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.
- 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.
- 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.
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"What is the difference between a thermostatic valve and a pressure balance valve?" I get this question pretty often. In fact, I get this question so often that I am writing a post about it. You'll most likely be given the choice of one of these types of valves when you plan your new shower or tub. Here are the basics:
Pressure Balance Valves (PB)
A pressure balance valve has a single control that regulates the ratio of hot to cold water that flows out of the fixture. There is no true volume control with a PB valve. When the valve is turned on, 100% water volume passes through. The more the valve is opened, the hotter the temperature gets. Pressure balance valves have a maximum temperature limit that is set at the time of installation, which provides scald protection for families with children. The most common scenario that people think about is how the shower reacts when a toilet is flushed. The tank of the toilet will need more cold water to refill after the flush, so there will be less cold water for the shower. In this scenario, the PB valve automatically reduces the amount of hot water as it senses this. The pressure remains constant and so does the temperature.
Thermostatic Valves (TS)
Thermostatic Valves have two control valves. One controls the pressure and one controls the temperature. TS valves also provide maximum temperature limits that provide scald protection. These valves allow the user to set the temperature completely independent of the volume. It makes it easy to find the correct temperature every time. Thermostatic valves also allow the user to control the volume, so if you're interested in having a very hot temperature water at low volume, you can do that. PB valves do not have that capability.
Which is best for you?
For the most part, thermostatic trims are more pleasing to look at than pressure balance trims, and you'll find that thermostatic valves are used almost exclusively in luxury showers. However, pressure balance valves are much lower in cost (sometimes less than half a comparable thermostatic) Both of these types of valves will last a long time provided you purchase a quality brand that stands behind their product. Personally, I prefer thermostatic valves: they look better and have a better functionality.
Here are a few thermostatic trim packages I really like:
This is a snapshot of a kitchen I just finished in Greenwood Village. The perimeter cabinetry is matte white; the island cabinetry is what's called a "rub-through black". The owners wanted to incorporate brick into the kitchen to tie into the 20' fireplace in the great room which opens up off of the island. A thin brick veneer was applied to the back of the range wall. The herringbone inlay behind the range adds character to the detail. The arched window is something I added into the architectural plans before the house had even been approved for construction. (originally, the sink was in a corner and the range was off center sort of pushed off into a corner - terrible!) Anyway, we fixed the layout early enough in the process. The island has comfortable seating for this family of five and there is a buffet area that connects the kitchen to the breakfast nook (not shown in picture). Integrated appliances by Thermador. Countertops are polished white carrara marble.
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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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"]
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!
My clients asked me to design an area to store their wine inside their corner unit on the 28th floor of The Spire building, in downtown Denver. I found the wine racking system locally here in Denver. VintageView; a Denver based wine cellar company provided the interior racking system. None of their standard units were perfect for our application, so they made a custom rack for us and delivered it directly to the building. The sides of the racking system are made out of a high quality clear acrylic that is 3/4" thick. Each rod is polished stainless steel. In all, the unit weighs in at over 250lbs and is extremely sturdy. It is a free standing system that can be placed anywhere. We chose to enclose the 350 bottle capacity wine rack with a custom glass surround. 1/2" industrial grade tempered glass was used and we worked with Denver Glass Interiors to create the finished product. Not shown in this photo: LED lights are strategically placed along the floor. They shine upward - creating a really unique effect for entertaining.
I know what you're thinking - with all that light, it's really going to mess with the wine! AHH HAAA - I brought in a special commercial window tinting specialist to advise on this. As it turns out, the windows in this LEED certified building are all super Low E...meaning they block 99% of all UV rays, and a lot of the heat. Also - the patio of the unit above this apartment casts a year long shadow over the windowed area where we installed the glass enclosure. But just to be sure, the homeowners also had auto-blinds installed behind the wine rack. The blinds are operated by remote control and can be closed in any situation where directly sunlight makes its way into the apartment.
I think this wine enclosure is awesome. It was the first one I had ever designed and I think that it turned out amazing. I can easily see using this version or a modified version of it (possibly temperature controlled) in any wine enthusiast's home.
