Project Tiny Kitchen

kitchen_title

One of the bigger projects in my house is/will be tackling the kitchen, so I figured I might as well introduce it. When I first looked at the house, my realtor and I just had to laugh at it. You could barely open the oven door without hitting the adjacent cabinets. It seems the kitchen was just tacked on during some earlier renovation, hence the weird sloping roof. I had wondered about knocking the wall out and making it bigger, but then a tiny kitchen fits the tiny house and the cost would have been too crazy to factor in. My plan is to just utilize the given space in the most effective way possible. Thankfully, the hard and messy work is over – removing the left-side cabinets and patching up the wall.

My projects planned are to have 1. Lots of storage  2. Open shelves over the main counter  3. Backspash? Also what’s up with that 4inch thick window trim? 4. Replace main floor cabinets, new counter, single basin sink, apt-sized cooktop/built in oven. Needless to say, I will be tackling the cheaper stuff first – the main counter and appliance purchase will be the priciest portion.

First task in this kitchen project series is to create more storage. I thought about making a pantry over that whole back wall, but then decided it wouldn’t hurt to have a little more counter too. I didn’t want to close the galley back in again, so it would have to be a very shallow setup. I went to the wonderful, inexpensive, cabinet-wonderland that is IKEA, and scoped out the sizes of their cabinets. I went with upper cabinets, which were only 12 inches deep, and 24 inches tall, so they would be floating. In fact, I remembered Anna did something similar in her apartment too. The layout was super clean, and as a bonus – super cheap. Three cabinets, doors, hinges and pulls was all under $180.

Installation was a little challenging, just because that wall curves out at the last 12 inches. WONKY OLD HOUSE! I shimmed the main bracket so it was somewhat straight to the tile lines and once it was all installed, it turned out mostly plumb and straight. For a counter, I had thought about just using some of the IKEA butcher block, but wasn’t completely sold with the idea. Too easy. I needed something more ambitious, right?

Enter my good friend Ben – an amazing cabinetmaker and craftsman. Ben’s built some amazing creations, including my credenza, and as soon as I thought of him, I was ASHAMED at myself for even thinking of anything else. Now, I understand that having a master cabinetmaker in your friend bucket isn’t that likely… but the overall cost was quite reasonable when I considered how amazing it turned out. By the way, you should check out Ben’s work at Phloem Studio. I chose Western Walnut, and Ben ordered the boards from a local mill. After building it, he introduced me to a finish called Osmo, which is an eco-friendly finish that is also really beautiful on wood. Like oil finishes, it soaks into the wood, so you get great protection and the wood still looks natural and amazing – not plastic-wrapped like polyurethane.

So there you have it… the first steps in my kitchen renovation. Next step will be the open shelving above the main counters, and I’ll be sure to document that when I begin.

filed as: ,   ||   35 Comments

The Middle East review and giveaway

middleeast_title

Lately I’ve been listening to this wonderful band called The Middle East, thanks to the discovery by my friend, Martin. He introduced our office to them and we’ve all been listening via Pandora since about November. When I left for Kansas over Christmas break, I finally downloaded the full EP and really gave it full attention during my travels.

It’s hard to describe the band… they’re slightly poppy, more so folkish, somewhat atmospheric, uplifting yet sad. As you listen, you’re going to want to cry… partly for the lyrics, mostly because you can see the scene playing out in your head like a tragic movie. Suddenly trumpets kick in and you’re instantly optimistic once again. It’s really amazing, actually.

“The Darkest Side” starts with an intricately finger-picked guitar followed by brilliantly solumn vocals. The song sound like it’s fifty years old – but you know that can’t be true when it mentions ‘SimCity’. I know it sounds odd, but it completely works. Download it via Pitchfork for free and have a listen.

“Lonely” plays and it pretty much takes you where you think it would… but then “Blood” is the next track and you’re all spritely again. Even though it’s still a completely heavy song, it’s strangely comforting (This is the one where the trumpets help). The song and accompanying video are equally breath-taking. Even another free download!

Needless to say, I really fell in love with this record. Once that happened – I knew I had to get it on vinyl to REALLY obsess over it. Once I found a place that had stock, I bought two – one for me and one for you! To fully share this great album, I thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway (and with free shipping anywhere in the world).

