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Welcome to the Powell Construction Remodeling Blog!  We’re based in Corvallis, Oregon. Click a Category on the left and you can view projects or topics that cover everything from green building to design ideas to remodeling tips. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Huge Strides on New Home

October 3rd, 2017 Posted in Remodeling Projects | No Comments »

We’ve made great strides since our last post, and the house is really taking shape.

Exterior photos from last week (already feeling outdated!) show the finished roofing, newly installed windows and exterior doors, progress on the siding, and more. We’re looking forward to installation of the stone wainscot that will cover the green sheathing along the base of the front of the home.

The covered back porch is coming together, with the 16-foot-wide sliding doors.

The wiring, fire sprinklers, and insulation are done, and now we are into drywall. It’s at this point where one really gets a sense of the scale of the different rooms. In this photo, taken from the front entry, you can see the main room of the home, with the trussed ceiling taking shape.

The Kitchen and the Breakfast Nook (up a step and to the left, in the photo below) are adjacent to the Great Room. The kitchen gets additional natural light from a skylight.

The Breakfast Nook will enjoy morning light:

The Master Bedroom has its fireplace installed now. It will be clad in natural stone. The sitting area at the end of the room already looks inviting!

The east-facing, vaulted Den (photo below) will have expansive views of the Cascade Range and Willamette Valley below. The windows have a natural cherry interior finish, which matches the paneled walls to be built soon!

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Stainless Steel Counters Brighten this Corvallis Home

September 23rd, 2017 Posted in Remodeling Projects, Stainless Counters | No Comments »

This Corvallis kitchen has captured our imagination!

stainless steel countertops

In many ways, this newly remodeled kitchen is a simple design, but the material selections and design subtleties make it a much more exciting and functional kitchen than previously. We only slightly enlarged the kitchen, so this is mostly a replace-in-place design: appliances and plumbing remained in the same locations.

But first, the shiny and colorful aspects! The kitchen is graced with stainless steel counters. We designed them with a custom integral sink and a recessed drain board (on the right side of the sink above). One end of the counter is cantilevered to allow for a bar stool to be pulled up for a helper or guest, or just for oneself while reading today’s cookbook.

The backsplash is a Fireclay Tile in their ‘Picket’ shape set in a ‘braid’ pattern that lends a sense of visual movement. The color is Aegean Sea blue, and gives the kitchen a wonderful depth and vibrancy – especially with the natural maple cabinets. The tile has a crackle glaze and is paired with black grout.

At the window sills, we used blue-gray Carrara marble, which contrasts with the cool stainless counters.

The kitchen contains mostly new cabinets, but these were all made, remarkably, to match the existing cabinets in style and color. Our cabinet maker showed off his skills in color matching here, to the point that it’s difficult to separate new from old!

Both new and existing cabinets were outfitted with lots of accessories that make for an efficient kitchen that’s a joy to cook in. Let’s take a peek inside!

The picture below shows drawers tailored for storing cooking tools, frying pans, and lids:

cabinet dividers

This photo shows a spice door, an appliance garage with a fold-out door, and a shallow pull-out upper cabinet for storing supplements off the counter but within easy reach:

lazy susan and appliance garage

We also added a corner lazy Susan cabinet, a trash and recycling drawer, a pull-out bread board, tray storage above the fridge, and a two-tiered cutlery drawer.

Because of careful attention to the homeowner’s specific storage needs, the kitchen is now far more efficient and less cluttered than the one it replaced – though it grew only a foot or so larger. The homeowner has enjoyed all the clever new accommodations and accessories!

We also added a new top to an existing cabinet that acts as a buffet, separating the kitchen from the dining area. The top is a slab of Oregon-sourced Black Walnut, and has amazingly beautiful figuring in its natural grain patterns. At another location, we topped a desk countertop with a slab of English Walnut.

The addition of natural materials like wood and marble lend balance to the more industrial stainless steel of the counters and appliances. Marmoleum (a true, natural linoleum sheet flooring) replaced the worn and tired hardwoods that were in the original kitchen.  The shift in materials between the kitchen and dining room provides a welcome visual separation in the open floor plan of the spaces.

In the picture below, the black walnut slab counter can be seen in the foreground. Beyond, under-cabinet lighting brightens the work space and highlights the handmade tile.

A new serving board with a “live edge” (made from some of the unused length of the wood slab) shows the beautiful graining of the black walnut:

The success and beauty of this kitchen is a direct result of close collaboration with a homeowner who has a particular vision and a discerning eye.  She envisioned the stainless steel, the tile, and so much more, while we finessed, facilitated, and fabricated to bring it all to fruition. We are honored to have been part of the team!

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Kitchen, Dining, and Outdoor Living

August 30th, 2017 Posted in Remodeling Projects | No Comments »

This active family longed for an open, bright great room where they could gather. The former kitchen was relatively dark and visually disconnected from the adjacent family room, leaving both rooms feeling tight and enclosed. (See BEFORE and AFTER photos at the end of this post.)

The newly remodeled kitchen is completely open to the family room. While the sink remained in the same place—saving on plumbing costs—some appliances were relocated. The refrigerator is now at a more convenient location for both rooms.

New white cabinets update and lighten the kitchen space, their full height to the ceiling providing additional storage. New quartz counters with an undermount sink, new faucet, and appliances all make for an elegant, fresh look for the renovated kitchen.

Family and guests can snack at a bar on one side of an island, illuminated by colorful decorative glass fixtures. The split-level island also provides adjoining but distinct space for food preparation.