I've posted in the past that water jet technology is making its way into stone and tile manufacturing. It's allowing the manufacturers to cut really intricate designs into the stone and create some very elegant mosaic patterns. Below, a quick shot of a water jet natural stone mosaic (created out of thassos and calcutta gold marble) that I received in my office this week. We are using 8 of these beautiful mosaic tiles to create a 2' x 8' mural in a shower in Cherry Hills Village. I will post photos of the finished bathroom once we are done and include some detail shots of the mosaic as well.
My client has painstakingly restored this beautiful Denver Square over the past three years. I was fortunate enough to work with him on the kitchen and three bathrooms in this residence. We carefully planned each space to have its own unique character. I respected the history of the home as much as possible throughout the design phase. We saved items from each room and integrated them into the new design so that our new kitchen and baths had a similar feel to the rest of the home. Photography by Teri Fotheringham.
Exposed brick walls in the kitchen thoughtfully contrast the stainless steel range and pro hood. It's the classic, "Old and New", theme that I like so much. Also in the kitchen, original leaded glass panes of glass were preserved from the original cabinetry and integrated into the new cabinetry. I literally designed the kitchen around these glass panes. We removed a large load bearing wall and replaced it with a 20' long steel beam to gain some much added space. The client desperately wanted an island - any island - in his kitchen. I designed a small functional island with a lot of storage in the middle of the kitchen and it even has space for two small bar stools...
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We gutted all three bathrooms in the home, and all three now have their own unique feel and charm. The powder room is simple and sophisticated. A white porcelain vessel sink sits atop a piece of granite. The wall mounted bridge faucet adds interest. A tin ceiling, adds a bit of drama to the space.
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The Master Bathroom again utilizes an exposed brick wall. Interestingly enough, the brick wall was not part of the original design. It was covered in plaster and we had no idea it would look so stunning when we took the plaster down. However, after seeing the space with the brick exposed, it was a no brainer to just restore the brick and leave it as a statement wall in the bathroom. All the surfaces are custom concrete forms that I designed myself. An integrated planter tray, with its own drainage system is actually the same piece of concrete as the shower bench. A piece of frameless shower glass separates shower bench from planter.
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The upstairs hall bathroom was a different style all together. The owner wanted to provide a very sophisticated, clean, white space for his guests to use. To capture that dynamic, I utilized an antique white penny round flooring tile, and sourced a very simple white pedestal sink and free standing tub. The waincot paneling, which I also designed, has white glass center panels. The mixture of glass and wood updates the space and gives it a glamorous feel.
Although I post pictures of completed projects to my blog, I realized that it's not the best place to view my portfolio in an easy to navigate method. With this in mind, I decided to create a spot where you can view my online portfolio more easily. Here ya go!
Stonewood Granite is pretty cool stuff.
I'd never seen it before about two months ago. We found this slab at The Stone Collection in Denver. This picture is from a project in Observatory Park, Denver. The granite was installed on Tuesday....It's really striking when you see it up close. Of course, we'll get some pro shots of the finished project when it is complete.
The before and afters speak for themselves! This kitchen was tiny, dilapidated, and really poorly laid out. We removed a load bearing wall and put a steel beam in place to open up the space. The inset cabinetry is painted with a glaze & really feels like it has been there for a hundred years. Check out the leaded glass in the two wall cabinets next to the new stainless steel hood. We salvaged the glass from the original cabinetry and used it in the new cabinetry. I found hardware that matched the original cabinet hardware exactly, to keep the old feel of the home intact. The exposed brick wall looks great against the stainless steel range and hood. It was meticulously restored to original condition by a skilled mason. These are the scouting shots, so please forgive the messiness of the kitchen! I didn't have a lot of time to take the pictures. I am hoping to get some pro shots in the next month or so... [gallery type="square" ids="778,775,779,776,780,781,782"]
This apartment located in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver could very easily be transported to New York's Upper West Side and feel right at home. My client wanted something small and elegant, but still functional. I was hired to design the kitchen, hall and butler's pantry, master bathroom, and one guest bathroom. I employed a pure white cabinet scheme in all the spaces for a dramatic contrast vs. the dark ebony floors. Glass, white marble, and polished nickel hardware are used throughout the entire apartment.
