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Posts tagged ‘kitchen renovation’

Kitchen Makeover: Ready, Set, Launch!

Contracts are signed, designs are complete, and now it is time to for our Kitchen Makeover winners to get real about the fact that there is about to be a big hole where their kitchen used to be!

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Before each construction project begins, Arciform Project Manager Scott Mumma (pictured, center right) likes to sit down with the designer, client services manager and the client to address some of their frequently asked questions about the remodeling process and how it will impact their daily lives.

For Makeover winners Darrick and Monica, the first question was about how they would handle their own daily routine with a hole where there kitchen used to be.

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To address that, Scott recommends that the fridge, microwave and pantry essentials be moved to a nearby location out of the path of the construction team. Derek and Monica have elected to use a portion of their living room as their temporary kitchen. The team puts down floor coverings throughout the temporary kitchen area (and along every path from the entrance to the construction area) to protect the home from dust and damage during the renovation process.

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Scott then introduces them to the Job Box, which includes a set of documents that will be used to track the progress of the job from beginning to end.

The job box includes reminders about lead safety techniques, checklists to ensure all necessary items have been completed at each critical stage of the project and a copy of the contract for reference by the client and the construction team as questions come up throughout the construction process.

One cool feature: The job box also contains weekly progress reports that give both managers and carpenters the opportunity to document issues, discoveries and concerns that may need to be addressed before the next week’s work begins.

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Next Scott works with the client to determine how all waste material and chemicals will be handled during the demolition and construction phase.

Locations are identified for where trash and recycling materials will be stored and picked up (check out the orange dumpster in front of their entry stairs) and where paint equipment and other materials can be safely rinsed and cleaned at the end of the work day. Arciform routinely re-captures as much of the waste stream as possible, with each week’s debris sorted into re-useable, recyclable, compostable and burnable subcategories and returned to the Arciform shop for appropriate storage or disposal.

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The last step is to identify what elements of the demolition will be the client’s responsibility before construction begins.

In this case, our contest winners have taken on the removal of the existing chimney stack and the demolition of the drywall from the wall that is being removed. You can see the results of that demo above.

Already, the whole space feels lighter and brighter!

From there, the project is off and running- literally. The whole team is looking forward to getting a great workout running up and down those entry stairs during the project.

Next Up: Surprise! Expecting the Unexpected During Construction

Explore More with these Previous Kitchen Makeover Posts:

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

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Kitchen Makeover Update: The Devil in the Details

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In every successful renovation project, the day comes when all the plans, goals, dreams and priorities have to be tied to some hard costs. That’s when the wish list gets vetted to see what’s practical, what’s affordable, and what needs to be deferred to a future project.

Whatever the scale of a renovation, this final balance between what would be ideal and what the budget will bear can be an instructive but challenging stage in the life cycle of a project.

For our Kitchen Makeover Contest winners, the budget for many of the items on their wish list was outlined by our contest collaborators… from the sink and plumbing fixtures provided by George Morlan to the cabinets provided by Versatile Wood Products to the tile provided by Oregon Tile and Marble.

Other necessary aspects of the project were not included in the original contest contributions, and important decisions had to be made about how to best meet the client’s needs in those areas at a cost that will work for them.

Thanks to generous additional contributions from some new contest collaborators (like Advanced Heating and Cooling,  Mastertek Electric, Power Plumbing, Eclipse Drywall and Building Specialites) and the contribution of some elbow grease by our makeover winners themselves, the end result is a beautiful and practical renovation plan that begins construction today!

Here’s how we got there:

The Dining Room/Kitchen Transition

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The Dream: To open up the north wall of the kitchen to the dining room, removing an obsolete chimney  and adding some counter/eating space in the pass through area. Open shelving would be added along the wall to increase storage. A sleek low profile range hood would be added to maximize the new open feeling between the kitchen and dining room.

