Saturday, November 12, 2011

Prescott Woman Magazine

In just a couple of weeks the latest issue of Prescott Woman Magazine will hit the news stand and it will feature an article on another Board by Board home! Big props to photographer Larry Kantor for providing me this preview photo.

After interviewing our clients. Architect Steve Adams of ( Adams Architecture and Planning) and his wife Janet, they also interviewed Robert and me. We enjoyed talking with Tim Callahan of Prescott Woman Magazine about what a great build experience it was and what a lovely home it is.

I am excited to see the photos and read the story.
I will post a link soon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A little Fall Flair

I was feeling the need for a little pick me up around the house and didn't honestly
have a ton of time to devout to a full blown project. So, while I was wondering
what I
could do fairly quickly, inexpensively and make my neighbors smile,
it came to me. Decorate the front porch for fall! I headed out to the garage
and located the scarecrows I had tucked away for safe keeping and found a
vintage watering can. If you don't have a scarecrow they are available for a few
dollars at craft stores. The rest of the items you may or may not have
and you can pick them up easy enough or substitute something else.

I made this super cute Welcome sign using a thin bamboo stick and
7 white foam pumpkins available at your local craft store. Taking a sharpie pen
or paint, (your choice) print a letter from the word
Welcome on each pumpkin.
Skewer the pumpkins on the bamboo stick in order and you are done.
I also took a fat rubber band and wrapped it around the stick under the
last pumpkin to keep them tight together. They tend to spin around if they
are left unattended. You may also want to use
a little hot glue
to secure the top "W" in place.

Add some real and fake pumpkins some squash, arrange them
however you like. I actually hot glued the ones on the top of the

watering can to keep in place. Put your Welcome sign in
the can or maybe you have a cute pot or wagon. I also put some dirt

inside the can to keep it secure. Then I added some adorable
metal cornstalks (check out JoAnn Fabrics or other craft type store)
and Voila! It was done in about 20 minutes, minus the run to get pumpkins.

Now I have a festive entry porch, I can keep all this in place through
Thanksgiving and Welcome all who come to our home.
Happy Fall and make a point to put a little festive decoration in
your life soon. It is a great pick me up and doesn't have to be expensive.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to pick a kitchen sink

One of the most common questions I get when working with
a kitchen design project is:
"How do I choose a kitchen sink?"

There are so many types of sinks on the market it can be very overwhelming if you don't have a few critical pieces of information to base your decision on.

The most common types of sinks are stainless, cast iron, copper, Siligranit, fireclay and stone. Each have some plus and minus points so lets get down to the facts.

What you need to know:

Stainless Steel

  • The lower the gauge number the heavier the stainless = better quality.
  • I would recommend not going any higher than 18 guage and choose a 16 gauge if you can.
  • Make sure it has a sound proofing coat on the bottom of the sink, it helps to reduce noise while using the sink.
  • Stainless steel is probably one of the most affordable choices currently in a sink. If you are not married to a name brand you can find a good one starting around $250.00.
  • They do scratch and can become stained especially if you have water issues.
  • The bottom sink grates they offer now can be a good investment in keeping your sink looking nice.
  • It can work in a kitchen that is super contemporary to a timeless tradition design.

Cast Iron

  • This is a classic sink that has been around for years. It is a cast iron molded sink coated in a thick layer of enamel.
  • Available in a lot of colors, it comes in both a drop in and undermount style.
  • Though the manufacturers of cast iron sinks tell us the finish with proper care will stay shiny and beautiful for years, my experience is with careful use you will get about 5 years and then they start to look a little tired. Something to think about when choosing this sink, especially when it is an undermount install and not easily replaced.
  • If you accidently set a pot that is too hot in or on the sink it could melt or chip the enamel.
  • The cost of cast iron sinks has really skyrocketed in the last year. Average cost of a good quality cast iron sink is about $600.00 and up.


  • Copper also comes in guages which equals quality. Always look for a least an 18 guage and shoot for a 16 guage.
  • Copper has a nice anti bacterial feature.
  • They are easy to keep looking nice and the patina they develop only adds to their beauty.
  • The copper sink looks fantastic in a just about any style of kitchen except contemporary. That is my personal opinion of course.
  • My recommendation would be to look for a single bowl design. The double bowl tends to have a thick divider which makes the individual bowls a little small.
  • Copper sinks can get spendy, starting around $900.00 and going up, but it can also be that special focal point that makes your kitchen a real "WOW". So don't discount it based on price. You can always cut back somewhere else if it is really the sink your kitchen is asking for.


