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Posts from the ‘Salvage Secrets’ Category

Adventures in Remodeling Part 2: the Garage

The new garage was built to closely match the original structure

When you hear the word garage, adventure doesn’t usually come to mind. Garages are supposed to be functional and practical.

But our clients at the 1920 bungalow in First Addition, Lake Oswego have a pretty special garage. Arciform‘s talented craftsmen created the structure just for them, and it had stories to tell before it was even completed. It’s sure to be the setting of many future memories.

There was a carport before we started the project

Project Manager Adam Schoeffel shares 4 reasons this garage is such a special place:

#1: Roof Trusses & Interior Paneling

Adam redesigned the trusses to accommodate a grading issue which caused the garage door to impede the plane of conventional truss design. He upsized framing members and ordered a vaulted scissor truss for a more hand-framed look. The trusses were painted to contrast with the aged patina of the salvaged lap board which clads the walls and ceiling.

Adam’s scissor trusses look sharp!

 #2: Storage with Icebox Panel Doors

Adam and Site Co-Lead Eric Delph (the bearded one above) collaborated on this project, but the idea came from the client. Eric co-designed and constructed the unique storage with its icebox doors, and it looks as if it’s always been there. It is a real conversation piece, and everyone wants to open and close those doors.

Douglas Fir shiplap on walls and ceiling were sourced from local homes being demolished and from Portland area reclaimed wood vendors

#3: The Seed Cabinet

Our client found a handsome antique seed cabinet and knew it would provide great storage. It sat in the garage for many months while Arciform worked on other parts of the home.

One day, four of the cabinet drawers vanished! Without hesitation, Site Co-Lead Jamie Whittaker took charge of creating replicas. The old walnut was tough to match, but Adam found an alternate species that was very close and poked around several salvage shops to find the right hardware. They even matched the original drawer boxes, using flat-sawn fir. Jamie’s four drawers were so convincing, it was hard to tell which ones were new.

About six months after the project was completed, the four missing drawers were returned with an apology note attached to them!


#4: The Rodeo Sign

This is no small souvenir, but a family heirloom which holds years of memories. Our client has roots in St. Paul, OR, and has remained involved in the St Paul Rodeo for years.

The sign is made up of planks bolted together, then carved and painted. It needed stabilizing, so our crew disassembled it, stored it and later installed new pipe through it, slowly compressing the boards. They took great care to keep the words and images in alignment and looking crisp.  Our clients intended it to be hung on a basement wall, but it was way too big, and looks truly at-home in the garage!

There are still more stories to tell about this project! Don’t miss our final post in the series next week: Adventures in Remodeling, Part 3: the Kitchen.

Professional photos by BlankEye and Photo Art Portraits

Adventures in Remodeling Part 1: the Secret Wine Cellar

How do you make your home something special to you? This series of 3 posts will share stories about how we helped clients make this home all their own.

In 2011 on a corner lot in the heart of Lake Oswego sat a charming 1920 bungalow for sale. It captured the hearts of a globetrotting family living in Florida, and they purchased the house with plans to relocate closer to their Oregon roots.

They hired design-build firm Arciform to help turn this gem into their forever home. With plans for a cross-country move, a flurry of emails, team meetings, and trips to local salvage shops started.

The home sits in First Addition, one of Lake Oswego’s oldest neighborhoods. Many homes in this area were first owned and occupied by Oregon Iron & Steel Company workers, built in a variety of architectural styles.

Principal Designer Anne De Wolf worked closely with the couple on a thoughtful interior remodel and additions. They shared a respect of the home’s style and era, using this to guide design decisions: from how to increase the footprint, down to door & cabinet hardware.

Reconfigured spaces and more square footage were desired, so the new plans provided a larger kitchen, a mudroom, a master suite, a new bath for the kids, and an outdoor living space.