The Challenges: The cost of demolition can be expensive (especially for the chimney), and the changes to the gas supply lines and venting ducts for the new range hood would require modifications to the HVAC system. The original contest parameters did not include an HVAC partner, a drywall partner or a new range hood.

The Revision: Thanks to a generous contribution from Advanced Heating and Cooling and Eclipse Drywall, we were able to pull the cost of the HVAC modifications and the wall removal down significantly. The client has offered to take on the demolition of the north side of the dining room wall and the deconstruction of the chimney as a DIY project, reserving the more technical aspects of the wall modification for our experienced carpenters.

The Result: The client’s most important goal (to open the kitchen up the the gorgeous views of downtown and the river) has been conserved thanks to contributions from the client, their community and our project partners.

The Cabinets

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The Dream:  To maximize storage potential in a small amount of square footage by replacing the existing cabinets with new cabinets that have a vintage look but increased storage and functionality.

The Challenge:  The combined costs to remove and install complete new upper and lower cabinets will blow the budget available for that line item.

The Revisions: If we keep and refurbish the existing lower cabinets and match them with new full inset upper cabinets that will reuse the existing hardware, we can dramatically lower the cost of the cabinet portion of the project, freeing up budget for other areas. Other small cabinet elements (like a planned spice cabinet for the east-facing wall) can be deferred to a future project stage if needed after the client has had an opportunity to settle in to the new space.

The Result: The client will get improved storage and functionality in their upper cabinets while reserving some of the charming elements of their existing kitchen with improved function at a more practical cost.

The Pantry

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The Dream: An expanded pantry area with built in storage and recycling options, a new slimmer fridge and an integrated nook for the microwave to make the most of a tight space.

The Challenge: Adding a microwave nook would require the re-routing of pre-existing plumbing lines that were tucked in the walls behind the pantry area. This is a common issue that can drive up the cost of renovation in older homes: uncovering what is lurking behind the walls can make what seems like a simple design solution surprisingly complex to execute.

The Revision: The microwave will stay housed on existing shelving units, which will receive a fresh coat of paint. The client will reserve the addition of new recycling station furniture for a future phase of the project.

The Result: A slimmer fridge  and coordinating microwave from Standard TV and Appliance will add space to the pantry and a flexible temporary shelving solution will buy the client time to plan for a second phase of updates to the pantry storage area at a later date.

With a firm focus on the client’s most important priorities, increased generosity from new and existing contest partners and some sharp pencils from our design, construction and estimating teams, we are thrilled to have arrived at a kitchen makeover plan that will work well for everyone.

What’s Next: Construction Begins!

Later this week we’ll take a look at the job site as it launches and discuss some common questions that come up during kitchen renovations, like: Where will my existing appliances go? How will you keep the construction mess to a minimum? How will I know who to expect in my home each day?

We look forward to continuing this journey with you and we want to thank our contest winners Monica and Derek for opening their home to this big adventure!

Explore More with these Previous Kitchen Makeover Posts:

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

Small Kitchen Makeover: Design Phase

How does a designer take a bundle of hopes, wishes, obstacles and opportunities and turn it into a coherent plan that will accomplish both the desires of the client and the practical needs of the project?

CURRENT PERSPECTIVES

For our small kitchen makeover winners, Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth developed her initial design proposal with 3 key goals in mind:

1. Open the kitchen up to the dining room to make the space feel larger.

2. Add storage wherever possible.

3. Integrate the clients’ preference for clean, modern lines with the vintage character of the home to create a timeless look.

CURRENT PLAN

To accomplish that goal, she began by creating a detailed plan of the existing kitchen (see above) to help visualize the challenges and options available in the space.

She also created a Pinterest board of style ideas to help illustrate and guide the design process.

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(Carrara marble and white subway tile are combined with open shelving in this sample kitchen pinned by Chelly. The result is a crisp neutral palette that still has vintage character and adds storage space without the bulk and expense of upper cabinets.)

