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The Stories Your House Could Tell

Last night at our Timeless Bathrooms Workshop, we asked participants to share a story they know about the history of their house.

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We got some fascinating responses that reminded us just how personal your relationship with your house can be. Here are some of the highlights:

 

“When we went with our realtor to look at our home the first time, a 20 yr old version of the 6 year old in my first grade class opened the door! He and his family sold our home to us!”

“The architect liked what he built so much he copied it next door to his lot.”

“The previous owners owned the Black Cat Tavern in Sellwood. Lived in this home for over 50 years!”

“The original owner of the house used to sell wood from the trees on the property. Hence the name of the neighborhood: Sellwood.”

“It was built by Thomas Autzen- from Autzen Stadium- he invented plywood.”

“It was built in the mid-thirties and in the furnace clear out we found papers from the year of both our births!”

“The house stood in berry fields, we think it was the oldest son’s house from the 1908 house 3 blocks away.”

 

What stories do you know about your own home’s history?

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

How to have a Lovelier Morning

 

Some mornings you need a little something extra to shake loose the cobwebs from your brain and get your day off to the right start.

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You could knock back an extra latte, or you could treat yourself to a deeply satisfying jolt of beauty, symmetry, rhythm and color.

Here are 5 high impact bathroom design details that will treat your eyeballs to fresh delights each morning.

 

1. Add a Little Wow with Your Wall Treatments.

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A powder room is a great place to go bold on the walls, and most contemporary wallpaper is designed to prevent water issues so you can add wow without the worries.

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You could also turn your bathroom into a work of art by commissioning a custom paint treatment. Or….

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Blend a cool graphic tile with a warm burst of orange for an eye-popping wake up experience.

Speaking of tile…

2.  Inset a Little Individuality.

One choice that allows for a great combination of classic and personal is hex tile flooring with customized designs.

Here are a few examples of how custom inset tile designs allowed our clients to express themselves while still keeping it classic.

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3. A Little Vanity is a Good Thing.

Custom vanities can help you maximize your footprint, and they are a great way to add drama to your bathroom.

Why not re-purpose a cool vintage sideboard into a statement-making vanity cabinet?

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4.  Look a Bit Lovelier.

The right bathroom lighting can be the difference between leaving the house brimming with confidence and leaving the house worried about scaring small children as you pass by.

Here are a few lighting fixtures that will make a little mirror magic:

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These adjustable twin sconces can be aimed to bounce light into the mirror… a flattering way to get a clear view without any distorting shadows.

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Who wouldn’t look lovely in the reflected light of 100 crystals?

If old Hollywood glamour is your thing, a crystal chandelier will make you feel ready for your close up… Mr. DeMille.

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Elegant sconces on either side of the mirror provide important task lighting, while the unusual handmade pendant lamp draws the eye flatteringly upward.

Note: Lighting experts recommend that you ban the can in the bathroom. Nothing says “Good Morning, Zombie!”  like a downlight.

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Of course the best light is natural light from a beautiful and inspiring clerestory or transom window.

5. Accessorize.

Hardware is the jewelry of the bathroom. You should have fun with yours.

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The blend of salvaged wood and vintage hardware on these vanity cabinet drawers add a sense of depth and history to this bathroom, inspiring curiosity.

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The pretty little glass knobs on these floor to ceiling medicine cabinets add just the right spark of color to complete the ensemble.

Ready for more inspiration for your own bathroom update?

We’re hosting a Timeless Bathroom Home Design Workshop on April 9th at the Kennedy School and two lucky attendees will win  $50 Rejuvenation gift certificates.

Get the details and RSVP here.

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

 

Help Us CanStruct for the Oregon Food Bank

Every year, Arciform collaborates with Ankrom Moisan Architects to create a cool structure built entirely out of canned food for the Oregon Food bank.

Last year we made this:

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This year our goal is to win the prize for most food donated and used in the creation of our project. Will you help us meet our goal?

 

Click here to donate towards our Canstruction Project this year.

 

All proceeds go to purchase canned food for the Oregon Food Bank.

 

You’ll get to see the results of your contribution at the Pioneer Place Mall April 7 through the 13th.

 

We appreciate your help and support!

 

Here’s more fun pictures from last year’s project:

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5 Clever Conveniences for a Small Bathroom

In an older home, you are usually looking at a bathroom update that needs to serve many goals in a very small footprint.

