Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

secret source: reclaimed modern

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Back to the inside of the house: the kitchen. I’ve been stalking options for ages now. Before Henrybuilt there was Green Demolitions. Their site design is horrendous but they’ve got a great idea: remove remodelers’ perfectly good, cast-off kitchens and sell the works to other remodelers for much less, then put the money into their nonprofit cause.

I’ve trolled GD’s stock fairly regularly over the last three years in search of modern. Not always lucky but you just never know what they’ll have, so I check often. What did I find this past weekend?

What looks to be a brand-new, rift-cut oak kitchen with stainless steel accents, Blum slides and Corian-ish countertops. Nice!

green demos 2

green demos 3

green demos 4

Thank god for rich people who move into a new place and immediately want to redo the kitchen, right?

There’s this crazy contemporary floor model kitchen by Lucci/Orlandini…

green demos modern

And another Lucci/Orlandini floor model in shiny red metallic…

lucci/orlandini red kitchen |

This high-gloss number in cherry…

green demos maple

A high-tech Alno island…

green demos 5

green demos island2

green demos island3

green demos island4

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Even the all-white trend is represented…

green demos bulthaup

green demos bulthaup 2

There aren’t usually this many modern choices. But if you love traditional, Green Demolitions is da bomb yo. Why is it that when I bring it up in conversation nobody’s heard of it yet?

David and I stopped by the New Canaan showroom about a year and a half ago just to see what the kitchens looks like in person — great prices, decent stock and really, really nice people. Since then, they’ve added more stores and have way more inventory online.

Not sure we’ll ever actually buy anything but I’m all for recycling and a good cause. If you’re into it, there’s a nice article on how Green Demolitions works here. It’s a secret no more.

field trip to henrybuilt soho

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Another droolfest in New York City: this time, a visit to HenryBuilt. Stopping by their Soho showroom gave us a chance to imagine custom modern cabinetry in our own space. *sigh*

The quartersawn walnut, solid bamboo, veneer rift-cut oak and quartersawn teak cabinets are all handcrafted in Seattle using primarily FSC-certified woods for sustainability. Lots of lovely details, like minimal stainless steel pulls perfectly mortised into the wood. Here they’ve worked in a Corian countertop but we also saw stainless steel…

henrybuilt kitchen cabinet

Love the subtle shades of the laminate. And there are plenty of options to choose from, as you can see…

wood and laminate samples

Drawers and cabinets can be outfitted as you see fit…

drawer detail

They can even work in a fridge and freezer drawers, ovens, yadayada…

fridge cabinet

I’m particularly enamored with the warmth of the walnut, given that our floor, ceiling and walls will be very light…

walnut kitchen

A very helpful chap talked us through the HenryBuilt process, which is basically that they’ll work with you and your architect (if you have one) to make sure everything suits your plans and footprint, and take advantage of the space you have. Because our tiny kitchen space is essentially in our living space, it’s important that all the cabinetry tie together seamlessly and be multifunctional — this is the kind of thing they take into account.

It was nice to see their Viola Park line represented. It’s a bit more affordable than the HenryBuilt pieces as these are “off the shelf” components you configure yourself as opposed to having them customized. Laminate below but they offer wood options as well…

viola park

The Paperstone countertop just begs to be touched. Very tactile…

sink and counter

They’ve extended their line into other areas of the home now. This teak wardrobe features leather pulls and lots of little storage nooks…

wardrobe cabinet

The craftsmanship is pretty impeccable…

detail on hooks

The interior was fitted with industrial felt pockets and shoe shelves. Who wouldn’t love that?

interior cabinet

Also drooled over an oak entry piece with storage below…

entry bench

… and storage cabinets up above. I love how they cut in openings below the doors instead of on the doors to keep the look super minimal…

door cutouts

To die for. Our friends Laura and Ben commissioned a HenryBuilt kitchen just a few years ago — so jealous. Maybe Laura will let me drop by and see how it’s holding up. Laura? Whaddya say?

a plus-sized remod tour

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Our wants are large for this first round of the remodel. Yes, there will be other rounds. There’s not a room in this house that will go untouched. First round: the entryway to the living area. Interested in a tour?

remod wants | entryway

The entryway

It feels like you’ve stepped into a well when you come into the house. There are a few things that can help with that. First off, we’ll probably change out that solid door with something in glass. Seeing out will make it feel less vertical. It will also step up the first impression.

remod wants | entryway floor

Under foot, we can’t leave that plywood exposed. I already covered some of our tile options. This entry well gets cold in the winter, so we need to update the heat, too — we’re looking into removing the 40-year-old Singer heater and replacing it with in-floor heat.

Looking up from the doorway…

remod wants | railing on entry stairs

The solid railings don’t help with that I-fell-in-a-well feeling. Those need to be steel and glass or steel and cable, period. If you can see through the railing to the far windows (yes, that far back door will be replaced with glass for a view out to the yard), this space will feel less claustrophobic.

remod wants | railing on stairs again

Whether you’re headed up the stairs or down, even if the space isn’t actually bigger, it will feel bigger.


remod wants | fan removal

We have two of these ceiling fans that the previous owners put in just a few years ago. Those have to go. Anybody interested in like-new ceiling fans? We’ll remove the cobwebs.