From here, Chelly created a set of elevations (drawings that illustrate the kitchen one wall at a time) of her proposed designs.

Here are a few of the design details Chelly incorporated into her initial design.

CURRENT ELEVATIONS

Illustration A. A mixed mosaic tile back splash in anthracite from Oregon Tile and Marble will cover the west wall, adding a subtle repeating pattern and cool grey tones to the kitchen.  An existing obsolete chimney will be removed from the NW corner, opening up wall space for open shelving to display and store needed kitchen items.

Here’s what the mixed mosaic tile will look like:

Backsplash tileTo coordinate with the backsplash, George Morlan is providing a charcoal grey undermount sink with a very cool faucet. Take a look:

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Illustration B. The existing wall separating the dining room and kitchen will be removed, to be replaced with a peninsula that will house a dual fuel slide-in range with a clear glass range hood provided by Standard TV and Appliance. The peninsula will include a small overhang for a breakfast bar on the dining room side. A pendant light from Schoolhouse Electric will create a visual connection between the kitchen and dining spaces and millwork for the opening surrounding the peninsula will be matched to the existing molding and built-ins in the dining room to create a cohesive look.

Here’s the sample range and hood options:

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Illustration C. The removal of the north wall will open up room for a shallow spice cabinet to the left of the basement stairs, adding needed storage while keeping the new open feel of the space. A set of Julia Child-inspired wall mounted pot racks will allow them to keep their pots and pans close to hand.

Here’s a sample pegboard pot rack that will inspire the finished pot wall:

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Illustration D. The south wall will be the primary place to add new cabinets. Chelly proposes Shaker-style full overlay cabinet doors and drawer fronts from Versatile Wood Products to add vintage character while keeping the lines clean and simple.

Here’s an example (on the right) of what Shaker-style full overlay cabinets look like:

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For Darrick and Monica, the butcher block counter shown above would be replaced with honed grey Carrara marble counters  that will be cut by Wall to Wall Stone Corp and installed by Classic Marmo.

CURRENT ELEVATIONS-2

In the pantry, an unusually narrow 33″ wide fridge has been found that will tuck into the small space and open freely.

BONUS! Darrick noticed that the back side of the pantry connects to an empty space below the stairs, allowing us to tuck the microwave into a built-in cavity that will add a lot of functionality without sacrificing any counter or shelf space.

So what do Darrick and Monica think of how the design is progressing so far?

Darrick writes,

“As far as the design so far- we were pretty much floored. You visualize some of the design concepts but seeing it in a 3-D rendering puts it in a completely different picture and makes it much more real.”

What changes are they considering to the initial design?

* changing the shelves colors to match the floors
* adding a wine fridge (because we oh so love wine)
* adding a trash compactor (to minimize on the mountain climbing for each trip to the trash can)
* taking out the door frame that leads into the fridge room (to make it much more open)

Darrick adds, “The experience so far has been great. It’s been a great learning experience as this is the first time we’ve gone through a remodel. We’re excited to keep forging forward and can’t wait for the great result.”

Check out the “before” pictures of our Small Kitchen project here.

Next week: Contract Revisions: The Devil in the Details

Follow the story with these additional Kitchen Makeover Posts:

Ready, Set, Launch!

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

George Morlan logo

OTMlogo_print-side-by-side

Schoolhouse Electric logo

Standard TV logo

versatilesinglelogo

Peek Behind the Scenes at our Small Kitchen Makeover in Progress

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We’re delighted to introduce you to Darrick, the Portland homeowner who worked so hard to win our recent Small Kitchen Makeover Contest in collaboration with Portland Monthly.

Darrick and his wife Monica gathered an impressive group of friends and fans to help drive their kitchen to the top of the voting. They built a list of people who received daily text messages reminding them to vote and even worked with Darrick’s sister-in-law, a volleyball coach, to engage the entire volleyball league in rooting for and voting for their kitchen.