One easy way to enter – just comment here and tell me your latest favorite album. Make sure you include a correct email address so I can contact the winner. While you’re waiting to win, you can buy the EP digitally from the band for $5 (You might as well, as the vinyl doesn’t come with a free download). Good luck, and thanks for entering! P.S. forgot to say… deadline to enter will be Feb 10.

filed as: , , ,   ||   59 Comments

This Weekend

weekend_title

As I’m sitting at home, waiting for a load of firewood to arrive, I’m thinking that I need to buy a truck so I don’t have to wait on crap like this. But also, I’m thinking that I had a pretty decent weekend. Maybe I should post something to share with you guys? Should I just keep the blog more project focused? Do you even want to hear this junk? Let me know if I’m amiss. Thanks, and I hope you all had a great weekend too.

1. Found a great chair on Craigslist. Don’t know much about it -appears to be rosewood with a leather sling, and has stamped “Made in Argentina” on the frame, but no other markings. I don’t care if it’s a marked piece or not, but I’m still always curious of pieces’ whereabouts. Looks like it was mimicking some Michel Arnoult style?

2. Cut some belts. My friends Matt and JD are helping out and JD is making a little film about it too. I’m excited to see how it comes out. Also, I need to remind a few of you to get me your measurement and buckle info! I’ll send out an email to you soon.

3. Started a Wood&Faulk facebook page, if anyone is inclined to like it. Not sure what to make of it yet, but at the very least I’ll be updating when I post, as I do on twitter now.

filed as: , ,   ||   24 Comments

Strawfoot Handmade

strawfoot_title

So, having this blog has introduced me to lots of cool new folk and I’m really grateful about that. One such fellow is Garrett Kautz, a bag maker who operates Strawfoot Handmade. Garrett has been experimenting and crafting handy totes from his small Santa Cruz studio for a couple years now. Using a heavy duty single-needle machine, regionally sourced materials, and smart details like hand-hammered rivets, Garrett creates some clean, classic designs.

I’d been admiring the work coming from his studio for a little while, so when an opportunity came open,  I jumped at the chance to have him make me something cool. I’d seen that he had previously created a great roll-top lunch bag, so I wondered if he could modify that idea a bit as a small camera bag – something that would protect a camera and maybe some film when I’m traveling. After listening to my request, he really came up with something perfect – from the thorn-proof waxed canvas, right down to the vintage wool lining. He even included a vintage seed bag to wrap a lens or carry some film. Great work, Garrett. Check out his work at strawfoothandmade.com

filed as: , ,   ||   10 Comments

Barn Door Completion

finaldoor_title
You’ll need some tools:
  • Drill with drill bits and screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • Miter saw
  • Sander / sandpaper and block
  • Finish / paint depending on trim and door needs
  • Circular saw if you need to cut your door
You’ll need a few materials:
  • Track and door hangers from McMaster-Carr $65
  • Door of your choice. Mine was $55 from Rebuilding Center
  • Necessary trim for door casing
  • 1x4 to offset track from wall to clear trim
  • Finish nails
  • Wood filler and spackling and latex caulk

I’m happy and excited to unveil the finished bedroom door on it’s track! Though I had plenty of little problems along the way, I’m quite pleased with the finished product. I had to let go of everything perfect, and I figured that’s just fine with a 103 year old house. My instructions could have started like this:

Step1: Get a door and track.
Step2: Bang head on door when you realize how wonky and misaligned walls are.

Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but I did have to use more trim than I initially wanted. I’ll walk you through the steps so, don’t get worried yet.

The easiest installation would be to leave your door trim on, just remove the door from it’s hinges and hang your new setup so it clears the existing trim. The most idyllic installation would be to pull off the door and trim, finish the edges all flush with no trim, hang the track and new door to the wall and you’ll have 1/8″ clearance and it will be beautiful. BUT, since my walls are wonky, I had to bolster it out a ways from the bulging wall. It’s ok, because the necessary trim lends itself well to an older house. For my installation method, I first measured how tall I wanted to door to be. I bought the door 80×32 wide to cover a 76×28 opening. I first cut my door too short, which I’m quite ashamed about, so make sure you’re confident about all your measurements before getting out the saw. I measured to have the track rest one inch above the top of the trim, so I’d have plenty of height. It’s best to measure once you have your door brackets actually in the track. Then you can see where your door top will actually rest, and measure to the floor from that point and subtract a small amount to clear the floor. The track looks much better higher than snug to the top of the door anyway.

