Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Lance Armstrong’s Got a Kick-Ass Kitchen

Mar 26, 2009 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

I want to live in Lance's kitchen. I doubt he'd even notice I was there. His maid could just clean up after me and with all the surrounding acreage I could "excuse" myself at any time.

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The Idea of a Free-Standing Kitchen is Getting Around

Mar 3, 2009 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

ikea kitchen The Idea of a Free Standing Kitchen is Getting Around

A while back I was introduced to free-standing kitchens after stumbling on Green Tea Design’s collection of Asian inspired cabinets. I fell in love with their look and flexibility and vowed to seriously consider installing those cabinets in our next home. (And by the way, since I last mentioned them in my blog they’ve updated their site and you can now see a breakdown of prices for a demo kitchen and several makeovers.) I still can’t get over how affordable they seem given the quality of craftsmanship they offer.hansen walnut kitchen 150x150 The Idea of a Free Standing Kitchen is Getting Around

Then the topic of free-standing kitchens came up again the other day when I came across Hansen, a Denmark company (with a service rep in New York) that offers the same type of free-standing cabinetry, though their designs are a bit on the modern side, there’s still a simplistic elegance about them that makes them extremely appealing. Their website could stand to include a bit more information about their cabinets. It would be great to get an idea of what it would cost to outfit an average size kitchen, something tells me this place might be higher priced than Green Tea, but I could be wrong.

jonathanaverykitchen 150x150 The Idea of a Free Standing Kitchen is Getting AroundYet another place that sells this type of cabinetry is Jonathan Avery, a company out of Scotland who’s designs embrace the Shaker style of woodworking. A quick looksy at a sample of their work demonstrates well that their cabinetry would look quite well in many older Arts and Crafts style homes. This kind of craftsmanship comes with a hefty price tag though. Take for example the Cook’s Storage Wall, at a price of nearly $6,000, this cabinetry could easily turn your kitchen remodel into a high-end renovation project.

In stark contrast is IKEA’s VÄRDE and BRAVAD collections as well as the more contemporary UDDEN series. I’d say most of IKEA’s kitchen offerings have no place in an older home, but if you were absolutely set on IKEA then the VÄRDE cabinets would be the way to go. Combined with their apron sink, it would likely come the closest to satisfying someone looking to renovate the kitchen of their older home. Naturally, the real benefit of this stuff is that it’s extremely cheap…errr, I mean, affordable.  You could easily outfit a good size kitchen for around $5,000.

Seems the free-standing kitchen concept is getting around. And you want to know the coolest part of jumping on this bandwagon? You ever decide to move, you can literally take your kitchen with you. How sweet is that?

Ain’t Easy Going Green: A Push for Eco-conscious Kitchens

Jun 4, 2008 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

ainteasy Aint Easy Going Green: A Push for Eco conscious KitchensBy now everyone should know that green is in. It’s trendy, hip, happenin’ and is slowly creeping its way toward mainstream. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, but among those becoming environmentally conscious there’s no need to feel shameful or dirty (see photo to the left) for not having yet adopted the tree hugger ways. That being said, there’s no reason you can’t get off your butt and start making some changes to your home right now.

Let’s take your kitchen for example – one of the areas that could benefit most by going green. There’s so much going on in that part of the house in terms of materials, chemicals and more energy being used than a family of hamsters on crack, but so much can be done to transform an environmentally unfriendly kitchen into a sort of tree hugger utopian chuck wagon. Of course, there’s a price to all of this happy earth kind of living. I mean, it’s not called “green” for nothing. Depending on how far you’re willing to go, you may need to expend a wad of green to get the green kitchen you’re longing for – though don’t take my word for it, just check out Gwendolyn Bounds from the Wall Street Journal.

Her Eco-kitchen challenge shows how far people can go with green design – $83,000 and 484 days after the water line of her refrigerator sprung a leak causing major damage, she had a new environmentally friendly kitchen. Now I don’t have a problem with people who spend lavishly on home renovations especially when they have that sort of expendable income (I should note that a portion of the cost was covered by her insurance) and she did have a pretty large kitchen to contend with, but I believe you can be equally as green and just as stylish for a lower cost. It would be great to see a breakdown of that $83,000 to see where that money was spent. Having to replace windows, drywall and such could add up quick so an itemized list would help clear up what I consider to be a fairly expensive renovation.