Of course, now that they’ve won, there are thousands of delighted friends and family members hoping to follow the progress of their kitchen design and help them celebrate their success.

For that reason, Darrick and Monica have given Arciform permission to follow their project from start to finish on our blog, providing insights along the way into the kitchen remodeling process that might be useful for anyone considering a kitchen remodel.

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About the Home

The back of Darrick and Monica’s home nestles up against the hill face, with the back kitchen door opening out to nearly scrape the rocks of the hillside behind them. It’s a beautiful space, full of 1920s charm, and a big change from the Beaverton condo Darrick lived in before they married.

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Darrick’s dad is an experienced DIY remodeler, and the couple gave the home an overall facelift with fresh coats of crisp white and grey paint as soon as they moved in.

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The only space they left completely untouched was the kitchen, a tiny space with  narrow counters and extremely tall upper cabinets that were built in place along one wall on site and a tiny pantry that houses an awkwardly placed refrigerator.

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About the Designer

For this project, Arciform selected senior designer Chelly Wentworth, a highly experienced designer with numerous awards to her credit and a special affinity for older homes, to work with the couple on the kitchen re-design.

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Here are Chelly’s impressions from the first client meeting:

What were the first things you noticed about the Cifelli/Chan kitchen upon arriving into the space?
The kitchen was very small of course,  and mostly original. I am always amazed at how long these original kitchens remain in use.  It felt very cramped and closed off the rest of the house. The colors and finishes didn’t reflect my impression of the homeowner’s style in any way.
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What are the anticipated challenges of the project as you see them?
The refrigerator is currently located in a small pantry which is not ideal and there doesn’t seem to be another place for it to go.

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 Plus, there must be 50 steps up to the home’ s entrance.
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The location provides great views but can make taking the garbage and recycling out a challenge. Usually when working in a kitchen this small I suggest more frequent trips to the garbage and recycling so we don’t lose valuable storage space to big pull-outs.  With these clients it is not going to be an option.

After our first visit with Darrick, what were the key insights that you got from the conversation that were subsequently incorporated into the first draft of the design?

The #1  priority is to remove the wall between the kitchen and the dining room.

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(Here’s the view towards the kitchen from the dining room)

IMG_2237(And here is the view of the same wall from the kitchen side.)

We are planning to add a peninsula of cabinets that will  provide a place for the range, extra counter space and a small eating bar.  Their design aesthetic leans towards the modern side so key elements in the concept are clean lines and lack of clutter.

When you first meet with a client, what ‘homework’ do you like them to do to help inform the conversation?

I usually ask people to think about all the activities that will be taking place in the kitchen.

For example, do they entertain a lot?

Do they all cook or is there one person who does the primary cooking?

What dietary considerations do they have?

Do the buy a lot of prepackaged meals or make everything from scratch?

How do they shop, do they own any special equipment like a 20” tall juicer, etc?

Does anyone in the household have any special hobbies like canning or beer making that will take place in there?

Do they want seating in the kitchen?

I also ask them to tell me what decisions or selections have already been made and if any of them are set in concrete or if they can be flexible.  For example, many people want double ovens and a microwave (which can be very difficult to accommodate in a small space).  I also ask them to think about what they like and dislike about their current space and if we will be reusing anything that is already there.  Finally, I ask them to gather an idea file so I can get a feel for their style and what types of things they like.

The Wish List

Darrick and Monica are avid wine lovers, tea drinkers and ramen noodle makers with a penchant for the latest technology. When asked what was on their wish list for a dream kitchen, they listed Carrara marble counter tops, a wine fridge to showcase their favorite vintages, a hanging pot rack and a pot filler for the sink. Darrick would love anything that integrates some cool technological elements into the space, but they are careful to be respectful of the home’s vintage character and charm.

They would like the kitchen to feel more open and connected to the rest of the house and they desperately need more storage space and counter space. Finally, they are hoping to create easier access to their fridge.