The couple has a knack for finding wonderful old pieces with stories to tell. There are many antique fixtures, finishes and furnishings integrated into the project. Reclaimed sinks, shiplap paneling and more were salvaged from all over, including demolition sites, Salvage WorksAurora Mills, eBay, and The ReBuilding Center.

The clients’ inspired vision brought so much fun to this project. One of many examples is the creation of the secret wine cellar.

It all started with four existing concrete steps in the basement. Though he didn’t know what to do with them, our client knew he wanted to do something. What purpose could those serve: storage of some kind? He needed somewhere to keep their wine…but how would they access it?

The adventurous spirit of the client inspired the trap door in the new kitchen floor.


Before: the abandoned steps in question

After: vision and teamwork gave this area new purpose

Site lead Eric Delph says, “When thinking of all the work accomplished at this residence, the one thing that stands out in everyone’s mind is that wine cellar! It evolved from an idea to reality with many hands and great interaction with the clients. From the hidden hatch doors to the storage system and that great final touch by the client himself: a confessional door!”

There are more stories to tell about this project! Stay tuned for the next chapter: Adventures in Remodeling, Part 2: the Garage.

Professional photos by BlankEye and Photo Art Portraits

Everyday Luxuries: A Winning Wine Cellar

Rash_1921_Wine_Cellar_A_P_Pro (14)

Adding a wine cellar sounds like the kind of investment that would only make sense in a grand residence- and there are certainly some gorgeous wine cellars in some of Portland’s most gracious homes.

Not everybody has that kind of square footage, of course. Is it possible to carve out a little piece of luxury when all you have to work with is a clean and dry corner of a bungalow basement?

This was the question we hoped to answer as part of our Wine Cellar Giveaway collaboration with Portland Monthly. Our wine cellar winner had a wonderful collection of French and Northwest wines… and absolutely nowhere to store it or display it.

Could Arciform Designer Jeffrey Kelly take this dry but unappealing corner of their basement and turn it into a stylish and functional temperature-controlled wine cellar?

Rash_1921_Wine_Cellar_B_ P_NonPro (6)

Our first step was to devise a modular, flexible storage rack system that could handle different bottle sizes and shapes (including Magnums) while maintaining a clean and consistent look.

As an additional challenge, we looked for a design that would make use of off-cuts from our custom wood shop, removing waste from the waste stream and re-purposing it in a practical and beautiful way.

Rash_1921_Wine_Cellar_A_P_Pro (11)

The solution: A series of modular rack components constructed from pieces of reclaimed clear vertical grain fir that were salvaged from our custom window manufacture process.

Rash_1921_Wine_Cellar_A_P_Pro (12).jpg

The racks were installed on two walls, providing an extraordinary amount of bottle storage in a tight footprint. Salvaged wood paneling along the accent wall tied the space together while a WhisperKool air conditioning unit keeps the space at the optimum temperature for storing wine. A small wine fridge keeps whites chilled.

Congratulations to our Portland Monthly Wine Cellar winner.

It was a pleasure to add a little touch of everyday luxury to your basement!

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Guest Post: Invite Architectural Salvage Into Your Home

We are so grateful to our friends at Old Portland Hardware & Architectural for hosting our July Historic Home How To Workshop (Have you RSVP’d yet? You can do so here). While you are at the workshop, you’ll have a chance to peruse their deep and wild architectural salvage collection at their shop. There’s all kinds of intriguing artifacts, from 100 year old stain glass windows to chandeliers reclaimed from now defunct hotels and theaters.

Since Bret at Old Portland has deep experience in the best ways to find and integrate salvage pieces into your home, we asked him to share some of his insights for making the most of a salvage shopping trip. Take a look:


Using architectural salvage to decorate homes has been done for a VERY long time. In my opinion, the term “architectural salvage” is a bit of a misnomer. The word “salvage” tends to imply “somebody else’s saved trash.” In most cases, architectural salvage is the bits and pieces of a building that were too beautiful, too well made, too unique, and/or to reusable to throw away. These wonderful items will often find their way back into the market place where they await their opportunity to be reused. These pieces of recovered architecture defy the word “salvage” and evoke the words “treasure”, “find”, “artifact”, etc.

