July 27, 2012

New Trend - White Appliances?!?!

By now you may have already seen House Beautiful's 2012 Kitchen of the Year.  And if you haven't seen it, you must go check it out, NOW.  See it here.

Aside from it being yet another amazingly beautiful kitchen by my favorite kitchen designer, Mick DeGiulio (whom I've written about several times before), after I got over the overall fabulousness of it all, my next thought was "Whoa - hold on, I see white appliances!"

Take a look at the collection along the right wall.  It's the new Whirlpool Ice collection, and it's pretty sexy, huh?

Does this mean white is making a comeback?  Does stainless steel finally have some competition?  I've seen other attempts at white appliances, but they haven't been a part of the "Kitchen of the Year".  

If white appliances can look this good, I'm all for it.  What do you think?

July 25, 2012

Park City Condo Remodel Update

A while ago we finished the construction portion of this condo remodel, and now we're slowly adding the furniture and accessories.  I'm honored that my client is so proud of this condo remodel that it's actually become an art project to him, so rather than rushing to the point of a finished project, we're having fun handling one piece at a time, where each element is a project in itself.

We recently finished the custom guest bedroom furniture.  While this room still needs some art and accessories, the furniture is art in itself.

As with all the cabinetry and millwork in the condo, the headboard, nightstands, and dresser were all built by RiverWoods Mill.

We are also making progress on the Living Room!  We ordered a sample of a custom rug, and it's going to be just perfect.  

July 11, 2012

Recent Kitchen Remodel - Before & After

I blogged a bit about this project before (here and here and here), but now we're finished (just waiting on some final little details like seat cushions and window treatments).  I'm so thrilled with how great this kitchen looks - I've been so excited to post these photos!

You may recall my previous post about how challenging it can be when you're remodeling only part of a home, and therefore are forced to work with existing items like honey oak that are outdated but due to budget restrictions they have to remain.  In this case we had honey oak everywhere in the home - flooring, doors, trim, cabinets, and even light fixtures.  I had no choice but to work around it, especially since I had convinced my clients that we could remove the wall and open up the kitchen without creating a domino effect that would force them to tear apart the entire house.  We worked with the existing oak by using a coordinating-but-not-matching darker red/brown finish on the cabinets (matching the darker grain in the oak floors) and selecting granite with a slight gold tone (though not the dominant color as we didn't want to emphasize the gold).  I couldn't be happier with the results, and I think my clients feel the same way.

One thing that strikes me the most is how much the original architecture of the home is enhanced by this remodel.   It's an amazing home, and the beautiful new kitchen fits right in.

Let's take a look at some before & after shots to get the full effect:


And some details...

  The Lutron designer finish outlet in the island is a much better look than a standard white or black outlet.

 My signature LeMans corner pull-out unit

A specialty crown profile and the Amerock Blackrock hardware add flair to the otherwise simple cabinet style.

The glass backsplash tile added the perfect luxurious touch.

I teamed up with ReVive Remodeling for the construction.  
The custom cabinetry was built by RiverWoods Mill.  
The Red Montana granite countertops are from European Marble and Granite.

And just for fun, this was the proposed model I drew on SketchUp.

July 6, 2012

A Low-Flow Rainshower That Actually Rinses My Hair?

Doubters.... Believe it or not, this showerhead exists!
Moen Envi showerhead
Last week I attended an event and was the lucky winner of a Moen Envi eco-performance showerhead.  Of course I immediately asked my husband to install it (as independent as I am, I have to accept the fact that he is stronger and will be able tighten things much better than I will).  Our previous showerhead was a basic Hansgrohe model.  I've always loved Hansgrohe, and it's usually my go-to line for shower faucets.  And though that showerhead was a basic model, it was great - their water technology really makes for a great shower.
Envi - Full rainshower spray
So I was skeptical when I was about to replace my Hansgrohe with a Moen, especially a low-flow Moen rainshower.  For one, you always hear people complain about not being able to fully rinse their hair with a rainshower, so when the flow is reduced by 20% you expect even less.  The saving grace was going to be the switch that changes the spray from a full rainshower to a more centered direct flow.  But guess what?  After using the showerhead now, I've never needed to switch to the more concentrated spray!  The rainshower function, at the 2 gpm flow (current industry standard is 2.5gpm), offers a wonderful and relaxing spray that still has enough pressure to rinse my hair.  
Envi - Optional concentrated spray, with the flick of the lever on the right
The secret, as many higher-end faucet manufacturers have discovered, is the technology behind the showerhead, which has 2 elements:

The Flow of the Water
While many lesser quality rainshowers are gravity-fed,  Moen's Immersion  technology is a self-pressurizing system that increases the force and flow.

The Shape of the Water
This showerhead features Fibonacci-inspired, spiral-shaped nozzle patterns to provide full-body coverage that envelops the user in invigorating body sprays, no matter what the spray setting.

The Fibonacci sequence is fascinating.  It's naturally everywhere, and I'm constantly amazed at how it's used in science and technology to make products better.

A couple fun posts about the Fibonacci Spiral:

Disclaimer:  Though I received this showerhead for free as part of a raffle, I was under no obligation to review it or promote.

(images from moen.com)