SoMoToHo Coffee Bar – a New Look

The pic below is of a sidewalk coffee stand in the Kadikoy district of Istanbul, on the Asian side.

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They take their coffee very seriously there and boy, do they like it strong – the story goes that your espresso isn’t strong enough unless it can support a standing bull. Debra and I aren’t quite that fanatical but we do like our coffee. We’ve had dedicated coffee bars in the last couple of houses that we’ve redone. The new look of the one in the SoMoToHo is the subject of this post. Here is what we started with: Continue reading “SoMoToHo Coffee Bar – a New Look”

It's the Little Things

Versailles fence post

Transforming a house involves lots of big things – changes that immediately shift one’s perception of the entire space. Exterior paint. Windows. Those kinds of things. But it’s the smaller things that add the flavor. Some, you might not even notice unless they were pointed out. The cap of moss and lichen stains on the concrete fence post (Versailles – 2009) above, for instance. Or more mundane things like this window sill: Continue reading “It's the Little Things”

Guest Post by Debra – Not as Easy as it Sounds

Ha! Dan makes it all sound so smooth and simple, right? Look, we bought a house with this kitchen, and then voila! presto-chango, we had this fabulous kitchen! Not so fast, mister. How about the months – that’s right folks, months – that we cooked and washed dishes in the 5×8 hall bath (which was not so pretty at the time)? And the hours I spent obsessing over paint colors? Yes – the walls are this, the cabinets are that – but do you know how many colors are pinned on my Pinterest board prior to decision day? Here’s a sampling:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/133982157634174650/
from “A Life’s Design” Continue reading “Guest Post by Debra – Not as Easy as it Sounds”

The Heart of the Home – Part 2

The kitchen is where you live. Change the kitchen and you change the entire feel – the entire living experience – of the home.

Here is another view of the skeleton of our mid-century ranch kitchen reconfiguration and remodel:

6844 brants 020The window/pass-through to the family room has been expanded, the cabinets on the left side of the picture have been extended about 30″ and the space for the sink has shifted out of the corner. Standing at the sink, you will be looking into the family room, toward a fireplace and the TV.

Let’s take a look at some finish choices. Continue reading “The Heart of the Home – Part 2”

The Heart of the Home – Part 1

The kitchen is the heart of almost any modern American home – and by “modern,” I mean built since the dawn of the 20th century. Even in those houses where it is tucked off to the side, out of the way and seemingly disconnected from the intended living spaces, the kitchen is where folks tend to gather.

In our mid-century ranch, this is where we started:

photoNot a horrible kitchen. Homey, well used, and well loved. But not at all consistent with Debra’s vision for the house. Continue reading “The Heart of the Home – Part 1”