Recovered architecture is an excellent way to bring old world character to a contemporary remodel. If you have made the decision to include architectural pieces in your project, be sure to invite them to the party early! Your design and construction team will need to know what pieces you will be wanting to use where, very early in the process.

If you go hunting for that perfect antique leaded glass window before you’re your project starts, depending on your needs, you may have a few hundred to choose from. Waiting until the last minute, when the contractor gives you a window opening size that they came up with in the course of the project, may limit your choices to as little one or two windows… and those may not even be windows that you like!


Speaking of old windows…

Old beveled and/or leaded glass windows often present a challenge in new remodels because they are a single pane thick and have very little in the way of R-Value (insulation quality). On the other hand, stained glass windows can add bright color and privacy, while beveled windows can bring in great light while casting refracted rainbows around a room.

At Old Portland Hardware & Architectural, we say, “Be creative with your window use!” We are strong advocates of installing old windows into interior walls of homes and businesses. Doing so is a great way to bring color and natural light to areas of your live/work space that seem to be perpetually dark. Having both sides of the window trimmed with a full shelf sill will also give you a space to display small items in the light.

If you wish to have one (or many) old windows on the exterior of your home, have no fear, it CAN be done! Again, if your architect/contractor know which windows you wish to use, they can plan ahead accordingly. In most cases they can order a double glazed window to match your old window. The new double pane window will be installed as the actual window in the project (to meet code requirements). Your beautiful old window will then be fit up against the inside surface of the new window with all the edges being covered with a thin trim treatment.

When done properly, the only time you should see the new exterior window, is from the outside during the day time. At night, your jewel of an old window will always shine through – back lit from inside. From the interior, you will always see the old window, but, have all the insulation benefits of the new window.

Although reclaimed windows are covered extensively here, they are just one choice in the aesthetic world of recovered architecture!


Other character pieces can include old door hardware, columns, light fixtures, millwork, industrial pieces, cabinetry, reclaimed lumber, and more. Want ideas? Dive into Pinterest, follow your favorite shops online, talk to your designer, ask your local salvage shop, start a bulletin board with clippings from magazines and catalogs…

One more piece of advice for those using recovered architecture in a home remodel…

Pick the pieces you love and want to live with. Then, plan to leave them when (and if) you sell your house. The love and care you took to create your living space will often be what sells your house for you (often faster and for more money than it would otherwise). I can’t tell you how often we hear new home owners saying how they fell in love with one beautiful character piece, an old mantle, dining room built ins, beveled windows, antique doorknobs…

So, whether continuing the character of an old house into a new remodel, or bringing the character of age into a contemporary house, recovered architectural salvage is aesthetically a good bet. Be creative, seek out the pieces you love, ask the advice of your designer and construction team, and have fun with your project!

Bret will be available after the Arciform workshop to answer questions and provide advice on everything from old hardware options to light fixture selection. Whether you are in the planning stages or at the tail end of your remodel he can help you find the easiest ways to infuse your project with a little old world charm.


Find out more and RSVP for the July 16th Historic Homes How To Workshop here.


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An Adventurous Kitchen and Bath Renovation

Hardison_1902_Bathrm2_A_1_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

Hardison_1902_Bathrm2_A_2_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

Hardison_1902_Bathrm2_A_8_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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?

Hardison_1902_Bathrm2_A_6_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

Hardison_1902_Hallway_A_1_P_byAnne (4)Design by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_Loft_A_2_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_Loft_A_1_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_Loft_A_4_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_Kitchen_A_2_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_Kitchen_A_4_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

Hardison_1902_Kitchen_A_6_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

Hardison_1902_Kitchen_A_8_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_Kitchen_Pantry_A_1_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

Hardison_1902_Kitchen_Pantry_A_6_PDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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

Hardison_1902_SittingArea_A_1_P_byAnneDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

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.

