgomery County will offer family size homes with elevators and in-law suites under one roof. The Manors | Kensington opens for sales in just a few weeks. Just steps from Westfield Wheaton Mall and Metro the homes are infinitely walkable, both inside and out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cookie's Sunroom Addition & Jason and My Beach House Sunroom and Front Porch Additions:: That's So OPaL

With our first snow storm of the year headed our way tomorrow an update on two sunrooms and a front porch is needed to remind us that today is the first day of spring 2018. What better way to ignore the snow by celebrating these OPaL additions that will be such great spaces to enjoy this summer!

Still missing the clear story on the roof but you can already see what a great space this will be for Cookie and Brian to enjoy!

This beach house has been Transformed with a capital T! What a difference a front porch makes.

We also converted this side patio into a sunroom. In warmer weather, with the windows open, you will be able to hear the ocean from this new room!

We can't wait to gobble fruit and popsicles this summer on our new front porch! Just like we do on our front porch in Cabin John! Isn't this the cutest thing?!  That's So OPaL