Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vintage Inspiration

I recently received some photos from Vent-a-Hood Appliance in Lilydale, MN, and immediately fell in love with the Big Chill line of retro appliances. They look great in all types of kitchens. An orange or red refrigerator look equally at home in a mid-century or a European kitchen with freestanding cabinets and fixtures.

Or, a white kitchen with turquoise appliances looks great with cabinets that have clean lines and timeless white subway tile.

The appliances bring such a refreshing change from our typical white, black and stainless appliances that are available from the current major appliance manufactures. It would be fun to use these great colored appliances as the inspiration for an entire kitchen.

Visit Vent-a-Hood Appliance at 805 Sibley Memorial Highway. They also carry other colorful appliances, including Blue Star and Vent-A-Hood.

Spruce up Your Home with Splashes of Color

In the November issue of Family Circle Magazine, writer Terry Trucco has some great ideas for adding punches of color to our homes as we head into the doldrums of the Minnesota winter.

1. Paint a bookcase white or black and then lacquer the back panels in a bright color such as yellow, red or blue. 

Family Circle Magazine

2. Add splash with a colorful floor rug. “Color on the floor adds instant energy and always warms up a room,” says Los Angles interior designer Sash Emerson.

Family Circle Magazine

3. Be adventurous with color and paint a powder room a bright color you love, such as hot pink, acid green, citron yellow, orange, chocolate brown or aqua. Add towels and accessories like candles and flowers in the same bright color.

Family Circle Magazine

4. Paint a doorway to an important and highly visible room such as a kitchen a lively tone. Consider something unexpected such as a strong yellow, lime or cinnabar. If the woodwork is not perfect, pick a dark or neutral color like black, espresso or white.

Family Circle Magazine

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Outdoor Inspiration

    October is a fantastic month to be inspired by outdoor colors!

    To find my own inspiration, last month I took a bicycle trip around the scenic and quaint towns of Lanesboro and Peterson in the beautiful bluffs of the Root River Valley in southeastern Minnesota. Here, we were able to enjoy some spectacular fall colors!

    Season-Inspired Colors for Your Home
    Fall is the season of warm, rich and cozy colors. Better Homes and Gardens recently published some beautiful terra cotta paint samples that reminded me of changing leaf colors. I love the Bronze Tone by Benjamin Moore and Russet Rust by Your Color Season.

    I’ve also recommended Rustique to two of my clients in Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line.

    Fall-inspired colors are bold and full of saturated deep tones and look especially great when paired with soft neutral color pallets and natural and slate tiles. Not only will a terra cotta bring a burst of color to neutral pallets, it can actually bring out their natural beauty.

    Check out some photos on my Facebook page of a kitchen using Benjamin Moore’s Rustique paint, natural-colored slate backsplash, wood cabinets and green granite countertops.

    Don’t be afraid to find your own color inspiration from the natural world!

    Budget-Friendly Kitchen Updates

    Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t give your tired and dated kitchen a fresh makeover. Through my new “Kitchen Spiff-Up” service, you can keep your existing cabinetry and still give your kitchen an entire new look with fresh products and colors!

    By making simple changes, I can help give your kitchen a much-needed facelift. I’m having a great time helping clients accomplish wonders in their kitchens, customizing the services to fit taste, budget and level of involvement. While changes vary, spiff-ups might include:

    • New counters
    • New sink products
    • New cabinet hardware
    • New tiled backsplash
    • New flooring
    • New paint colors
    • New art and accessories
    • New appliances
    • New lighting
    • New cabinetry for an island

    Be sure to check out my Facebook page later next month – I’ll post before-and-after pictures of some of my recent “Kitchen Spiff-Up” projects. You’ll be amazed with the results!

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    The State of Color

    I love receiving the Stir publication produced by Sherwin-Williams. In the most recent issue called “The State of Color.” I found the article called “The State of Color STIRvey” very interesting. The STIRvey reports that some common themes emerged in a survey of over 1,000 design professionals nationwide, including:

    1. “Color is a barometer of our times, and the economy continues to have a major impact.”
    2. “Many design clients appear to be developing a more sophisticated understanding of what color can do and they are getting more adventurous in their choices.”
    3. “Travel and the Internet are erasing geographic color boundaries, fueling the emergence of a global palette.”
    4. “And the green movement’s influence continues to spread, tinting the color landscape in both predictable and unexpected ways.”

    Here is the link if you want to look in-depth at the colorful charts illustrating the results of the survey (see pages 22-25). Otherwise, I will do a short summary of the results for your easy reference!