Heading up the stairs

remod wants | stairs

Steps will need finishing in the cork flooring we’re going to use upstairs for a consistent flow.

remod wants | flooring

If you’ve been following, you’ve already seen what the floor looks like at the top of the stairs: particle board and prehistoric carpet. This will all be cork. One cohesive surface throughout the top floor to unify our fairly small space.

Stepping into the living area

remod wants | window wall

The window wall is the star of the house. We’d like to build in seating under the windows cuz everybody likes to sit by the window, and add a shallow shelf for the succulents I have to winterize. Would also be a handy place to set a glass of wine.

remod wants | leaky windows

Did I mention there’s water trapped inside the glass? Damn. This is something we’ve seen in a few of the larger windows, including the one by the front door. They have to be replaced. Since that’s the case, we’re looking at sexier, commercial aluminum windows and sliders with a thinner profile frame. It’ll look hot when we’re done.

remod wants | storage wall

Storage is an issue. On either side of the window wall, we want built-ins floor to ceiling, with room for books, music and art, as well as the stuff nobody wants to see.

remod wants | wall removal

There is a storage closet already. But it really interrupts the space.

remod wants | closet removal

Here it is from the other side. We want to knock that whole thing out and replace it with window/slider wall…

remod wants | view to patio

… so we can step right out onto our soon-to-be fabulous new patio. We’re envisioning the area that’s currently the storage closet as a sitting area that looks out to the yard, with a cozy built-in, high-efficiency woodstove.

Just across from the storage closet…

… is another wall that’s coming out. See ya, ’70s-style kitchen pass-thru.

remod wants | kitchen wall removal

Once that wall comes out, it’s open concept. The kitchen becomes part of the living space and dining area. We’re picturing an island with a cooktop and a few stools pulled up to it — more entertaining-centric. And we’d like to knock out a section of the far kitchen wall to create a window onto the entry well. Once again, longer views always make a small space feel bigger.

remod wants | kitchen expansion

Remember, the current kitchen is insanely small — it made sense in a home built for a single person, but not for us. The floor measures 3’10” across at the widest point. Only 3′ where the fridge would have been directly across from the stove. It’s only 6′ from the doorway to the sink.

By knocking down the walls, we gain a little breathing room and hopefully a smidge more space. There are no appliances in this kitchen, so we need those. We already invested in an open-concept-worthy fridge — meaning we have to look at it from the living area so it has to be fab, as far as I’m concerned. It was the smallest footprint fridge I could find that still has enough space. Currently stashed downstairs next to our kitchenette. More on that another time.

remod wants | cabinet removal

We’ll need new cabinets as the space is being reconfigured. These we’ll save for either the garage or a future shed. We need to maximize storage in here so we’ll have to go vertical.

remod wants | kitchen ceiling heaters

We want to put in a big skylight, again to make this feel more spacious. But more than that, natural light and food just make for a sunnier mood. Those panels in the ceiling are heaters, which means we have to think about how to heat the kitchen as there’s no other source of heat in here.

remod wants | kitchen tile removal

Kitchen flooring will be a continuation of the cork. Looking forward to losing those cold, dark tiles.

Looking down the canyon between the kitchen and the storage closet…

remod wants | view to back

You can see how this space would be opened up by knocking down the walls. As much as I wish it weren’t the case, those are load-bearing, which means we’ll still need support. See how the stair railing completely interrupts the view to the back? I can’t wait for that to change.

This is a good time to address the ceiling… We want to cover it in the same material we’re using for the floor. One is aesthetic: to highlight the slope of the ceiling and the long view from the front to the back of the house. The other is yuck: popcorn ceilings installed prior to ’79 may have stuff in it that you don’t want in your house. We want to encase it and forget about it, just in case.

Let’s finish that spin around the living area…

remod wants | stove removal

A woodstove sits in what we want to be our dining area. A high-efficiency Jotul we brought with us from the loft as a temporary heating solution, but it obviously doesn’t suit the style of the house. We’ll be selling that. The wall behind it will be floor-to-ceiling built-ins just like the opposite side of the room. And speaking of walls, behind them we’ll be adding insulation.

remod wants | take that chandelier

Over the dining area, the last owners put in a chandelier that’s coming out. Anybody want a chandy?

remod wants | deck updating

Wait, we’re almost done! That deck we look out onto? We use it as an extension of the living space when the weather’s good — lovely dining spot with a view of downtown. Unfortunately, it needs replacing…

remod wants | deck rot

Here’s the view from below. You can see that soon, we may fall through.

remod wants | deck phone service!

While we’re out here, let me point out this space-age creature comfort on the deck: phone lines! Man, the architect thought of everything. Here it is 2010 and we literally have not had a land line in years — I gave up mine a decade ago. My how times have changed.

So what didn’t I cover?

remod wants | heaters

Heaters in the living area. We have to figure out how to not have them be hideous, how to do built-ins around them, etc. We’ll cover heating and our scads of research in another post.

remod wants | heat control

Obviously the heat control will change. I’m sure this was advanced in its day.

remod wants | light switches

Lighting controls will change, too. Basically, everything’s changing.

So that’s it. End of tour. You can go home now. You’re probably looking forward to a cozy, inviting place after seeing this mess. So are we.