Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kitchen by Meals

We've used almost everything for kitchen design inspiration: funky stools, favorite resorts, a pottery collection, views, children's needs, wheelchair accessability and now meals!  The idea developed out of conversations with our client with a very large kitchen about how many miles a day she put in running back and forth around her kitchen.  Because of allergies, she makes everything from scratch so the stock 'kitchen work triangle' wasn't working for her. So here's what evolved; a kitchen planned around the needs of breakfast, lunch and dinner with 'coctails' and 'dessert' thrown in, because who wants to short coctails and dessert? The kitchen is featured this month in St.Louis At Home magazine in Anatomy of a Kitchen. See the attached link.  Oh, and by the way, they got the source for the wall shelves wrong- they're from Restoration Hardware as well as the pendant lights.  The faucets are from Newport Brass. And, because we're always asked, the granite is called "Delicatus Extra".
The image below was taken looking through the new arched opening to the living room.
The photo below shows how we wedged the archway in under the staircase. That took some serious work to make it look so effortless.  (PS: The client is an engineer).

Here's the link to the magazine article:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bye Bye Ugly Floor

This is what 15 years worth of showroom traffic has done to the Bruce prefinished hardwood maple flooring in our conference room.  Even with Teflon and later felt chair slides the finish is a mess.  And to make it worse, the raw wood started to get a grey haze from repeated damp/dry mopping. We thought briefly about sanding the finish off the entire floor and letting the whole thing turn grey (the greyed natural look is so chic right now) but afraid that by the time it fully aged, the driftwood look would be passe'.  So I took the belt sander with 80 grit paper and sanded it down so that enamel floor paint would stick.
I found Sherwin Williams has a high gloss latex enamel floor paint in black that goes both indoors and out and started applying it with a brush around the outside of the room.  And then switched to a mini roller and rolled the rest of the floor.  The paint guy suggested rolling as much of the floor as possible to avoid having brush strokes show.  He was right, the paint is very thick and brushing it all on would ruin the smooth gloss look I wanted.

The first coat of paint rolled on quickly but was a blotchy, scary mess.  I was starting to wonder if I should have stopped with the sanding and doused the whole thing with grey stain. But after two more coats, the paint had finally covered all of the thin areas.  It took more than a week for the floor to "not feel tacky", which really surprized me.  I have never experienced this from latex paint before. 
Afraid that chairs might scratch the finish off again, we ordered the herringbone sisal look carpet squares from Flor and put them under the table and chair area in an alternating direction pattern, making sure that there is carpet under the chairs even when they're pulled out to sit down.  Nice thing about the floor being squeeky clean and I guess not totally cured, we didn't have to use the adhesive strips that came with the carpet tiles.  The finish gripped them tightly. Just hope I don't have to take them up anytime soon.  We just love the look.  Everything just popps in the room now.