denver kitchen and bath design

Sanctuary Kitchen Design Featured on Houzz.com

A few months ago, we were contacted for content regarding how to discuss budget with customers by Houzz.com.  We were happy to oblige, and the article went live today!  

Click link below for the whole article: 

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/71148445/list/for-pros-talking-about-the-budget-doesnt-have-to-be-awkward-really

Following a Kitchen Remodel - Week 3

Although it is tough to tell, there was a lot of progress last week.  The plumbers were able to successfully create new plumbing connections for the main sink, cooktop, and bar sink.  This week, the electricians are in the space, roughing in all the connections necessary for the new appliances and GFCI receptacles required in the kitchen.   

The flooring contractor dropped off some stain samples for our floors, which are going to be refinished starting next week.  Here's a look at our cabinetry finishes along with the flooring samples.  We are leaning towards the natural oak which will receive one treatment of bleach to lighten it and remove any orange / red tones.  We are also specifying a water based finish to prevent any "honey" coloring over the years. 

Here is the favored wood stain next to the new mudroom entry tile.  

Following a Remodel from Start to Finish - Week 1

Interested in following one of our kitchen remodels from start to finish?  Good!  You're in luck.  We're going to be posting entries here as often as possible - shooting for weekly updates - following one of our kitchen remodels in Boulder.  

Today is the first entry - and I'm going to use a few photos and drawings to illustrate the old house footprint and what we aim to accomplish with the kitchen remodel.  

Here is a drawing of the existing house - pre - remodel.  

EXISTING FLOORPLAN

As you can see, the kitchen currently occupies the smallest room on the main level of the house.  

And while the kitchen is the smallest room on the main level, the room with the most space, the lower living room, sits mostly under-utilized.  

What we aim to do is completely relocate the kitchen down to the lower living room.  This will take advantage of the south facing windows for great sunlight, a much larger footprint, and it will also give us the opportunity to create the "great room".  Below is the proposed new floorplan for the main level:

PROPOSED NEW FLOORPLAN

And here is a 3-D rendering of what the new kitchen space will look like once completed.  A mix of zebra wood veneer and high gloss white cabinetry will be topped with a white quartz countertop and a really amazing walnut top on the island.  Sub Zero and Wolf appliances are complimented by the back painted white back splash.  We're even incorporating a new bar into the space to create a place where our homeowners can make a drink after a day at the office. 

First phase of demolition was completed yesterday. Here's our first pic of the new kitchen space, after the built ins were removed.  

Demolition phase one complete! 

Check back with our blog regularly to see the progress as we completely transform this home. We are aiming for weekly updates with photos and notes of our progress.  

A Custom Shelving Unit Can Add a Lot of Interest to Your Space

This custom shelving unit was created using plumber's pipe and reclaimed boards that were found in a neighbor's back yard.   We think the overall effect is really unique now that it is installed on this tiled wall.  You can achieve some pretty unique looks by mixing materials that wouldn't naturally be found together.  Here, we used steel, reclaimed wood, and a marble-looking tile to create an aesthetic that is eclectic and interesting.    


Contemporary Powder Bath

Recently completed work!  This powder room in Longmont, CO is clean, simple, and reinforces the fact that small spaces can be amazing and functional without going overboard.  I specified a bamboo plank wall behind the vanity.  The 6" wide planks really warm the space, and the 1/4" gaps between the boards provide a shadow line which is also interesting.  Wall hung vanity keeps the space feeling open and airy and I love the Brizo faucet that is mounted on the wall.  Wall mount faucets are a great option for small spaces because they allow for extra counterspace and are incredibly easy to clean around.  Limestone plank flooring in a herringbone pattern.  I worked in conjunction with Melton Design Build in Boulder, CO on this project.  Melton is an AMAZING construction company.  Their attention to detail and customer service are second to none.  Highly recommended!   