  • Siligranit is a trademark brand for Blanco sinks, but there are several manufacturers out there that make a similar sink out of similar materials.
  • They come in about 5 or so colors and if you are looking for a black sink this could be the one to consider.
  • The sinks are a through color material ( color goes all the way through) and are stain and chip resistant
  • They are virtually scratch resistant, made of about 80% granite material and resin.
  • They also have an antibacterial quality that is a plus in a kitchen.
  • Highly heat resistant you can not hurt them.
  • Style wise they could work in any kitchen. I would choose an under mount application, I think they look better in this material.
  • They are also at a great price point, just slightly above some stainless sinks. Depending on the brand they start around $300.00.


  • Fireclay sinks are made from a china quality clay, coated with thick layer of glaze and fired at extremely high temperatures.
  • They are virtually chip resistant and will stand up to acid and alkali substances.
  • The finish is designed to be beautiful for years with careful use.
  • I own a fireclay sink and personally love it!
  • They are very heavy and your cabinet and countertop installers should know ahead of time this is the sink you have chosen.
  • You will also need to have extra depth plumbing collars.
  • They typcially look best in a classic kitchen but could be used in a contemporary kitchen if you pick the right style.
  • The fireclay sink is really a cadillac and the price reflects it. Expect to spend at least $800.00 and up depending on the style.


  • For those wanting something really different and special consider a stone sink
  • A variety of colors and stones are available. From granite to limestone, farm style to undermount.
  • I would proably tend toward this if this if you wanted to match a granite or were looking for pop in a transitional to traditional style kitchen.
  • Honestly this sink would last forever. Any scratches can be buffed out.
  • It can always be resealed to give it a little face lift but the natural patina would only improve the beauty in my opinion.
  • Plan on paying a pretty penny for a stone sink. Probably $900.00 and more depending on your choice. But again it could be worth it as that special focal point.
  • Let your installers know you are going to have a VERY HEAVY sink in your kitchen so they can plan ahead!
Hopefully you now have enough information that choosing your new sink will be now be a breeze!
It's a big purchase and can make you very happy or very disappointed. I want everyone to love their kitchen sink. You use it everyday and it needs to be the right one for you. So go shopping with confidence.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why working with a designer is important and can save you big bucks!

I realize I have a lot to say about this subject, I really am rather passionate about my desire for everyone to have a successful remodel so bear with me while I tell you why you need a designer on board before you tear out your kitchen and order some new cabinets! I think I am actually turning into Mike Holmes and just want it done right!

If you are sitting around day dreaming about a new kitchen, bathroom or addition it is easy to imagine a picture of a fabulous room that came together in approx 30 minutes or at the very least a weekend! We all see that happen on HGTV daily don't we!

But the reality is that "30 minute" project took a lot of pre-planning. This is where working with a CKD or CBD designer that understands the full scope of what your project entails will be one of the best investments you can make before your remodel starts.

You may ask "Can't I go to a big box store and pick it all out and have it delivered and it will save me money?" My answer is "Maybe....., if you are really handy and really understand the science behind good design." but my bigger concern is that if you don't have a plan expensive mistakes can be made because of it. Watching HGTV doesn't count as education!

I can't tell you how many phone calls I get from clients saying "my room does not work, we did this or that, I saw it in a magazine but now we realize it does not function. Come fix this!"

What I always propose to my clients when we meet for a consultation before anything is ever ordered or started is they need a plan. A full set of working drawings and specifications of each material and appliances we will be using. By doing this first every cabinet, finish, light fixture,and plumbing fixture is accounted for placed and will be installed correctly and in order. Who knew there was a sequence to remodeling! There is and that is where just shopping at a big box store or an exuberant homeowner may get tripped up.

So what do you get by working with a designer, can't I get a cabinet layout from my big box store? Yes, you can get a free layout, but what you get is a cabinet layout and only a cabinet layout from someone who may or may not really understand the principles behind good design. Does it really function? Do you have enough space between appliances, can two cooks work successfully if that is your goal, is there enough space between the aisles for 2 people to pass?

Back to that set of working drawings. After meeting with a client for the 1st time, I take photographs, measure the space and have an extensive conversation about the goals of the redesign. Then I head to the drawing board literally. There I create a few options for the room. After finalizing the plan I go on to create a full scale electrical plan, plumbing plan, construction plan, cabinet elevations and a full color rendering of what their new space will look like. No useless mini drawings! Then I provide them with a list of specifications, a selection of materials, fixtures and appliances that I recommend for the finishes. The guess work is gone! The package is complete and it all works together. For the investment of a few hundred dollars you will know exactly how this room will look when it is finished, where every outlet will be and how to get it there. Nothing will fall through the cracks. As a consumer you have been very smart, you have used my vast knowledge and resources to utilize in your project. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, I already own it! No costly mistakes.

So if you are thinking about a remodel or redesign invest in your project right up front and hire a educated designer. Whether the designer completes the project or you opt to be hands on you can get it right the first time!