January 31, 2011

Park City Condo Project: Before & After

Take a look inside the condo remodel that is nearly completed!  
Before & After photos say it best, so here you go:

Main view from foyer - BEFORE

Main view from foyer - AFTER
Simply removing that kitchen wall made the condo feel 10x bigger.

Fireplace - BEFORE

Fireplace - AFTER
We resized the fireplace so the firebox was centered in the surround.  It looks much bigger even though the firebox is in the same location (raising the firebox was easy, but moving it left or right would have been much more expensive), and is now more centered on the sitting area (furniture is still in the works).

Kitchen - BEFORE

Kitchen - AFTER

View into Foyer - BEFORE

View into Foyer - AFTER

Master Bathroom - BEFORE

Master Bathroom - AFTER
We reconfigured these walls a bit so the vanity would be part of the bathroom rather than the bedroom, and the closet is now bigger.  We also got rid of all the funky angles here for a much cleaner look.

Guest Bath - BEFORE

Guest Bath - AFTER

There are still a few items to finish, including furniture and accessories.  I hope to show more photos of the furnished space (including bedrooms) once that is all completed.

This has been a really great project to be a part of.  My client loves color and appreciates natural materials and textures, so I've had the opportunity to be a little more bold than usual here.  The contractor, Bruce Anderson, from Blue Willow Builders, has done a wonderful job and has a great team of guys that are fun to work with.   I wouldn't hesitate to send anyone to Bruce for remodel or new construction projects.  All the beautiful cabinetry, doors, trim, and fireplace mantle, were designed and built by Chris Peterson at Riverwoods Mill.  Chris has a great eye for detail and it has been a pleasure working with him on design specifics.  Other key players are Cora from Ferguson, Kathleen at European Marble, Terry from Foremost Interiors, Jayson from Kupferschmidt Electric, Tony from Workman Floors, Keene from Mountainland, the staff at Light Spot Modern Design, and many others.  Having a good team makes all the difference in the world!

January 28, 2011

I'm Sprouting!

This isn't necessarily a design-related post, however, it is related to kitchens, and I design kitchens.  I randomly happened upon a kitchen gadget store yesterday, so I stopped in to say hi.  It's absolutely amazing how many kitchen gadgets there are out there.  I commented to the sales woman that I had no idea there were so many things I needed until I walked in that store.  Yes, I'm a sucker for gadgets.  I admit it.

I restrained myself, and ended up with a single item - the Sprout Master Mini.  It's a simple divided tray system that comes with 2 sets of seeds.  Supposedly, all I need to do is soak the seeds overnight and water them twice a day, and in just a few days I'll have healthy, edible sprouts.   We eat a lot of sprouts on our sandwiches, and I'm sick of buying them in plastic containers at the grocery store.  Plus, I miss my summer patio garden, so I'm excited to grow something in my kitchen.

Here they are at the end of Day 1.  You can't tell from here, so take my word for it.  There are already a few little tiny baby sprouts.

Sounds sorta like a chia pet, huh?

January 26, 2011

Sneak Peek

We are 99.9% finished with the construction portion of a Park City condo project I've been working on for months, so now we've switched our focus to the furniture and accessories.  I took a ton of photos of the empty condo, and will post them here in the next week.  For now, here's a preview, just to whet your appetites!  I LOVE the results and can't wait to show it off to all of you!

January 25, 2011

Dwell Studio for Robert Allen

via Dwell Studio

I'm working on a couple upholstery projects right now, and I'm loving the Dwell Studio series for Robert Allen collection called Eclectic Modern.  It's a mix of modern and traditional, with a touch of vintage.  Here are some of my favorites:

Dotted Trellis - Dove

Gate - Citrine

Gate - Jade

Pyramid - Dove 

Snake Chain - Dove

Vintage Blossom - Citrine

Vintage Blossom - Jade

Vintage Plumes - Camel

Vintage Plumes - Jade

January 21, 2011

Another Beautiful White Kitchen

I recently subscribed to House Beautiful and got my first issue this week.  I've been drooling over all of the photos and recipes, but this one most of all:

This kitchen is in a Manhattan residence designed by architect Alexander Gorlin and interior designer Garrow Kedigian (photograph by Pieter Estersohn).  It has the classic and oh-so-trendy elements of white cabinets with Calacatta Gold marble countertops, but the design of the cabinet doors is completely unique (inspired by the grids in the windows).  The cabinet doors tie in really well with the geometric designs on the 18th-century Chinese bamboo chairs as well as the Greek motifs seen elsewhere in fabrics and rugs throughout the home (see "Urban Renewal" in the February 2011 issue of House Beautiful for more photos).