Before / After Bathroom Photos of a Pool House in Cherry Hills Village

This bathroom is inside a great pool house in Cherry Hills Village.  We had to work around the existing tile flooring, which isn't great.  It's sort of a peach / pink color.  The previous homeowners painted the walls a flesh tone, which did not help.  Working with BOA Construction, I designed a new bathroom for the pool house using Porcelanosa wainscot tile, a custom 8" thick concrete countertop with trough sink, and a custom vanity with polished chrome inlays on the legs.

Having to work around the existing flooring was a challenge.  However, the material and color choices made during the design process dramatically cut down on the pinkish hue that was previously there.

Here are the before / after shots!  

The vanity is designed with an open shelf bottom, to store rolled-up towels for guests.  Four drawers provide nice storage.  The legs are 4" in diameter and have polished chrome inlays running from top to bottom.  My favorite part of this piece is the 8" thick concrete countertop that rests on top of the vanity.  It has  an integrated trough sink.  Brizo Virage Faucet and sconces. 

The vanity is designed with an open shelf bottom, to store rolled-up towels for guests.  Four drawers provide nice storage.  The legs are 4" in diameter and have polished chrome inlays running from top to bottom.  My favorite part of this piece is the 8" thick concrete countertop that rests on top of the vanity.  It has  an integrated trough sink.  Brizo Virage Faucet and sconces. 

Polished chrome accents with white paint finish and black concrete is a great combination. 

Polished chrome accents with white paint finish and black concrete is a great combination. 

The wall tile is from Porcelanosa.  It's a Spanish company that imports to the US, and they carry some amazing product.  This particular tile is porcelain and it is manufactured with a matte finish wood grain.  We installed the 12x24 tiles horizontally on the walls throughout the bathroom with a polished chrome accent piece on top.  The effect is very light and airy and it creates a "beach" feel; perfect for a pool house.  

This picture shows what a "trough" sink refers to.  The sink is cast as part of the mold in the concrete fabrication process.  Very clean and elegant.  

This picture shows what a "trough" sink refers to.  The sink is cast as part of the mold in the concrete fabrication process.  Very clean and elegant.  

I updated the fireplace with the same tile we used for wainscot in the bathroom.  Both vertical corners are adorned with Porcelanosa corner trim in polished chrome.  

I updated the fireplace with the same tile we used for wainscot in the bathroom.  Both vertical corners are adorned with Porcelanosa corner trim in polished chrome.  

Before Photos:

Denver Polo Club Kitchen by Chris Awadalla featured in 5280 Home Magazine Autumn 2014 Issue

I was happy to design the kitchen for this project by interior designer Megan Kane in Denver's Polo Club neighborhood, just south of Cherry Creek.  Jones Custom Builders did a wonderful job, as always, implementing the great design with amazing craftsmanship.

Click below for full article!

http://www.5280.com/dwell/magazine/2014/08/hit-refresh


http://www.5280.com/dwell/magazine/2014/08/hit-refresh

Here are 15 Ways to Add Really Functional Storage to Your New Kitchen

If you haven't checked out Houzz.com yet and you are planning on remodeling or building a new home....go there now!  It is stocked full of great ideas for those of us that love design, architecture, and construction.

Click on the link below to read an article that highlights some unique ways to add functional storage to your kitchen.  

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/15629224

Progress of Our White Transitional Kitchen Remodel in Boulder

This transitional white kitchen is shaping up to be a proper space.  My clients have been incredibly great to work with, so I am excited about the fact that they will be using this kitchen in a few short weeks.   

We had a solid concept in the initial planning stages & I was very happy with the way things were drawn up....However, I think that now that the finishing items are being delivered and being installed I'm even more happy about the way it will turn out.  White cabinetry, white Caesarstone countertops and herringbone carrara are going to make this kitchen pop.  

Here are a few progress photos...and I'm happy to say AHEAD of schedule!  

The peninsula will house the 5 burner gas cooktop and downdraft.  The island will now be used solely for prep surface.  Previously, the island was almost unusable because the cooktop took up the entire surface.  

The peninsula will house the 5 burner gas cooktop and downdraft.  The island will now be used solely for prep surface.  Previously, the island was almost unusable because the cooktop took up the entire surface.  

