Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kitchen Remodel - before + afters

I promised I would try to post more before + here I am trying to fulfill my promise. Unfortunately these are not professionally done...I was aiming for speed on my goal. None the less, I think you will get the idea.

This kitchen was a basic builder kitchen as you will see. While it did have one view window...that's all it had! They designed it so that it butt up to a butler's pantry and the pantry was on the view wall. Crazy right?! Why would anyone design a house with a pantry on a wall with the best view on the property?

There were other design dilemmas as well. For a substantial sized home, this kitchen did not fit the scale of the home or it's inhabitants. The island was meek and the lighting was awful. Their idea of task lighting was incandescent rope lights hanging off the bottom of the cabinets. They kept falling off and it looked like Christmas all year long (that's not a good thing!)

Now comes the fun part. I took the pantry off the view wall (the north wall) and relocated to another section of the house by the laundry area (which was south east of the kitchen.) This enabled an expansion of the previously too small dining room into a dining room that scaled very well with the new kitchen size. We bumped the north kitchen wall out to meet the north wall of the previous eating area to the east of the kitchen. I designed the cabinetry to run the perimeter of this new north wall with the sink front and center. All new windows were installed to take advantage of the views. The windows to the northeast and northwest were installed to be serving windows for what would become the outdoor kitchen/dining/living areas. (just thinking ahead:)

The island was expanded to include a five-person eating bar made from local urban hardwoods we picked out from the mill...that was a fun trip! The tile was made locally and is incredible. The cabinet woods were derived from the US and assembled in Canada. These cabinets are not only beautiful but also incredibly well made.

On the south side of the kitchen, I elongated the wall along the hall and wrapped the ends in on both sides to encompass the area with the bulk of the appliances as well as a prep sink.

The ceiling was dropped around the perimeter to allow for ease of installing lights, for the south bank of cabinets to have an ending point and to add drama and perceived height to the interior of the kitchen.

The window coverings are not up yet....they will be interior mount soft valances to bring in the red palette from the dining room and family room.

Please let us know what you think of this remodel!

NOW for the AFTER's:

You can peek at the new outdoor kitchen as well.....BUT don't you worry...I'll work on taking pics of that as well soon!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sliding doors--a great solution for a family + a room

I must admit...I get so wrapped up in projects I often forget to concentrate on taking the after pics. I think this is because I am so often referred to my next clients by my currents clients that I do not rely on the pictures to get drum up business. I must admit it is fun to share these spaces with you!

I so appreciate the great word of mouth! So thank you to all of my past, current + future clients for sharing my endeavors. That being said, I will be better about pictures in the future.

I was asked to submit pictures of these sliding doors for a competition. Here are the before pictures, concept pictures and after pictures.

This family room was actually too big! I decided to take some space from this room and create several smaller spaces. The area you see pictured here is a desk niche designed to seat 3 across (as they have 3 girls). As the girls get older and work on their homework and laptops, the parents will be able to help and oversee their Internet activities. When this area is not in use, it may be closed off + their "stuff" may be tucked away.

Before- display niches
Before- family room (display niches right)
Behind these new walls, to the east and west of the desk niche, is a mudroom + laundry bin room. Unfortunately I do not have pics of these areas taken yet...but I promise to get on that! This was a rather large remodel and I look forward to showing you the whole thing eventually.

Above, are some BEFORE pictures with the concept pictures just below them. Are you ready? You are almost to the AFTERS:

concept-niche hidden

concept- desk niche exposed




After- inside niche shot

After- niche hidden
After-niche exposed


Saturday, March 17, 2012

the WHOLE design process

Published in Cities Unite, The Edge
written by Brett Marlo DeSantis
March 2012

The WHOLE design process

The building industry has many buzz words and phrases that you may recognize like “green design” and “sustainability.” You may have also heard “Integrated Design” or “Integrated Project Delivery.” If these phrases are unfamiliar, let me assure you they won’t be for long.

Green design is the practice of designing, constructing and operating buildings that support and improve the health of their occupants and the environment.

Integrated design is a collaborative method for designing a building. This holistic process involves a “whole building design” approach. A building, much like an organism, requires all systems to work together in harmony.

Conventional building design, residential and commercial, involves a hand-off method, a linear process. This hand-off may take place between owner to architect/designer and builder to occupant. This conventional method does not allow for the expertise of all system designers and their input early on in the decision making process.

Unlike the traditional design process where engineers and contractors enter at the end, integrated design welcomes these key players from the beginning. The result is a high performance building completed with a seamless construction process.

While I can imagine this subject might not rock your world. If you don’t know about it…you lose the opportunity to use it. Integrated design requires forethought. Designs need more time in the early stages to save time and money in the later stages.

Here’s what to expect. Use these guidelines to understand how an integrated design team would work on your next project.

First, define the project scope. What would you like your integrated design team to achieve?  What obstacles will they need to keep in mind? Research and prepare a primer of ideas and priorities.

Assemble the right team. Who will you invite to your team? Will it be engineers, architects, designers, contractors, builders, end-users, facility managers, community members—are all parties engaged?

Next, define project roles with realistic expectations and clear responsibilities. Communicate tasks so that work is divided, conquered and then brought back to the table for a timely design process. Commit to measurable goals. Align team around core goals or purpose.

Mark your calendars. Phase your project and schedule meetings for the beginning and/or end of these phases. Great communication is a must. This is a web of relationships that requires coordination, efficient management and a high level of organization.

Follow through in construction process. Maintain and monitor the systems in place to keep them running optimally.

You are getting the idea, so let’s take this opportunity to flesh out another buzz phrase to enter our conversation—first costs.

In the building industry, “first costs” refer to the once, up-front cost. The remaining costs of owning a home or a building through its lifecycle are: operating costs-continuous; maintenance costs- continuous; refurbishment costs-periodic; disposal costs or deconstruction- once and at the end.

First costs are currently the biggest excuse for not building green. So how much does it really cost? Some say ten percent more. Some say the costs in the end are the same. What is your basis of comparison?

First costs are comprised mostly of land and construction costs and are said to be 1/6th of the life cycle costs. While operating and maintenance are twice that amount and never end as long as the building is in operation.

This integrated approach to the process of design allows for systems integration. It is a non-linear process which supports an understanding of relationships between systems such as: site selection, water, energy, materials, resources and indoor air quality.

One of my mentors often quotes Masanobu Fukuoka, “An object seen in isolation from the whole is not the real thing.” The basic elements of a whole system approach are based on the fact that life is whole and not fragmented, unique in every place and that we are inhabitants and not occupants.

Would you settle for anything less than a whole design?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Video--Before pics of Lakewood residential remodel

Before video for Lakewood residential remodel

Please check out our before video for this Lakewood residence! You will see how we have already taken it down to the studs....stay tuned for the next phase!

Video--Before pics of condo remodel

Please check out our before video for this Gig Harbor Waterfront condo! Our in-house videographer, Brittany, worked soooo hard on this for us!