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Posted by on May 12, 2015 | 1 comment

Christina and Brad’s Del Ray Rowhouse Remodel

Christina and Brad’s Del Ray Rowhouse Remodel

We love sharing before and after stories and we were thrilled when blog reader Christina contacted us about her upcoming rowhouse renovation and offered to let us track the project here. I visited Christina and her husband Brad at the beginning of April right after they had signed a contract with MW Construction to perform the work. Today we’re taking you on a tour of the “before state” of the house. Christina and Brad’s typical Del Ray rowhouse came with many assets: well-maintained hardwood floors, classic moldings and trim, neutral paint, loads of light from large windows and a tree-lined friendly street. But it also came with the classic conundrum, a cramped and dated galley kitchen. Christina and Brad have lived in the house for a few years now, and for a couple who likes to entertain and bake, the kitchen just doesn’t work. Despite the lack of counter space, the one saving grace is a small addition off the back that came with the house. Christina and Brad...

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Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Tree to Table: Germaine’s Custom Maple Counter

Tree to Table: Germaine’s Custom Maple Counter

A few weeks ago, when we took a studio tour of the woodworking co-op behind the Birchmere, we hinted about a special project that we’d show you by one of the artists, Lisa Sikes of Heart & Hammer Furniture Co. We love this story not just because it’s about using reclaimed wood, but because it involves creating furniture from a tree in your very own backyard. The way the pieces of this story come together so perfectly is nothing short of amazing either. After we published the story about the woodworking co-op, Lisa put us in touch with her client, Germaine, so we could see a finished product in person. The counter, made from a maple tree in Germaine’s yard, is just as fabulous as we imagined. Germaine told me the tree had reached the end of its lifespan and needed to be removed. But instead of sending the maple off to the chipper, Germaine remembered reading about a company that would come to your house and slice trees...

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Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 | 2 comments

Amy and John’s Kitchen Reno Part 4

Amy and John’s Kitchen Reno Part 4

It’s been three months since we wrote our first post about Amy and John’s galley kitchen renovation project and we are happy to report that the kitchen is now complete! In our first post, we showed you the original 1940s era cramped kitchen. It had updated features, but was too small for the family of four. Amy and John hired MW Construction Services to help them design, plan and create a more functional space. In part two, demolition was underway — the wall between the dining room and kitchen was gone and they went through the process of updating wiring and rearranging ducts. By mid-October, there was major progress with painted walls, new cabinets, Silestone countertops and expanded flooring. And just a week before Amy and John hosted a party for more than 40 people in their home, the finishing touches were done. If you remember from part 1, they wanted to keep the blue and white tile floor that they installed a few years prior to the renovation....

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Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 | 0 comments

Amy and John’s Galley Kitchen Reno Part 3

Amy and John’s Galley Kitchen Reno Part 3

In August, we showed you the before pictures of Amy and John’s kitchen renovation. Then we stopped by in September after demoliton was complete. Today, we bring you progress. Ducts have been rerouted, electrical has been upgraded and cabinets and counters have been installed. It’s finally looking like a kitchen again. The white cabinets are American Woodmark from Home Depot. The Silestone counters come from Pyramid Granite. The cabinet above the sink has seeded glass doors, with the wavy bubbly texture of old glass. The granite composite sink is 85% quartz and the rest is acrylic resin. It’s non-porous and stain- and heat-resistant. They didn’t want a stainless sink, and this one is more durable than enamel or cast iron versions. It’s also softer than cast iron so you’re less likely to break glasses in it. The fridge will go in this nook, about a foot or so to the left of its original position. Tearing down the wall and  moving the fridge into the dining room gives them...

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 | 2 comments

Amy and John’s Galley Kitchen Reno Part 2

Amy and John’s Galley Kitchen Reno Part 2

Back in August, we shared the before pictures and plan for Amy and John’s kitchen renovation. The demolition started last week and today, we’re giving you a glimpse of this work in progress. The 1940s rowhouse came with the typical galley style kitchen. You know the one — it’s cramped, has a lot of wasted space, you can’t open the fridge if the stove is already open and there’s barely enough room for two people without butting heads. Amy and John’s plan: Gut the kitchen, replace and update all the cabinets and fixtures, remove the wall between the dining room and kitchen and add a full-sized peninsula for a more efficient and functional use of space. Here was the dining room in August. Here it is today. The plastic box around the construction site keeps the dust and debris under wraps and out of the living room. It also protects curious little children from the sharp edges and dangerous tools inside. These little ones were eager to catch a...

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