chris awadalla

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 - Down the Home Stretch

This post encompasses weeks 7-9 of the remodel process for this particular project.  To recap: we decided to completely relocate the kitchen from one part of the house to another.  We moved it from a smaller space that was directly located next to the garage down to a much larger space - which was previously a living room.  In addition to this - we've refinished all the flooring, redone the fireplace, and are also updating a small powder room.  

Last week was really exciting!  Our countertops and appliances were installed in the same day.   It was quite a transformation and we certainly have to tip our cap to the general contractor who orchestrated all the trades working in one space together.  

Below are some photos of custom 2" thick black walnut countertops that we had made locally here in Denver.  These pieces are truly a work of art.  Picture of the installation is down near the bottom of this post...

Our final post following this project will most likely not happen for a few weeks.  Our general contractor is taking a much needed vacation and will be back in two weeks after a trip to Australia to finish up the last few details of this project.  

Here is a shot of a custom 2" thick solid black walnut countertop that our local craftsman made for us.  It's now installed as a "swing off" on the island.  Picture below...

A close up shot of a "live edge" piece of walnut that will be installed as the powder room vanity top.  

The kitchen is nearing completion.  Next up: white backpainted tempered glass backsplash (large panels), appliance paneling, plumbing and electrical trim...

Following a Kitchen Remodel Weeks 4-6

It's been a while since our last update on our kitchen remodel in Boulder.  This post will summarize the past few weeks worth of progress.  

The new entryway between dining room and kitchen was created.  These are the new stairs between the two spaces. 

We delivered cabinets about three weeks ago...

Cabinet delivery

The general contractor fell a few days behind schedule because the drywallers were not able to get started on schedule.  However, he's been hard at work getting everything ready for our countertop template, which is happening tomorrow...

The kitchen starting to come together...

The bar area.

The floors were sanded down last week.  The final coats of floor finishing will take place after the appliances have been installed.  Although it looks a long way from completion we are just a few short weeks away from being done.  The countertops will be installed in two weeks and we will have the appliances and plumbing hooked up shortly thereafter.  I'll keep you posted...

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.  

On the Drawing Board: Cherry Hills Kitchen

We've just completed renderings for a fantastic kitchen in Cherry Hills Village.  This kitchen will be comprised of high gloss walnut, antique mirror, and brush stroke paint on the main island. We are implementing a system of hidden niche storage for the back wall of the kitchen.  Once installed, these sliding doors will hide some really great functional storage for spices, oils, and other cooking items. 

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.    


On the Drawing Board...

What you are looking at is not a photograph!  This is a rendering of an arts and crafts style kitchen that we have been working on for a few months.  I find that the rendering medium is an extremely powerful tool for communicating designs to clients prior to signing off.  This particular kitchen will be new construction in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver. 


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!   

Scouting Shots of a White Transitional Kitchen

So you'll notice right off the bat that these are not the highest quality photographs.  That's because I took them myself with my phone camera.  So please forgive the quality!  I posted a few pics earlier this fall of this kitchen in various stages of installation, so hopefully this will tie it all together and you'll get an idea of what the space turned out like.  

The defining feature of the kitchen is definitely the sink wall facing out onto the back yard.  We were unable to remove a soffit due to structural beams in the ceiling, so instead, we tiled the whole wall with herringbone mosaic carrara marble and the installed 3" thick floating shelves with LED puck lights.  

Another feature in this kitchen that is a bit unusual is the use of reclaimed Wyoming dairy barn wood for accent pieces on the back of the island and peninsula.  The gray tones work really well with the carrara marble and Caesarstone countertops.  I also really pushed for the waterfall edges on the ends of the island, and I am so glad the homeowners decided to go for it.  

mearsforblog3.jpg

The floating shelves are 3" thick and have a small detail on the top and bottom edge.  I used 2-1/4" LED puck lights (3 on each side) as undercabinet lighting.  The pucks are aesthetically pleasing and provide for valuable light on the countertop surface, which is Frosty Carrina, by Caesarstone.

