I saw this sample board and the richness of the glaze drew me in. It might be a nice accompaniment to the black metal gas fire insert we want to install, creating the feeling of the entire fireplace as it's own appliance so to speak.
I finally managed to have the kids and I healthy enough to get out if the house and go shopping all together. We stopped in at Ann Sacks to see what craftsman-esque options they had available as we want to tile over our damaged brick fireplace surround in our livingroom. I have investigated enough into what the original glazed brick and tile look like underneath coats of paint to determine that our best bet is to tile over it with something that contributes to the vintage feel without being too arts and crafts. It looks like their own line offers a broad range of colors and shapes which could be used to cover the varied surfaces that exist.
While there, I noticed tile that looked familiar and it was confirmed that they do carry Tabarka Studios tile. We did stop by Ann Sacks while shopping for our backsplash tile but the sales associate kept pushing some modern tiles on us. Even at my visit this week they were trying to take a cue from what I was wearing instead of what I was describing I wanted to do -- really odd. I was pretty clear that I wanted something that fits in with the vintage of the house, somewhat arts and crafts without being too (to use a Scottish word) twee with acorns and natural motifs. With our furnishings we add more of our individual style, with hard finishes we tend towards a more classic style with a subtle twist. Who knows what they are thinking, at least my partner and I know what we like. I've got the new Ann Sacks collection booklet showing all the colors and shape now so I can start measuring and designing.
We were shopping for knobs and drawer pulls today, as that is the next step in finishing the cabinetry. My partner was leaning towards something decorative and glass -- which he had in his last home -- but I was thinking of something darker.
We stopped by Rejuvination in South Seattle to take a look at their selection, having browsed there briefly once before.
They had some vintage looking glass knobs but they looked really shiny. What finally caught our eye were these simple oil rubbed bronze ones (top right corner knob; lower left corner pull). What I like about them is their simplicity (not bulky like the bin pulls), and their matte finish which fits with our other finishes so far in the kitchen.
We are going to keep on looking but these have some potential. I'm wondering if they will look a little strong on the pale yellow of the wall cabinets (versus the dark red of the island).
After much debate and inspecting samples from Tierra y Fuego of their Barcelona encaustic cement floor tile, we finally decided two weeks ago that this was our favored pattern.
It is the Fontanella alternating with Sweet Maple solid. Once we had the cabinets in the house it was a lot easier to pick. We also really liked the Casanova and Palma patterns but thought they might be too fussy. With our selection we get the interest of the cement tiles, without it being overwelming.
Since it took us so long to decide it won't be another 4 weeks until our order arrives. We will be able to start installing the cabinetry before then and there is a lot of plumbing and wall repair work to do in the meantime.
We are starting to toy around with some ideas for redoing our bedroom. The walls are pink and the carpet is beige, both from the prior owners. The walls are imperfect behind, covered with some 5 layers of wallpaper and below that is calcimine paint. I'm not sure we're up to deal with striping all that down. We might just wallpaper over it -- a new idea that came to us.
I haven't given the carpeting much thought yet. I do know that the refinished floors upstairs look gorgeous in my office and the baby's room. It might be nice to redo the floor in the master bedroom as well, and then buy a large area rug for warmth and sound proofing.
I don't know what colors to do yet either -- though not blue. We have already used too much blue in the house.
Yesterday we purchased our AGA Six-Four range from Albert Lee. We got an awesome deal on it, and here is why...
We were 90% certain we wanted the AGA Six-Four and then last week we went to go check on lead time and availability, as well as look at range hoods at the showroom. It turns out that LUWA, Albert Lee's distributor, is no longer carrying AGA at all. A very recent turn of events. Even the AGA site wasn't updated to reflect the change. This was an unfortunate turn of events as no replacement distributor was named and the closest distributor was in Vancouver, B.C. -- close in proximity but a different country.
The sales associate at Albert Lee looked and they had two AGA's still on hand, one Companion and one Six-Four, in Cream. Hmmmm... we were kinda leaning towards a Claret one to fit in our dark red painted island but Cream would look out of place. What to do.
Our research into range hoods for island installations was arduous but it seemed as though with a higher output gas burners you really need to have an overhead hood. Our current island features a Jenn-Air with a downdraft; adding a hood over the island would pretty drastically alter the perception of space in the kitchen.
We came home and I started thinking again. Why couldn't our stove go against a wall? Granted our kitchen had some limitations, and yes several people we had consulted with advised us to stick with our current layout, but adding in a huge range hood over the island just was making me depressed. I didn't want the same layout all over again. I've been living with it for 9 years and disliked our configuration. It wasn't just the choice of appliances and fixtures of the prior owners, the layout itself was just awkward. Even better cabinetry (the prior owners installed Ikea cabinets) wouldn't improve it enough.
I discussed it with my partner and talked to him about how we could move the fridge by the outer corner of the room and then add the range in the current fridge spot. We could change the cabinetry to the right of the stove to be smaller and this would open up the kitchen more to the dining room as there is a tall pantry cabinet that fairly closes up the opening to the room. The island could take on a greater storage role and would function better from all sides as an all-purpose prep and work area.
We invited friends over for dinner last Sunday, to review our revised plans and get their input. The AGA distribution issue was one factor, then there was the potential resale situation -- would the AGA make our house harder to sell (should we decide to within the next 3-5 years?). Since this is a dual-fuel range it isn't that much of an issue, other than not having one single large oven -- which people freak out about being able to make a single huge turkey in once a year. We have family in town so Thanksgiving is usually a two kitchen affair, but we could also just buy two smaller birds. The smaller ovens with a range of optimum cooking options, the lovely look of the AGA, and the similar output to other higher-end ranges seemed to make sense given the kitchen we wanted.
We thought about switching to a Wolf range off and on all week. I could live with it, if we had to, but it was a little less exciting for me. We were just going to have to go to the Albert Lee Bellevue store to take a look at the remaining AGA Six-Four. We finally were able to get over there yesterday after baby woke from his nap. The Cream Six-Four was lovely in person and it was half off due to it being a floor model with a few dings.
That sealed the deal, we were sold. And so we did it, the AGA Six-Four was ours. Here is a shot of it in the warehouse yesterday:
We've gone back and forth in our discussions about kitchen flooring. I want something that is comfortable underfoot and my partner wanted tile or stone. I was pushing for lino.
We have been out to a few tile stores, more looking for backsplash ideas, but also browsing for flooring. Nothing particularly jumped out at us. My partner wanted more of a traditional/French look, I wanted more classic looking.
We recently travelled to France to visit family, and travelling with a 2-year-old necessitated frequent stops while touring around Paris -- at the city's plethora of cafes. I noted some interesting tile on the floor, but didn't think too much about it until we passed by this window one day in the Marais.
My partner wants me to be in charge of seeing the kitchen cabinets order through for our kitchen remodel. We have everything picked out style-wise but just need to motivate the cabinet dealer to help us get it completed and ordered.
I think we just have to agree to the rough estimate and then they will come out to measure and look at our current uses and needs. Then the order can get placed. I think that is what needs to happen.
For some reason whfn the economy is slow we like to make larger purchases for our house. We got our washer and dryer and refrigerator in the wake of 9/11. I guess we will try to do our part again.
I just came across this on a design email newsletter and thought you might be interested.
This design firm in Australia wanted to design a transparent rainbarrel so you could see when it was full but regulations wouldn't allow it. They changed their design so that the tank lights up when full. It looks pretty gorgeous, great for an urban garden.