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New for 2012!

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That's Jean serving up a fresh tray of 2012 goodness. With the holidays behind us and the NYIGF looming just ahead, it was right back to the drawing board for us in January. We were hankering to cook up something new.

As you may have picked up in past posts about our kitchen...we've been really obsessed with the combination of copper and brass with woods and leather. We've always been suckers for nostalgia and I think these materials really strike a reminiscent chord on a different...more fundamental level. 

 To that end, it only felt appropriate to pair these warm, welcoming materials with minimalist, elemental forms that celebrate the integrity of the materials without any frivolous details. The resulting collection is a bit of a departure aesthetically from our past products, but a direction we're really excited about!

Without further adieu (follow links for more details or to purchase)...


Segment Necklace: An abstract arrangement of simple shapes and warm material combination using wood, leather and metal tubes.


Perimeter Tray: A solid wood base framed with powdercoated aluminum coupled with a carrara marble cheeseboard insert.


Cylinder Shakers: Copper, Brass, and Aluminum Salt and Pepper Shakers are designed to age and patina with use.



Almost Finishing Touches



Finally! We're at the fun part of the kitchen process where we get to start accessorizing!

We gathered some existing thing we had, along with some material & color samples to compose this pallet.

One of the main element we're most excited about is the idea to integrate copper as an accent color & material which we felt would add the prefect amount of warmth to the overall feel.

We initially had these aluminum knobs...which are fine....but something about it just didn't feel very interesting...or special...


We wanted to use vintage knobs and ended up finding these simple standard 50's copper knobs from Second Use to go with our oak and whitened europly cabinet fronts. It's one of those things where we weren't totally sure if it was going to make everything look too dated or out of place....

But once we put them on, the whole kitchen instantly was totally the perfect thing that we we're looking for and everything felt 100 times more special and complete! Who would have thought that something as small as cabinet knobs can make such a big difference!

Here's the special nook for our collection of found glass jars with cork tops we've been collecting (I actually more than what's in the photos). I love how the onions even goes with the whole pallet!

I was especially happy to have found couple of these simple copper light sockets to hang above our island area! I was actually debating on whether to splurge on these brass ones from Restoration Hardware for almost $100 each for a simple light socket!! Good thing we waited, did more research, and ended up finding these similar ones from Grandbrass for only 1/10th of the price! I should take that extra cash I saved and buy some bottles of champagne to celebrate this triumphant score!

...we're getting SO close to the finishing line I can smell it! I'm picturing all our friends & family awaits for us at the end with warm towels &'s gonna be amazing.....



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Kitchen end in sight

We're nearing the finish line with our kitchen and it's starting to feel real nice.

Today we finally got the sink plumbed up and more trucking dirty dishes to the basement to be cleaned in the laundry sink.

We also received our whitened birch cabinet fronts back from the finisher today...they look great!

We're days from presentable overall shots and more details so stay tuned!

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Kitchen progress report

Alright, i know it's been a long time since we've updated on the progress of our kitchen. No, we're not done yet but yes we have made progress (unlike in the the past when we say we're doing but we're actually not). It's actually starting to get frighteningly close to a real kitchen...OH-EM-GEEE!




Cabinets IN!

Base on my trend study for this season ... I say that cabinets are totally IN....our kitchen that is.


We're just going with Ikea cabinets, but will finish the fronts with a mix of oak and birch plywood.

Amongst all the cabinets, we integrated an open nook to break up the space, but also just so I can display all my vintage glass jar collection to keep all my dry foods. Dylan drew that in just to see what it'd look like.

Testing our steel hanging bar!



Snorting Drywall Dust Phase

As we got to the phase of putting up dry wall & mudding our kitchen,  we soon started to question why we even started this whole kitchen renovation project in the first place!

No one ever warned us about how awful this whole process is!  For only the size of our kitchen, it took us more than a week of hanging the walls, Dylan mudding the walls in the morning, and then me sanding the walls at  late through the night (repeat 3 times)....and on top of that having all the joint compound dust suck all the moisture out of our body.

I only have pictures of the kitchen before it got bad...and before I went crazy.

Then it was just dust....EVERYWHERE.....

...and then it was just me swearing like a sailor and looking like Peg-Pen from Charlie Brown the whole rest of the time...



Kitchen Progress Report

We decided to put things into high gear 2 weeks ago on our kitchen. I cutoff nearly all contact with the outside world and started calling in those favors from friends we knew we needed to get the job done.

First Jared and Nick helped me face my fear/lack of competence in electrical work and install all new electrical to the kitchen including the installation of recessed can lighting (so awesome to have now!)
Then my step dad Stan and I spent a day installing solid oak hardwood reclaimed from a friend of ours house. It was a total puzzle to put together but will look awesome and match the existing floor once it's all refinished.
Finally, Nick from Piano Nobile helped us cap off the week with the installation of our steel support frame, which looks and feels incredible in the space. We can really start to get a sense of how the kitchen will actually feel and it's such a huge improvement despite being a complete mess. So excited to get drywall in and start on the cabinets! Heres an overall glimpse of the space:



Instant Framing

This was the day we've been waiting for since we started designing a steel frame with Nick from Piano Nobile...we're gonna see the frame in our space for the first time!