Next Steps

After Chelly’s initial meeting with Darrick, the next step will be to create the ‘as built’ documentation– an accurate three dimensional rendering of the current layout of the kitchen that will allow her to begin exploring potential solutions to the design challenges presented.

Then, they will meet for a design presentation, where the first draft of the proposed design is reviewed by the clients and refined based on their feedback.

Once a concept has been determined, there will be a “budget check” where a rough estimate of the approved design will be sketched out in order to confirm that the design can be constructed within the client’s budget parameters.

We hope you will follow along with us as we track each step in the process of this makeover and we welcome your questions and feedback along the way!

Next week’s post: The design presentation.

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

George Morlan logo

Oregon Tile and Marble logo

Schoolhouse Electric logo

Standard TV logo

versatilesinglelogo

Wall to Wall Stone Corp

From Pattern to Prep Station: Alternative Surfaces for Kitchen Islands

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: www.replaceinpdx.com/

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

And the Winner Is…

We are delighted to announce that the PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN and have selected Goose Hollow Kitchen as the winner of our Portland Monthly Small Kitchen Makeover Contest!

Collectively, you cast over 11,000 votes and 30,000 page views in support of our finalist kitchens. Thank you for your dedicated assistance in helping us make this extremely difficult choice.

Monica Cifelli

We’re extremely excited to work with this family to illuminate the heart of their home on the outskirts of downtown Portland.

If only we could have offered this prize to every worthy finalist who tugged at our hearts and fired our imaginations throughout this process. We can’t quite do that, but our contestants can each look forward to receiving a thank you gift from Arciform that can help get them started down the path of a rejuvenated kitchen when they are ready.

In the mean time, what’s next for Goose Hollow Kitchen?

We’ll be coordinating with the winner to discuss her design goals and outline the scope of the project. And we’ll invite you all to join us every step of the way, with blog posts and behind the scenes photo galleries as we work with our contest co-sponsors to give them the small kitchen of their dreams!

Thanks to Versatile Wood Products, Standard TV and Appliance, Schoolhouse Electric, CZ Becker, Emerson Hardwoods, Oregon Tile and Marble, Classic Marmo, George Morlan Plumbing and of course Portland Monthly for making this project possible.

Thank YOU for lending your votes to help us choose the winner and thanks to everyone who participated.

We have big ideas for each and every one of your kitchens. We’ll be in touch 😉

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CZ Becker logo

George Morlan logo

Oregon Tile and Marble logo

Schoolhouse Electric logo

Standard TV logo

versatilesinglelogo

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

Help Us Choose Our Small Kitchen Makeover Winner

This month we are partnering with Portland Monthly Magazine to give one Portland resident an Arciform Kitchen makeover.

Thanks to our makeover partners Versatile Wood Cabinets, Schoolhouse Electric, Oregon Tile and Marble, Standard TV and Appliance, George Morlan Plumbing, CZ Becker Floors, Classic Marmo and Emerson Hardwood, the winner is going to receive a kitchen makeover valued at over $25,000.

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We’ve narrowed the entries down from over 130 to just under 20 finalists.

We need YOUR help to pick the winner.

Below you’ll find images from all of the finalists.

Decide which kitchen most needs the makeover and then click over to the Portland Monthly Facebook Page  to cast your vote!

Thanks for your help! We can’t wait to give one lucky Portland area family a refreshed and restored kitchen.

Ross Honeyfield
What a Nightmare!

13’x11.5′

Casey Trimble

1950’s One-Butt Kitchen – Help in Lents District
Approximately 10×8 Dimensions 😦 – Quite small and non-functional for our house of 3 (2 Adults, 1 Toddler). Outdated and in need of help for health and wellness of our home and family. Can’t afford remodel on our own.

