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Stainless Steel Counters Brighten this Corvallis Home

September 23rd, 2017 Posted in Remodeling Projects, Stainless Counters | Comments Off on Stainless Steel Counters Brighten this Corvallis Home

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 | Comments Off on Kitchen, Dining, and Outdoor Living

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 – View from Kitchen toward Family Room –


BEFORE – View toward Kitchen from Family Room


Dining Room Buffet Cabinet – BEFORE





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Update on the New Home

August 14th, 2017 Posted in Lodge Inspired Open Concept, 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 Kitchen Design | 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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New Home Design

June 30th, 2017 Posted in Design, General Design, Lodge Inspired Open Concept, New Home | Comments Off on New Home Design

Here at Powell Construction, we specialize in remodeling and additions. But on occasion we build a new home or a free-standing structure next to an existing home.

New construction involves a very different kind of design process than remodels or additions for several reasons. In our renovation work, we must always address the condition of the existing structure—including necessary maintenance, structural issues, code and the possibility of unseen conditions—beyond the particular goals of a project. We also have to consider how our new work relates to and ties in with the existing design, both stylistically and technologically.


For these reasons, remodeling and additions inevitably involve working with constraints of various kinds. Believe it or not, these concerns help keep our work varied and interesting, in that we have to use our problem-solving skills and creativity to properly attend to the many issues at hand. We feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as we fix long-standing problems while also renovating and adding on to our clients’ homes.

With new construction, on the other hand, many of the usual constraints fade away and we can focus our attention and talents almost exclusively to our clients’ vision for their new home. We work with them to get just what they want—within the limits of their budget, of course. Regulations can be a possible limitation, but tend to be less of a factor with a new home compared to an existing one.

A current project is a case in point. This home is for a couple and their extended family and is designed for both functionality  and aesthetics. Private spaces are zoned so that the residents and guests are at opposite ends of the house, with shared common spaces in between. It takes advantage of its site, with its expansive views of the Cascade Mountains. An outdoor living porch and a private library round out the home’s spaces.

The real opportunity in the design, however, is that it is carefully tailored to the clients’ aesthetic vision. Whereas the tone of a remodel might have been set with what existed before, in this case we have been able to pursue our clients’ vision in a relatively free way—not beset with the constraints we tend to encounter in our remodeling work.

Working in close collaboration with our clients—who sent us ideas and suggestions from their Houzz “Ideabooks”—we helped bring the design ideas into focus. As you can see in the images throughout this post, our digital modeling capabilities—something we use in all of our design work—allowed us to construct a virtual model of the house. Our clients could look at these images and even walk through their virtual home and see how the design and selections work together to achieve their vision for their new home.

Our 3D modeling is a useful tool to explore ideas, and lets both our designers and our clients confirm that the design has cohesiveness and meets their aesthetic vision. This helps make the construction process more predictable and less stressful—always our goal!

Finishes in the common spaces have been selected for a clean, fresh and light look, as you can see in this rendering of the living room from the kitchen.

In the private areas, warm materials work to bring about a cozy feeling.

The exterior takes advantage of east-facing views of the Cascades. The library, breakfast nook, living room, and master suite all have expansive views and windows that let in lots of morning light.

Having done our careful planning, we have now started construction. The foundation is in place and framing has begun. Stay tuned for updates as construction progresses. We look forward to sharing the journey with you!


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