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Mudroom Magic

Hardison_1902_Mudrm_A_3_WDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

As the fall weather turns mercurial and the schoolbags begin piling up on every surface, the urge to corral all that indoor/outdoor stuff into one tidy location can become overwhelming.

But where to put it all?

For one Arciform client, the solution was to build a small mudroom addition to their Sellwood Victorian, complete with a covered “study loft” balcony, secret doors and ingenious integration of salvage materials to showcase the creative, eclectic personalities of this busy family.

Here’s a look at that project in detail. What ideas and solutions can you apply to your own mudroom update?

Hardison_1902_Mudrm_A_12_WDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

This small addition packs a lot of design punch. Salvaged columns, railings and windows help the addition integrate with the quirky Victorian style of the main house, and a touch of gingerbread over the balcony adds whimsy and charm.

Hardison_1902_Mudrm_A_7_WDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Glass entry doors maximize the natural light in the space, creating a warmer welcome than the home’s original side door.

Check out the ceiling in the space- it is assembled from salvaged cabinet doors!

We asked Arciform owner and designer Anne De Wolf  how this particular idea came about. She explains,

I came up with the idea when I saw a bunch of cabinet doors at Hippo Hardware. I went back to our shop to ask if we had some extra doors, which of caurse we had. The challenging part was the layout- each door was a different shape and size! But the result was so fun it was worth it.

Hardison_1902_Mudrm_A_5_WDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Another cool feature of the project was the addition of “secret doors” that were invisible from the exterior but provided the kids their own fun way to enter and exit the space. the doors also create a convenient way to stash lacrosse equipment, gardening tools and other bulky items directly into the mudroom space.

We asked Anne: What inspired the secret doors? They are such a cool idea!

This was the client’s idea as the parents and the children have very active imaginations and are very playful.

Hardison_1902_Mudrm_A_11_WDesign by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

The final fun touch to the space was the inclusion of a ‘study loft’ balcony. This all-weather reading and study nook gives the kids room to stretch out with a good book or a tricky assignment, while keeping their imaginations fueled with plenty of fresh air and a great view of the neighborhood.

Arciform owner/designer Anne De Wolf suggests that this family’s approach to the project has good lessons for anyone contemplating a mudroom renovation. She explains,

The mudroom is a great space to let out your inner artist as it has “permission” to be a fun, functional and informal sort of space.

Hardison_1902_SalvagedPieces_D_ (11)Design by Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

We’ve been delighted to help this family address a practical back-to-school issue with an inspiring and playful solution that fits both their family’s personality and the unique style of their Sellwood Victorian home.

Their next project? A Jules Verne inspired roof deck and play loft, complete with submarine hatch.


We can’t wait to show you the pictures of that one!

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First Repair Café a Success!

The first Repair Café event is under our collective belts. And it was a blast! Huge sigh of relief. Huge. Right on, Portland!

repair sign

There was a little hiccup in the beginning as the repair tables and equipment were blocking NE 17th Ave, per the fire marshal. Damn rules and regulations! Safety first? Who cares about that stuff? (Well, people do.) The group did a quick bit of juggling and planted the two tents in front of the Umoja Center. Things were up and running by 6:30pm.


What with the tents, tables and chairs, signs and equipment and tools brought by the repair volunteers, the group definitely displayed a presence. I’m not sure the Last Thursday habituées were prepared to see a sewing machine – complete with a seamstress – plus disassembled computers at the (depending on when you dropped by) hippie/ster festival (or, perhaps, debauched event) that is Alberta Street once a month in the summer.
The sewing machines and computers did offer certain appeal. Pretty soon, people were stopping by to ask What’s going on? The answer?

It’s a Repair Event – Renee and Terra are sewing, Bryce is working on electronics, and JD is showing people how to polish and care for their shoes. We’re keeping things out of the landfill, baby! Do you have anything that needs fixin’?

