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Posts tagged ‘pets’

Kid-Friendly Kitchens

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Incorporating a space just for kids keeps them close-by during meal prep. Design by Principal Designer Anne De Wolf, photo by Patrick Weishampel.

In preparation for our Spring workshop we will share a few posts on kid-friendly spaces.
First up: kitchens. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your kid-friendly kitchen.


Caesarstone is a durable & kid-friendly countertop. Design by Principal Designer Anne De Wolf, photo by Photo Art Portraits.


The largest, most used areas of your kitchen are counters, floors, cabinets and appliances – choose finishes that are durable and easy to clean.

Your most durable countertop options are Quartz, Corian and Swanstone. They require little maintenance and largely resistant to staining, scratches and heat. Granite is another good option – when sealed properly your counters can be non-porous as well as heat-resistant.


Hardwood floors are warm and easy to maintain. Design by Senior Designer Kristyn Bester, photo by Photo Art Portraits.

When it comes to flooring options, selecting a hardwood or durable large-format ceramic/porcelain tile will serve you well. A wood floor is warm, can be refinished and is somewhat impact-resistant. Spills are easy to clean on a tile floor and typically won’t cause damage if left for a longer period of time.


Stainless steel appliances make the space shine. Design by Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth, photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Appliances take up a large amount of surface space in your kitchen, so consider the finish you select. Stainless steel looks great but will show hand prints and smudges. There are a few stainless steel finish options that resist marks more than others – Frigidaire’s “Smudge Proof” for example. You could also invest in a good cleaning product that will make removing smudges effortless.

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Pullout drawers allow for easy access to all of your pantry items. Design by Senior Designer Kristyn Bester, photo by Photo Art Portraits.


Having a pantry that is kid-accessible will make it easier for your little ones to be self-sufficient and will provide ample storage. By adding pullout drawers, everything will be at eye-level.


This open-plan kitchen is not only great for entertaining, it keeps your family close by as well. Design by Principal Designer Anne De Wolf, photo by Photo Art Portraits.


Create an open-plan kitchen to encourage your children to do their homework nearby while you cook or help out in the kitchen during meal prep. By incorporating an eating space at an island or nearby nook, the kids can be nearby during snack times.


A nook off the kitchen is a great place for family meals or games – don’t forget to incorporate a place for your furry friend! Design by Principal Designer Anne De Wolf, photo by Photo Art Portraits.


Nooks serve well as a family eating space or spot for homework, games or crafts. Think about incorporating a space for your furry friends too that will keep them close but not too close during meals.

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A large island is a great place for snack time and for kids to do homework or crafts. Design by Senior Designer Kristyn Bester, photo by Photo Art Portraits.


If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen and like to involve your kids, think about lowering the island countertop to make it kid-accessible. Islands also serve as a great place for eating/snack time, homework, crafts and games. If you are pinched for space, rolling carts can serve as islands that easily stow out of the way. Consider collapsible or retractable counters – these are perfect for snack areas or work stations.


Microwave drawers in the island allow kids to heat up their own snacks. Design by Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth, photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Refrigerator &  Microwave Drawers

Refrigerator and microwave drawers can be placed below countertop level which gives kids easy access. Refrigerator drawers are a great place to keep healthy snacks and drinks.

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A designated drawer for pet food keeps it out of the way but easily accessible. Design by Principal Designer Anne De Wolf, photo by Patrick Weishampel.


Are your pets your babies? Consider built-in storage for food and water bowls and other fun ways to incorporate them into your space.

These are just a few considerations when designing a kid-friendly space. Ready to learn more? Join us on May 18th for our Designed for Your Growing Family Workshop – find the details and RSVP here.

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Thriving During the Remodel

You’ve been waiting for this day for months – construction is starting! While exciting, remodels can also be daunting, especially if you are losing the functionality of your kitchen or bathroom for a few weeks. Here are some tips from our design team on how to cope.

Depending on the scope of the project, some clients consider renting temporary accommodation (be sure to include this in your remodeling budget!), staying with family or “roughing it” for the duration of construction.

If you’ve decided to “rough it” and stay in your home, consider the following:

  • Temporary kitchen
  • Temporary bathing facility
  • Storage
  • Kids
  • Pets


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Temporary Kitchen

Consider setting up a temporary, minimalist kitchen. Keep the essentials close by – fridge, coffee maker, toaster and/or toaster oven, microwave, induction hot plate, utensils. Plan for quick and easy meals that can be prepared in a toaster oven or microwave. If the weather permits, utilize your grill or camping stove. Think about cooking and freezing food that will make your life easier – sauces or stews that you can easily add a grain or vegetable to. Also consider washing facilities – outdoor sink, bathroom sink or bathtub.