The stainless steel farmhouse sink will provide a nice modern contrast to some rustic elements we are incorporating into the design

The stainless steel farmhouse sink will provide a nice modern contrast to some rustic elements we are incorporating into the design

One thing that will really give this space a truly unique feel is the incorporation of some reclaimed barn wood that I found at Front Range Timber in Denver.  Love those guys.  They go to Wyoming and tear down old dairy farms, then repurpose the planks for projects such as ours...

Reclaimed barn wood will wrap the back of the island and the peninsula.

Reclaimed barn wood will wrap the back of the island and the peninsula.

Here are a few pics of tile that we will be using in the space. 

This amazing pattern is being installed around the fireplace surround, which is visible from the kitchen

This amazing pattern is being installed around the fireplace surround, which is visible from the kitchen

1 x 2 Carrara Herringbone backsplash

1 x 2 Carrara Herringbone backsplash

There will be a lot of work happening in the next two weeks in this space that will dramatically transform it.  I'll keep you posted!  

Before / After Concept

Concept boards for a new project in Evergreen

Here are the before pictures.  Click on the picture to advance to next pic.

Here are the concept models...Click on the picture to advance to next pic.

Here are a few product samples we like.  I aim to create a serene space with minimal color transitions and simple lines.  We'll add interest with home owner artifacts that have been procured in far away places.

Click on the picture to advance to next pic.

The tub filler is polished nickel.  Brizo Virage collection

The tub filler is polished nickel.  Brizo Virage collection

Planning for Switches and Outlets in Your Kitchen Design

It is quite easy to overlook the placement of GFCI receptacles (outlets) and light switches in your kitchen design.  We use these items so often that they become an oversight because they're always just "there" when you need them.  However, somebody had to think about where to put that light switch or that GFCI outlet.  It didn't just appear there...

I use a few simple guidelines for switch and outlet placement when designing my clients' spaces.  Simply spending a few minutes in the design phase to lay out these items can make a big difference in the overall function of a finished space.

Outlet Specification and Placement

Have you ever heard of a "decora" style switch or receptacle but were unsure of what it meant?  It refers to a line of outlets and switches manufactured by Leviton.  The "rocker-style" switches and square styled receptacles look more modern and have more features than the old school style of outlets, so they are preferred by most homeowners.  

Each municipality has its own requirements and codes for the placement of GFCI receptacles in the kitchen.  So you'll need to ask your electrician what the exact distances are for your town.  However, I can tell you that in its most general sense, you will need GFCI receptacles in the following locations in every kitchen:

  • Within approximately 2 feet of the outside edge of any sink located along a wall
  • On an island: one receptacle on each end of the island
  • On a peninsula: one receptacle on the end of the peninsula
  • On the kitchen walls: one receptacle every 2 feet (approximate.  Again, check with your electrician for the exact dimensions required by your town's codes)

If you don't want to see GFCI receptacles in your kitchen backsplash, you can also use what's called "plug mold".  Plug mold is more costly than standard outlets and more difficult to plan for and install, but it's very convenient and it completely hides your required outlets up under the wall cabinets.  

Plug mold is a great alternative to standard outlets in the kitchen backsplash.  There are several manufacturers of plug mold.  

Plug mold is a great alternative to standard outlets in the kitchen backsplash.  There are several manufacturers of plug mold.  

Another option I love for new kitchen outlets is the new Adorne line of receptacles and switches by Legrand.

The pop out outlet from Legrand is a great look in every kitchen

The pop out outlet from Legrand is a great look in every kitchen

Outlets are a necessary eye-sore in every room, but most important in the kitchen.  When planning your kitchen outlets, think about where you will place your small countertop appliances and where you'd like to have them plugged in.  When in doubt, add an outlet.  

You'll also want to think about where you'll charge your phone, tablet, and other mobile devices.  When space allows, I always plan for a charging station in the kitchen.  Not every kitchen has the room for it, but most do.  Having a spot to charge your devices away from where food preparation occurs is a very nice thing.  So don't forget to think about that aspect as well.  