One gentleman dropped off his jacket for Renee to repair and picked it up on his way back down the street, but this time around it was mostly the volunteers who got their stuff fixed. And that’s cool – volunteers are repair-worthy! (FYI – that’s a good reason to volunteer! Handle the mailing list, baby, and get your computer fixed. Perfect trade.) People saw the group, added their names to the mailing list, AND they found a lot of prospective volunteers in the crowd. Not a bad night’s work!


The next event is at Ford Food and Drink on Thursday, June 20th. Check it out on the RepairPDX site, which is now live. Look around – you know you’ve got something that needs repair. Go have a coffee and get ‘er done. FYI – check out what the crew will be offering on June 20:

Jewelry Repair
Bike Repair
Small Appliance Repair
Plus, Becky, the owner of Ford, will also be doing free résumé editing. Nice.

And, a big shout-out / thank you to Grand Central Bakery in Beaumont for the much appreciated and much needed food during the inaugural event!

Add Personality with Salvaged Lighting Fixtures


Our roving salvage correspondent Nancy Ranchel has a great piece posted on the NW Renovations blog about how to add personality to your home through salvaged vintage lighting fixtures. Here’s a quote:

Next time you need a new sconce or dome light, try thinking outside the (big) box (store). Anybody can buy those lights! You want something different. You didn’t realize it before, but you do. You want something old. Something used, refurbished, re-wired.

And I’m here to help you! While new is good, and it certainly has its place (new underwear comes to mind), it can lack character. And there’s also the danger of new being homogenous. Homogenized milk is good. Homogenized light fixtures are not. They are — what’s that word? Oh yeah, boring. Turning to the old stuff will personalize your space, and it’s easier on the environment. Read the whole story here.

While you’re there, keep an eye out for the June/July issue, featuring a story on outdoor kitchens featuring some fun Arciform projects.

Enjoy the holiday weekend everyone!

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A Repair Cafe for PDX


I love Portland! Just when I think we’ve reached our maximum quotient of hip, cool, nerdy individuals, great restaurants and diverse events, this thriving metropolis adds something new to the mix.

Sit down for this proclamation: Portland is not perfect.

I know. Crazy, right?

But Portland has been missing something. A place that everyone needs and needs to love – a Repair Café. These cafés exist in Europe, where people stop by the venue on designated nights to have a coffee and get their toasters repaired. Or the hole in their sweater darned, or perhaps a ripped piece of drapery fixed. Like-minded citizens volunteer their services and skills in an effort to keep goods in good working order and out of the landfill. People stay busy, connected, and perhaps well-hydrated (or, at least well-caffeinated). Pretty cool.


Sounds like such a simple concept – and one that simply must exist in Portland, the greenest, grooviest city around. Palo Alto has a Repair Café. But when I started snooping around, I found out Portland didn’t. The world was clearly out of balance! And then a group of like-minded individuals started contacting people around town who had expressed interest in Repair Cafés. They got the ball rolling. Meetings ensued, and damn, they got this crazy-smart idea started up right here. With the help of people from Metro, anti-plastic crusaders, the Reuse Alliance, people who know how to repair (you name it), the Tool Library (do you have a tool inventory like my dad or Ace Hardware in the pics above? I do not!) and many others, the first Repair Node event (a Café is still in the works) will take place at Alberta’s Last Thursday event on May 30th. The repair experts – a sturdy team of volunteers – will be at work from 5:30 to 8:00pm on NE 17th Avenue and Alberta Street strategically perched between the Community Cycling Center and the Umoja Center.

Years and years ago, I saw Sex, Lies, and Videotape at the theater. (Yes, I’m that old.) In one scene, Andie MacDowell is discussing the many reasons she cannot sleep, and one item on her list (per my imperfect memory) was I think about everything in the landfills. How long can we keep putting stuff in landfills? Well, I felt like I’d met a kindred spirit. I’m one of those dorks who looks in my garbage can and says, How do I cut this in half? I hate the mountains of garbage we are creating. When and why did it become OK to toss everything at the first sign of wear and tear? Let’s reverse that trend. And to that end I will be taking holey sweaters to Last Thursday, baby. I’m going to take the right thread, too, just in case there’s a darner there with time on his or her hands. Which brings us to the actual repairing.

