Project Updates and a Kitchen Reveal!

 

 

I was all set to write a day-after-the-election post. It was going to begin something like this: “Phew!” And then things turned out…as they did…and I have been feeling quite the opposite of “phew!” But through the brow furrowing, stomach dropping, hand wringing and general sense of, “My God, What Have We Done?”* as President Obama cheerfully reminded us–perhaps a wee bit cheerier than our tear stained, swollen-eyed heads were ready to hear–yes, the sun did come up. And so we breathe. And focus. And try to stay calm–or peacefully protest; it’s your prerogative. 🙂

 

 

*Quote attribution: Commander Robert Lewis as the bomb detonated over Hiroshima.

 

 

Okay, on to design. Who doesn’t love a good Before and After? I missed the After up until a few weeks ago because much of the installation happened while I was having a baby and taking care of said baby, but I was recently able to see the transformation in person.

 

 

The Before

 

 

 

kitchen-before-1

 

 

 

And one more..

 

 

 

kitchen-before-2

 

 

 

The After

 

 

 

traditional-kitchen-after

 

 

 

Ahh…So nice, right?

 

 

 

traditional-kitchen-after-2

 

 

One detail that, unfortunately, isn’t visible in the Before photos is the ceiling which was formerly smooth. In order to give it some pizazz, the plan was to add tongue and groove boards. There was a bit of a debate about whether to go with the tight wainscotted look associated with country farmhouses (this house is a 1920s colonial-meets-Craftsman) which was already originally used in some areas of the house versus wider (think shiplap) boards. It was a funny moment when the contractor flipped the sample of the skinny version over and we realized if we installed the skinny stuff backwards, we’d get the much wider dimensions that I had visions of dancing in my head.  With that visual literally in hand, (and a stack of photos I’d brought to illustrate how much BETTER the wider boards would look), the client was convinced and this beautiful ceiling was born. I now think 2/3 of America’s kitchens need this ceiling. It is that good.

 

 

farmhouse-sink-furniture-foot-kitchen

We reserved the furniture foot for the sink area only, which added some mega charm.

 

 

 

chrome-bin-pull-cabinet-detail-kitchen

It’s hard to see from the photo, but the porcelain tile has this watery gray glaze with tons of subtle crazing (crackles in the glaze) so it becomes even more interesting the closer you get.

 

 

 

In other news, here is a bathroom at a different home that looked like this when I first “met” it…

 

 

 

 

bathroom-construction

 

 

 

 

It’s quickly becoming the zen-like space the clients were after, starting with the shower. More photos to come after the installation is complete and it’s ready for its close-up.

 

 

 

pebble-shower-floor-in-progress

 

 

 

On to another house that is getting the full gut-job (which always leads to some of the most exciting results). Walls were bumped out, footings poured; new windows in different sizes and locations than the previous windows were also installed. Here is the kitchen, looking rather naked.

 

 

 

house-construction-studs

 

 

 

A little less naked…

 

 

 

shaker-cabinet-construction-intallation

 

 

 

Getting dressed in its Limestone (color: Ash) backsplash along with Caesarstone quartz counters (color: Raven). “Jewelry” (hardware, appliances, sink, etc.) to come.

 

 

 

limestone-ash-tile-kitchen-backsplash-installation

 

 

 

The double-sided fireplace was formerly raw brick on the kitchen side (as seen below) and clad in large 70s style stones on the other.

 

 

 

double-sided-brick-fireplace

Kitchen-side view of the double-sided fireplace.

 

 

It has now been refreshed with stucco.

 

 

rough-coat-stucco-double-sided-fireplace

Rough coat

 

 

 

smooth-coat-stucco-double-sided-fireplaceSmooth coat.

 

 

 

The hearth will be made of this very bold cement tile which the flooring installers were figuring out how to picture-frame with the new wood flooring when I took this shot, (dirty footprints, and all!).