Switch Placement in the Kitchen

When laying out the switch placement in a kitchen, I always start by looking at the traffic patterns of the space.  Most kitchens have 2 main entrances, sometimes three.  I will identify those spots and locate my switches for the main ceiling lighting (most of the time it's the recessed cans) in a spot where they are easily accessed by those entrances.  I almost always specify dimmers for the main can lighting.  

The undercabinet lighting is usually switched somewhere in the kitchen backsplash.  It is helpful to label the switches so that guests know what they're looking for when trying to turn on lights.  

Accent lighting can be switched almost anywhere.  (Accent lighting refers to the interior cabinet lights, or perhaps downlighting under the toekick).   Just make sure you think about it before the electrician shows up and decides for himself where it should go without consulting you first!

Whisper Switch from Legrand

Whisper Switch from Legrand

The main guidelines to follow are below.  Sometimes, giving an unglamorous subject (such as switches and outlets) just a few minutes of thought is all it takes to really save yourself some major headaches down the road!  

  1. Ensure that all GFCI requirements are met in your kitchen.  This means you will need outlets near the sinks, on the ends of the island or peninsula, and also above any courter surface - in the wall.
  2. Think about what sort of receptacles you want to see.  Are you OK with the old style outlets and switches?  Or would you prefer to spend a little more and get some modern outlets that have a better look?
  3. Identify the major entrances / exits to the kitchen.  Place switches for the main ceiling lighting at these locations.  Use a three way switch that will allow you to operate the lights from more than one entrance for best convenience.  Identify which lights should have dimmers and communicate to electrician.
  4. The switch placement for undercabinet or accent lighting can be placed anywhere you choose.  However, ensure that you think about this prior to the work being commenced.
  5. Spend a little bit of time thinking about what sort of phones or tablets you might want to keep in the kitchen and where you will charge them.  Do you want an exposed countertop area where your devices will be out in the open for everyone to see?  Or would you prefer to hide them behind doors?  Both of these options are available to you, it is really a matter of deciding which you prefer early in the design process and then planning accordingly.  

 

 

A Modern Bathroom in Greenwood Village - Scouting Shots

Scouting shots from a recent bathroom remodel in Greenwood Village. Here are some of the highlights...

 

Cracked glass floor detail...Axor tub filler and faucets...custom Anegre veneer high polish cabinetry. 

Cracked glass floor detail...Axor tub filler and faucets...custom Anegre veneer high polish cabinetry. 

We used a really great luminescent tile for an accent in the shower.  The wall tile is a 12x24 porcelain that is very similar to crema marfil marble. 

We used a really great luminescent tile for an accent in the shower.  The wall tile is a 12x24 porcelain that is very similar to crema marfil marble. 

 

Axor fixture, shown in front of the niche we built for additional storage. The storage niche is great for the homeowners' electric toothbrushes and has its own LED lighting and GFCI receptacles. 

Axor fixture, shown in front of the niche we built for additional storage. The storage niche is great for the homeowners' electric toothbrushes and has its own LED lighting and GFCI receptacles. 

Shower niche

Shower niche

The free standing tub is by Hydro Systems, and the tub filler is the Axor Massaud.  Striking!

The free standing tub is by Hydro Systems, and the tub filler is the Axor Massaud.  Striking!

7 Ways to Enjoy Your Kitchen Remodeling Experience

It's been a little over four years since I wrote, "8 Steps for a Successful Kitchen Remodel".  I received a lot of positive feedback about it.  That article was meant to provide a very basic look at what to expect during a kitchen (or bathroom) remodel.  There is a lot of information pertaining to expectations, responsibilities, and order of events.  So if you have never remodeled before - OR perhaps you just want to find out a little bit about my process, click on that link above to access that article.

This post is more geared towards providing some positive insights into how you and your family can not only survive, but ENJOY your remodeling experience.  There is a misconception that every remodel has to be a stressful, drawn out process with absolutely no joy in it.  And while ripping out your kitchen (or bath) can be anxiety-inducing; it shouldn't keep you up at night.  