    The region with the greatest number of responses to the survey was the Midwest—yeah! The Southeast came in second and the rest—the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, South and New England—all tied for third.

    The survey asked the question: “Do you believe that your region has its own distinct color palette?” Pacific Northwest designers had the highest percentage responding “yes” with around 80%. Southwest designers came in second with 75% and Midwest designers were third at around 65%.

    Another question was: “How would you describe the palette of your region?
    • Midwest: earth tones and neutrals
    • Pacific Northwest: warm, nature-inspired
    • Southwest: natural beach and desert colors
    • New England: colonial and seaside colors
    • Southeast: light coastal colors, tropicals, blues
    • South: warm neutrals

    I am beginning to see a trend. Four of the regions use the word neutrals, nature or natural. The other two regions name colors that are influenced by the words seaside and tropical, namely blues, greens, sand and sky colors!

    The color trends are being influenced by two G phenomena: global and green.

    The survey asked, “Which hues do you believe are gaining the most influence? Neutrals and greens came in first with blues a close second. The survey then asked, “Which hues do you believe are losing the most influence? Reds and purples took the lead. What a difference a few years make. Several years ago I wrote about plums and purples becoming trendy, and now they are on their way out!

    The survey also asked, “What was the biggest color story of the past 12 months?" The leading response was sustainability’s impact on color palettes. The influence of metallics came in second. I also learned this from Stephany Eaton, of Painted Ambiance in my recent article Stripes Galore!

    The last part of the article included some great quotes from designers around the country. Some of my favorites are:

    • “More vibrant hues are becoming stronger and more widespread. Influences from new media technology are making more intense colors acceptable to the retail market.” —Monte Lona, of Medina, Wash.
    • Color is always emotional, so in this economy we might see color purchases in bright, happy hues to lift our spirits. Neutrals have a role as well: to calm jittery nerves.” —Connie Angelo of Algonquin, Ill.
    • “As we move into a more frantic time, people seem to feel the need to nest more, feel calm and need a sanctuary. With urban dwellers, I see a huge need for grounding, more nature-inspired palettes.” —Michael Reper, of Portland, Ore.
    • “I think green is going to be the new black, not only because it’s become the basic color of the environmental movement but it’s so universally accepted now as a classic color.” —Patricia Spicuzza of Abita Springs, La.
    • “Designers have always known intuitively that color is powerful! It has the power to change how people feel, how much they perceive pain, and it influences their choices. Now the rest of the world is catching on. This is changing the use of color, away from safe neutrals to fearless, bold deep colors.” —Amy Richardson of Louisville, Ky.

    I share Amy’s opinion. The STIRvey may show that neutrals are still prominent in clients’ choices, but there is hope for bolder, deeper colors!

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    FREE PASSES! To the Minnesota Tile Festival on September 18th!

    Come visit me at the Minnesota Tile Festival ($5.00 value per pass - yours FREE!)
    Click to Enlarge & Print!

    Bring your friends and family you will have a great time and see some amazing tile artwork have a Swedish meatball and to add to or start your tile collection or start one.

    • Over 40 tile local and national artists
    • Edina Art Center's Make one Take One
    • Mosaic on a Stick workshop "New"
    • Inside and outside booths
    • Free tours of the American Swedish Institute
    • Swedish meat balls and other Swedish foods will be available
    • silent auction
    • 6th annual commemorative tile
    • Free Tours of the Mansion

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    A look back on a great summer and introducing Colleen!

    I’m off to the sunny (and dry) skies of New Mexico and anticipating even more color influences from this beautiful state! In my June blog, I talked about designer Alexander Girard, his fantastic colorful designs and his love for the state and culture of New Mexico. For me, warm weather always makes me think of shades of the summer sun – yellow! Pairing yellow with its monochromatic neighbors on the color wheel, like hot pinks and coral tones make for quite the vibrant statement, as seen in this photo from Fresh Home Magazine.
    Images from Fresh Home Magazine

    This bright combination creates the ultimate “happy place” and is great for parties and get-togethers with friends. The other color combo I love for summer plays off the blue tones found in water. Pairing cool blues with other monochromatic shades of blue, and adding in greens and a splash of yellow, conjures up days at the beach, lounging and relaxing! As you know by now, I am very fond of the color turquoise, and it can be seen here in these fun combinations (and everywhere in home furnishings for that matter!).