My only complaint is a general complaint I always have.  Somewhere in this process there was a Kitchen Designer who helped all of these ideas come together seamlessly in a custom cabinet layout.  This kitchen designer likely spent hours turning the architect & interior designer's plans into something that would actually work with the dimensions, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and any special client requests for storage needs.  This is a Manhattan kitchen, and therefore it's likely small.  Maximizing space is critical, which makes the job of the kitchen designer that much more important.  So, to the nameless kitchen designer for this project and all other kitchen designers who don't get credit for their work... Well done!

January 18, 2011

Free Printable 2011 Calendar

Is anyone else out there suddenly feeling disorganized because they don't have a 2011 calendar yet?  I am!  And calendars are expensive, especially because you use them for a year and then they're worthless (unless the calendar photos are good enough to cut out and frame, which is actually an inexpensive way to get 12 new pieces of artwork).

Last year I discovered Blue Dot's free downloadable / printable calendar.  They've created a 2011 calendar this year and I love it even more.  Check it out!

Here are a few of my favorite months:

January 14, 2011

What's So Cool About This Faucet?

Well, aside from the cool modern style of the Hansa Canyon faucet, Hansa has been a frontliner of the current trend of LED lighting incorporated into everything, including faucets.

We just installed this in a client's bathroom.  It features electronic controls, and temperature-sensitive LED lights.

Red = Hot 

Blue = Cold

And Purple = Somewhere in the middle

I'm excited to post more (and better) photos of this project once it's finished!

January 7, 2011

Alternatives to Ugly Outlets in Kitchen Islands

In the world of kitchen design, one of my biggest pet peeves is outlets in the island.  I know, code requires you to have at least one outlet, and they can be functional for prep spaces.  So they are a necessary evil.  I say evil because standard outlets can be just plain ugly.  For example, see the photo above.  Maybe it's just me, but when I look at that photo, all I see is that ugly white rectangle on the island.  Once I finally convince myself to look beyond the outlet, then and only then do I see that it's actually a very nice kitchen.  But, that outlet... I just can't get past that outlet!  The sad thing is that there are many device colors available.  So for just a few dollars more (and no extra creativity), they could have used a black outlet and cover plate that would have blended in so much better!  Lutron also has about 20 other colors available.

I'm constantly on a mission to find a better solution for outlets in islands, rather than the standard duplex outlet box.  So far, here's what I've come up with:

1.  Plugmold strips.  These can sometimes be recessed into an end panel, or tucked up underneath the countertop overhang.
via Kitchen Details blog

Plugmold typically comes in black, white, and stainless steel.

2.  Kitchen Power Grommet by Mockett.

I love this concept, though I haven't actually used it yet.  This pop-up grommet has a seal, supposedly making it safe for wet locations.  When you need an outlet, you simply pop up the unit and you then have all the outlets you need right in front of you.  Beware though, this is a pretty big unit so you need to make sure you have room in the cabinet below the grommet, since it will take up space.  (UPDATE: I have used this outlet since I originally posted, and as long as it's installed properly, it's a great solution.  Though I'll emphasize again that it is a bit bulky and takes up a bit of space below the countertop.)

3.  Sillite.  I'm pretty excited about this one!  In fact, I'm working with an electrician right now to use a Sillite outlet in a kitchen island, and I think it's going to work great.  (Thanks Jayson for being willing to try new things!)

Sillite outlets are part of a product line of electric candles for use in window sills.  Sillite has introduced a round outlet that is flush-mounted in the window sill.  The candlestick plugs directly into the outlet, eliminating the need for any unsightly cords.  Though kitchen islands are not their originally intended purpose, I think it's a great place for a small inconspicuous outlet.  They're available in white or black and come with a matching plastic cover.

If you know of other creative alternatives, please share!

Disclaimer:  I'm not entirely sure if all of these applications will pass code in your area.  Though the websites claim they meet code, it's up to each jurisdiction (and each individual inspector) to confirm.  So please check with local building inspectors before using any of these options.

7/12/12 UPDATE:  I just posted a photo of a Lutron designer color outlet we installed on an island.  The color blends almost perfectly, and the screwless plate has a finished look.  See the full post here.

11/23/2013 UPDATE:  Legrand now has a line of outlets approved for use in the US which use stylish square receptacles with several options for faceplates, including this one I custom-designed for a recent contest (I didn't win, but it was fun anyway).