I was especially excited to wake up this morning and see Nick pull in with his AWESOME Fuso in our drive way with the frame pieces. Seeing the size of the Fuso, I wished we had bigger pieces to move just so we can see the crane in action, too!!

So remember from our previous post with our Google sketchup of our kitchen with a steel frame?...the frame will act as a load bearing structure between our kitchen and living room so we can open the space up and have an island!

so here are some photos of Dylan & Nick dry fitting the pieces in the space for the first time to see how it all looks and fits....nervous?? I AM!!

Ta-da! Instant framing, done!

It was as simple as lining up the pieces, screw in the bolts and voila!  Totally exciting to see what it actually look like in our space!! I was hopping around like a 5 year old filled with excitement when they were doing all this.

Next on the list....we'll ride the Fuso and get the frame powder coated! Yesssss......


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Demolition Derby


Ahhhhh!!!  We're officially in the kitchen remodel funnel!  Well, technically we're kitchen-less at the moment and I guess technically we could make a decision:  spend every free moment  we have in the next two months laboring over as close to the kitchen of our dreams as our architecture and budget will allow or just live indefinitely without a kitchen...washing dishes in the basement utility sink and learning the fine art of microwave and toaster oven cooking.... 

Sorry, I know everyone and their mother is using instagram photo filters these days, but it's really the only way to make this whole mess of a project look semi-romantic and exciting...

Anyways, last Saturday Jean's brother-in-law and I grabbed our sledge hammers and obliterated the kitchen down to the studs and subfloor.  The space feels so cool raw.  Makes us just want to leave it as is except for the no sink, oven, cooktop, or countertop part. 

The diagonally-laid solid wood subfloor is particularly cool... 


Even our (leaky) temporary sink has some tempting rustic charm...


Wouldn't it be a shame to seal up that hidden neitherland area above the ceiling of our stairs?  It's like a whole other entirely useless room in there!

We're hoping that all this roughing it will be worth it when we finally complete the project.  To keep our spirits and motivation up, we have to continually refer to the sketchup model of the final space.

We're so excited to have an open kitchen that we can actually hang out in!  The center island is going to awesome for prep, eating, and talking.  The low seating area at the back will allow us to utilize our over abundance of dining chairs (ridiculous considering we don't have a dining room).

Framing the island is a steel structure our friend Nick at Piano Nobile is making for us to support the span.  It will be powdercoated steel profiles with an incorporated rail for hanging pots and pans, plants, utensils, etc.

The kitchen will also get all new electrical and a reclaimed oak hardwood floor, new appliances, etc.  So, yeah, it's going to be a long journey, but at this point we don't really have any choice.  ONWARD WITH THE KITCHEN!!

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I'd Like To Tap That: Modern Dream House

I love LOVE every part of this modern house by Linea Studio based in the UK.
There isn't a corner in the house that I don't love....even the dusts in the corner and the smudges on the window....

So, to warn you, there's gonna be a lot of me going "I like this...I like that...and OH-EM-GEEE... I LUV it!" repeatedly through out this post....

To start....
Check... THIS...out!! Look at this staircase with shelves on the side!! SCREAM!
and look at all the cute things on it! (still screaming!)
...SO want open shelves like that for our kitchen so I can display our housewares collection too...

Man....I really would also love a nice open kitchen like that....or to have room for a dinning table instead of sitting on the floor by our coffee table while my feet fall asleep during our dinner...
One thing though...I personally think it might just be a little TOO open. I mean just looking at how much empty space they have on the floor there!
Now...if it was US living there, we'd totally want to take advantage of that empty "wasted" floor space and turn it into a L&G packing & shiping area or something totally awesome like that... I like those chairs....
Love the lights, love the floor, love the Finel heart bowl with the plant in it.
I also like the cleverly integrated landing unit and shelves.
Hello...metal flat drawers , giant working desk table with classy chairs, and that whole set of Domus magazines....I like you guys, too.
Clean, simple & nice looking bathroom..I like the simple towel holder pole...oh yes I do.
How fun was that?!
I can do this all day and look at all the photos of this place over & over again....and fantasize about me living there in that house...even as a particle of dust in the corner... 


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Starting 2011 With a Big SHABANG! (through our kitchen wall)

HAPPY 2011!!!
L&G started the year with a big bang.....through our wall between our kitchen & living room on New Year's Day!!

This is just PHASE 1 of only-god-knows-how-many-phases-we'll-take-to-do-our-kitchen-remodel project.
We decided that this year we're gonna actually devote some time/effort/$$ for our house that's been a little neglected....
But also we just got tired of the middle wall that divided our living room & kitchen, which made our kitchen feel too closed off since the living room & kitchen is where both of us hang out majority of the time.

So as the first step, we decided to tear some stuff out to start the project.... and also release all the stress built up from 2010!!

Here's what it looked like BEFORE looking from the living room.