Adam MichaudMichaud Rummer Kitchen

10′ w x 15’5″ l

Calvin Rasmussen

50’s Ranch, Galley, Lot of Windows
About 8 feet by 16 to 18 feet

Emee Pumarega

1947 Pink and Blue Kitchen in Need of Remodeling Love!
10’x 12′ approx.
Vote for 1947 Pink and Blue Kitchen Here

Emily Puro

Kitchen Makeover
8.5′ x 13′

Tayah Butler
Courage Kitchen

Owner Tayah Butler says, “8 wide by 13 long- this kitchen has raised three generations of families in north Eugene. Currently a mother and daughter eat, pack lunches, do homework and live every day in the care of this tiny kitchen- she may be old but courage to be her best keeps her giving!

Julie Morgan

It’s a Kitchen! It’s a Laundry Room! It’s Both. 😦
8.5′ x 12.5′

Kathryn Hile

A Little Off
14′ x 10.5′

Kristin WalkerOriginal 1942 Cabinets Have Lost Their Charm
9′ x 7.5′

Linda Conratt
Cook Needs Counter and Storage
It is approximately 127 square feet.  It’s not a true rectangle.
The largest length is 16.5 feet and widest section is 9.75.

Miranda KeenanCute Lil’ Kitchen
8’2″ x 11’6″

Monica CifelliOld Charm in Goose Hollow
Built in 1912, the same year as the titanic, this house presents itself with plenty of original charm. Dark hardwoods can be found throughout the house residing against the original 12 inch white wood trim which is a great contrast to grey walls and the box ceiling in the living room. When we purchased this house, the same family had resided in it for more than 85 years. We took care and effort to paint and upgrade many of the different rooms however the kitchen still remains untouched. We have looked at many of the pictures from Arciform and would consider it a pleasure if you could transform our kitchen.
Dimensions- 8×11

Rich Millward36-Year Old Kitchen Desperately Seeking a Makeover
Avid cook and family of four would love to get our kitchen remodeled. We’ve been in our home for five years with a cooking space that needs a new look. Please help!
Plus we’re tired of cleaning the boys’ spills off the carpet and glueing down the formica.

🙂
Dimensions 10′ x 14′

Sara WesterfeldToo Small, Ugly, and Painful – Help Me!
8′ x 10′

Susan Addy
Stuck in the 50’s- Pink and Ivy
10′ by 15′
Vote for Pink and Ivy Here

You have until April 19th to vote for your favorite.

Thanks for helping us decide!

And thanks again to our contest partners:

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CZ Becker logo

George Morlan logo

Oregon Tile and Marble logo

Schoolhouse Electric logo

Standard TV logo

versatilesinglelogo

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

Join us for the Kitchen Revival Tour April 13th

Portland Monthly shared some pre-tour insights about the Architectural Heritage Center’s upcoming Kitchen Revival Tour, along with a sneak peek photo of one of the kitchens on the tour:

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(We love the little arched detail below the sink in this tour kitchen!
Photo provided by the Architectural Heritage Center.)

Arciform also has a kitchen being showcased on the tour, which takes place on April 13th, from 10 am to 4 pm. More information and tickets here.

You can check out behind the scenes pictures and get the “client’s eye view” of our project here.

IMG_4382(Here’s the Arciform tour kitchen. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.)

Meanwhile,  Portland Monthly has some great insights into why it is important to both revive and restore the vintage kitchens at the heart of your home:

You’d think what a person needs from a kitchen would stay the same – it’s a place to store and prepare (and maybe consume) food. But really, kitchens are much more than that. Their design expresses how we feel about those daily, utilitarian needs, and what role it plays in our lives. Cooking in 2013 ain’t what it was in 1913.

And it’s not just because of the refrigerator (and the microwave and the toaster oven and the dishwasher). The kitchen of a hundred year old house was likely smaller than we’d want today; it wasn’t intended to be the gathering place and hub of our home the way it probably is in food-centric Portlandia circa 2013.