    I hope you’ve had a great summer thus far! Though I do love warm weather and sunny skies, I’m looking forward to the colors of fall harvest and the cozy sweaters and fireplaces that come with the Minnesota winter.

    Last month, my blog was all about stripes, and after it was posted I found a great article in the Wednesday, August 4th issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Variety section called “Before and After: Bold stripes and lots of color combine for a high-impact but low-cost bedroom makeover.” Lisa Ball, a designer in Minneapolis, started with a primary color palette for the bold stripes and adjusted it to suit a college-bound boy by making the colors more traditional, with a palette of red, gray, steel blue and a splash of apple green for some punch!

    Introducing Colleen Sullivan, recent Interior Design graduate from the Art Institute International in Minneapolis! Colleen has been working with me this summer and lends great expertise and insight whenever we work together. She has expressed interest in home exterior details and will be offering her advice in a monthly column within my blog called “Colleen’s Corner”. Colleen and I share a love for Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. She based an entire project on the Pauson House (one of my favorites!) and the architect who’s building my new home in New Mexico was trained at Taliesin in Arizona. Great minds think alike! Check out her column this month and in upcoming Color Blog entries.

    I don’t know about you, but picking colors for the entire exterior of your house can be overwhelming. I have enough trouble choosing a color for my guest bathroom! Picking drab colors can make your house look expressionless, but if the colors are too bright, they could end up overpowering the home’s architectural detail and maybe even upset a few of your neighbors.

    When choosing an exterior color, here are a few helpful hints:

    1. Keep in mind when your house was built

    A good place to start your search is to refer back to the era in which your home was built. Nobody wants to see a modern house with pink and turquoise gingerbread siding from the Queen Anne era, or an old Victorian with corrugated metal siding. Yuck! You can either hire a pro to analyze old remnant paint chips and recreate the original color, or you can refer to historic color charts and choose a shade that might have been used at the time your home was built.

    2. Focus on the details

    “God is in the details,” said famous architect Mies van der Rohe. You always want to highlight your home’s architectural details – they give your house personality! You may end up picking anywhere from two to six colors, depending on the complexity of your home. Going a few shades darker with the shutters and molding can add drama, especially when you tie in the steps, railings, columns, windows and doors. But beware: too many colors can overpower (just like too few can end up boring and flat).

    3. Look to nature

    Nature is always a great place to look for inspiration. Consider your front yard garden – it’s blooming with complimentary and contrasting color ideas! If you don’t have a garden, take a look around at all the different types of trees. With fall right around the corner, nature’s phenomenon can inspire a great deal of color palettes. There is inspiration all around us, we just have to open our eyes a bit and look a little deeper!

    4. Look up

    To your roof, that is. Have you ever seen a roof shingle up close? From afar, they appear to be one single color, but up close, they are actually little specks of color that can vary from yellow, brown, tan, black, white, red, orange, and the list goes on! Pick one of the undertone colors from your roof to add spice to the overall appearance of your house.

    5. Look around the community

    Last but not least, your neighborhood sets a tone for the direction you should be looking on the color spectrum. In many suburban neighborhoods (sorry to say) what color of beige would you like? If you live in a small, artsy community with soft, natural colors I would advise against picking a baby pink house with white trim just because it was the color of your Barbie dream house. I’m certainly not recommending copying your neighbor, but it’s important to keep with the integrity of your block. The ultimate goal is to stand out, not stand alone.
    That’s all for now! Tune in next month for another column. Thanks for stopping by!


    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Stripes Galore!

    I’ve been feeling bit lazy lately... it must be because I’m on vacation! Check out this article on “Decorating with Stripes” from the July issue of Real Simple Magazine. Stripes have always been a favorite of mine since I’ve always preferred geometric patterns to the more “girly” floral patterns. To me, stripes conjure up visions of beach homes, urban lofts and Swedish cabins. At the moment, I’m up at my cabin near Ely, MN and am in a 10-year mode of very minimal redecorating. I have a Mexican blanket on a love seat in the screened porch, a blue and white hammock across from the love seat and a striped tablecloth all in the same room and they work well together in spite of being different colors! Be sure to take a closer look at my July “Pick of the Month” for ways to use stripes in your décor courtesy of local artisan, Stephany Eaton of Painted Ambiance.

    Stripes in Accessories and Furnishings - Courtesy of Real Simple

    The article mentions 3 expert tips for using stripes:
    1. “Use high contrast stripes in unexpected spots, such as powder rooms and
    foyers.” We don’t have either of those spaces here at the cabin, so I brought stripes into my screened porch!
    2. “Match the size of the stripes to the size of the room: the larger the space the larger the stripes can be and vice versa.”
    3. “Blend striped, floral and solid accessories.”

