11 Apr

Busy in the Kitchen

Green Kitchen Remodel


So, lately I have been lax in building anything in the workshop that was not part of improvements to my house. It has been months, but I hope to get back to furniture soon.

Over the past year I have redone my kitchen from a ’70s tragedy to a lighter, greener, retro-modern workspace. The change was significant enough that a writer friend pitched the story to HGTV. They liked it enough to send a stylist and photographer and the resultant story was published to HGTVRemodels.com. The piece, “A Kitchen Crafted for the Eco-Friendly”, features really great shots of my kitchen redo. Note: they stretched the main photo horizontally making me look a bit wider than normal. Not happy about it!

This project included plumbing, flooring, cabinetry, counter-tops, tile, electrical, and lots of painting. Some of it was a bit intimidating, but nothing was so daunting that it couldn’t be tackled if broken down into smaller pieces.

The anchors were a granite composite sink I found marked down at a box store and a very green counter-top material made of plastic and recycled paper that the manufacturer compared to Bakelight. It is a cool product that can be cut and milled very similar to wood. I found it handles much like hard maple.

Other hooks that sold the story were probably the low budget, the do-it-myself angle, and the before pictures I had taken during the process. The stylist did a great job of giving me better kitchen equipment than I actually have. I am proud that she liked my cafe table and chairs and left them in the shoot. The photographer made everything look great and my friend the writer caught the essence of what I was trying to do. A great experience!

23 Jan

Bikes Made from Recycled Wood

I love this video piece on a couple guys who take discarded or salvaged wood and turn them into one-of-a-kind bikes. Sometimes the wood comes from urban arborists who have to trim trees around power lines and other times it comes from discarded lumber. Whatever the source the finished pieces are beautiful, fully functional, and will turn heads on the road.

Sorry, but they make you watch an ad before the video starts.

01 Aug

Coastal Living Idea House Toasted by Lightning

One of the coolest Idea Houses I worked on is now toast. Lightning started a massive fire that burnt the River Dunes, NC home to the ground earlier this month. It is a such a waste of a gorgeous home.

Saddest thing to me is that the 4′ x 7′ red oak dining table that was custom built from old barn timbers was presumably also destroyed by the fire. It was a beautiful piece—pardon my prejudice—that I really enjoyed building. You can see more pictures of the table here and there is a shot of it in the news video above.

02 Jun

Built-in Shelves Finished

Finished the built-in shelves a while ago but forgot to post a pic and details since last post on the process. [The trouble with digital media storage is that it is easy to forget what pictures you have on the card.]

I framed the exterior of the shelves with stained ¼” x 2″ poplar lumber purchased at Lowes. The stain was the same red hickory used on the mirror frame followed by sealing with satin polyurethane. Cutting the angles was a bit difficult but the obscurities of my college trig class finally came in handy.

The back-splash is an easy to use product from Improvements (#337192, $27)—aluminum metal wall tiles. They are advertised as “will not crack, chip, or stain” and easy to install. The later—I can confirm—installation was so simple!

Each box of tiles contains 48 4 x 4 tiles and double adhesive foam for affixing  the tiles. The tiles come in almond, aluminum, black, white, chrome or copper and in triangle shaped to spice up your design.

13 Dec

Camping in Style

Silver Tears CampersThis is not a terribly rustic way to go into the woods, but it is very cool. A craftsman in Roanoke, VA, came up with this  gorgeous teardrop pull-behind camper that is nostalgic and luxurious at the same time.

Take one look at this baby and you’ll see that this camper’s daddy was a furniture maker and designer. The form is the same as the classics of the 40’s but the exterior is mahogany and ash, giving a “woodie” persona. The interior appointments maintain the family character and make camping anything but roughin’ it. The base cost of one of these babies? Just $16,500.

Check out their web site at Silver Tears Campers.