Friday, May 25, 2012

Almost Cooking!

Our major renovation project is within just a few weeks of completion, and the kitchen and breakfast room are so close to being done, you can almost smell the bacon frying! Here are some detail photos just prior to the final clean up.

Silestone counter top and porcelain farm sink.

Handy pot-filler over stove.

Semi-complete cook wall, with most of the hardware installed.

Love the over-sized handles on the refrigerator panels.

There is a refrigerator behind those panels, state-of-the-art with LED lighting.

This wall of cupboards in the dining area will supply tons of storage.

Can lights and ceiling fan over the breakfast table.

This area will do double-duty as a bar when entertaining, complete with under-counter wine refrigerator.

Another huge storage cupboard in the kitchen.  I want this!

A cabinet in the hallway off the kitchen, waiting for its doors.

Deep storage above the second refrigerator in the mud room.  Not a square inch wasted!

This cabinet above the double-ovens is ready for TV, with hardware that will allow the doors to slide back into the cabinet.

All these details go together to make a kitchen that is as practical as it is beautiful!  Just wait till it's all put together and cleaned up, and I bet you'll agree.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Natural Light and Closets

Often, when renovating a home built in the early part of the 20th century, we encounter two major issues.  No closets (anywhere!), and interior rooms with no exterior exposure, and therefore no windows!  These are two problems that we try our best to resolve during the re-design process.

The project we've been following recently is an excellent example.  The original floor plan of the second floor presented a warren of small rooms and spaces that wrap around two completely interior rooms.  As we saw in a previous post, the traffic pattern was sorted out sensibly, but the space was still left with an internal, windowless bathroom and laundry room.  The addition of transom windows above doors, and small windows high in the walls of the adjoining rooms will go along way in bringing natural light into the spaces.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.

From a bedroom into the laundry room.

From the bedroom into a brand new bathroom.

From the breakfast area into a hall that leads to the dining room and pool bath.

From the dining room into adjoining hallway.
From a bedroom into a shared bathroom.
None of the bedrooms had closets, so spaces had to be carved from the rooms to create the necessary storage.

And this entire room will become the master closet!
Design is about more than just making things pretty.  Often it's just about finding solutions that make sense...and then making things pretty!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Flooring Choices

In the project we've been following, construction has progressed to the point that the majority of the newly installed flooring has been uncovered.  This is exciting because you finally get to see how the floors interact with the cabinetry and the newly designed spaces.

In the kitchen, flooring should generally be installed prior to cabinet installation.  This way, if there is ever a change in the cabinet configuration, you won't be left with the need to try and blend new sections of flooring into the old.  And in a remodel, there is always the necessity of making flooring choices that flow well from any existing flooring materials, while still being practical to the new owners.

This project was no exception.  With careful consideration, the homeowner chose a wide-plank wood flooring for the kitchen and breakfast area, and a porcelain tile for the mud room.  With four children, plus mom and dad moving into this house, the tile is a perfect choice.  The dark color blends well with the adjoining floors, and the matte tiles provide an extremely durable and slip-resistant surface for entry from the back yard and pool area.  At the same time, the wide-plank flooring in the kitchen offers more warmth and comfort under foot, and is another excellent choice.

Here are some views of the kitchen floor. The major traffic areas are still covered to prevent scratching.

And here are some views of the porcelain tile in the mud room.

Both materials really show off the creamy colored cabinetry and walls.  Great choices!  It won't be long now until there are six pairs of feet running around on these floors...well, actually five pairs for now.  One pair of those feet is still in the "carrying on mom's hip" stage.  But soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Juggling the Trades

Work continues to move at a rapid pace on our major renovation project.  This progress is a sign that the contractor has a good plan in place, and all the trades are playing nicely!  If, for instance, you are ready for tile installation, but the installer can't be on-site for a week, it can be crippling to the job's progress since now every other aspect of the project that comes after the tile has to be put on hold as well.

As you can see here, the minute the final piece of trim was cut and installed, (or possibly before!), the painters began their work. The beautiful finish ties all the elements together and makes the cabinets look like one large piece of furniture.

Even while the painting was happening in the mud room, counter tops were being installed in the kitchen.

The subway tile backsplashes were installed in the kitchen.

And the trim carpenter is back at work, this time creating a simple beam pattern over the breakfast area.

Timing is everything.  No easy task for the contractor to keep all these cogs running smoothly and efficiently.  This machine is humming, and needs to run smoothly for a few more weeks till completion.  The clock is ticking!