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Design Inspirations








Tale of the disappearing hood...

Planning a new kitchen involves selecting ventilation for your cooktop.  For many years, selections were limited to a variety of large overhead hoods or a down draft system that rises and lowers from the counter.  The choices are still Overhead or Downdraft but the visual presence of a hood now fades into the background.  The hood as the center of attention in the kitchen is no longer a given.

These kitchens all have ventilation for their cooktops, can you find the hood?  The Futuro hood is called the 'Skylight' which gives a hint as to the location, way up in the ceiling.  It is combined with a strong light which gives the impression that the unit is actually a type of skylight.  The second picture is the Faber pull out fan, it is the tiny 2" cabinet material above the cooktop.  You pull the trim forward to use the vent and tiny LED lights automatically turn on.   This hood can be vented or filtered (non vented.)  The third kitchen features a cooktop by Jenn Air that has a downdraft fan integrated into the actuall cooktop.  It is finished in the same color and finish as the cooktop so it blends in and becomes un noticable.  It does not need to go up and down, the power of the fan is strong enough to pull the odors down.

These new appliances give us more design options, letting us decide what we want to visually feature as well as what we want to hide!




Help! Hurricane Harvey survivors!

Please see the following organizations for donations to those affected by Hurricane Harvey:

Excerpt from article by NPR’s Pam Fessler:
“… Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, has some words of caution for those who want to help.  "This is not the time to be donating products or even services," he says. "That's frequently the urge, and most often that is the wrong thing to do. ...With the floods blocking off streets, when warehouses are not available, there's no place for these products — there's no place to store anything, there's no place to distribute anything. And that's going to be the case for some time."

Instead, he says, people should give money to groups they trust, and that have the ability to provide aid where it's needed most.”

If there is ever a time of need to help our neighbors, that time is now.  



Cashmere Cottage

I designed this 500 sf cottage that for my client Tara to build on her daughter’s property in Cashmere Washington.  Nestled in the mountains, this DADU (detached accessory dwelling unit) (i.e., extra home on the property,) is small enough to be affordable but large enough to feel like home.  The tall ceiling created by the steep shed roof allow an abundance of light to flood in on three sides of the home, allowing Tara to witness the beauty of the surrounding land throughout the day.

Although compact, this home sports a shower AND a tub as well as a full kitchen and separate bedroom.  Designing small homes has been my passion in the last few years as I look for ways to simplify our lives, transition into one level housing, while keeping the quality of life that we have worked so hard to obtain.  As more and more people want to live off the grid, we are researching and specifying more solar panels, heating systems with reduced costs such as infrared heated ceiling panels, and rain water harvesting.

Adjustments to the design have been made at the suggestion of her fantastic builder Reid of R Squared Construction LLC, that further customize this special place for Tara.


Room with a View

This is my source of peace.  Being able to view the beauty of nature right outside my window.  Seeing the beauty of the plants, the sun flickering through the leaves.

Stepping outside to the pond (s) and listening to the peaceful sound of water moving through the water plants.

Being able to open a window or door from your bedroom to see small ponds and hear the peaceful trickle of water moving through the rocks.  Being able to have this very spiritual experience every day without leaving the privacy of your home.  This is luxury.


Small Luxuries Large Impact

A small bathroom can have the same luxuries found in large mansions.  Given a small footprint for remodeling a master bathroom condo, one of the challenges we overcame was making the room feel more spacious than the actual square footage.  Removing a wall between the sink and the toilet, floating the vanity cabinet and adding floor to ceiling marble tiles that continued to the end of the bathroom accomplished that goal.  

Floor heat on a programmable thermostat always keeps your feet cozy, while a washlet feature on the wall hung toilet provides the features of a bidet.  (Anyone that has traveled to Japan can attest to the wonderful features of the Toto toilet.)

A wave of your hand turns on the lights on the mirror while the built-in clock keeps you running on time.   There is a closeup mirror set into the mirror so you can keep the counter clutter free.

Want the luxury hand shower but don’t want the clutter of multiple handles and shower bars?  Check out Delta’s In2ition shower/hand shower fixture.  Available in multiple designs to accommodate many styles, this hand shower snaps into the center of the shower head and provides multiple showering options.  

Make sure that your shower remodel includes a ‘niche’ that is large enough to store your shampoo, conditioner and body wash containers.  These ‘niches’ are built into the wall so they do not take up space used for showering.    

Finally, don’t be afraid to use luxury materials such as marble or glass.  A SMALL amount of luxury materials will not cost much, but the impact can be LARGE.