Here are 5 design details that can make clever and convenient use of every square inch of your limited bathroom space.

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1. Pivot Your Faucet. Want a generous sink in a small space? This recent Arciform client needed a deep sink and a tall faucet to accommodate her love of flower arranging. By side mounting the faucet, designer Anne De Wolf was able to fit in the larger sink without expanding the vanity’s footprint.

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2. Capitalize on a Corner. A corner sink makes a very efficient use of space in this bathroom designed by Arciform’s Chelly Wentworth. Twin built-in medicine cabinets add generous storage without intruding into the room.

Speaking of clever corner fixtures, check out this corner toilet:

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This tidy fixture tucked in the corner of this turn-of-the-century house allowed enough extra floor space for a very cool deer sculpture/toilet paper holder.

Its all about priorities, right?

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3. Take a Seat. How to integrate a bench into a curved wall shower?
In this master bath remodel, Anne De Wolf extended the adjacent tub ledge to create an integrated seat- an efficient use of material and a great way to create continuity between the two spaces. By curving the shower wall she was able to increase the shower’s footprint without inhibiting circulation in the adjacent office.

MillsHuff_Best_CatBox_6Another satisfied kitty customer…

4. Consider Your Furry Family Members. It’s not just the people in your family who have business to conduct in the bathroom.

A built in bench can double as an out-of-sight location for kitty litter and other cleaning supplies.

 

Edelman Bath

Or tuck a few drawers beneath the bench like Chelly Wentworth did in this bathroom update.
Then add matching built-in linen storage above.

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5. Make Every Inch Work Overtime. Sometimes you have plenty of room but your bathroom needs to work twice as hard.

Arciform Designer Kristyn Bester’s recently worked with clients whose Pearl District loft bathroom needed to function as bath, laundry room and storage space.

Tucking a washer and dryer under the counters and integrating cool retro storage lockers into the space allowed Kristyn to maintain the loft’s industrial vibe while making every square inch as convenient and useful as possible.

Ready for more inspiration for your own bathroom update?

We’re hosting a Timeless Bathroom Home Design Workshop on April 9th at the Kennedy School and one lucky attendee will win a Rejuvenation gift certificate.

Get the details and RSVP here.

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Client’s Eye View: 2 Baths with Room to Breathe

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We recently completed a matching pair of upstairs bathroom renovations for a NW Portland client who needed a little elbow room in a fairly small footprint. Here’s her “client’s eye view” of how it all came out.

1.       What were your goals with this bathroom renovation?

We needed to update both baths. The shower bath especially needed a larger showering area and both baths needed updated electrical and plumbing, not to mention a new look. We also had a large Turkish-style tile arrangement that we wanted to incorporate into a wall of the new shower.

(Here’s a look at the shower before the renovation. With a glass door that swung into the shower alcove you can see it was quite a tight fit!)

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2.       What were some of the challenges the project faced and how did you address them?

The biggest challenge was enlarging the shower area without knocking out all the nearby upstairs walls and re-doing the much of the upstairs. This was achieved by much careful measuring and communicating within the design and project implementation team. In addition to Anne, [Project Manager] Adam made sure the plumber, electrician and inspector made it work. Because of the tight space, lovely and suitable sinks and light fixtures were found. Also new cabinetry was specially designed to work effectively with existing built-ins.

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Here’s a look at the fixtures in Bathroom #1. All Photos by Photo Art Portrait.

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And bathroom #2…

3.       What is your favorite part of the completed bathrooms?

It’s a pleasure to get clean again in simple but elegant surroundings. Showering in the open and lighter shower area feels great. The more sublime soaking experience in the tub speaks for itself. Both bathrooms offer privacy and yet feel more spacious than before.

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4.       Tell us about your experience of working with Arciform.

Mostly gush, gush, gush!

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

5 Tips to Add More Comfort and Joy to your Bathroom

Sometimes you don’t know how much better your morning can be until you have added a few of these subtle but essential creature comforts to your bathroom. Here’s our Top 5 update recommendations improve the comfort of your bathroom and bring more joy to your daily routine.

5. Dual Shower Heads

Singer_1922_Bathrm_Master_A_3_P(The master bath of this 1922 Colonial Revival home was renovated and expanded by Arciform.
Photo by Photo Art Portraits.)

Whether your morning routine is too tight to allow for sequential showering or you just think that most things are better when done together, a shower alcove with room for both partners to shower at the same time can add enjoyment AND efficiency to your morning.

