Tag Archives: Design

Everything About the Kitchen Sink

Double faucet farmhouse sink kitchen remodel
Latest obsession:  The Farmhouse Sink aka Bib Sink

…aka Apron front.  Whatever you call it, we love it.  Considered by some to be the original sink, these large, utilitarian, rectangular basins were designed to do it all: chores, prepping food, washing all of the dishes, and sometimes washing children too.  Recent trends are heading towards a utilitarian look: exposed brick and hardwood, pendants with exposed bulbs, metal pipes as shelving, the list goes on and on.  Of the items on this list of trends, the farmhouse sink might be the most useful.  Who doesn’t want a sink that can fit both a saucepan and a baby?

This sink is amazing because it instantly creates ambiance in the kitchen.  When you walk in and see a farmhouse sink, you know immediately that this homeowner appreciates a classic, country look, but wants to keep up with a great, long-lasting trend.  While they can fit right in with a modern, eclectic style,  these sinks are especially appropriate for our older Portland home remodels.  Homes in Portland don’t get much older than the 1920’s and 30’s, which is the perfect era for this look.  (Side note: here is an awesome map showing the age of Portland homes) Whether your home is a country cottage, or newer construction with a post-industrial design, this sink will last a lifetime and somehow always feel fresh.

This kitchen sink doesn’t have the bib, but still has plenty of farmhouse charm.  We used black subway tile, soft blue walls, and a silver tin ceiling.  Cup pulls help tie the look together and keep it true to the home’s classic architecture.

Double faucet farmhouse sink kitchen remodel

Chrome cup pull in farmhouse kitchen remodel with farm sink design Double faucet farmhouse sink

The classic black and white kitchen.  Always a charmer, and so easily livened up with some pops of color from flowers, towels, and dishes.  The best thing about a black and white kitchen is you can really go wild with your accessories and completely update the look on a whim.

farmhouse sink bib sink in black and white vintage kitchen remodel

A more subdued, country kitchen also works well with this style of sink.  Use the colors you would find on a farm: the buttery cream of fresh milk, rustic bronze from rich soil, and cornflower blue.

Oil rubbed bronze faucet on farmhouse sink bib sink in kitchen remodel


And last, but certainly not least, our newest remodel of a home in Carlton, Oregon.  This kitchen received the star treatment remodel with all new appliances, flooring, countertops, and a mosaic tile backsplash that goes all the way to the ceiling(!).  This eclectic design combines new trends with lasting traditions.  Let us know what you think.

interior design kitchen remodel with floating shelves


What do you think of this style?  Will it last?  Would you use this sink in conjunction with a modern home?

In Progress: Park 16

allison smith design process materials for remodel

We just received some progress photos from a project near Seattle; the crew is finishing up a Rec Center for this large apartment complex.  So exciting to see a plan come to life and we’ll be sure to post some sparkling after pictures as soon as it’s done.  For now, here is a teaser showing the wall color, some flooring, and a feature wall designed by us.

Custom feature wall designed by allison smith

This feature wall is a custom design by Allison Smith.  We used varying widths of wood and stained them in Banyan Brown from Sherwin Williams to match the moulding and trim.  Once this room is put together, it’s going to be amazing.

reclaimed look feature wall in kitchen design

The feature wall is continued into a prep-kitchen.  Those cabinets will be painted a soft olive green from Benjamin Moore, Olive Branch.

Soft Olive Green from benjamin moore olive branch

allison smith design process materials for remodel

Above is a little peek into our design process.  All of the materials for the Rec Center are displayed to make sure everything works together.  The mosaic tile in the bottom right corner will be the backsplash for the kitchen.  The countertops are a beautiful, creamy CaesarStone Quartz.  With brushed nickel finishes, stainless steel appliances, and wood and stone accents, this kitchen is sophisticated and rugged.

Moving into the main lounge area, carpet tile is the perfect solution for a commercial space that is going to get a lot of foot traffic.  We found this great tile that reminds me of elevation lines on a map.  Adding to our rugged appeal, this room will feature a fireplace surround made of pebble mosaic.

Rustic lodge style lounge design for recreation center  Wavy pattern carpet tile in olive green tan

The fireplace in progress:

Mosaic made of pebbles    A work in progress in the lounge  Tile made of cross cut wood

From the floor to the mantle, and for the mantle itself, we’re using a natural pebble from OTM’s Bali Stone Collection.  Above the mantle is this very unique wood tile.  It’s cross cut white oak in two inch squares arranged in a mosaic.  So pretty.

Furniture and lighting have been carefully selected to bring the space together.  I especially love this coffee table with a pull-out tray in the center:

Reclaimed wood coffee table with pull out tray


Stay tuned for the big reveal of this rustic space.

Before and After: Continuity Throughout

Dining room chandelier for home remodel design

An open floor plan sounds ideal, but it brings challenges.

When decorating a space that is overwhelmingly open–all of the common areas are visible from the foyer–it is very important to maintain continuity in design from one room to the next. We took a home that was very compartmentalized and made it calm, soothing, and accessible. By starting with a neutral palate, we are free to punch up the design based on what pops of color we use. Minimal decorative accents work with the palate and strategic pops of color help bring it to life. Area rugs, flowers, artwork, and throw pillows can be easily swapped out depending on the season or latest whim. We chose bright red and white flowers and leafy green plants to liven up the space.

Because of the high ceilings, we are able to bring in a relatively dark hardwood for the floors.  This keeps the room grounded and provides the perfect background for our neutral palette.  The paint is Summer Subtle AS01S.

In progress:

Before and after photos of interior design

Finding the right lighting was key:

Chandelier in foyer for home remodel design  Dining room chandelier for home remodel design

We switched out the outdated wooden blinds and added a track so that they can be easily adjusted.  A white finish gives a crisp, clean look and makes this wall of windows seem even bigger.  We went with AS01W from the Winter Collection at Your Color Seasons.

The finished design:


Panoramic view of living room remodel

The homeowner finally feels like the surroundings and the home are in unison and now has a beautiful and comfortable oasis.

Brrrrrr! Here’s a Great way to Warm Up

As long as Portland keeps throwing dramatic weather changes at us, we will keep coming up with solutions to distract you from your frozen toes!

For this Commercial Remodel we wanted to keep the feeling of sunshine on your face and sand at your feet all year long, without getting too literal with it.  A subtle beach theme is the best way to go for a sophisticated, fresh, and inviting space.

Rattan is wicker’s classy cousin and it’s great for a large indoor space like this.  We finished the dark rattan chairs off with soft tan leather cushions.


Beach themed community lounge for commercial project

Instead of traditional ceramic pots for our verdant accessories, we used woven baskets to mix it up.  Using different woven materials adds to the nautical theme; reminding us of sailors’ knots.  Minimal accessories over the fireplace give a clean, open feeling and allow that gorgeous blue to shine.  We used a calming aqua-blue, AS08SP for the walls. A dark stain on the wainscoting helps the room feel grounded and draws your eye up to the sprawling details of the vaulted ceiling.

Coming up…

We’re keeping the beach theme alive in an upcoming project near Seattle;  Modern Nautical is our theme for this large, upscale apartment complex.  Pebbles, stainless steel, fresh white tile, and aqua accents are coming together for a design that is refined and inviting.

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