And while we might like the elaborate woodwork and high ceilings of an 1890s Queen Anne Victorian house, or the rustic, sheltering feeling of 1915 Arts and Crafts bungalow, we might not be too crazy about how separate the kitchens were from the dining room. But that was the way to keep those nasty cooking smells away from the rest of the house, and the servants out of sight. Read the rest of the article here.

We look forward to seeing you at the Kitchen Revival Tour on April 13th!

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Client’s Eye View: Restoring a Vintage Kitchen with a Touch of Tiffany Blue

Meet Marty and Matt, clients whose beautiful vintage kitchen renovation is featured on this year’s Architectural Heritage Center’s 2013 Kitchen Revival Tour.

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You can check out their kitchen on the Tour on April 13 (get your tickets here), but before you go, we thought you might enjoy Marty’s take on the goals and outcomes of her project, along with a few comments from project’s lead carpenter, Jeremy Gould, about some of the pleasures (and challenges) of a vintage kitchen restoration.

Arciform Asks: Marty, What were your goals for your kitchen renovation?

Stockton_1929_Kitchen_B_ (4)(Here’s a peek at the kitchen prior to the remodel.)

  • Installing a dishwasher (our first in 10 years)
  • Adding an island and increasing the work/counter space in the kitchen
  • Opening up the kitchen by eliminating the dark enclosed hallway, which led to the back door
  • Creating a space that would become the heart and activity center of the home
  • Maintaining the vintage charm, which was one of the reasons we fell in love with this house

Arciform Asks: What were your concerns going into the remodel process?

Simply living in a kitchen remodel, especially … with two young children and a dog.

This was not our first major remodel, but it was our first with kids. We addressed this by expanding the use of our laundry room to include a temporary kitchen by relocating the microwave, slow cooker, toaster and a small kitchenette set. All was very doable and kind of like inside camping.

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(Here is the kitchen renovation in progress. Hard to imagine where you could make a sandwich, isn’t it?)

Arciform Asks Lead Carpenter Jeremy Gould: This was a client who wanted to retain and enhance the vintage character of her kitchen.

What unique challenges does it pose to work in a kitchen where many elements are older/original?

One of my bigger challenges was removing the wall at the left hand side of the tile counter top without disturbing the tile backsplash which was on the wall. I had to work like a surgeon and gently remove small pieces of wall at a time to not crack the grout.

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Our other challenge was finding cabinet hinges that matched existing to install on our new cabinets so when looking at the kitchen you couldn’t tell where the old stopped and the new started.

Stockton_1929_Kitchen_B_ (17)(Here’s a close up of those original cabinet hinges.)

Arciform Asks Marty: What did you learn during the process?

We learned to take advantage of when the walls were open by adding structural supports for a future remodel phase and extending electrical work to a hallway niche for art. We also learned that there is an art to orchestrating all the tradesmen and subcontractors. Having an onsite carpenter is like having an extended family member and liaison to the project manager and rest of the team.

Arciform Asks Marty: What are your favorite elements of the completed kitchen and why?

The sheer amount of space is a luxury especially in an older home.

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The soft lighting options and the jellyfish etched on the light shades adds a touch of whimsy and speaks to our family’s interest in nature.

The “Tiffany blue” wall color is both calming and uplifting.

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Keeping the original tile around the sink is almost a match to the house I grew up in on NE 32nd Ave/NE Fremont just blocks away.

A bookcase built at the end of the island is perfect for my mom’s cookbooks.

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The reclaimed hardwoods are almost a match to the rest of the house.

Having a dishwasher!!!!

Arciform Asks: Tell us about the experience of working with Arciform.

Arciform to us is Anne, Richard, Marty, Adam and Jeremy, all professionals who advocated both for us and for the integrity of our home.