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:

News, News, News

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post!  I've been busy the past few weeks and unfortunately, sometimes social media has to take a backseat to real work taking place...

New projects:  

An industrial modern home, built by Austin Signature Homes, is nearing the interior finish phase.  Austin Signature Homes has been a premier builder in Denver for more than 30 years and I am excited about working with them.  This particular home is located in Observatory Park.  We are working with rift cut white oak, textured laminates, and large format glass as finishing colors and textures in the kitchen and bathrooms.  

Second, a referral from an old client led me to a really fun young couple that is building a new home in Hilltop.  They plan on breaking ground in the next month or so.  While we are still a few months away from framing, it's never too early to start planning and designing.  

Our master bathroom remodel in Evergreen comes to a close this week.  It has come along nicely and we just finished painting the walls a great color by Benjamin Moore called Revere Pewter.   I'll have some shots of the final space in a few weeks.  Oh by the way, we are on budget and on schedule with this one, as usual!

Last but not least, I'm happy to announce that I've officially moved into an office shared by two other great companies: Jones Custom Builders and Hive Architects.  I have worked with both on a couple of projects over the past few years.  Architecture, construction, and design all under one roof.  Not a bad combo!

 

 

 

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

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.  

 

 

Quick Pics from Boston

My wife and I are in Boston for the Memorial Day holiday attending her close friend's wedding. It has been five years since our last visit and I forgot just how amazing this city's architecture is.  

 

The Fairmont Copley Hotel is recognized as a Historic Hotel of America.  Did you know - it's sister hotel is The Plaza in New York City.  Both were designed by the architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh.

The Fairmont Copley Hotel is recognized as a Historic Hotel of America.  Did you know - it's sister hotel is The Plaza in New York City.  Both were designed by the architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh.

I try to keep an eye out for interesting architectural details when I visit cities.  These little details sometimes can be used in future projects. 

 

 

This column is part of a bridge crossing in The Public Gardens.  I like the shape of the dentil mould and the pyramid center panel on each side. Might make a nice island detail...

This column is part of a bridge crossing in The Public Gardens.  I like the shape of the dentil mould and the pyramid center panel on each side. Might make a nice island detail...

Beautiful tile inlay for a bathroom?

Beautiful tile inlay for a bathroom?


image.jpg

Arched paneling for an entranceway.  This photo is from Peacock Alley in the Fairmont Copley Hotel. 

Trinity Church

Trinity Church

Happy Memorial Day

image.jpg

Scouting Shots from a Modern Project in Boulder

This European-inspired kitchen is truly one of a kind.  The high gloss finish was actually created using the same process that car detailers use to get a reflective shine out of automobiles.  The color is called Gauntlet Gray from Sherwin Williams. We really liked it because it actually reads a bit lavender once sprayed on the cabinets.  

The high gloss cabinetry is contrasted by pure white Caesarstone countertops (Blizzard 2141) and a matte gray finish for all the base cabinets

The high gloss cabinetry is contrasted by pure white Caesarstone countertops (Blizzard 2141) and a matte gray finish for all the base cabinets

Channel construction eliminated the need for any hardware below the countertops...

Base cabinetry - metal channel construction eliminates need for hardware

Base cabinetry - metal channel construction eliminates need for hardware

So as you can see the hood is not installed and the backsplash is also yet to be installed.  Here's a picture of the tile that will be used in conjunction with a 12x36 pure white tile on the splash. 

The marble accents in this mosaic should provide some warmth and implied texture to the kitchen...

The marble accents in this mosaic should provide some warmth and implied texture to the kitchen...

I also designed some refined cabinetry for the pantry.  It's minimalistic by design and provides tons of storage for coats, cleaning supplies, cook books, and more.  

The pantry provides functional storage and keeps mops, brooms, and coats out of sight.  

The pantry provides functional storage and keeps mops, brooms, and coats out of sight.  

I specified all opaque white glass doors for the wall cabinetry.  Blum Aventos hinges provide a "wow factor" when opening and closing the cabinets.  

The lift up hinges are super silky.  

The lift up hinges are super silky.  

  

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