A custom desk with hutch makes organization and planning a breeze.

The adjacent dining area is close to the kitchen but visually distinct. Its angled orientation brings interest to the spaces. A pantry and built-in dining buffet provide additional storage.

Textured glass in the pantry door and dining room buffet cabinet adds visual interest.

While remodeling the kitchen and adjacent indoor spaces, we also renovated an outdoor living space, tying both together in an intimate way. The client wanted a large outdoor living area to enjoy together—a place where they could gather for meals, barbecues, or an evening fire.

This new spacious patio offers plenty of shade during hot summer days, as well as protection from rain and other inclement weather.

The beautifully stained, tongue-and-groove cedar ceiling adds drama to the space, while skylights and exposed beams give an airy feeling. A large ceiling fan was installed to help the patio stay cool, even on the warmest days.

The generously sized porch accommodates outdoor grilling, dining, and seating for friends and family. A propane-fueled fire pit brings warmth on a cool evening or autumn afternoon. Sheltered from the rain and sun, the outdoor living room is furnished much like an interior room, complete with indoor-outdoor rugs.

Together, the interior renovations and new outdoor living space have dramatically improved the livability of the house, while increasing its value!

BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS

BEFORE – View from Kitchen toward Family Room –

AFTER

BEFORE – View toward Kitchen from Family Room

AFTER

Dining Room Buffet Cabinet – BEFORE

AFTER

 

 

 

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Update on the New Home

August 14th, 2017 Posted in New Home | Comments Off on Update on the New Home

A few weeks ago we wrote about a new home just beginning construction. Here is an update!

Framing has progressed steadily, and the shape of the house is coming into focus. There is a certain beauty in the skeletal frame of a structure that we really enjoy. Below is a fish-eye panoramic view of the rear of the home. The den (in the foreground), breakfast nook, and covered back porch (to the right) have not yet been framed.

The master suite is on the north side of the house and includes a private sitting room with views in three directions. A deck with a spa will be added outside soon!

As guests walk through the front door, they will have a view through the living room toward the east and (on a clear day!) Mt. Jefferson rising above the clients’ meadow. A 16-foot-wide sliding glass door and transom will maximize views to the east. A breakfast nook to the right will provide both expansive views and lots of morning light.

The picture below looks west through the living room, toward the dining area on the left and the entry on the right. The client has commissioned a large tile medallion for the entry floor.

In this picture, Tom Powell is on site overseeing the work. This view is from the guest suite on the south end of the house, looking north toward the master suite. It provides a sense of the scale of the house.

Framing of the den will begin soon. A computer-generated 3D rendering (below) allows the client to visualize the den design, including recent finish selections. The fireplace is a true masonry Rumford design, built from scratch! Walls will be paneled in cherry, and the windows and doors will be cherry as well. The upper library shelves will be accessible using a rolling ladder. (The ladder rail is visible in the model along the top shelf.) Cove lighting will illuminate the tongue-and-groove hemlock ceiling.

We are very pleased with the progress, and we will continue to post more photos as construction continues!

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Airy Contemporary Kitchen

July 22nd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Airy Contemporary Kitchen

 

Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

This one-of-a-kind kitchen was a fairly extensive remodel. Originally a tiny and cramped kitchen, we worked with the homeowners to design a space that is much larger and more functional. The new design shows off the contemporary style of the homeowners and meets their needs for both day-to-day living and entertaining.

Before View of Kitchen

 

Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

After View of Expanded Kitchen and Archway

Before the remodel, the kitchen was connected to the dining room by a narrow door opening.  This constriction was exacerbated by the presence of the wall oven at that same opening.  On the other side of the kitchen, a family room wasn’t visually well connected to the kitchen, and there was wasted floor space between the two rooms. Overall the kitchen felt severely cramped, lacked adequate storage and was poorly connected to the adjacent spaces.

Before View Showing Narrow Walkways with Wall Oven and Refrigerator Opening into Aisle

Before View of Sink and Cooking Work Area

Our new design made the kitchen far more functional for cooking, and better related it to the dining and family rooms. We enlarged the work area by expanding into the formerly wasted space, consolidated cooking and cleanup functions into roomy work areas, and installed all new custom cabinets.  Storage functions—including food and miscellaneous storage—are located together for maximum functionality.

Kitchen Storage

Kitchen Storage

We greatly expanded the opening into the dining room, which made a big difference, by visually connecting the two rooms and opening up the space dramatically.  We graced the opening with an arch and a counter that can be used as a buffet.

View from Dining Room Toward Kitchen

The sink window was enlarged, and wall cabinets were replaced by cantilevered open shelves—giving the kitchen an airy, contemporary flavor.  White shaker cabinets lend a fresh feeling as well.

View Toward Dining Room

We installed Pental “Sahara” quartz countertops with an undermount stainless steel sink and Moen faucet. The kitchen remodel included all new, energy effificent LED lighting, new Kitchenaid appliances, and a full height tile backsplash. New luxury vinyl flooring (US Floors COREtec HD Delta Rustic Pine) flows from the kitchen into the adjacent spaces, stitching them all together.

 

On the family room side of the kitchen, a work counter allows for sitting and in-kitchen dining.  A separate desk area completes the layout of the kitchen space.

Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

The result is a central hub of the home that functions very well for cooking needs, but also pulls adjacent rooms together to form a cohesive whole. Plenty of storage, fresh low maintenance finishes and bright lighting make the remodel a welcome update to this family’s home!

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