I loved the part of the article that basically said $83,000 was a good price in comparison to the average cost of other kitchens of the same quality, which happen to be about 20% more than what she paid for hers. After spending 83 grand I know that would make me feel better. I also loved her “didn’t break the bank” comment in the video. Clearly, Wall Street Journal readers are a more affluent crowd than the folks I hang with. But that’s okay. I have a great appreciation for what she did and the statement she made in creating her green kitchen.

And for some general background on eco-friendly kitchens I found Kirsten Ritchie, Director of sustainable design at Gensler, who did an interview with GreenHomeGuide back in 2005 where she spoke of making a greener kitchen. I found her list of environmental problems associated with conventional kitchens thought provoking and her answer to the last question about her favorite innovations or design ideas for a green kitchen gave me some practical ideas on what to include in a green kitchen design. Her mention of a “cold box” sent me searching on the web for someone who makes or sells this product but I can’t find anything on the topic. I’m assuming it’s something similar to a cooler you’d take on a camping trip or an ice box from the old days, though not quite as cold. But I’ve got nothing to go on so if anyone has a clue, please fill me in.

And finally, there is Michele Foley from CHOW who put together a comprehensive guide to building the ultimate green kitchen. It breaks down the many green options for floors, cabinets, countertops, appliances and other miscellaneous kitchen items and provides links for more information on each of the examples. I especially liked seeing all the options available for countertops. I had never even heard of some of those materials, which just goes to show that a little research can go a long way to turning the thought of going green into reality.

House Blog Highlight: 10k Kitchen Remodel

Sep 17, 2007 |  by  |  House Blog Highlights, On the Web  |  Share

kitchen2 House Blog Highlight: 10k Kitchen RemodelLove this blog. Love that the homeowner did all the work. And I love the detailed photos and descriptions of their kitchen renovation. Although my tastes aren’t 100% identical, I truly like a lot of their design decisions. Cabinets and backsplash are particularly impressive. And I also like the island and cabinet with hutch. The green color is different, but nice.
Their kitchen renovation is pretty much complete but it’s still worth visiting to read about the project from start to finish.

Truthfully, I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to gut my kitchen and start from scratch. As long as it would take me, my family and I would become obese from all the eating out we’d have to do. Obese I tell you. And I simply can’t allow that to House Blog Highlight: 10k Kitchen Remodel

From Country to Classy: Kitchen Renovation

Sep 9, 2007 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

I think now is as good a time as any to fill you in our kitchen remodel. Let’s go back to February of 2004 when my wife and I decided to take the plunge and purchase our first house, a 1926 Dutch Colonial with 2300 sq. ft. of living space. Though over half of that space came from a two story addition that included the master suite upstairs and the great room and half-bath downstairs. The sacrifice for having this kind of space? No garage. Seems the single car, detached garage was torn down in the mid-seventies and was replaced by the additional ground floor level. Some years later the upper level master suite was added. Thus we have a home with pieces built by three separate builders – one of them a major imbecile. With the addition, the kitchen now looked over the 400 sq. ft. great room, which is one of the features we truly fell in love with.

As you can see from the before photos, this was a country kitchen complete with light blue Formica countertops, matching light blue vinyl flooring, scum ridden cabinet hardware, and pale blue wallpaper covered with sweet, little birdhouses. Fortunately this place came with beautiful cabinetry, because everything else was a total disaster. As most of you who have moved into old homes in need of renovation and updating know, without a sense of vision it can be difficult to see that diamond in the rough. But every home has its character and the most exhilarating part of home renovation is discovering and building that character so that your home becomes an extension of you. That’s why I continue to work on this house even though at times I want nothing to do with it. Even though I often think how great it would be to live in a new home that doesn’t require constant renovation. Even though it has caused me to drop more f-bombs than I’d care to admit.

I take pride in myself and I take pride in this place I call home. I’ve invested far more than just money into this place – time, sweat, a little blood here and there. These things only scratch the surface. The rest are far too deep to be explained in a single blog entry. In fact, I’m not so sure they can be explained at all. But for those of you who have walked in my shoes, you need no explanation. It’s something we’ll share without ever having spoken a word.

You wouldn’t think home renovation could be this deep, but it can be. And for me it is.

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