4. A Soaking Tub

Earhart_1904_MasterBath_A_1_P_Pro (1)(This bathroom renovation by Arciform in a 1909 Queen Anne in the Forest Park neighborhood focused on highlighting the original architecture with a few luxurious amenities. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.)

The joys of a full sized tub you can really immerse yourself in cannot be overstated.

One expert tip: Consider the view. A tub designed for a long soak should have something beautiful to rest your eyes on while you relax. Whether its a beautiful window flooding the room with natural light or simply your favorite work of art hung right at eye level, the right view will create a space that invites reflection and encourages you to linger.

When you are done, an elegant handset will allow you to rinse off without the shock of of a full shower.

3. Foot-Friendly Flooring

ClaypoolCraven_1962_MasterBath_A_5(This mid-century home in the SW Hills was a big change for the Arciform clients who had formerly owned a Tudor home. The bathroom update focused on clean lines and comfort amenities that both members of the couple could enjoy.
Photo by Kristyn Bester.)

If you are planning to pull up the flooring anyway, consider tucking in electric radiant heat.

Having your bare toes meet warm tile will make the whole process of getting ready a pleasure. Plus, the whole bathroom will stay warmer.

ClaypoolCraven_1962_MasterBath_A_3(Detail view of the bathroom flooring of our mid-century client. Photo by Arciform.)

This mid-century bathroom update added radiant floor heat beneath the large format tile in the main bath area and a pebbled surface to the shower alcove to gently massage feet in the shower. As a bonus, the pebbled surface resists slipping: always an important bathroom consideration.

2. Heated Bathroom Accessories

ClaypoolCraven_1962_MasterBath_A_5_P(This bathroom renovation also incorporated a powder room for guests adjacent to the main bath.
Photo by Photo Art Portraits.)

A towel warmer like the one at left ensures that getting out of the shower is as relaxing as getting in. And while you are at it, how about a heated toilet seat? Or a heated mirror that won’t fog up during your shower?

1. Why Not Add a Washlet?

JapelSiggelkow_1925_Bathrm_A_7_P(The couple who has retired to a Pearl District loft asked Arciform to install several cool technology features, including a “washlet” on their toilet with a wall mounted control. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.)

Most older homes do not have room to accommodate both a toilet and a bidet… but any home can consider adding a “washlet.” This ingenious piece of technology installs like a regular toilet seat but functions like a bidet to provide warm water to your most sensitive places just when you need it. How supremely civilized!

What comfort amenities are you considering adding to your bathroom? The Arciform Design Team will be happy to help you identify the little luxuries that are just right for you.

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Kitchen Makeover: The Big Reveal

We couldn’t be more excited to show of the final results of our Portland Monthly Kitchen Makeover.

Ready?

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Before we go farther… Let’s take a look back at where we began.

Remember this?

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Thanks to thoughtful design from Arciform Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth it now it looks like this:

2A2B2014These new upper cabinets and open corner shelving were provided by Versatile Wood Products and installed by the Arciform team. Isn’t it amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to highlight the gorgeous original millwork details and transform the look of a space?

Next: Remember this?

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Now there’s this:

2A2B2136The new range and range hood are both from Standard TV and Appliance and the peninsula cabinetry and open shelving is by Versatile Wood Products. The larger than average beam across the  opening conceals needed venting for the range hood provided by Advanced Heating and Cooling. The clients saved costs by doing some of the demolition of the existing chimney and the wall themselves.

That beautiful Carrara marble countertop is thanks to Oregon Tile and Marble, with expert installation by Wall to Wall Stone Corp.

And this…

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Now looks like this:

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Thanks to George Morlan Plumbing  for the undermount sink and new sink fixture and Power Plumbing for the additional plumbing parts. Oregon Tile and Marble provided the beautiful subway tile backsplash. The new hardwood flooring was contributed by Emerson Hardwoods and installed by the excellent CZ Becker. Arciform was delighted to be able to save the existing lower cabinets with their charming original hardware and mesh detail.

And let’s not forget that this:

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Now looks like this:

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Here’s a few of the details we particularly love:

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The simple stainless of the pot racks picks up the stainless steel of their new fridge.

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The timeless lighting fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric add grace without distracting from the clean lines of the kitchen. We’re grateful to Master Tech Electric for coming in during the estimating process with an additional donation to support the cost of getting these beautiful new fixtures installed.