    Horizontal Stripes/Classic Strips - Courtesy of Real Simple

    Here are some other reasons to incorporate stripes into your space (as mentioned in the article as well):
    1.They promote order
    2.They have the power to redirect the eye and reshape a space
    3.They are the neutral of the pattern world!
    4.Vertical stripes create an illusion of height and can make a low ceiling appear taller
    5.Horizontal stripes have an edgy, fresh and playful vibe and can make a hall longer, a ceiling cozier and can add punch to odd spots like under the stairs
    6.Classic stripes of consistent, moderate width in two tones can make a room feel traditional or casual
    7.Multicolored stripes are happy and are a natural for kids’ spaces but can also be sophisticated in more neutral rooms
    8.Off-kilter stripes, like zigzags, curves and broken lines create movement and have the effect of pulling you in

    Also from Real Simple Magazine:
    Three ways to wind down for a more energizing night’s sleep!
    1. “Ditch the Blackberry”: Put away electronics and dim the lights an hour before you plan to hit the hay
    2. “Think Pink”: This color has been proven to have a temporary calming effect and has been used in prisons to calm violent detainees. If painting your walls pink is a little much for you, try a soft pink lightbulb!
    3. “...Or Blue Or Green”: Cool tones are also calming, so try a cool change of color for your bedding

    Spray Paint for Fabrics?
    It’s true. Simply Spray is a non-toxic, non-flammable aerosol spray paint that allows you to easily change colors of mats, lampshades, throw pillows, couches, linens and more! It’s eco-friendly, water-based, fade-resistant and soft to the touch. Visit for more information!

    An “illuminating shift in lights”:
    In the June 30th issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, there was a great article by Craig Nakano of the Los Angeles Times about IKEA’s move to phase out incandescent light bulbs starting August 1 (with a completion date of January 1, 2011). In the US, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that light bulbs will need to use 30% less energy than incandescent bulbs by the year 2014. This act is a wake up call to designers all over the world to help develop better solutions to the institutional glare of fluorescents, the heat-producing qualities of halogens and the high expense of LED’s. Here’s how the most popular lights on the market today really stack up:

    Compact Fluorescents:
    - Use less energy but product poor-quality light
    - Contain toxic mercury and must be disposed of carefully

    Halogen Lights:
    - Offer 20% savings (when they need to offer 30% according to the mandate)
    - Have twice the lifespan of LED’s

    LED Lights:
    - Use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 50 times longer
    - At design shows all over the world, many lighting designs are being introduced with

    LED’s, but a big hurdle is the price tag (these newer technologies need the bulbs to be installed with the sale of the fixture, which is one of the reasons for the increased prices)
    - We are, however, starting to see LED prices dropping

    I will continue to look to European designers to set the trends, and by January 1, 2011 I will be looking at IKEA’s lighting offerings to see what the future will be for us here in the States!

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Coming (Back) Into Play

    With the current Mid-century Modern revival at bay and the era’s strong use of color, I am always on the lookout for historical inspiration. I found an article in the April 2010 issue of New Mexico Magazine titled “Come Into Play” about 1950’s and 60’s designer and textile expert Alexander Girard known for his colorful, playful design aesthetic. Reading the article brought me back to my teenage years, when Girard did his famous work for Braniff International Airways. Commissioned to design over 17,000 items for the airline, Girard picked shapes and colors that popped, like bright yellow, turquoise, lavender, hot pink and orange. In those years, I loved hot pink and orange together, and we are starting to see this combination again. Orange seems to be everywhere these days, even cars!

    This article also was of interest to me because Girard chose the great state of New Mexico (my favorite state!) to receive the donation of his incredibly extensive folk art collection. The beneficiary, The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, will be one of my first stops when I head to New Mexico this summer. I enjoyed this quote from the article that explains the designer’s intense love for New Mexico, which I can completely understand!
    “He wanted to find a place in America that wasn’t urban and wasn’t suburban,” says his grandson today. “And I think the Native American mixed with the Mexican and the Spanish – the sort of clash of cultures that exists in Santa Fe – fascinated him.”

