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Gourmet Kitchen Design that Brings the Walls Down

Shelly was trapped.

gourmet kitchen design, Before pictures of gourmet kitchen design

Shelly's Kitchen BEFORE the Wall Came Down

She is a gourmet cook who was trapped inside her own, non-gourmet kitchen design.

There seemed to be no room to move.  Another contractor had already looked at the wall between Shelly’s kitchen and hallway—and he concluded it was load-bearing.  That means the interior wall was holding up the roof—it was not just decorative but structural.  In remodeling lingo, a load-bearing wall is not something that can be easily—or cheaply—moved. So Shelly was stuck.

Before gourmet kitchen design

"Little Hallway, Little Kitchen, Big Wall"

Or was she?

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Furniture Design: “Now THAT’S a Conference Table!”

furniture design, neil kelly cabinets, custom cabinets

Furniture design is an art form.  And thanks to the Neil Kelly Cabinet Company, a group of health care professionals in Alaska is about to get a conference table that is a work of art.  And—it’s helping the Central Oregon environment.

How could a piece of furniture be one of the largest conference tables you’ve ever seen AND help the environment?  Well, we’re glad you asked.

furniture design, neil kelly cabinet company, custom cabinetsThis massive table—it will seat more than 24 people—was commissioned by the Moda Health Center in Anchorage, Alaska.  Much of the table is made from western juniper sourced from grassland restoration projects in Central and Eastern Oregon’s high desert.

You see, juniper is a native Oregon species—but it is an invasive native species. A side effect of our ability to control wildfires is that juniper has spread, well, like wildfire. It’s crowding out native grasslands, threatening the sage grouse and sucking the fragile water table dry.

Juniper is really an inspiring wood—it’s strong, moisture and bug resistant, and has beautiful markings. It’s so resistant that planter boxes made from juniper can last 50 years, unlike cedar.
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Neil Kelly Kitchen Cabinets: “Built To Last”

kitchen cabinet renovation, kitchen cabinet remodelKitchen cabinets are usually the first target of a kitchen remodeling project, and for good reason:  In many cases the cabinet styles were so faddish (remember—a fad is not a trend) that they are stylistically out of date.  And in other cases the kitchen cabinets were so cheaply built they’re simply falling apart.

But recently a remodeling project in West Seattle reminded us how good high quality cabinets can actually save money in the long run.

Joe found a home that he really liked, and he thought the kitchen style would work for him and the layout was functional.  While Joe wasn’t too fond of the outdated countertops and appliances,seattle kitchen remodeling, kitchen cabinet remodel seattle, custom cabinets seattle, he felt like the cabinets still looked good and seemed pretty solid.  The countertop installers confirmed Joe’s suspicions about the quality of the kitchen cabinets.  “They commented that—even after 20 years—the cabinets were perfectly level and didn’t require any modifications to install the new countertops,” Joe says.

Neil Kelly Seattle Design Center General Manager Debbie Thorpe says Joe opted to replace the old countertops with Silestone for the main working countertops and a marble slab of Rain Forest for the upper eating bar. “He installed new sinks, faucets, range, range hood, and dishwasher,” she says. “He also saved a lot of money by installing new stainless steel panels on the existing refrigerator instead of replacing the entire unit.”
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Fix It To List It

If you “fix it to list it”, what do you fix first in your home before putting it on the market? Some “fix it” projects may seem like added value to you, but does that value translate to buyers?

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost versus Value Report, the average portion of cost recouped is 66%.  That means for every $100 dollars you spend on a remodeling project, you’ll get $66 of that back in increase value when you sell the home.

To see the most popular “fix it to list it” project–and how a remodeling job gets started–check out our video:

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Weatherizing An Oregon Classic

weatherizing home, remodeling portland

Byron and Aubri Gega knew they didn’t want to go through another winter without making some big changes to their Mount Tabor home.  Built in 1912, the six-thousand-square foot historic building has features few other homes in the region have:  Namely, a gothic cathedral next to the living room.  See the cool sanctuary in this video:

But it also had an antiquated, under-insulated, and just downright leaky building envelope that made the stately Tudor drafty as a barn.  So, the couple contacted Clean Energy Works Oregon.
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Top 10 Spring Home Spruce Up Tips

spring home spruce up tips

Nothing chases the cold winter blues away faster than the warm (well, warmer, in our case) temperatures and colors of spring.  And, since it is now officially spring, we thought we’d roll out a budding list of the top ten spring home spruce up tips to get you ready for the new season.

10).  Start Indoor Gardening:  It’s still too cold to plant bulbs or start seeds outdoors, but it’s a perfect time to do so indoors, and if you get a little creative with it, indoor gardening can beSPRING HOME SPRUCE UP TIPS attractive as well. How about placing bulbs in clear vases in window sills?

9). Seasonal floral switcheroo:  If you haven’t yet thrown out your Christmas tree, well, we’re not going to judge.  But you may want to consider switching out that Holiday Doug Fir for some nice lilies.

8).   Re-cycle Your Art:  Neil Kelly Associate Designer, Ashley Tykeson, says a great way to fresh up the look of your living space is to reposition your art.  “I’m a painter and I have more art than space, so I regularly rotate out pieces,” Ashley says.

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Spring Home Gardening: “The Juniplanter”

Spring home gardening season is right around the corner, and now’s the time to think about what you’re going to plant, how you’re going to plant it, and where your garden will grow.
Home Gardening, Juniper, gardening portland, seattle
For a number of us urban gardeners, the “where your garden will grow” part of the equation is usually rooted in raised beds.  And our friends at “Growing Gardens” have a pretty cool planter box that can last up to 50 years, and it’s a win-win for the home gardening pro and the environment!

The Juniplanter

home gardening, spring home gardening, home gardening
“Growing Gardens” is a Portland non-profit organization that teaches people how to grow their own food.  And this year the group is offering raised beds made out of Juniper.  As you may already know, Juniper is an indiginous, invasive tree species that is growing out of control in Central Oregon.  It’s sucking up an already parched water table, and crowding out native grassland habitat of the Sage Grouse.

As damaging as juniper is to the Central Oregon ecosystem, it has some attributes that make it a very attractive wood species in and around the home.  Growing Garden’s Juniplanter is a DIY kit made out of locally sourced and milled Juniper hardwood.  It is resistant to wood-boring bugs and rot–and is estimated to last up to 50 years without harmful chemical sealers.  And, it makes for one really attractive planter.
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