Friday, March 29, 2013

Resurface Reveal

Remember the kitchen we looked at least week?

Tired and dated, and in need of a new look. 
Here's a list of what we didn't change:
-Basic layout
-Counter tops
-Positions of major appliances and sink
-Cabinet boxes
And here is a look at what we did change!

The client selected a mosaic glass tile for the back splash, which led us to choose a rich, warm color for the walls that complements the granite counter tops and Saltilo floor tile.  New Shaker-style cabinet doors in a clear oak finish were chosen, and the cabinet boxes were re-faced with matching oak laminate.  A new exhaust hood, European oven and dishwasher were selected in a stainless steel finish to match the existing refrigerator.  The hanging pot rack that clogged up the corner of the room was removed, and replaced with wall-mounted pot racks to display the owner's gorgeous collection of French copper cookware.  A new window blind was selected in a pleated fabric shade design to offer more privacy when needed, and a little softening to the room.  The soffit area above the cabinets (previously covered with the cabinet laminate) was painted to match the walls.  All vestiges of the original 1980's cabinet trim pieces were covered with new squared off profile trim pieces in the same clear oak finish as the cabinets, crown molding was added, LED under cabinet lighting was added to warm up the counter tops below, a new ceiling fan in a complementary finish was installed and new bar stools were selected with an appropriate wood finish and leather seat.

The new kitchen space is warm and inviting, and even though the process was relatively non-invasive, the results are big.  One more way to make a big difference in your every day world!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Skinning the Proverbial Cat

Even typing those words makes me cringe...where do those sayings come from?  But the point is, there is more than one way to do it, and that's what this story is about.

Not every kitchen redo allows for a complete gutting and reconfiguration.  There may be budgetary or space restraints...or it could just be that the kitchen works as efficiently as is needed, but maybe it's just time to freshen it up.  We're going to look at a kitchen where this was the case.  It is a small kitchen that was a little dreary, and definitely dated, but functioned well.  Though the laminate covered cabinets hearkened back to the 80's, the construction was solid.  And there were other elements of the kitchen that were nice enough to work with in the renovation.  Let's take a look at the before photos.

The function is there, but not a kitchen that makes you feel excited to walk into.  When we're done, this kitchen will take on an entirely different look, without moving a single element!  Check back next week.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ready for Fire

Today we'll take a look at the completed outdoor fireplace project we saw in progress last week.  But first, let's take another quick look at what we started with.

A pretty space, in need of new decking and some cleaning up.  Here is the finished project!

After removing the overgrown Rhapis palms, a new border planting of Weeping Podocarpus, white azaleas and dark green liriope make for a more structural and easier to maintain bed.

Deeper steps that step out in 3-directions make for a more graceful entrance area.

The client's furniture selection is the perfect complement to the home's architecture, and the bright yellow-green cushions are a wonderful contrast to the blue stone patio.

The deep hearth is great for extra seating during a party.

A nice, clean area, perfect for entertaining for all seasons.  A project that may have been a while in the making, but the reward is abundant!  Thanks for watching this happen with us.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Decision Is Made!

Last week we looked at a garden project that was recently completed.  Together we perused the existing conditions, and I mentioned the process we went through with the client trying to decide on what would be the most attractive and useful solution to the new space.  Inspired by a photograph in a magazine, the client decided on a blue stone patio and brick fireplace for the answer.  The stone patio will require no more maintenance than blowing off the leaves, and the brick fireplace will be far easier to deal with than a fountain or pergola in the years to come!

Here is a drawing of the basic structure for the fireplace.
When built, it will be a hefty structure, appropriately scaled to the space, and the integral raised brick planters on either side of the fireplace will help to visually contain the patio area, and provide a green space for annuals or perennials to soften the stone and brick.

Here is the fireplace under construction.

A structure like this requires a skilled craftsman, and this mason definitely knows what he is doing!

Next week we will see the finished project, complete with new landscaping.  Trust me, you're going to want this in your own back yard...I know I do!