Dylan specking the wall to see what's up.
We took some time to tarp everything off...which is always surprisingly time consuming and not very exciting...
But then we started to tear out the first side of the drywall!!
And since I forgot to take photos, let's fast forward past making bunch of dusty mess, making grunting & hammering noises, taking down the upper cabinets and then tearing out the other side of the wall ....
TA-DA...we went through the wall!

Along the way I had to take this photo of this awesome texture, which was previously our 70's mauve colored tiled back splash wall....

Then we noticed that there's a mysterious half beam on the left side....yes, we just opened a whole can of worms.... This is gonna be an interesting challenge....

But here's what it looks like AFTER!

I know!...NOT that impressive looking at all!
Just to warn you, there's gonna be a whole lot of BEFORE/AFTER photos of stuff like this where the 'after' photos are just gonna look worse than before since it's probably just gonna be things getting torn up more and more....but hopefully that will change where the 'after' photos will get better as we get to do more exciting things.
But at least now you can see the whole kitchen from the living room!
The best part is that there's tons of light coming from the living room now, which is totally great!
I'm totally stoked about it even with just this raw-open wall. :D

Now we need to go figure out what to do with that weird half-beam....yikes...

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I'd like to Tap That...White Cottage

Juli & John, a Toronto based design couple from Kitka Design blog (also runs an incredible design shop, Mjölk) made an 180 degree transformation of a family cottage from a drab and cluttered place and turned it into an incredible open modern and charming cottage with fantastic vintage finds through out.
Looking at this place made me decide that the next house we live in shall be painted all white, open spaced with high ceilings...and right next to the water!
Wait...let me rephrase. The next house we live in shall be THIS place!  Sorry to break the news to you guys, Juli & John, we're gonna have to evict you both.... 
But seriously though...I love everything about this adorable cabin.  I just like how they stayed true to the concept of having a vacation cabin where its a place to getaway from the usual clutter, chaos, and distractions. It's about just having the old books, listen to old records, play board games, watch the sea, wander around, and not think about anything besides figuring out what to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I much rather think about that kind of things than about all the errands I need to do, when I should avoid traffic, or wondering why the person driving in front has their signal light on when they're not actually turning!
It seem so rare to find ourselves doing actual relaxing activities with all the distractions in the city and our daily routine...and then there's always the need to do computer work at night, too. How did we ever convince ourselves that emailing or blogging in the middle of the night is relaxing?!?  The curse of the interweb!
OOH! OOH! My favorite game! I spy...Kaj Frank enamel bowls, Copco pans and fondue pot, Dansk Jens Quistgaard pepper mill and bowl, Erik Magnussens's red pitcher, Jasper Morrison's coffee maker...oh my!! Ahh..what lovely minimal rooms with just the right amount of simplicity and coziness.
Another reason to have a cabin like this is so I can have cute shoes and take pictures like this.....
Doesn't this make you want to just go and get a cabin somewhere?

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I'd LIke to Tap that...Kitchen w/ Bookshelves

Loving this multifunctional kitchen with integrated bookshelves on the other side. I like how you don't even notice the kitchen right away!
But mostly I love how it really maximizes the storage space!
This mutli-functional live/work loft space is an old diamond cutting and-polishing shop that's been renovated and divided in 19 housing units in in Antwerp. I like how they created space within a space using those light frame and glass walls in keeping a level of transparency throughout.
oh boy! Sliding doors!! We so want do that for our bathroom someday!


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I'd LIke to Tap that...Iconic House

This is the first of a series that I'd like to call "I'd Like To Tap That..."
where it will be designs related to awesome spaces, interiors or architecture.

I really like this simple iconic shape of a house extruded by Kavellaris Urban Design. It's great how they even continued the lines further out in the front to create the balcony and covered car lot.
what a nice open kitchen & dining room.....The seemingly simple concept is well-executed with thoughtful details through out the house inside and out. Pretty amazing how how bright it seems even though the only light source is coming from both ends of the house!

via blue ant studio

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Henrybuilt...Perhaps the Best?

Remember back in October when we voted for Henrybuilt and Viola Park for the 2009 Interior Design magazine's Best of Year Awards?

Well, guess what?! Both Henrybuilt and Viola Park are one of the 3 nominee under two separate categories!! This is SUPER exciting...actually BEYOND exciting!
So, today is a big day for Dylan, since he has left (don't worry, he's not leaving me forever...I hope not) and is on the way to the Big Apple to attend tonight's Best of Year 2009 award ceremony at the Guggenheim!!
So let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that Dylan will bring home both awards!
Man! It sure it's hard to type with my fingers crossed....It's all worth it.....fingers....getting cramped...



Random connection to Apartment Therapy

Dylan told me about this random connection mentioning that the founder of Apartment Therapy, Maxwell and Sara Kate actually got a Henrybulit Kitchen (which is where Dylan works) in their tiny 265 sqft heard me...It's an APARTMENT in NY! Unbelievable!! But their space seems to be really well planned out. You can see the whole living arrangement here. As tiny as the space seems, they managed to keep it minimal and not super cluttered. I TOTALLY admire people who can live minimally. Because god knows that I'm a total junk collector/pack rat. I just can't imagine living in a space that size even by myself, let alone as two adults PLUS a 6 months old baby!! Now that's living like a real New Yorker!