7 Ways to Enjoy Your Kitchen Remodeling Experience 

1. Document everything with the idea that you will create a picture book about the experience once complete.  Check out www.mypublisher.com, or you can use the iPhoto Print Services online if you are an Apple junky like me.  Take detailed before pictures.  Try to take photos of every conceivable angle and if you can, envision where the most dramatic view points will be when the project is complete.  Taking a shot every single day isn't totally necessary, but I always take a quick photo of the major progress items, (cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc...)  Take the "after" shots keeping in mind where you took your "before" shots.  If you can stand in the same location-even better!  Put the before/after shots side by side for a dramatic effect.  This documentary of the progress of work can be really fun to look through a year or two after completion.

Well planned out temp kitchens make life much nicer for you when your real kitchen is ripped apart.

Well planned out temp kitchens make life much nicer for you when your real kitchen is ripped apart.

2. Plan your temporary kitchen space ahead of time.  So important!  Here's what you'll need: 

  • Cooking Appliances:  For about $50-$100 you can buy a couple of electric or induction table top burners that plug into a regular outlet.  In addition to your burners, set up a small microwave in a convenient location.  You'll use the microwave a LOT over the next few months.  
  • 6 foot folding table.  If you have room for two of these, even better.  You'll need a surface for your table top burners, microwave, etc.  
  • Trash can
  • Disposable dinnerware.  I know it is wasteful, but you're not a terrible person if you use disposable plates and forks for a few months.  There are several options that are recyclable as well.  Try to minimize the dishes you have to do after your meals. 
  • Get a bus box from a restaurant supply store.  Use it as as catch-all for dirty dishes.  

3. Plan Dinners with Friends You Haven't Seen in a While.  How long have you been planning to have dinner with that couple you love but haven't seen in 6 months?  In fact, how many friends do you need to catch up with?  If you are like me, then it's probably quite a few.  What better way to get away from the construction zone AND get a free dinner than going over to your friend's house???  You'll have some fantastic conversation topics to talk about over dinner.  It's OK to have an extra glass of wine too. You deserve it after living through this remodel...

4. Take Weekend Excursions.  What?  Go on a vacation during a remodel?  Well, a lot of us can't afford to take a big vacation while simultaneously paying for a big kitchen renovation.  For those of you that CAN - this is the best way to survive in style.  I hear Cabo is great this time of year...But for those of us that need to be a little bit more frugal during the renovation, taking a weekend excursion to that mountain town you haven't explored is a great way to get away.  Go camping, take a trip to see relatives.  In short - just get out and do something that requires you to stop thinking about what type of granite you should decide on for one weekend!

5. Watch a Tradesmen Do His (or her) Work for About 30 Minutes.  Most tradesmen would probably be cool with you taking an interest in their job.  This tip is not for everyone.  But for those of you that are interested in residential construction, it is a great way to learn something new while also getting on the good side of your subcontractors.

6. Use the Grill!  The grill is still my favorite cooking surface.  My family grills year round.  Yep.  Not uncommon to see me in boot deep snow firing up the grill in January.  A) minimal clean up, B) great flavor, C) large cooking surface.  Have a BBQ & tell your friends to bring a side.  You can cook anything on the grill and show off the progress of your kitchen renovation to everyone.

7. Create a Time Capsule with Your Children.  It's amazing what you pull out of old houses during a renovation.  50 year old newspapers, family photos, etc.  Well, why not leave a little something for the next family that lives in your home and decides to remodel?  Kids will probably really enjoy this exercise (unless they're teenagers, in which case they probably hate everything).  Ask them to grab one or two small items or photographs.  Add a current newspaper article or this month's 5280 Magazine.  Stuff it all into a mason jar and maybe include a nice note wishing the next homeowners luck.  You might stuff it into the new wall you're framing out or perhaps put it in the crawlspace in a corner where nobody will find it for a very long time.  Either way, it will be fun for your next homeowners.  