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I always say that I strive above all else to keep the clients' vision at the heart of my design. It's a real sticking point for me. Honor that vision from start to finish. The first time I met these clients, they communicated to me how much they love the look of marble. They also wanted a space that was "transitional" in style. The new bathroom needed to be modern, yet also feel warm and inviting. The design of this bathroom begins and ends with a focus on the white carrara marble that was used not only pervasively in the shower, but also for the entire floor of the bathroom. Large 12 x 24 flooring tiles lay atop a radiant heat pad that covers all areas that are accessible by foot. Walking on this floor makes your feet happy :)
The free standing tub was built for us in Georgia and the tub filler was sourced from Portugal. Other details about this bathroom - limestone tile used on the wall behind the vanities creates a sense of drama. The wall mounted faucets are a perfect compliment to the style of the bath, and provide for very easy counter wipe downs. I utilized a 3" thick Quartz countertop in this space. More carrara on the tops would have been just too much, so I found something that played off the shape and color of the tub. The overall feel is an inviting space that is luxurious, elegant, modern, and calming.
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Our photographer taking some pro shots of a luxury bathroom remodel that I recently completed. Edited shots to follow... [gallery type="rectangular" ids="736,737,738"]
I attended an event at Galleria of Stone last night and was amazed with some of the natural stone that was on display. Galleria of Stone has on display one of the most innovative granite products that I've seen in a while. In a nutshell, fabricators overseas have the ability to etch a myriad of designs onto the face of any slab of granite. There are approximately 72 different designs that they have come out with to this point in town. Roughly 24 of these are on display. The slabs come into the United States with the designs already etched onto the faces. Stone is then fabricated here using the standard practices. Here are some close up pictures of some of the different designs available. Remember these are available in full size slabs! [gallery type="square" columns="2" ids="726,727,728,729,730"]
Every once in a while, a project comes along that is really special. Now, that's not to take away anything from any of my other remodels or new construction projects - but sometimes you are lucky enough to be part of a project in which all of the involved parties have an unquenchable thirst to build something that pushes our creative boundaries in the quest to provide a truly unique space. This house, this kitchen is definitely one of these spaces, and it shows through in every room of the house. I was hired by the interior designer on this project to provide the cabinetry design for this kitchen. We started from scratch and built something that we had never done before. I'm quite proud of the result. You'll notice that all of the cabinetry has a reflective surface in the door. I had to work with our cabinet shop to create a new door that would accept both a bronze glass panel and a cherry veneer panel in the door. It wasn't easy but we figured it out and the end result is beautiful! The Sub Zero housing is encased in a floor to ceiling column that is cladded in a natural stone. The housing itself had to be completely re-thought from our standard because of the door swings on the refrigerator, hence the 135 degree angles on the pilasters that anchor either end of the housing. Above the fridge, we placed a piece of Lumix Quartz (same as countertops). The result is a piece that mimics a work of art instead of an appliance.
If you are interested in working with any of the other professionals associated with this project (interior designer, architect, builder), please get in touch with me.
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I think that when most of us think of "modern" style, we tend to associate it with very cold spaces that are fun to look at, but seem fairly sterile and cold. Contrarily, this space is definitely modern, but also feels warm. I accomplished this feat by pairing high gloss custom color laminate wall cabinetry against a matte finish, dark cabinet below. The dark cabinetry is actually a rift cut gray oak veneer with a custom stain on it. Luxury appliances by Sub Zero and Wolf allow this sleek kitchen to perform at a very high level as a chef's preparation area. I designed a custom cabinet to house a dishwasher about 12" off of the floor. This higher placement makes using the appliance much easier. The end result is a space that doubles as both a wonderful cooking haven and a entertaining space.
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The Master Bathroom
The master retreat - as I like to call it - is just that: a retreat from the stresses of daily life. It's a very calming room when you step into it. Subtle colors on cabinetry, tile, and countertops are a nice compliment to the cool blue metallic paint used on the walls. A very nice place to start your day...or end it.
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