For this first outing the group will likely be providing:

  • shoe polishing (shoe repair to follow)
  • sewing (bring those draperies!)
  • and computer repair.

The group is working on adding small electronics repair to the mix (don’t throw out your broken toaster just yet), as well as toy and jewelry repair, plus much more.

The second Repair Café event is planned for June 20th at Ford Food and Drink from 630 to 900PM. More information to follow.

If you are curious about the logistics of a Repair Café, please check out the website for the Repair Café in Palo Alto. See the list of items that can commonly be repaired, plus the caveats they have delineated.

And then sit back and think about landfills and our disposable culture. How can you help avoid wasting? How you can fix something that ain’t (that) broke? Repair rather than tossing! Perhaps you would like to repair goods in an altruistic, nerdy, authentically PDX way, but have no fix-it skills to speak of. Perhaps you have a skill that would help operations run smoothly?

Well, volunteers are also needed to check people in, keep things moving, set up, take down, you name it. Perhaps you actually do have other marketable skills. Do you solder, sew, tinker, fix bikes? If you do, check out the Repair Node Facebook page and consider volunteering (the website will be up soon at Or stop by NE Alberta Street on May 30th or Ford Food and Drink on June 20th to talk to the team. We would love to see you. And, you’ll get a kick out of all the stuff that can be fixed and learn more from the people who fix all that stuff.

About Nancy Ranchel

Nancy is an accountant who offsets the practicality of her day job with extravagant and outrageous remodeling projects, often involving massive amounts of scrap metal.  In her free time she can be found dreaming up new ways to turn her house into an art installation, digging through scrap heaps, and contemplating a world without plastic. Check out Nancy’s blog here:

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From Pattern to Prep Station: Alternative Surfaces for Kitchen Islands


I love metal patterns!  These are pieces of metal from which pattern pieces have been cut out – for car parts, for machine parts, you name it.


Imagine a piece of fabric after you’ve cut out a pattern for a shirt, for example. Now imagine it in metal. There you go – same thing as fabric! While I was working on my deck, my friend Shannon brought me a couple of these patterns for use as whatever. Shannon and his partner, Dennis, are car guys, and picked up the metal for me at the body shop they use. What great friends! Then the Arciform guys, artists that they are, turned the metal pattern pieces into part of my deck railing. They look fantastic.


One day Anne emailed me and asked how I would describe these pattern cutouts. She had a client who was looking for a cool kitchen island, and Anne had an idea for using the metal pattern pieces. I wrote back describing the pieces as per above, plus I attached some pictures from my deck.


Anne declined to use the photos, saying, Those photos would just confuse people. Thanks Anne!

But last week I ran across something that might help the situation. While at BBC Steel in Canby, I saw several large pieces of metal patterns. It was a sunny day, and I got some good photos. Perhaps these will help Anne illustrate her idea to clients?

I gotta say, if I were re-doing my kitchen now (I’m not, it’s done), and if I had room for an island (I don’t), I think I would use plywood for my island. I’ve been seeing all kinds of cool pics of plywood, like in this slide show in the NY Times. I would use the plywood for the island, and I would cover it with one of the metal pattern pieces. How insane would that be? I confess, I would probably try to do the same with all my kitchen cabinet doors as well, but Anne might put the brakes on that one. Stick in the mud.

Somebody please use this idea for a kitchen island! I’ll be jealous, but that’s OK.

About Nancy Ranchel

Nancy is an accountant who offsets the practicality of her day job with extravagant and outrageous remodeling projects, often involving massive amounts of scrap metal.  In her free time she can be found dreaming up new ways to turn her house into an art installation, digging through scrap heaps, and contemplating a world without plastic. Check out Nancy’s blog here:

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