 

 

 

cement-tile-hearth-installation

 

 

 

 

Mantels have been chosen…

 

 

 

rough-hewn-fireplace-mantel-display-copy

 

 

 

 

 

The master bath has been redesigned to be devoid of shower walls or even a shower curb. Instead there will be one 18″ wide glass fin that goes from floor to almost the ceiling to separate the shower from the rest of the room and the tile floor will gradually slope toward the drain to keep the water headed in that direction. In order to do this, we were limited to a 2″ x 2″ tile size so a white hex it is. A Japanese soaking tub will live in the corner.

 

 

 

merlex-super-shower-wall

No tile necessary:  instead, white Merlex Super Shower Finish (looks very similar to smooth stucco) on the shower walls!

 

 

 

All the components of the master bath (floor, walls, tub, toilet, sink, and counter) will be white except for the...dark blue…master vanity.

 

 

 

blue-vanity-color

Master vanity color options. Winner on the right.

 

 

 

New board and batten siding replaced the former siding that had dimensions that just felt off (too bulky).

 

 

 

board-and-batten-installation

 

 

 

 

exterior-board-and-batten

Sticking with the house “getting dressed” analogy, it  now looks a bit like it’s wearing a pin-striped suit, in a handsome-man sort of way. We have since chosen the world’s best shade of exterior white (at least we think so after much agonizing) which definitely tones down the “pin stripes” (aka the battens).

 

 

 

My client mentioned wanting a red door in the very, very beginning and I immediately started showing him alternative colors because I didn’t see this house as having the traditional, done-so-many-times-before red door. But we worked our way back to the red family and finally found a winner with an orange-ish red which I Iove because it takes the drama of a red door and adds a kind of pop art spin. Is it too soon to suggest orange is the new red?

 

 

 

red-front-door-color

 

 

 

 

Here is Kai at 10-months-old helping me select a grout color for the backsplash.

 

 

 

kai-looking-at-tileHe chose wisely!

 

 

 

PS, I had such a nice response to the How To Clean A Sheepskin Rug post (thank you, all!) that I have decided it is time to sift through my old Design Intervention newspaper columns and give them a new lease on life on my blog. For those of you who read them when they were first published, I hope you don’t mind seeing them again. And for those of you who have never read them, I think/hope they will teach you something new and since they will exist here on the blog, they will be easy to reference if/when you need to. Posting them is one of my goals for the New Year, so I figured if I wrote about it here, I might feel compelled to actually make  it happen! I know the sun will come out if I do it or don’t, but we might as well all keep doing our best, right? Here’s to fighting the good fight and doing what we can!

 

 

Wishing you a peaceful and wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂

 

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4 Comments on Project Updates and a Kitchen Reveal!

  1. Betsy
    December 15, 2017 at 1:54 PM (1 year ago)

    I found your blog by googling merlex super shower finish. Your shower looks fabulous. We are trying to find the merlex shower plaster for our shower. Any ideas where we can get it?

    Reply
    • Kisha Gianni
      December 25, 2017 at 4:37 PM (1 year ago)

      Hi, Betsy. The contractor purchased it for the job I was doing the design work on, but I believe he sourced it from a local company that sells stucco. I would try Googling stucco companies in your area and giving them a call. Also, if you go to the Merlex site, you can hit the tab that says “Dealers” at the top. I hope that helps!

      Reply
  2. Molly Acord
    March 28, 2018 at 9:19 PM (10 months ago)

    Hi! I was wondering how your clients like the merlex shower? Does it clean well?

    Reply
    • Kisha Gianni
      April 8, 2018 at 5:51 PM (10 months ago)

      I asked my client how he felt about maintenance 1 1/2 years later and here is what he said:
      Cleaning is super easy. He squeegees the wall off after every shower and runs the fan during and after the shower. He periodically uses a mild bathroom cleaner (Method brand) and avoids harsh chemicals. The only problems have been a nick that developed that is only the size of a grain of sand, but appears dark against the light color we chose. The sealer he wanted to use was Dry-Treat Stain-Proof, but the sealer that was applied by the contractor’s person was Dupont StoneTech Professional Bullet-Proof Sealer. He can see some darker (wetter) areas after showering which shows it is not sealing properly and he is considering resealing with the Dry-Treat. Hope that helps!

      Reply

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