Vineyard Mountain Remodel
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During the spring and summer of 2011, Lori Stephens of Broadleaf Architecture PC in Corvallis, OR met with the clients of this project and drew up a number of designs to help make their kitchen more usable. Two of the challenges she faced were getting the irregular shape to "flow" well and utilizing the area occupied by the massive brick fireplace. Later that fall, the clients contacted me and we discussed their vision. They wanted to use Lori's drawings as a starting point and let things be flexible from there as the demolition opened up the space. After the demo, the first construction phase of the remodel was laying 24" Floor Gres EcoGreen tile in the hallway, stairs, kitchen and pantry (about 800 sq.ft.). The old tile was severely out of level but bonded well to a thick mortar bed, so we decided to overlay it instead of remove it to keep floor elevations consistent. High spots were ground down with a large diamond floor grinder and low areas were filled in with a cement-based floor leveler. The second phase included selecting a final layout and building and installing the cabinets. The clients had chosen black walnut for the drawer and door fronts, and after reviewing a number of internet photos decided they particularly liked the look of quarter sawn black walnut. After a bit of research, I found we could get quarter sawn walnut veneers laid up on plywood or MDF in Springfield, OR through Tree Products Hardwoods. This prompted a trip to Eugene/Springfield with the clients, where we hand-picked our veneers. With the new walnut panels and a supply of walnut lumber in my possession, my first task was make full-scale drawings of the kitchen. This was necessary to "lock in" the critical angles, the island shape and passageway widths, as well as the walnut corners and the 1/8" blackline reveals. The cabinet construction was very time consuming, as all of the doors and drawers were edge-banded by hand and many of the cabinet boxes were custom sized to fit various recesses in the brick. The tambour doors also required a good bit of time. Replacing the entry doors and remodeling the bathroom were the final phase of the project. The old bathroom had a sunken bath/shower combination with 3 slippery steps leading down to it. This was demo-ed and framed in, then replaced with a modern walk-in double shower with linear drain. Heating mats were installed in both the bathroom floor and shower floor (the clients report that the floor heat in the shower really helps things dry quickly). This project was completed in December of 2012.