I took off all my surrounding trim from the door frame and positioned the track where I wanted it and attached it to the wall. Luckily, that was used to be an exterior wall, so it was full of strong siding boards to attach it too. The track and door is heavy, so make sure you hang it on studs, or mount it on a sturdy plywood underboard that you can securely attach. The kit comes with large bolts, so I pre-drilled holes and socketed the frame to the wall. At this point I just attached it as a dry run. I knew I was going to have to shim it away from the wall a bit, but wasn’t sure how much until I had things up and could see where I needed extra room. I screwed the heavy brackets to the door and lifted it up into the frame. When up there, I could see where areas were gapped and parts that would rub.

I realized that if I got it away from the wall, it would clear my new trim and still close with small enough tolerances to be private. I cut small blocks of the 1×4 board, one for each of the 4 track mounting points. To make them more secure, the blocks were attached to the wall with 2 screws each, then the large bolt was fastened though the block and into the wall board. Again, pre-drill your block since the bolts are stout. After rehanging, the door cleared everything fine, and with just a tiny nudge, would rest on the trim when closing. I removed the door again, and began to trim out the frame. Using 1x4s and a 1×2 for the front gap edge, I cut to measure and attached with trim nails and a hammer. I left the top trim piece out and spackled the drywall to the door frame, creating a smooth joint. I would put trim up here, but needed the extra 1/2″ to lift the door into the track this way. If you don’t put a stop-edge on the trim board, you can just slide the door out of one end of the track to remove. I might not put the stop-edge if I did it again… I put it there to act as a stop and give a little more privacy, but I installed a bracket stop on the frame itself instead and found it not as necessary.

After trim boards are up, I primed and then painted white to match the other trim. The outside facing pieces were painted black to match the hallway trim and the outside of the door. I stripped and removed paint on the other side of the door for a natural finish, and it was a major pain. I don’t recommend doing the dirty-work yourself, look into some paint-removing services where they actually dip your doors and remove all the crud. Portland costs can be found at Houck’s.

For a handle, I just kept parts of the original knob setup, but without the knob. The locking lever is very sturdy and works great to slide the door. Since your first inclination is to push the door a little, I put a small wheel into the floor to keep the door aligned. A smarter way would be to cut a channel in the door’s underside and have an alignment post slide in there… but I didn’t have the correct saw, and that little tiny wheel works fine for me. Just one tiny screw into the floor and I’m ok with that. Now, without much force, my door slides open and completely out of the way and looks pretty cool too. The final touch was to put some numbers on the door to give it that vintage schoolhouse look (since it was actually from an old college)… but I’m not sure I’m happy with it yet. Maybe I’ll design something and have it custom cut. Would it be weird for my door to say ‘Teachers Lounge’?

filed as: , , , ,   ||   32 Comments

Happy 2011 and Thanks

thanks_title

Hope everyone is having a great New Year so far… though I’m sure most everyone is wishing they could hang on to this last bit of holiday weekend before Monday starts!

I just wanted to welcome everyone into 2011 and thank you for following and reading the last couple months at Wood&Faulk. I’ve been extremely thankful at the warm reception and interest in my posts. The comments are very welcome, and I’m grateful any time I get them. I want to acknowledge each one, but then don’t want to be that weirdo that follows each comment with a smiley or something dumb, so just know I appreciate each one! In such short time, I’ve managed to meet many like-minded folks, discover MANY new favorite blogs, and receive some great advice too.

Thank-yous go to everyone that has reposted or written about Wood&Faulk on their own blogs. I love knowing you’re getting the word out, and it’s been an incredible force for getting new readers. Special thanks to Anna and Victoria for being superfans and my two biggest referrers so far. Super-special thanks to Lisa at Kiki&Polly for being my first store customer! It was a real treat when I got my first sale email notice and realized it wasn’t from Mom. Lastly, thanks once again to Erin Seale and Lisa Warninger for contributing so much to the function and form of my site. It would not have been nearly as cool without your help.

Thanks again, everyone. I can’t wait to publish more that you will hopefully enjoy in 2011!

filed as: ,   ||   10 Comments