Posts Tagged 'Kitchen'

Week 37.2: counterpoint

Blanco Maple (left) and Yukon Blanco (right).

Blanco Maple (left) and Yukon Blanco (right).

On Saturday, we made another dreaded DirectBuy run to order our countertops.

Maybe we should quit complaining about DB, but we just can’t help but feeling like we’ve been taken for a ride. Maybe it’s because they rarely ever have what we’re looking for. Maybe it’s because we’ve managed to find a number of our pricier purchases for much less on or Amazon. Or maybe it’s the fact that, lately, our every shopping experience is soundtracked by the wistful strains of The Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over.

The Dude would not abide.

Still, in this instance, our DB membership did pay off… if only just a little bit. Although we still went over on our countertops budget, we were able to get our top choice for less than we could have anywhere else—Silestone® Quartz by Cosentino in Blanco Maple for the kitchen and Yukon Blanco for the downstairs bathroom.

From the Silestone site:

“Silestone offers the unique combination of built-in Microban® antimicrobial product protection, National Sanitation Foundation certification and Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certification.”

“Unlike granite countertops where microbes can penetrate the countertop surface if not properly sealed, Silestone Quartz countertops are non-porous, keeping microbes from penetrating the surface of your countertop (quartz is an engineered stone). And Silestone countertops are the only quartz countertops with Microban antimicrobial protection, which inhibits the growth of microbes such as odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew.”

“Certifications by the National Sanitation Foundation and the Greenguard Environmental Institute mean Silestone is a Safer Surface for areas where food preparation takes place, while protecting the quality of your indoor air quality because it has low-to-no emission (off gassing) of toxic chemicals into the indoor environment.”

Cosentino N.A. is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council—a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation—and has outlined how building teams can benefit from and derive valuable LEED credits when Silestone Quartz surfaces are utilized.


Industry Pendant Lamp



When Will at Green Bottle asked us to consider CB2’s Industry Pendant Lamps as part of our kitchen lighting set-up, consider we did… for all of two seconds… before deciding that they were exactly what we’d been searching for.

They’re big (20.25″ D. x 23″ H.)! They’re black (although this may change once we start nailing down color schemes)! They’re steel! They’re affordable…

…and, right now, they’re shipping for FREE!

From the CB2 site: “The really big one. Over the top, hi-gloss black steel warehouse lamp rimmed in delustered metal replicates its big union predecessors at a minimum wage price. Frosted glass diffuses the beam. Retro black cloth cord tandems with metal cable for strong suspension. Professional hardwire installation recommended; hardware and ceiling plate included.”

So, we’ll be getting two of these bad boys to go above our kitchen island (should go real good with our Real Goods). And with our left-over-wedding-booty Crate and Barrel gift cards and FREE shipping, we’re hoping to pay only pennies.

Week 19.3: a series of tubes

Rub-a-dub-dub… it's the upstairs tub!

Rub-a-dub-dub… it's the upstairs tub!

Ah, plumbing. That time-honored trade of working with pipes, tubing and fixtures for drinking water systems and the drainage of (ahem) waste. From the Latin plumbum for lead

…but we’re having none of that.

Yes, plumbing (of course).

But no lead… or copper… or steel… or any other metal-ly thing.

Unlike Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate, we’re gonna heed Mr. McGuire’s “just one word” of advice:


It’s CPVC for 1133.

Unlike metal, CPVC plumbing systems are more environmentally friendly and resist corrosion. The pipes themselves are also much easier to handle and install than metal, comply with most building code standards, and, best of all, within our budget.

Durability and affordability? There is a great future in that.

CPVC in the wall.

CPVC in the wall.

So, with tubing (and tubbing) in tow, our “Green Bottle Certified” plumbers began what is commonly called the “rough-in.” We hope that the process of creating what will become the backbone of our plumbing system will be a much more precise endeavor than “rough-in” seems to imply. After all, it’s going to take 2 weeks and some change to do.

Behind the headboard.

Behind the headboard.

Judging from their handiwork thus far (which has included the installation of our American Standard Jetted Tubs!), it’s looking like we’re in very capable hands (as usual).

And, what’s that shiny something snaking through the rafters?



The end of week 19 also saw a start on the installation of our HVAC ductwork. When it’s all said and done, we’ll have two separate HVAC systems (one for each floor). While they’re at it, the HVAC fellas will also be installing the ductwork for the ventilation hood that goes over our kitchen stove (speaking of, it may just about be time to order those… and the rest of our appliances).

Real Good Barstool

Blu Dot's Real Good sit.

Blu Dot's Real Good sit.

Hard to believe, but Minneapolis-based Blu Dot has been at it for more than a decade now… that’s ten years and then some to you and me.

Born in 1997 out of the goal to “bring good design to as many people as possible,” Blu Dot has managed to do just that, along the way creating “useful, desirable and affordable” future classics such as their award-winning Modulicious line.

Blu Dot’s latest, the Real Good Barstool (reviewed in the current issue of Dwell magazine), is, like their Real Good Chair, a single piece of laser-cut, powder-coated steel that ships flat and is, then, easily folded into the lovely piece of work pictured above. Sleek and sturdy (and comfortable!), it’s available in aqua, ivory, satin black or glossy red (an optional cushioned faux-leather seat pad is also available for $39). And, at $199, it’s easily the most affordable, durable, modern barstool that we’ve managed to find thus far (we’re planning to get three or four for the island in the kitchen).

Real Good height.

Real Good height.

For more on the Real Good Barstool, check out the equally good Blu Dot site. And while you’re there, be sure to watch our good pal Bob Shea’s movie Eric’s Really Good Idea (featuring Andy Keep!). It’s one of four short films that comprise the Blu Dot Short Film Series—films that “celebrate and discover design in everyday life.”

Oh, and after that, be sure to hop on over and say “Hi” to Bob at his site.

[Ed. note: If you’re planning to be in the Chicago area this Thursday, November 20th, the founders of Blu Dot will be at I.D. (3337 North Halstead Street) at 7 pm to unveil their latest designs.]

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