Monday, November 30, 2009

front porch inspiration - seabrook, wa

Neil and I went to Seabrook, Washington for the first time for my birthday a year ago. We rented a mother-in-law apartment above a garage with a bit of a view of the Pacific ocean. Seabrook is a new town that is being created along the coast about 2-1/2 hours drive from Seattle. When my parents came for a visit this summer, we rented a small cottage that was one of 10 clustered around a courtyard...very similar to the communities we design at Ross Chapin Architects. The town itself is still being developed, but there is a cafe, grocery and about 130 homes. The master plan is very well thought-out and I appreciated the walk-ability and pedestrian connections. So if you are looking for a place to go on the Washington coast, I would highly recommend checking it out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

exterior lights

As I previously mentioned, I am having trouble deciding on the exterior lights. So I went to Lowe's and bought 2 to try. There's nothing quite like a life size mockup. Seeing the color options in the location really helped.

I was fighting the bronze look, but it really does look better with our paint colors.
Both fixtures are actually not bad and good prices, but I want to blend the 2 together. So back to the web searches I went and I think I have it with the first one for the front door and the other for the back porch.
Now I just have to confirm the back plate that attaches to the wall is small enough to fit on the wood blocks we decided on back when Neil was siding...

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Karina - ready for paint

It was another working weekend for Neil. The painters start today and the bookcases in the living room needed to be finished before the cleanup could happen. I actually helped out Sat. & Sun. on that part...hopefully that will be the last time I vacuum walls for awhile. (had to remove the sawdust that was everywhere) Most of these pics were just after the floors were finished. Now there is protective cardboard over them.

On the stairs looking into the kitchen and dining room beyond:

Back bedroom / home office:
From the dining room looking into the living room:
In the living room looking south...that is just a temporary front door:
From the same spot looking towards the dining room:
The living room bookcases...there will be a panel on the mantel, but we need access to the vent for when the stove is installed:
Neil is such a craftsman...all along I wanted to have a secret door/ bookcase, but I had no idea how it would be built. I just did a bunch of arm waving and said what I wanted and he was able to build it.
There's not a lot of room back there, but we needed to create access...and this is a cool way to do it. We also put a second crawl space hatch in here. Because the existing house had a half underground basement, we have an extra deep crawl space...about 3'-6" from the bottom of the joists. We spent about $1000 extra and poured a slab down it's a nice clean crawl, instead of a dirty, scary spider haven they typically are.

Friday, November 20, 2009

aia seattle 2009 honor awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle Honor awards ceremony was last week and even though I did not go this year, I did spend some time looking at the winners and some of the entrants on the AIA Seattle website. It's a great way to see what other local architects are up to and be inspired by amazing spaces. I was glad to see the Wing Luke Asian Museum win a top Honor. When my parents were here from Virginia this summer, we toured the museum and then went and had tea at the Panama Hotel. My mom and I each had read On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and it was a great to see and experience the history of these places in person. Click on any of the photos in this post and it will take you to the AIA website where there's more photos and information on each of the projects.

Other notables for me were Tyler Engle Architects Madrona Live/Work. The light from the skylight is just perfect.

Love how this cabinet opens and the TV swivels out. I'm all for hiding the TV when not in use. I still haven't figured out how best to hide it in the new place, but have thought about the swiveling out.
Here's a dramatic waterfront house with amazing detailing by one of my favorite architects and person friend Alec Duncan of arKINETIC:

Adams Mohler Ghillino Architects Wall House:

Vandeventer + Carlander Architects Madison Park House:

The following is actually a house we toured this year, but Coates Design Architects photos are MUCH better than the snapshots I was able to take.

Some day I'll convince my husband that my book collection is a beautiful design element and he will build me a wall or library like this where I can display them all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

help! - exterior lights

Some decisions have come easier than others. Right now I'm having a hard time deciding on the exterior light fixtures. We need 5 total. One for the front porch and 4 along the back wrapped porch. Originally I wanted to use this first one, Kichler's Nautical sconce. The problem is using the right bulb. We haven't found a large round compact fluorescent bulb that works with this one. Luckily there are more options then the spiral CFBs but not one that looks perfect in this light, since you do look at the bare bulb...which I'm just not sure about anyway. I would rather have frosted glass around the bulb, like these others. There is also the issue of color. Originally we wanted a brushed chrome look, but now I'm second guessing that and liking the oiled bronze with the colors we have chosen for the house.

Monday, November 16, 2009

kitchen inspiration - ross chapin architects

Coho CC-04'07'25 - 177
For the cottage projects that I have worked on at Ross Chapin Architects, we have typically put in white painted cabinets with a granite 12x12 tile counter. The look is classic, clean and has always been received well. Fred Kimball of Kimball Woodworks in Port Townsend, has been our cabinet maker of choice. Thinking about it, I realize I've worked with Fred on 70 some homes...repeating plans of course, but still that's a lot of homes. When it came time to choose cabinets for the Karina, to me it was a no-brainer to use Fred. Neil did get 2 other bids just to be sure. One from a much larger company, that was cheaper, but was not a true custom cabinet maker, so we would have had to use standard sizes. Our kitchen doesn't have a lot of extra space, so I wanted to maximize cabinets. The other was a similar outfit and gave a similar price. We are going with the Shaker door style as shown in these photos of past RCA projects, but they will be maple cabinets and we still haven't decided on the countertops.
HCCII 07'0131 - 396H CCII 07'0131 - 385H CCII 07'0131 - 394H CCII 07'0131 - 386P CCII 07'0131 - 028P CCII 07'0131 - 031

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Karina - update

Karina 09'1111 - 01It's always a bit depressing this time of year when daylight is gone by 4:30pm. No more long days. Yesterday we had a surprise visit from the sun and I was so excited to see the guys back outside working on the front porch! Trim-out of the house is 95% done, with just the fireplace bookcase to finish. The floor guys return today to put the final 2 coats on and the painters are due to start next Monday. We can see the light at the end!Karina 09'1111 - 03We pre-stained the cedar decking to jump-start it's greying. Here you can see Neil put a strip of sticky flashing over the porch beams to increase their longevity.Karina 09'1111 - 15Karina 09'1111 - 09Neil ripping down a piece of decking lengthwise as Alec helps guide it.Karina 09'1111 - 13Peter, the tile guy, (Petra Matters) was there finishing up the caulking and grouting in the main bathroom. It looks amazing. I'm am so pleased at how it all turned out. The tile, the layout of the tiles, the grout choices, the change in tiles, the shelf in the shower. More detail shots will come later, but here is Peter working.
Karina 09'1111 - 07This is the smaller bathroom in the we used a white epoxy grout and a strip of the floor tile to help with the layout. Karina 09'1106 - 02 The stair railing is completed and it all looks great - Thanks Jeff & Alec!Karina 09'1106 - 08