    Luckily, we can all still enjoy a little bit of Girard’s “sophisticated frivolity” today with pieces from the following stores and websites:

    Image from Maximo
    *Throw pillows, fabrics, toys, shopping bags, laptop slings and vintage Girard products: Maximo, 4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque;

    Image from FLOR

    Image from Urban Outfitters
    * Pillows, wall art, textiles: Alexander Girard Collection at Urban Outfitters

    Image from House Industries
    *Toys, games, t-shirts, type: House Industries;

    Look for more examples of his work on the Alexander Girard Facebook Group Page!

    “Superneutrals with Superpowers”

    In the May 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, there is an article that describes “superneutral” paint colors: what they are, why they’re better than plain ol’ beige and how there are a surprising number of bright, bold colors that are perfect complements. According to the article, because superneutrals are muted, they work with all kinds of palettes, so you can introduce a pop of color without overwhelming the space.

    Step 1: Find a Color

    Start with a shade you like (orange, for example) and look for a version with a little gray or white mixed in. Paint expert Laura Guido-Clark recommends using a fan deck of paint swatches to find a tone of your chosen color.

    Step 2: Create a Palette

    Find two strong, opposite shades, like this military blue and pale yellow, as accents. By painting the paler superneutral on the walls as a backdrop, you can change the punches of color whenever the mood strikes.

    Or, you can choose a stronger superneutral as the dominant color (like the military blue), and then layer in softer tones in the same color family for a complex effect.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Once Upon a Tile...

    There once was a Kitchen and Bath Designer who loved color, art and handmade tile. She was reading through Martha Stewart’s May 2010 Living Magazine and discovered a wonderful article about a historic home in Malibu, California called The Adamson House, which is famous for its lavish use of artisan ceramic tile used throughout the home and surrounding property.

    The article, titled “Once Upon a Tile” by Susan Heeger, immediately piqued my interest with a giant photo of a tiled front entryway that was painted to resemble a Persian-style rug. Designed by William Handley of Malibu Potteries, the tiles even have hand-painted fringe and look convincingly 3-dimensional! Pick up Martha Stewart’s May Living issue to read more about this home and its wonderful tile and history. The Adamson House also has a website with more photos and information:

    Image from
    While the author didn’t write about the kitchen in the article, I found a great photo on the home’s website, and guess what color the main tile is?  Turquoise!  Which is not only my own favorite color, but also Pantone’s Color of the Year.  See my February Color Blog for more about all things Turquoise.  The other dominant color in this kitchen is persimmon, and the black accents surrounding these colors really make them POP!  The kitchen and adjoining dining room are a blend of strong Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival elements.  I love the tile clock and decorative ceramic tile vent over the stove.  Both were stock items in the Malibu Potteries collection.
    Image from
    Speaking of tile, I will be giving a brief presentation on “Art Tile in the Kitchen” at 1:00 on both Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th at Clay Squared to Infinity during Art-A-Whirl. A variety of handmade tiles from local artists will be on display and you’ll learn how to incorporate tile into your next project! Carri Carlson, of Array Kitchen and Bath will be giving a talk on “Art Tile in the Bathroom” at 3:00 on both days as well.

    Tips from the Pros: In the May issue of Midwest Home Magazine, local interior designers and home stylists share some of their best tips for designing a “wow” space of your own. In the issue and on the magazine’s website, you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the spaces these designers and stylists call home. They really do practice what they preach!

    1. Keep Your Eyes Open
    Always be on the lookout for great deals and interesting pieces. Even if you don’t have a specific use for that end table or rug right away, you’ll find a way to incorporate them into your décor somehow.

    2. Play With Color
    These stylists love what colorful accessories and artwork can do to breathe new life into a space. Need a quick pick-me-up? Try a new color of paint on the walls!

    3. Think Outside the Box
    A bookend can be painted and hung on a wall. Two tray tables together can make a coffee table. Silk scarves can be refashioned into accent pillows. Giving a room a totally new look may be easier and more affordable than you think when you shop your own home!

    4. Mix it Up
    Don’t be afraid to mix and layer patterns! Just be mindful of scale when doing so. Large patterns can be balanced with those of a smaller-scale, and bold designs are complimented with the more subtle.

    5. Speaking of Scales...
    Furniture in a store will likely look smaller than it will actually look in your home, so be sure to measure the piece first, then go home and mark its dimensions on the floor where you plan to place it. Make sure it doesn’t overpower other furniture in the room.

    6. Don’t Forget Texture
    Texture in a room exudes luxury. Rooms need a mix of materials, like wool, leather, linen, silk, stone, metal and wood. If you focus on creating an interesting, layered look with texture, you don’t need a lot of color.