 

 

colorado homes and lifestyles chose my bathroom project for its annual bath issue

I'm really honored that CHL chose to feature my project in their annual bathroom issue.  This one of a kind bath sports all the luxuries you can think of...steam shower, custom concrete, aromatherapy, chromatherapy, audio, heated floor tiles, etc.  

http://coloradohomesmag.com/article/spa-day-four-fabulous-baths

Greenwood Village Kitchen

This new home in Greenwood Village belongs to one of the nicest families I've ever met.  This kitchen is a true reflection of their style.  It is warm and inviting, but feels elegant and sophisticated at the same time.  When I first met them in 2012, they had yet to break ground on this house. Here are a few of the highlights in this kitchen:

  • Originally, the sink was in the southeast corner of the kitchen.  It was in an area that I felt would become a choke point, especially for a family of 5.  I moved the sink to the East wall and added an arched window that was not previously there.

    I incorporated a traditional Rohl farmhouse sink under a new arched window for dramatic effect.

  • The North wall of the kitchen (which is the wall with all the brick) was really lacking any balance.  I moved the 48" dual fuel Thermador range onto that wall and then flanked it with symmetrical cabinetry.  All of the top boxes are individually lit with LED puck lights.

The herringbone pattern insert of bricks above the range breaks up the standard brick pattern in a way that is interesting.

  • I contrasted the white perimeter cabinetry with a black paint rub-through finish on the island.  The implied weight of the finish provides a visual anchor for the kitchen.

Interior Intuitions Brookside. 6 Hi Res

  • Lots of fantastic storage inserts...

    Knife Block

    CLICK BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES OF THIS PROJECT

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Cherry Hills Village - Master Bathroom

We finished this bathroom late in the summer.  I was referred to the client by Jones Custom Builders, a really great building company that I have worked with on a few projects.  It's a classic styled bathroom.  The flooring in the bathroom is basketweave carrara and black marble.  The countertop is Super White Quartzite.  Brizo fixtures are installed throughout the bathroom. My favorite part of this bathroom is the inlay of Italian marble on the back wall of the shower.  This decorative danse pattern is cut using water jet technology and comprised of thassos and carrara marble.

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Construction Zone Shots - Traditional White Kitchen - Greenwood Village

A few shots from a job site in Greenwood Village.  This spectacular home is built in a southern traditional style.  It would feel right at home in North Carolina or Georgia.  This kitchen has TONS of storage, seating for 5 and a full set of professional grade appliances that will be installed soon.  Clients are hoping to get in before Christmas! [gallery columns="2" type="square" ids="845,844,843"]

New Kitchen and Bath Projects Fall 2013

The first snow of the year is predicted to fall this weekend.  It's only the first week of October, but after living in Colorado for almost 5 years now, it's not surprising that we will have snowy weather on Friday and sunny 70 degree weather on Sunday.  Go figure. I'm pleased to announce that I have recently been retained to work on four new projects.

A master bathroom remodel in Cherry Creek North:  We're going for a sleek transitional look.  I am specifying large format porcelain tile (18 x 36) for the flooring and a wainscot tile that is 12 x 24.  I'll tie everything together with and carrara accents, and then add some interest with vibrant colors on the walls.   The new frameless European shower will be a vast improvement.

Just up the street from the master bathroom remodel is a house owned by a couple with a young child.  It's a wonderful old house that has a newer addition on the back of it.  Problem is that the new part of the house does not tie into the old part.  There are several areas I am working on in this project including, the master suite, kitchen, great room, mudroom, entry way, and flooring.  The homeowners are very involved with the process and are excited about bringing this wonderful house together into one cohesive home.

You may have seen pictures on this blog of a classic home restoration project that I completed about a year ago...That homeowner referred me to his neighbor just down the street, and we are now currently in the design phase on her master bathroom.  Her home is very traditional, with clean lines.  I plan to give her a new bathroom that is really beautiful - but most importantly, it is going to feel like it belongs in the house.

I was also hired on to a kitchen remodel project up in Boulder.  Fortunately, this couple avoided any major flood damage - many of their neighbors are still recovering.  We're going to update their kitchen to something totally sleek and modern.  High gloss lacquer, white glass, textured laminates and quartz counters are going to make this space really POP.

We are also finishing up installation of new construction in Greenwood Village.  That project should be complete by Thanksgiving.

I will report back with pictures soon!