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The breakfast bar incorporated the new wine fridge, a key client priority, and the corbels beneath the marble bar subtly reference the beautiful existing built in dining room cabinetry. Emerson Hardwoods and CZ Becker did an amazing job of exactly matching the color of the existing dining room floor, extending it into the kitchen to make the whole space feel continuous.

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We are so honored to help this young couple create a timeless and beautiful space to cook and entertain for years to come.

Ready to start your own small kitchen makeover? Email spencer@arciform.com to schedule your own Initial Design Consultation.

Explore More with these Previous Kitchen Makeover Posts:

Finishing Things Up

Making Progress

Ready, Set, Launch!

Contract Revisions: The Devil in the Details

Design Phase

Meet the Makeover Winners

Announcing the Winner

Makeover Contest Finalists

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | All About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Thanks again to our Small Kitchen Makeover Contest Partners:

Basic CMYK

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CZ Becker logo

Wall to Wall Stone Corp

George Morlan logo

OTMlogo_print-side-by-side

Schoolhouse Electric logo

Standard TV logo

versatilesinglelogo

Congratulations to Jeremy for Becoming a Certified Project Manager

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We’re thrilled to announce that our Carpenter on Call Manager, Jeremy Gould, has recently been confirmed as a Certified Project Manager through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. This vigorous certification process requires 16 hours of coursework and the successful completion of a 3 hour exam to demonstrate knowledge of project management skills and procedures. We are so proud of Jeremy for his hard work and commitment to ongoing professional development to improve the skills and resources he can offer to Arciform clients.

We sat down with Jeremy for a quick Q&A about his favorite projects, long term goals and how he gets his kicks on the weekends (hint: it involves fire!). Here’s what he had to say:

How long have you worked for Arciform? What was your first position with the company?

I have worked for Arciform for 3 ½ years now and I started as a Lead Carpenter where I obtained my “Certified Lead Carpenter” certification also through NARI.

What’s your favorite part about the work you do here?

I really like the wide diversity of projects that I get involved with here at Arciform. I’m the type of person that will get bored pretty fast if I’m doing exactly the same thing everyday. I very much enjoy having projects that present unique (outside the box)  challenges to work through that do not really have an obvious solution. For instance, I recently put together a project where the client asked if I could make his master bathroom door a motorized sliding door that was operated with the push of a button. I also recently finished up a project that we installed an interior “slide up” door custom built by Versatile Wood Products.

Tell me about a project you worked on this last year that you particularly enjoyed.

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I recently completed a deck project that I really enjoyed putting together due to some interesting challenges.

The first challenge was the fact that the deck is roughly 30 feet in the air hanging over a hillside.

The second challenge was a request made by the client to have a flat stone surface for the deck. The existing deck was as much as 8” out of level in some areas.

Her third request was to have a hand railing system that was as invisible as we could make it so that it didn’t block her gorgeous view of the city.

We ended up installing a membrane deck surface on the existing out of level deck joists and then installed 24” x 24” concrete tiles on adjustable legs sitting on the membrane. The result was a level concrete surface that moisture passes through and then runs off of the membrane beneath. Next, we installed a glass guard railing system with a ½” thick top rail and 1 ½” posts that we powder coated black (so they are invisible at night).

Lastly, we installed a rot proof fascia that was wide enough to cover the fact that the membrane deck and joists were 8” out of level so it looks nice and straight from the street below. I enjoyed working on this project because I got to design it, estimate  it, sell it and then project manage it.

Sounds like Arciform keeps you pretty busy. What do you do for fun?

Here’s a hint:

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I am a volunteer Firefighter/Engineer/EMT with Newberg Fire.. I typically will work 2 – 3 shifts a month from 6PM until 6AM where I stay at the station overnight. When I am on shift I am in charge of Engine 21. I drive it to any call it gets called out on and then I am responsible to make sure it’s ready for the next call afterwards. I recently got qualified to drive our new patient transporting engine which is one of only a very few in the state.

Also, every three months or so we do an all-day training burn where we will train on a house that someone donated to us to have burned down. My role during training burns is usually a crew leader training the probies.