    7. Start a Collection
    Multiples make an impact. Whether you enjoy trolling antique shops for something specific or you gather interesting trinkets from your travels, displaying items you have a fondness for adds richness and an element of your personality to your space.

    8. Tell a Story
    While some homeowners are uncomfortable displaying personal mementos and photographs, others proudly display their personal family artifacts for the world to see. One designer featured in the magazine’s story can tell a story about each one of the pieces adorning his bookshelves and tablescapes. He enjoys surrounding himself with meaningful objects and things that bring to mind loved ones and happy memories.

    9. Don’t Buy Disposable
    Lesson of the day: You don’t need lots of “stuff” if you invest in good pieces. Buy your candleholders and accessories at Ikea and Target and your sofas and chairs at a quality furniture store. That doesn’t mean you still can’t get a good deal, however. These designers are regulars at the weekend Room & Board outlet and at neighborhood estate sales.

    10. Edit, Edit, Edit
    Reveal a room’s layers and interesting items over time, not all at once. Limit the number of items that tell the world who you are. Think about occasionally switching things up – move a few objects to a different room and rotate in some new pieces every once in awhile.

    11. Express Yourself
    Don’t be afraid to let your true colors show. The designers featured in this article allow their homes to say exactly who they are, with their eclectic juxtapositions of antiques, collectables and personal artifacts. According to one designer, “Better to mix your styles with gusto than to be timid.”

    12. Don’t Be Afraid!
    Lastly, it’s your home and sanctuary. Don’t be afraid to play, experiment and mix it up now and again!

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Going Green

    Thus far in 2010, I have completed several projects with clients who wanted to get creative with recycled kitchen products to not only help the environment, but also to better use the existing space in their homes.  Currently there is a greater awareness around using green products and adopting smarter habits as consumers.  More and more people are getting behind the idea of reusing the products already in our homes instead of disposing of them in a landfill.  And if you absolutely must get rid of something, be “green” about it!

    Here are some of my quick tips for recycling kitchen and bath products:
    1. The Reuse Centers in Minneapolis and Maplewood take certain items that they can resell for other products

    2. I mentioned in a previous Color Blog a paint company (can’t find name, I will keep looking) that mixes old paints together to make new paints

    3. Old appliances can be recycled when you purchase new appliances thru All, Inc.

    4. Craig’s List can be a great way to sell old products. Be sure to follow the simple rules to protect your identity and only show products outside your home with a buddy along!

    5. Visit these websites for information on recycling various household products:

    Here are a few of my recent “green” projects:
    1. This client “traded” out her old kitchen refrigerator with a friend’s basement refrigerator. They also reused most of their previous kitchen cabinets and laminate counters to create an extra storage space in their garage.
    2. Another Client reused almost all of her old kitchen cabinets by moving them to a laundry room that was turned into a fantastic sewing center! The laundry room/sewing center almost became the best part of her remodel, second only to a great new kitchen and eating area. 
    3. This client previously had a stainless shelf created to make the space over her stove non-combustible.  Wanting to keep it in the new kitchen, we had the shelf refashioned, and also ordered the EQ “faux stainless” laminate countertops (made with a 100% pre-consumer recycled Skyblend material with no added urea formaldehyde in the processing).  Take a look at the undermount sink next to the laminate counters!
    4. This client had a fairly new over-the-range microwave that she loved, and that happened to match the color scheme of the new appliances, so my contractor and I designed a cabinet to house the microwave, leaving plenty of air space underneath.
    5. I worked with this client by refinishing these cabinet doors and removed old handles and added dark stained oak trim with stainless pulls. There is more work to do on this kitchen, (wrong paint color!) and we are adding the updates slowly over several years. New counters are next!

    11 ways to go green!
    From Women’s Day Kitchens and Baths Magazine, April 2009

    1. Fix a drip. It wastes lots of water!
    2. Get clean by using natural cleaning agents
    3. Be water wise by installing 1.6 gallon or less low-flow toilets
    4. Be even more water wise by installing a tankless water heater. Recycle bath and shower water into water for plants
    5. Smell sweet by using low or no VOC paints
    6. Be water smart by adding an aerator to your faucets
    7. Vent a little by adding proper ventilation to keep air quality good inside the home
    8. Think small when adding new appliances and consider energy star rated appliances
    9. Lighten up by adding a skylight for natural light or remove heavy window treatments to let the light in!
    10. Divide and conquer by dedicating a space to recyclables
    11. Grow green in the kitchen by growing your own herbs and salad greens