Temporary Bathroom

If you are remodeling multiple bathrooms, phase them if possible. This may mean sharing one bathroom with your family, but it’s better than the alternative of none. If you only have one bath, think about where you will shower – neighbor, gym, office. At the very least, we are often able to leave the toilet functioning.




Moving and remodeling are two of the best times to purge – haven’t used that thing you don’t recognize in a while? Get rid of it! Other options are offsite storage units, PODs or moving items into unaffected rooms.


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This is perhaps one of the biggest considerations when planning your remodel. Not only do we take steps to ensure the safety of your family – lead safe practices, zipper walls and partitioning parts of the house – we will work with you to discover your families’ needs and do our best to minimize additional disruption. Some clients choose to start the construction phase during summer holidays – this is a good option especially if you are able to go on vacation(s) and it makes cooking outdoors much easier. Upside: most kids are resilient and enjoy the process with all of the trucks and tools!



Some pets may require daycare due to noise and others may just need to be kept in a separate part of the house.

The Emotional Rollercoaster

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This is an image we often refer to in our office. David Lupberger argues there is a psychological connection between home and self that accounts for the intense feelings many homeowners experience.

A home, he says, is often a reflection, or an extension, of who the homeowners perceive themselves to be. A place of self-expression, contains our most cherished memories, it’s a safe place where we can feel nurtured and let down our guard. So it’s understandable why a remodeling project feels disruptive to clients. When clients have to move out of a kitchen, or shroud half their house in plastic, it feels like an invasion of their most personal space, Lupberger says.

How did you survive, and thrive during your remodel? Share your tips and advice in the comments.

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Designer Holiday Gift Guide (Part 3)


This is the third and final installment of our designer holiday gift guide.  For our final part Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth and Junior Designer Trisha Hopkins share some great ideas to take care of those final people on your list.


Chelly’s Picks


Portland CSA

A share of a CSA is an excellent present for the cook, foodie, or health nut on your list.  Locally farmed, seasonal produce is delivered to your door to keep your fridge stocked without having to think about going to the store.


Portland Homestead Supply

A gift certificate for a class at Portland Homestead Supply (who doesn’t want to learn how to make cheese or stock up on canning supplies?)  Here is a list of recipes to get your holiday canning juices flowing.


Fieldwork Flowers

Who doesn’t love to be treated to a fresh bouquet of flowers?  During these dark months of Winter a fresh arrangement can do wonders to brighten up a home.  Fieldwork Flowers can help you put together a beautiful, locally grown bouquet.


Hand Eye Supply

For the creative on your list, a stop at Hand Eye Supply will surely provide an answer to your gift giving quandry.  They have a great selection of work wear that will keep your loved one styling while they work.

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The Art of Shaving

Celebrate the end of Movember with a  gift certificate for a lux shave from The Art of Shaving.  Maybe your honey needs to clean up for your new years kiss.  This gift is a perfect way to make him feel pampered without knowing that you want that scratchy beard gone.


Muffin Head

Don’t forget your pooch and get him or her a warm coat from Muffin Head.  Each garment is made here in the USA from recycled materials so you can feel good about keeping your furry friend warm.


Christmas Family Adoption Foundation

Let’s not forget that this is the season of giving.  If you have someone on your list that has everything this is a great option to help some of those that don’t in their name.  It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday fervor but if we stop to help those around us, we can enrich our own community.   So consider adopting a whole family in need by donating to the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation.


Trisha’s Picks



Betsy and Iya

Betsy and Iya jewelery is handmade in Portland. I love everything they make. It’s different, funky and delicate.



Everything Jadeite! Plates, bowls, cups and so on. You can find some good antique pieces on Ebay and Etsy. Or buy new from Sur La Table.



The Kobenstyle line of pots and pans from Dansk cookware is my all-time favorite. Originally designed by Jens Quistgaard in 1965, this line is now being reproduced by Dansk again.  It is so classic and modern. You can find it in town at Schoolhouse Electric.



I love these gold rimmed plates available at Food52. Very organic and oh so lovely!



I have always wanted a pair of these chairs from Rejuvenation. And one day I will own them!


Design Within Reach

Who could resist the urge to buy the iconic lounge chair and ottoman designed by Charles and Ray Eames?  This piece is definitely a splurge item but will stand the test of time and provide many years of comfortable sitting while looking exquisite.

Want More?

Check out the other parts of the series:

Part One: Anne De Wolf, Marty Hegg & Kat O’Neil’s Picks

Part Two: Kristyn Bester and Jeffrey Kelly’s Picks

Phew!  This concludes our designer holiday gift guide.  We’ve had a great time putting these lists together and hopefully you had a great time reading them.  Now get out there and start crossing off the remaining people on your list.  Let us know if any of these items make their way into your loved one’s hands.

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