I love being a volunteer firefighter partially because it allows me to be an asset to society. I’m not the kind of person that looks to the government or anybody else for any kind of assistance. I also love it because lets face it! It’s really fun! Nobody ever says they wanna be an accountant or a computer tech when they grow up, they wanna be a firefighter! Driving that engine with the lights and sirens goin’, headed to a big fire where you can see that giant smoke cloud across town just rippin! Blastin’ through town with everyone gettin’ out of your way! Then to get there and run into the fire when everyone else is runnin’ out.

That’s just down right fun, I don’t care who you are!

Do you have a home maintenance project that could use Jeremy’s “out of the box” expertise? Email him at jeremy@arciform.com to set up an initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

An Adventurous Kitchen and Bath Renovation

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This Sellwood family wanted every room of their home to spark their family’s imagination and sense of adventure. Every corner contains a new discovery… and every room is designed to be lived in by a family who likes to work hard and play hard.

Take a look at some of the design solutions that helped keep this adventurous renovation feeling cohesive and welcoming.

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In the bathroom, a calming color palette of greys and whites includes pops of unexpected drama in the lacquered black door and the dark distressed drawer fronts.

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Salvaged wood in the drawer fronts creates a sense of mystery… and history. What other lives has this wood already had? What secrets did it bear witness to?

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A generous tub with a black lacquered tub surround and a glass-walled shower give the whole family a place to wash the day’s adventures away. Pale grey penny tile makes a slip resistant surface for kids on the go.

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Outside in the hallway, a secret door leads to the kids’ bedrooms while a ship’s ladder leads to…

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A Jules Verne inspired reading loft, complete with salvaged windows and a railing shaped like a pirate ship.

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Let’s not forget the custom made boat hatch leading to a rooftop deck with a view of downtown Portland:

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Downstairs, the kitchen mixes the exotic with the traditional, juxtaposing contemporary finishes with vintage stained glass…

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The result is a vibrant expression of the family’s penchant for inventiveness and joy…

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A custom gothic-arched casement window from Versatile Wood Products adds imaginative drama while the handmade marquee sign from marqueeletterlights is a glowing reminder of the family motto.

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A custom island adds work and storage space while keeping the kitchen open to the dining and living rooms so the family can stay and play together.

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A vintage map detailing the traditional territories of Native American tribal groups acts as window shade and homework inspiration.

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Open shelves with custom strapping add storage and display options. Custom divided lite windows above the fridge and behind the shelving separate the pantry space from the display area, inspired by the feeling of small town grocery shop storefronts.

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Custom pantry shelving continues the metal strapping theme from upstairs, making the whole house look like its ready for a sea voyage!

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In the living room, vintage furnishings mix with architectural columns and simple burlap curtains to create a fresh and appealing space to call home.

Want to see more of this adventurous home? Check out our previous posts featuring their mudroom, roof deck, and very cool basement guest suite.

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Kitchen Makeover: Finishing Things Up

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We’re getting close to the finish line on our Kitchen Makeover project, making rapid progress on installing the fixtures and finishes that make the transformation complete.

The wine fridge (a major client priority) has been installed into the kitchen’s new peninsula, along with the new stove and range hood from Standard TV and Appliance. The gorgeous new Carrara marble counters from Oregon Tile and Marble have been installed by Wall to Wall Stone Corp.

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The new grey undermount sink and faucet from George Morlan Plumbing has been installed along a new compact dishwasher that has been integrated into the existing lower cabinets (always a tricky process in an older home).

Below the sink you can see where the charming original doors have been saved and refreshed with a new coat of paint to match the new upper cabinets.

You can also see the beautiful new floors contributed by Emerson Hardwood Floors and installed by CZ Becker, creating an exact match for the existing flooring in the adjacent dining room.

The final touches will include installing the subway tile backsplash, a wall mounted pot rack for their pots and pans and two sets of floating shelves to display their glassware and dishes within easy reach.

We’re so excited to see the project come together and we look forward to sharing the results with all of you!

Explore More with these Previous Kitchen Makeover Posts:

Making Progress

Ready, Set, Launch!

Contract Revisions: The Devil in the Details

Design Phase

Meet the Makeover Winners

Announcing the Winner

Makeover Contest Finalists

Explore the Arciform Photo Galleries | All About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Thanks again to our Small Kitchen Makeover Contest Partners:

Basic CMYK

emc_r1_c2

CZ Becker logo

Wall to Wall Stone Corp

George Morlan logo

OTMlogo_print-side-by-side

Schoolhouse Electric logo

Standard TV logo

versatilesinglelogo

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