When we first met with Anne and Richard, they shared an immediate reaction to keeping the tile around the sink, and the cabinetry and its hardware. Working with Anne and Marty during the design was a joy and I would have liked to have spent more time in the design process, but for our house the design decisions were fairly simple and in keeping with a vintage kitchen.

The construction period was navigated with Jeremy and Adam. Jeremy was a pleasure to have in our home and did fine work, daily communication and keeping our house liveable.

Adam went the extra mile, assisting us with the following: finding our reclaimed hardwoods; hunting through bins at Hippo Hardware for the perfect match to supplement our existing hardware; and finding a vendor for new vintage vents for the kitchen.

Stockton_1929_Kitchen_D_ (4)(Check out the reclaimed hardwoods that Adam helped to source.)

Arciform asks Lead Carpenter Jeremy Gould: What are some of the things you appreciated most about working with the Stockton family?

The Stocktons were very easy to work with and just really nice people. I couldn’t have asked for better clients to work for/with. It was fun hearing the girls’ feedback each morning in the demolition phase of the project. They called me “The Destructor”!

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Jeremy adds: This was a very fun project that I think turned out very well!

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(Here is the whole Stockton clan enjoying the use of their new kitchen during the holidays.)

Arciform would like to thank Marty & Matt for opening their home for the tour and for being such inspiring clients!

Looking for more design inspiration for your kitchen? Join us for our Kitchens that Work Design Workshop on May 18th. Get the details and RSVP here by May 15th to attend FREE.

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6 Great Kitchen Islands

If the kitchen is the heart of your home, a great kitchen island is the heart of your kitchen. Here are 6 very different options that can add both style and flexible functionality to your kitchen design.

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This kitchen’s long narrow profile needed a solution that would double the counter space without making the kitchen feel crowded. Salvaged tree trunks cut into blocks to show off the circular grain create a distinctive counter surface.

Island insight: Sometimes two is better than one. A large island can overwhelm a narrow space. A matching set of narrow profile rolling islands can keep the open flow feeling, while still giving you the option to connect them up for a larger working surface when required.

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Indonesian hardwoods, zinc wrapped counters and tube steel frames create a Bali meets Eastside Industrial vibe in this eclectic kitchen.

Island insight: If the island is on wheels, not only is it more flexible, it avoids the cost of installing electrical outlets to meet code. Locking castors are a great solution for a sturdy cutting surface that also doubles as mobile bar or sideboard when company comes.

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A french bakery inspired this unique island, which mixes the charm of built-in zinc flour bins and the easy practicality of  integrated electrical outlets with traditional turned-leg styling to create a timeless piece that will work hard but blend in seamlessly to this turn-of-the-century home.

Island Insight: the cords for the electric outlets are cleverly hidden in one of this island’s hollow legs, allowing the piece to look like a piece of furniture.

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At the other end of the spectrum, straightforward materials and a smart design can make for a deceptively simple solution that maximizes functionality without sacrificing style.

Island insight: Sometimes all you need is a great piece of marble and a simple steel frame to make an island that’s easy on the eyes and hard to improve upon.

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If your space allows for a more substantial solution, this marble-topped island with integrated breakfast bar creates a social focal point and a seamless relationship between the island and the traditional cabinets of the kitchen.

Island insight: Kitchens serve social functions as well as practical ones. A great island can gather the tribe as well as store your kitchen essentials.

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An island can also be a great place to add a splash of color to your kitchen. The traditional turned-leg styling and substantial profile of this island gets a modern twist with a jolt of warm brick red. Drawers provide sleek storage options while the open hardwood shelf creates space to display your most prized kitchen essentials.

Island insight: Built-in sliding bread boards expand the working surface even further without adding to the footprint of the piece.

A kitchen island can (and should) be as unique as the home and the family that inhabits it. Whether you need a jolt of color, a social focal point, a place to display of your treasured kitchen essentials or flexible counter space that doesn’t block the flow of the kitchen, the perfect island can become the hard-working heart at the heart of your home.

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